“Why did you despise the word of God by doing what is evil in His eyes?” (2 Samuel 12:9) Nathan did not mince his words. He did not dilute them either because David was king. He convicted him of his sin by putting the facts starkly before him and by spelling out the punishment. Confronted with his guilt, David admitted his wrongdoing. “I have sinned against the Lord.” (2 Samuel 12:13)
“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2) Sin separates us from God. Yet God is merciful towards us, because He knows our frailties and our weaknesses. When therefore we come in meek humility before Him and sincerely pour out our hearts to Him in all sincerity, He not only forgives, but forgets; and He restores us to our initial and rightful position as His children.
That our sins have been forgiven does not mean we will not face the consequences. For each sin committed, there is a consequence to bear. The child born out of this adulterous union did not survive despite David’s prayer and fasting. “The Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted… On the seventh day the child died.” (2 Samuel 12:15-16,18) David would further face public disgrace in his very household as predicted in 2 Samuel chapter 12 verses 11 and 12.
David was greatly grieved by what happened; and in a song addressed to God, Psalm 51, he made a solemn appeal for pardon. This song must have touched God’s heart and brought immense relief to David from a burden and a heavy heart.
“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… and I will be clean, wash me and I will be whiter than snow. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart… Do not cast me from your presence… Restore to me the joy of my salvation…”
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit
Unlike King Saul, David did not make an apology for his fault; he did not attempt to justify his actions either. As soon as he was found out, he submitted and broke out in an appeal to God for mercy. He asked for forgiveness for having offended God. In this song, one of many that he had written, he made some very sound statements about our sinful nature. “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (verse 5)
Human beings were made in God’s image which was corruptedafter Adam and Eve sinned. We have inherited sin and it has become an integral part of our adamic nature. No one learns how to sin; we are born sinners and therefore we sin.
Sin not a dead end street
Sin is however not a dead end street for the Bible teaches that “just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned, …” (Romans 5:12)
“… through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19)
The one man by whom sin came into the world through disobedience is Adam, our ancestor. The one man by whom human beings would be restored and made right with God is through our Lord Jesus Christ – He who is “the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) The Bible states; “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:23) Sin kills and whilst everybody will die because of sin, those who believe in Jesus who has conquered sin and its consequences, death, will live forever. Say Amen to that!
We are now familiar with the account of those biblical characters who have admitted to having sinned before God; the likes of Pharaoh, the prodigal son, kings Saul and David. Where do we stand alongside these characters? Are we bold enough to confess our sins when we become conscious of them or would we want God to send someone to open our eyes to them? We must always seek to be in right standing with God.
Joseph, when seduced by his master’s wife, “Come to bed with me!” refused to give in on the grounds that he would be offending God. “My master,” he said, “has held nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against my God?” (Genesis 39:9)
Sin as we can see is a wicked thing against God. It is our prayer therefore that God would grant us the strength to resist the devil each time he comes to take us from off the right path.