One of my favorite phrases in the Bible is found in Ephesians 2:4-5 “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),” “But God.” That phrase follows the first three verses that talk about the dire circumstances we find ourselves in without God. “dead in trespasses and sins.” It says we served Satan, we served our own sinful desires, and were destined for God’s wrath.
God saw our condition and sent His Son Jesus Christ, God the Son, to earth to pay the penalty for our sin and redeem us.
My son’s name is Nathaniel. We named him that because it is a Hebrew name that means “Gift of God.” There are a few notable Nathans in the Bible, but one in particular has been in my mind today. This is the Nathan who was a son of David.
What do we know about David’s son, Nathan? We know that he was born in Jerusalem (after David captured that city and made it his capital). we know that he was King Solomon’s brother (likely older brother). We know that he is one of the sons of Bathsheba. And we know that he was a direct physical ancestor of Jesus Christ.
Why does this resonate with me today? Because I believe it is a perfect example of how God uses the mistakes we make, the sins we commit, and even though we had selfish motives, sinful desires, and wrong actions, God can take that situation and make something beautiful, somthing amazing from it.
There is no greater example of a good man failing in the Bible than that of David and Bathsheba. David was king. He was “a man after God’s own heart.” He had followed God faithfully for decades. And then one night he saw Bathsheba bathing, he lusted after her, and he sinned. it is not my intent here to cover the details of his sins. Suffice it to say that he committed adultery, lying, betrayal, murder, and he soiled God’s Name for over a year.
How do you recover from that? How do you pick up the pieces and continue to serve God? Sometimes it seems like we have too much sin, that there’s no way God could use us. We’re too dirty. We’re too far gone. But God saw David and Bathsheba. He was not surprised by their actions. He took the horrible sin that was committed by David there and did something great: he gave them sons. One of Bathsheba and David’s sons carried on the royal line and sat on the throne as the wisest king ever (not named Jesus, of course). And then there’s Nathan. God used Nathan, a son of Bathsheba and David, in the direct line of Christ.
As a matter of fact, if you look at the lineage of Christ in Matthew 1, you will find something interesting. There are only four women mentioned in the genealogy: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba. Tamar played the part of a prostitute. Rahab and Ruth were not even Jewish (Rahab was a Caananite, and Ruth was from Moab). And then there’s Bathsheba, who needs no introduction. God can use broken people. He delights in using broken vessels that any human would simply pass over. As a matter of fact, according to David’s psalm that he wrote after his sin with Bathsheba was made public, God delights in a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart.
You may think your life is worthless. You may think your sin is unforgivable. You may think that there is no hope for you.