I kind of had to laugh a little when I typed out the title for this post. Not because I condone those actions, but because they could easily describe a number of movies or primetime dramas currently on television. Sad isn’t it? Sad that we as a society celebrate, or at the least, enjoy being entertained by such filth and debauchery. Also sad because many people who claim the title of “Christian” watch such shows as well. But I digress.
Well, this post is still going to discuss adultery, conspiracy, and murder, and it’s a story we are all too familiar with. If you will, grab your Bible and open up to the book of 2 Samuel, the 11th chapter so you can follow along with our study.
It’s springtime. The time of year when armies go out to battle and apparently beautiful women bathe naked in full view of others. We have David, the rugged and good-looking King of Israel gawking at the very married wife of Uriah, Bathsheba. He sends for her. She willingly comes. The result? A shameful example of adultery and an unwanted pregnancy (2 Samuel 11:2-5).
But the story doesn’t end there. After unsuccessfully trying to convince Uriah to lie with his wife to cover up his indiscretion (2 Samuel 11:6-13), our honorable King David then conspires to have Uriah killed on the battlefield. It wasn’t bad enough that he was attempting to commit murder. He even convinced Joab to go along with the plan (2 Samuel 11:14-21). Maybe Joab was afraid to disobey the king. Maybe he was a willing coconspirator. Regardless of the circumstances, a marriage was ruined, sin was rampantly spread, and a innocent man was killed, all because David couldn’t control his wandering eyes on that rooftop.
Then along comes Nathan. Not just any man, but a prophet from God. He brings to David the story of a wicked rich man who steals from his poor servant. The man in the story? It’s meant to be David himself (2 Samuel 12:1-7)! Nathan fearlessly tells the king that because of his sin, the sword will never depart from his house. Because of his sin, evil will rise against him and his neighbors will plunder him (2 Samuel 12:11-12). And David’s response? He immediately confesses his sin (2 Samuel 12:13).
Were it so with all who claim to be Christians. Just take a look at David’s own words as he laments over his poor choices with a penitent heart:
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.” (Psalm 51:1-4)
“9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. 13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. 14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. 15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51:9-17)
What an amazing treat it is to read the 51st psalm and witness the outpouring grief over committed sin. I think my favorite verse in the passage is verse 17. One of the most genuine ways to worship God is to offer him a ‘broken and contrite heart.” It’s a heart that God has promised to forgive and restore. Also take a look at the blessings David offers at receiving forgiveness:
“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. 3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. 5 I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.” (Psalm 32:1-5)
When we don’t seek the forgiveness of God, we can literally waste away from our guilt. We all know the feeling full well, for we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). And yet David can confidently say that the iniquity of his sin has been forgiven because he had confessed his transgressions to the Lord (vs. 5).
Finally, read the words of Psalm 139 and see that David realizes God sees all. David invites him to know his heart and to lead David into righteousness:
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me! 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3 You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.” (Psalm 139:1-4)
“7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139:7)
“23 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23-24)
These actions and this attitude should be the aim of all wish to be followers of God. When sin occurs in our life, we should grieve over that sin to the point where we pour out our confession to God in the most transparent way possible (Psalm 51). Next, we should rejoice that God offers us forgiveness, even to the most wicked of sinners (Psalm 32). There is no sin bad enough that God has not offered to forgive and forget. But we must let God have our heart and fully yield to his will for our life (Psalm 139). We must invite him to guide us in the way we should go, and most importantly, submit to his divine leadership and wisdom.
Do you have king-sized sin in your life? Rather, do you have ANY sin in your life? Like David, go to God with a penitent heart and ask for his mercy and forgiveness because “blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity and in whose spirit there is no deceit” (Psalm 32:2).