God Can Handle Any Scandal

Hollywood. Men violating women. Men abusing men. The powerful demanding a roll-in-the-sack for a role on the big screen. Trauma backstage hidden from the drama on stage.

Washington DC. The vulnerable being treated with impunity. Absolute authority corrupting absolutely.

It’s disgusting. Who do these people think they are? How long do they expect to get away with their debauchery? Well, not as long as they thought! These pariah are finally being exposed (no pun intended).

The “shamed” are no longer afraid to “defame.” Their victims are speaking out. Their carnal appetites and crass behavior are coming home to roost. Even those damaged decades ago are stepping forward with their scars.

Movie moguls have been dethroned. Actors have been replaced. News commentators have become news. Politicians have lost more than a race. The devil is calling for his dues and it might be time for us to remind ourselves of three very important truths.

First, sin casts long shadows (Numbers 32:23). —  King David buried three sons, fought through a political coup, carried the pain of a daughter’s rape and lived with the humiliation of his wives being molested—in public—by one of his sons. Why? He abused his authority, gratified his sexual drive in ways he shouldn’t and tried to keep it all a secret. He did what Hollywood and Washington have been doing for years and it came back to haunt him.

Second, no matter how bad the sin, God is willing to forgive (Psalms 86:5). — King David had sex with the wife of one of his best soldiers. He did so while that soldier was away fighting for his king. (Can you believe that?!) When the woman came up pregnant, David recalled that soldier from the “front lines,” got him drunk and tried to cover up the scandal. The attempt failed and David had his loyal patriot murdered. He couldn’t have been more unthoughtful or awful but—remember this—God forgave David of all that, every bit of it (Psalms 32:1-5). Amazing, right? Amazing grace!

Third, even forgiven sins leave scars (cf. Galatians 6:7). — King David was forgiven but his little boy still died. King David was forgiven but the influence of his sins still haunted him the rest of his life. He had a daughter raped by one of his sons. He had a son murdered by another one of his sons. He had a son rebel against his authority and encourage a civil war. What could David do / say? He had sexually defiled another man’s wife. He had murdered the husband of that wife. And, in the process of all that, he had rebelled against God’s authority. In essence, David’s sons did what David had done himself. He was forgiven BUT he had to live with the scars and influence of his forgiven sins for a long, long time.

I fear that we’ve become scandalmongers. Nightly news. Talk shows. Magazine articles. Newspaper columns. Coffee shop bavardage. Hair salon gossip. We can’t seem to hear or talk enough about the latest and most salacious affair.

Could I suggest a more productive conversation?

If we talked more about the beauty of God’s grace and less about the ugly details of some man’s or some woman’s guilt, we might be far more effective in changing the world.