I find great comfort in knowing that the only Hero in the Bible is Jesus, and that all of the other biblical “heroes” sin–many of them grossly. The list is lengthy: Jacob, the deceiver; Noah, the drunkard; King David, the adulterer and murderer; Peter, the Christ-denier and gospel-compromiser; etc.
Sadly, it seems, a passive attitude toward sin can creep into the lives of believers in light of the failure of those whom have gone before. Many times I’ve heard it said, “…but King David, a man after God’s own heart, sinned too.”
Yes, that’s true. But don’t forget when confronted with his sin King David humbled himself and repented.
The Puritan Thomas Brooks warns against the kind of passive attitude that can sneak in from the sins of the faithful:
Ah, souls, you can easily sin as the saints, but can you repent with the saints? Many can sin with David and Peter, that cannot repent with David and Peter, and so must perish forever. (Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 46)
In one sense it is an encouragement to take solidarity in the sins of the saints, but we must also take solidarity in the repentance of the saints even more. If you’ve followed them into gross sin, follow them further into repentance and brokenness.
Men and women after God’s own heart are great sinners, but they are only “after God’s own heart” if they are great repent-ers as well.