"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9 NIV).
Friend to Friend
All through the Bible, we see amazing examples of God's grace and forgiveness extended to weak human beings like you and me. King David was one such man. We've looked at King David's demise in a previous devotion, but I want to take us back there again. There is more to learn. For those that are just joining us, I'll give a quick recap.
God referred to David as a "man after my own heart" (Acts 13:22). I can't think of a better endorsement than that. And yet, David also got caught up in his own press and for a moment thought he was above the laws of God.
One spring, when the Kings went out to war, King David decided to stay behind and relax at the palace. While walking on the roof to get a breath of fresh air, he caught sight of his beautiful neighbor, Bathsheba, taking a bath on her roof. He looked. He saw. He wanted. He took.
"Who is that girl?" he asked one of his servants.
"That, my Lord, is the wife of Uriah the Hittite, one of your faithful soldiers."
"Send someone and bring her to me!" he commanded.
So one starry night, in the heat of passion, David slept with his neighbor's wife and she conceived a child.
When David received word that Bathsheba was pregnant, he panicked. Did David confess? No. Did David repent? No. Instead, he tried to cover his tracks. He sent for Uriah to come home from battle thinking that he would sleep with his wife, thus conceal the fact that the child she bore was his. But the faithful Uriah, would not indulge himself in such pleasure during a time of war. Rather than enjoy the comfort of his wife's embrace, Uriah slept outside the palace door.
So David went to plan B.
He sent a message to Joab, the commander of the army.
"When you go to war, place Uriah on the front lines. Then when the battle ensues, have the men retreat, leaving Uriah exposed as a lone target for the enemy."
Joab followed the Commander and Chief's request. Uriah was left alone on the front lines and killed. After the proper time of mourning, David took the pregnant widow as his wife.
Do you wonder how David, a man after God's own heart was feeling this time? Was he afraid? Was he remorseful? Was he proud of himself for the great cover up?
Fortunately, God has allowed us to see inside this man's heart. During this time of moral failure, David penned Psalm 51.
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.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Surely you desire truth in the inner parts;
you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
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.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will turn back to you.
Save me from bloodguilt, O God,
the God who saves me,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.
David was crushed in spirit -- and yet no one knew - or did they?
After David had taken Bathsheba to be his wife, the prophet Nathan confronted David with his sin.
David did not try to justify his actions, place blame on anyone else, or claim amnesty because he was king. Immediately he cried, "I have sinned against the LORD!"
After David repented, Nathan proclaimed, "The LORD has taken away your sin."
David was a broken man who repented of his sin, and immediately received grace and forgiveness from God. He resumed his role as king and proceeded to become the most powerful king Israel had ever known.
Dear Heavenly Father: I come to you today confessing my own sin. Help me never to hide or justify my sin, but to see it as the offense to You that it is. I humbly repent before you and thank You for Your mercy that is new every morning. Thank You for forgiving the truly repentant heart.
In Jesus' Name,
Now It's Your Turn
What strikes you most about David's story?
Write down five words that might describe David's emotional state during the time he was hiding his sin?
Why do you think God so quickly and completely forgave him?
Do you know that He will do and has done the same for you?