December 16, 2021
Scripture: David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the LORD, the child who is born to you shall die.” Then Nathan went to his house. 2 Samuel 12:13-15 ESV
Observation: A familiar story to all of us, David committed murder when he ordered Joab to send Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, into the firing line to cover his sin of adultery with Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba. But David could not hide his trespasses from God. So the Lord sent the prophet Nathan to David to uncover his sins. By telling a parable, Nathan appealed to David’s sense of right and wrong and then revealed that David had violently taken what did not belong to him. Rightfully, David confessed his sins, acknowledging that he first and foremost sinned against God. Then Nathan foreshadowed the glorious ministry of our Savior: “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.”
Takeaway: It would be easy to judge David’s actions as severe and inapplicable to us. But as Jesus preached during his Sermon on the Mount, we murder in as much as we harbor angry thoughts toward others (Matthew 5:21-26). Equally so, when we entertain lustful thoughts, we commit adultery (Matthew 5:27-30). Thankfully, our Savior has covered over all our sins—even our lustful and murderous thoughts—so that we need not hide them. Indeed, just as the Lord spared David’s life at the expense of David’s Son’s life (substitutionary atonement), through the Cross of Christ, he has spared our lives. The Father offered up his Son to account for “scornful” actions toward him. He has “put away your sin; you shall not die.” But there are consequences.
Nathan also prophesied that there would be heartache beyond the death of David’s baby boy. Strife and turmoil would mark his household (12:10-12). In particular, two of his sons would follow his ungodly example and commit similar sins—uncovered and exposed to the public (chapters 13-17). Admittedly, when we consider the fallout, it can be terrifying. Our fear of what we perceive the future holds most often will impede our confession. But like David, if we trust that the grace of our good God is sufficient, we will find the courage to confess our sins and press on, knowing that he will give us the strength to bear the consequences.
Prayer: Father God, we thank you for your Holy Spirit who uncovers our sins and for your Son who has covered them in his body and has set us free from their penalty of spiritual death. Would you please help us trust that your grace is sufficient to confess our trespasses and press through their consequences? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling