As people, we often convince ourselves that our sin is not as bad as someone else’s. We show a great deal of mercy for our own mistakes, and hold other’s actions at the point of a knife. It is, however, a great and terrible thing to be confronted by the Lord who is the true judge of sin as we see in the case of King David.
2 Samuel 12:1-7a: “So the Lord sent Nathan to David. When he arrived, he said to him: ‘There were two men in a certain city, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one small ewe lamb that he had bought. It lived and grew up with him and his children. It shared his meager food and drank from his cup; it slept in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. No a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man could not bring himself to take one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for his guest.’ David was infuriated with the man and said to Nathan: ‘As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die! Because he has done this thing and shown no pity, he must pay four lambs for that lamb.’ Nathan replied to David, ‘You are the man!’”
David had taken Uriah the Hittite’s wife, Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11). He committed adultery with her, and then had Uriah killed in battle so he could have Bathsheba as his own wife. In David’s mind, he was king. He desired Bathsheba, so he took her. He justified his actions in order to gratify his flesh. It is not until God sends Nathan the prophet that David realizes his wrong doing. Nathan was a close, trusted friend. He had previously brought good news to the king (7:8-17). The parable he tells is taken by David as something that has happened in his kingdom. He intends for the person to repay the owner for the stolen sheep. When David is told that he is the man, those words must have cut him deeply. The Lord, through Nathan, goes on to describe all he had done for David (12:7). God had given him the kingdom, saved him from Saul and blessed his leadership. The Lord even says that He would have given David more if only he had asked. God then goes on to tell David his punishment for ignoring the Lord’s command. He will be under constant attack from other nations. His wives dispersed to others. God would bring disaster upon David and his family. David repents, and his life is spared. However, his son dies as a result of his sin. His family is torn a part. His son, Absalom, later rises against him.
David didn’t think about what he already had. He didn’t count what God had blessed him with. He was selfish. As we usually are. And though he acknowledged his sin, the consequences remained. His life was changed forever. Though he had forgiveness from the Lord, there was no going back to the way things were. Sin has lasting consequences. It took judging another’s life for David to realize his own sin. He had to be confronted by the Lord.
Today, you may have fooled yourself into believing that the sin you hold so dear is being hidden from the Lord. Your heart may have told you the great lie that it isn’t hurting anyone; that it isn’t as bad as what such and such is doing. Don’t find yourself in the position of David. Do not cause the Lord to confront you publicly. Confess your wrong and turn from it before larger consequences ensue. The most terrible thing about sin is that it brings death and separation. You cannot have intimacy with Christ while sin is at your door. Examine your own life today. Not someone else’s, and see if there is anything lacking. Seek the Lord with all your heart and not just a part. You may have everyone else convinced, but God is not mocked. He knows us better than we know ourselves. “Be sure your sin will catch up with you.” (Numbers 32:23b) May the Lord be gracious and long suffering toward us that we may come to repentance. Be blessed!