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The first bits of the Bible I ever translated were 2 Samuel 11-13. Great introduction to Hebrew translation, let me tell you. (I mean, it begins with adultery and ends in rape.) Chapter 11 has earned a special nickname from me: "David's List of Mistakes."

From the very first verse, David is in the wrong. It was time for kings to go off to war, it says, but David stayed in Jerusalem. Mistake #1. Then he watches a strange woman bathe, commits adultery with her (potentially against her will), tries to cover up the resulting pregnancy, and finally murders her husband so he can marry her himself. That's a fairly long list of pretty serious mistakes (and crimes).

And yet the second son of their union was the wisest man ever to live and the king who built the first temple to the LORD. David himself suffered the penalty for his sins, repented, and became the greatest king of Israel in history. He was even promised the Christ, the long-awaited Messiah, would come from his bloodline.

Most of us aren't as broken as David. Most of us will never commit adultery, rape, or murder. But none of us are perfect, either. We still sin. We still miss the mark daily in thought, word, and deed, in what we do and what we leave undone. But God still uses us. He can still use our broken lives to make an impact in this world for His kingdom -- and sometimes our reach is extended because of our past hurts, habits, and hangups, things that let other people say, "Me, too."

Praise God! And praise Jesus for his blood which covers a multitude of sins -- and erases lists of mistakes.

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