beloved03It is difficult – if not impossible – to pick up a newspaper or listen to the news and not hear about another scandal.  Almost every day, we can recite the latest scandal without even thinking about it.

But scandal is nothing new.  Even King David was involved in a not-too-unfamiliar scandal that shook him to his core.

While surveying his kingdom from atop his palace, he spied a beautiful young girl, named Bathsheba, bathing.  It was more than he could take.  He invited her over and she accepted.  And on thing led to another.  Soon, she returned word to David that she was pregnant…with his child!

But that was not the biggest problem.  The biggest problem was that Bathsheba was married.  What would David do about her husband, Uriah?  Well, he tried several things: he invited Uriah home from battle, told him to take some much-deserved time off and spend it with his wife, hoping that such a ruse would dispel any notion that the baby was his own.  But the plan failed.  After trying and failing again, David arranged to have Uriah killed in battle, and no one would be the wiser.

It worked.

Soon, David’s son was born.  But he was a sickly child and died a few days later.  Some time later, David, and Bathsheba had another son.  Nathan, the resident prophet, named the child “Jedidiah” which means “Beloved of the Lord.”  It was Nathan’s way of saying to David that he had been forgiven of his scandal.

Now, how many of us, like David, are carrying around a load of guilt from some indiscretion done years ago?  We can’t seem to let it go.

But there is good news!

I like to imagine the conversation between Nathan and David going like this:

Nathan appears at David’s door.  “I have seen the child,” he said.

“What did you name him?” David asked.  “Did you name him ‘Ichabod’ – ‘the glory of the Lord has departed’?  Is that what you named him?”

“No,” replied Nathan.  “I called him “Jedidiah,” ‘the beloved of the Lord’.”

God takes our sin seriously.  But what is closest to God’s heart is not our sin, but grace.  Whatever guilt you are dragging around with you, let God take it away.  Each of us is “Jedidiah” – beloved of the Lord!

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