Can God bring good out of bad?

Harry Loewen is pastor of East Ridge Community Fellowship in Maple Ridge

  • Mar. 17, 2012 8:00 a.m.
Can God bring good out of bad?

Some of us have made some terrible decisions in life with consequences that will haunt us for the rest of our lives.

Is there life after a major failure?

Can God forgive me?

Would I be welcome back to church?

I want to assure, right now, that the answer is, unequivocally, yes.

The Bible tells the story of one such person. He was David, the greatest king in all of Israel’s history, and whose life could be summed up with two major events.

The greatest victory in David’s life, of course, was when, as a young teen, he killed Goliath. Here was a Philistine giant more than nine feet tall and wearing full armor and who came out each day for 40 days, mocking and challenging the Israelites to fight. Not one man in the Israeli army could be found who was willing to face off with this giant. But young David looked him over and told King Saul, “I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God!” (1 Samuel 17:36).

You know the rest of the story: David loaded his sling with a smooth stone, let it fly, and Goliath fell.

This event would catapult David into the public eye and immediately establish him as a great leader in Israel. Until then, he was unknown, a lonely shepherd, the son of a small farmer and the youngest of seven sons.

Sadly, some years later he had a major moral failure. He slept with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, and a child was conceived. He tried to cover it up by attempting, unsuccessfully, to get Uriah to come home and sleep with his wife so Uriah would think the child was his own. Ultimately, David had Uriah sent into the heat of battle, effectively murdering him and taking the lives of many other men. David, at the time, was dismissive about the unnecessary loss of life. Later, he would come to full repentance. But the consequences of those sins would haunt him for the rest of his life.

However, God is a redeeming God. When David repented, God forgave him and the amazing thing is that, despite his sin, he was considered a man after the heart of God. He also made it into the most exclusive family tree in history: the messianic line. Not only is he part of it, but he may be the most important member of it other than Jesus himself. When the angel Gabriel visited Mary, he said of Jesus, “He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David.” (Luke 1:32). When Jesus walked this earth, people would call Him the “Son of David.”

David’s name was redeemed, despite his shortcomings. Although David experienced the repercussions of his sin, God still brought good out of bad. And He can do the same for us.

Harry Loewen is pastor of East Ridge Community Fellowship.