David, Israel’s greatest king, the writer of psalms, ‘man after God’s heart’, revered as a prophet…saw a beautiful woman - Bathsheba - taking a bath, learned she was married, invited her to his bed, made her pregnant, fell in love with her, and killed her husband so he could marry her.
That would bring a sudden end to most people’s careers, whether or not they were a political or religious leader (David was both).
God moved swiftly. David’s multiple crime was uncovered, and severe punishment detailed.
It is here that the story takes a surprising turn. David apologised, quickly and unreservedly. God, equally quickly and unreservedly, forgave him. David continued to be Israel’s greatest king, a writer of psalms, a man after God’s heart, and revered as a prophet.
And there’s more: David’s relationship with Bathsheba was accepted and blessed by God. The child of their adultery died, but their second son - Solomon - went on to be Israel’s next greatest king, and was the ancestor of Jesus.
When God forgives, he forgives totally, because he values our strengths above our weaknesses, our potential above our lapses, our achievements above our failures. God knows that we sometimes sink to dismal depths, but he also knows that we can rise to soaring heights. He doesn’t want our failings to get in the way of our potential.