In our reading today of 2 Samuel 12, we see the consequences of David’s sin of lust, adultery and murder. Do you remember Nathan? He is the prophet God gave to David. Nathan comes in and shares a story with him about a rich man and a poor man. The rich man had an abundance of sheep cattle while the poor man had one ewe who he cared deeply for. When a traveler came, the rich man took the poor mans one ewe lamb to prepare a meal for him instead of one of his many. David hearing this story of course got upset, he knew that wasn’t right, and Nathan goes on to tell him that David is the rich man in that story, that God gave him everything, kept him from dying to Saul, wives and children, a palace and all of Israel and scripture says God still would have given him more, but instead he went and sinned. And the Lord was super specific in what was going to happen to David through his message from Nathan: there was going to be murder in his family, his household is going to rebel against him, his wives are going to be given to another man in public and his first child with Bathsheba was going to die. It was in this that David wrote Psalm 51, if you want to get a peak into how he was feeling. And, it was in this time, we see David return to God. This is our verse for the day, but first, our application tells us that this was a year later and he had become so okay with his sin that he couldn’t even tell that in Nathan’s message, he was the rich man and leaves us wondering if David had known the consequences that he was going to have to face because of his sin, would he still have done it? Nathan goes on to tell David that the Lord forgives him, but he still has to face the consequences. “When God forgives us and restores our relationship with him, he doesn’t eliminate all the consequences of our wrongdoing” (Application) Later in our reading we see Bathsheba give David a son, they name him Soloman and scripture tells us, “The Lord loved him” so God sent word through Nathan to name him Jedidiah which means loved by the Lord. This is such a good reminder of God’s love and forgiveness and grace. We see after true repentance and true change of heart, that a fresh start can happen. Despite how ugly the sin may look and feel, we can take it before God, ask for forgiveness and leave ready to live a new life with God again. While all this was happening Joab was out fighting against Rabbah and had gotten an advantage against them; he sends word to David that if him and the rest of the troops don’t come to help him finish defeating them, that he will do it himself and claim the city and name it after him. So, David goes, and it looks like he might be back fulfilling his purpose of being a warrior too, with the rest of his troops and they take victory!
This reading was a lot and sin is tough to 1. admit and 2. to talk about, but I think we can learn from David that sin kept in secret is dangerous! He didn’t do anything about it for a year and he was so numb and blinded to his sin, he couldn’t even recognize it when it was called out to him. So, I want to dive into David’s words after he hears he’s the rich man in the story and that his son was going to die because of it, he says, “I have sinned against the Lord.” David realized he was wrong. It feels like he was in a place of wandering and he finally realized his heart was no longer right with God. His sin had taken over and he still believed in God, but he never took his sin before the Lord until he was awoken to it. God is so good and loving to forgive our sins, but our application tells us, we can’t have a posture of, I can do whatever I want, God will forgive me. We have to realize that our sin can cause consequences that God won’t necessarily take away.
Let’s reflect on a time when you had this turn around moment like David. Maybe it was after a sin you regretted or became numb to, maybe it is today, and you are going before God, asking for forgiveness and ready to start fresh. Write about the sin. What changed you? How did it feel after you realized you sinned and took it to God? Did you leave your time feeling forgiven? Have you been able to move past that sin and walk forward in your fresh start? Just like David, if your heart is truly sorry and you ask for forgiveness, the Lord will take away your sin.
Lord, sin is not something that is easy to come to terms with or easy to repent of, but we know you are the only one that can make us new out of a sin. I pray for anyone who is struggling with a hidden sin today, that they can see through this story that you are good and loving and forgiving and that you are a safe place to go before and that a fresh start is right in front of them with you. Help our hearts to know when we sin, so we can come before you immediately to ask for forgiveness, guide us to not allow one sin to cause another and the dangers that could come with that. Help us to be open and honest with you so that we don’t live in hiding from you in ANY area of our lives. We see that sin has consequences, help us to avoid getting mix into the sin, help us to stop at that first opportunity you give us, help us to repent then and not take another step in the direction of sin. You are so gracious to us lord and we are forever thankful for that. Help us listen to the Holy Spirit within us as he tries to guide and direct us away from wrong. We love you and are so thankful for your forgiving love, its in your name we pray, AMEN!