Kind David enjoyed a sparkling early life. With God’s help, he slew Goliath. He ascended the throne of Judah in a thoroughly honorable fashion. He played the harp and danced to the glory of God. He brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem as the people exulted with joy. David commanded a powerful army and ruled an extensive kingdom. What could go wrong?
Well, lust. Dishonesty. Malice. The king lost his way spiritually. His own son rebelled against him. David had to flee for his life.
Now, Peyton Manning had a rough night on Sunday.* But it was nothing compared to what King David went through late in life.
Bad as things got, though, David never lost his fundamental sense of right and wrong. When he had sinned, he knew it. And he admitted it. He never lost the humility of the shepherd boy he had been. Even at his lowest, David trusted in and revered God.
In other words, David never became self-centered. So, when his son was killed, even though Absalom had betrayed him, David wept. David had committed grave sins, but he never became hard-hearted. He would rather have died than see his son die, even though Absalom had been gunning brazenly for David’s life.
Reverence for God keeps us from losing our way completely, even when we make mistakes. Yes, we fall. Tell lies, do wrong, mess up our obligations.
But if we always give God His due—if we pray every day and go to church every Sunday—then He gets us back on track somehow. He keeps our hearts close to Him. When we keep our religion intact, even if we sin, we can recover from our mistakes and find the right path again.
* The Denver Broncos have gotten whupped in the Super Bowl before, by a similar score, by an NFC team from the other Washington. Super Bowl XXII ended 42-10.
Your humble servant witnessed it firsthand, in San Diego, on January 31, 1988, with his beloved younger brother, with tickets our venerable father lucked into. The man handed his 17- and 15-year-old sons two tickets to the Super Bowl and said, “Have at it. If you can get yourselves there, and be back before the first bell at school the following morning, I can’t wait to hear about it.” That’s how we rolled back in the 80’s, peeps.
In heaven, that’s the Super Bowl that will be on.