Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.”
2 Samuel 12:13
David: The beautiful sound of forgiveness
David was living the Israelite dream! He made a name for himself by defeating the giant, Goliath. He won war after war. He brought prosperity to Israel. The people loved him. He started from the bottom as a shepherd and made his way to the top as king of Israel. But in 2 Samuel 11 & 12 we see very different David. We see a David who was depressed, weak, and joyless even though he was still the king.
Why the change? It was the result of a year long coverup of his sins. This sin began when he lusted after Bathsheba as she bathed on the rooftop. Lust led to adultery and to an unexpected pregnancy. Next, David tried and failed to make it look like the child was Bathsheba’s and her husband Uriah’s. With his back against the wall David made the fatal decision to order Uriah to be murdered on the battlefield. He took Bathsheba home to be his wife. But then our great hero of faith and the writer of so many psalms goes silent.
While David’s series of sins is shocking to read about, we’ve been there too. At times, we have covered up one sin with more sin. Sometimes we are pretty good at it. Maybe you were clever enough to convince your teacher that you didn’t cheat on the test. Or you continue to find ways to work around the filters your parents put on your phone or computer and then cleverly delete your browser history. You may have successfully convinced everyone at church that you are a model Christian teenager while your weekend activites tells a different story. Although ‘getting away with it’ may bring temporary relief, in the end it just leads to stress and guilt.
No matter how hard we try to cover up our sin from people in our lives, we cannot hide it from the One that truly matters—our Father in heaven. It didn’t work for Adam and Eve; it didn’t work for David; it will not work for us.
But what is even more breathtaking is the way that God loves us still. Even though God sees everything we do out in the open and everything we do behind closed doors, he still loves us. He loved David. He loved David enough to send Nathan to call him out for his sin. And then when David was led to confess his sins, he had a better message, beautiful words of forgiveness. Just like that he was once again at peace with God.
God might not send us a Nathan, but he has given us his Word. As we read and hear it in worship or in studies, we can’t help but see our sins and confess that we are sinners. Then the Gospel, over and over again, points us to the Savior, to the full and free forgiveness we have through Jesus. We’re not going to die because in Jesus God has taken away our sins. And just like that we are at peace again with God.
What a God we have who loves us and keeps calling us back! He keeps on forgiving and never gives up on us even when others do.
Dear Heavenly Father we have sinned against you and against others. Keep us from trying to cover these up, but instead lead us to confess them. We thank you for the forgiveness won for us through Jesus and ask that you would create in us pure hearts. Your forgiveness and your mercy is new every morning. Amen.