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The repentant sinner

"David looked up and saw the angel of the Lord standing between heaven and earth, with a drawn sword in his hand extended over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell facedown." 1 Chronicles 21.16

David knew when he had blown it with God. On the occasion referred to in the verse above, he had pressed ahead with a census of Israel against the Lord's command. Yet, as on the occasion when he was confronted with the sinfulness of his behaviour towards Bathsheba and her husband Uriah, as soon as he came to his senses he did the right thing, by falling on his knees and making his confession to God.

That sounds like the obvious thing to do in the the circumstances. But how many of us struggle to overcome our pride in admitting where we have gone wrong, let alone in confessing our sins? Yet therein lies the true greatness of David. HIs gifts and opportunities, his swashbuckling life-story, his dramatic rise to power and his achievements on the throne could have made him arrogant. That they didn't, is due to his recognition that he owed everything to God, without whom he would have been nothing.

Were that to become our own frame of reference, what difference might that make in our own lives? Not only in making us quicker to confess our sins, not only in rendering us more appreciative of our gifts and opportunities... But what impact might it make on our sense of vocation, of having been created and called for a purpose?



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