2 Samuel 23
This chapter ends on a dramatic note as it describes some of the valiant deeds of the men who were part of David’s inner circle. These were the ones who were by his side, running from Saul and hiding in caves, protecting David and battling the Philistines. They were a band of brothers, a small group of 37 in all, who had fought together, had each other’s back, trusted one another with their lives.
It is also our first glimpse, our only glimpse really, of David and Uriah the Hittite’s relationship apart from the events to Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba.
It reveals that Uriah was not simply some soldier in David’s army, he was a close friend. How many times had Uriah protected David, fought for David or side-by-side with him? How many nights had this band of warriors sat around a campfire with no other company but one another? Had Uriah spoken of his wife? Had he mentioned her unsurpassed beauty? Had he talked about their love?
It makes David’s betrayal all the more bitter to realize it was not simply a matter of stealing another man’s wife and having him killed, but betraying a brother-in-arms, killing a close friend, and repaying loyalty and devotion with adultery and murder.
Yet David is called a man after God’s own heart. It is so difficult for us to imagine the depths of God’s forgiveness. No matter how I strive to offer grace to those who’ve wrong me and to believe that God has truly forgiven me, I find myself regularly needing to forgive for the same offense. The enemy dredges up memories and taunts me with others’ and my own past mistakes.
But when God forgives us, He sees us as if it never happened. There is no shadow lingering of our past, there is only God’s love.