One day David, the noble king of Israel and prophet of God, looked down from his palace and saw the beautiful Bathsheba bathing.
Now Bathsheba was married to Uriah who was off to battle. But David desired her and secretly slept with her.
When she discovered that she was with child, she sent word to king David. He sent for Uriah encouraging him to return home to sleep with Bathsheba. But Uriah being devoted to his military duty refused to go home to be with Bathsheba.
Hence, King David’s trick on Uriah did not succeed. So he sent word to the commander of the army telling him to make sure Uriah was killed in the battle. When Uriah was killed, David took Uriah’s wife and married her.1
Fearful people may turn to evil deeds to hide their sins. They justify their actions to themselves and quickly the voice of conscience is silenced.
But the voice of God is not silenced. God’s Holy Scripture clearly states that those who sin shall be punished. God sent to David the prophet Nathan who delivered this terrible message:
“A rich man and a poor man lived in the same town. The rich man owned a lot of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had only one little lamb that he had brought and raised. The lamb became a pet for him and his children. He even let it eat from his plate and drink from his cup and sleep on his lap. The lamb was like one of his own children.
One day someone came to visit the rich man, but the rich man didn’t want to kill any of his own sheep or cattle and serve it to the visitor. So he stole the poor man’s little lamb and served it instead”.
Hearing the story David became very angry and said that the man who committed this act this deserved to die. Then Nathan said to King David: “You are the man.”2
David bowed his head to the ground before God and wept many tears. Hear the voice of David in the Holy Zabur: “O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint … all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.”3
Why is David so sad? Because of his punishment? Nathan the prophet said to him: “Now, therefore, the sword will never part from your house, because you have despised me, and have taken the wife of Uriah to be your own.”4 But this alone is not why David is full of sorrow. He is also very sad because he has lost his fellowship with God. He knows that his terrible sin has put a barrier between him and God. Without God he cannot fully live. He remembers how happy he was before Bathsheba. His soul melts with desire for fellowship with God. From his heart comes this cry, recorded in the Holy Zabur:
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.”5
David is full of shame for his sin, and for the unclean heart from which his sin has come. His heart tells him what he must do. Sorrowfully, he turns to God, confessing his sin. David lays his heart open before God, and asks God to forgive him and to cleanse him:
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge…. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”6
David knew that the sins he had committed against Uriah and his wife were also against God. After David’s confession Nathan the prophet said to him: “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.”7 David’s repentance was true. He never sinned like that again. God forgave him. With the forgiveness of God came peace to his heart, and happiness more than can be described (for it is God’s forgiveness that turns sorrow into joy). Once again he could sing songs of joy and praise:
“Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.”8
Does your heart desire to sing this song of forgiveness? Surely that desire is in you!
Do not be deceived into thinking that God will accept or overlook your sin. God is holy and righteous; therefore, sin cannot exist with him. If you throw a few drops of cold water on hot metal, the water sizzles and evaporates. Why? Because hot metal and water cannot exist together. Likewise, God and sin cannot exist together.
The Day will come when everyone’s sins will be exposed; nothing will be hidden on the Day of Judgment. Behold even now the finger of God is pointing at you and saying: “You are a sinner!” Remembering this, may this bring you today to humble repentance and a desire for God’s pardon!
But you may cry: “If God is against all sin, how can he ever forgive so great a sinner as I?” Yet, my friend, God has made a way for your forgiveness. He forgives us by redeeming us. From his open heart he has sent a Redeemer to bear the heavy burden of our sin. And the Redeemer, whom he has so graciously sent, you know. He is Jesus the Messiah. Upon the cross at great cost he has borne the punishment for all our sins. He has died so that we might live. Do you see in Jesus the measure of God’s love? Through Jesus the forgiving love of God shines upon you also.
Do not delay. Come in humble repentance and a desire for God’s pardon. Come trusting in God alone. Do not trust in your own efforts to save yourself. Do not say: “I will give alms. I will make a pilgrimage. I will perform a vow. I will give my life in a holy war, so that God will forgive me.” None of those things will bring you forgiveness. You can not earn your salvation. God is great. God forgives you without payment. Come to him and his grace. Surrender your life and will to God. Trust in his mercy. Accept what God has done through the cross of Jesus and experience God’s love and forgiveness for you.
Friend, whatever your faults may be and the greatness of your sin, do not be afraid. Like David, turn away from your sin. Come humbly to God through Jesus. Taste the richness of his grace, his redemption and his forgiveness for you also.9
Then you will shout aloud King David’s song of the redeemed: “Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion … Praise the LORD, O my soul.”10
Are you presently experiencing a new spiritual life? God’s word says, “If anyone is in Christ (the Messiah), he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.”11 This new life is a free gift through faith in Jesus the Messiah. If you want to know more about this life that only the Messiah can give you, sign up for one of our Bible study courses. Wherever you are in life, whatever you have done, you can begin again.
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Holy Bible the book of 2 Samuel 12:1-4 ↩
Holy Bible the book of Psalms 6:1-7 ↩
Holy Bible the book of 2 Samuel 12:10 ↩
Holy Bible the book of Psalms 42:1-4 ↩
Holy Bible the book of Psalms 51:1-12 ↩
Holy Bible the book of 2 Samuel 12:13 ↩
Holy Bible the book of Psalms 32:1,2,5 ↩
Holy Bible the book of Ephesians 1:7 ↩
Holy Bible the book of Psalms 103:1-4, 22 ↩
Holy Bible the book of 2 Corinthians 4:17 ↩