Life is complicated, and that’s because, as humans, we are complicated. Imagine-creatures made in the image of God, the Creator of the universe, who then corrupt themselves. No wonder that our potential both for good and for evil can reach remarkable levels.
And it isn’t just that some people attain great levels of “goodness” while others, unfortunately, drop to the extremes of depravity. Instead, both extremes can be manifested in the same person! The great news is that some who, at one time, were at the lowest have, by God’s grace, done great things for Him and for humanity. Of course, the opposite can happen, as well: those at the heights can fall to the depths. Satan is real, the great controversy is real, and unless connected to the Lord, even the best of us can fall prey to our foe (1 Pet. 5:8) .
Read 1 Samuel 17:43-51. What words came out of David’s mouth that are so crucial to understanding his victory? In contrast, read 2 Samuel 11:1-17. What stark contrast do we see here in the same man? What made the difference?
The same David who defeated the giant Goliath is the David who was defeated by his own lust and arrogance. How many women did the man already have? And he sees one more, a married woman, and suddenly where is all the talk about “the battle is the LORD’S” (1 Sam. 17:47) or “that there is a God in Israel” (1 Sam. 17:46) ? If there were a time when David needed not only to know that the “battle is the LORD’S” but also to fight that battle in God’s armor, it wasn’t on the war zone in the Valley of Elah but in the recess of his own heart, where in each of us the great controversy rages.
Upon coming to his senses after this terrible fall with Bathsheba, David had enough grief and guilt to last a lifetime. His sorrow led him to write Psalms 51 in which he pleads for a clean heart (Psalms 51:10) and the restoration of his fellowship with God (Psalms 51:11-12) . In the great cosmic struggle, mighty men are just as vulnerable as the person of the lowest rank; yet, God is willing to work with all who truly repent.