David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the Lord. — 2 Samuel 11:27
The Scriptures contain more than the stories of nice people who always do the right things. I’m glad for that. Since the Bible contains the whole continuum of human reality — from all its ugliness to all its beauty, I can better make the connection between the real stories recounted in Scripture and my own life with its raw reality.
One of the Bible stories that both most puzzles and comforts me is the story surrounding King David’s sin with Bathsheba. David, who committed adultery with Bathsheba (she then found herself pregnant), tries an elaborate cover-up to hide the affair. This doesn’t work and David ends up orchestrating and ordering the death of Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah. From there, it looks like David essentially moves on with life. He marries Bathsheba as soon as possible after Uriah’s death. The son is born. Life is back to normal. But, where’s the remorse? There is none to be found. All this from a man the Scriptures refer to as “a man after God’s own heart.” This is the part that puzzles me about David.
Now here’s the comforting part: God doesn’t give up on David. He doesn’t let the issue disappear. What must be at least a year later after trouble started, God sends the prophet Nathan to confront David. David is so far past the whole sordid situation that when the prophet shares a parable about a similar situation, David has no clue to whom the prophet is referring. When David remarks, “The man who did this deserves to die,” Nathan replies, “You are the man.” David finally faces his own sin and repents.
Why should this story bring us comfort? None of us are more immune to overlooking our own sins than David was. We all can get caught up in justifying and rationalizing our own sin to the point we don’t even think anything is wrong. We just go on with life as usual. Fortunately, that’s not the end of the story. We have a God who won’t let our sin go. God pursues us when we’ve sinned because He loves us and wants us to clear out the junk in our lives.
Just like David, it may take some time, but rest assured, God will challenge you with the truth. And, when we are confronted, it provides us with the opportunity to seek forgiveness, sweep out the junk and move forward in our pursuit of and growth in, following Christ.
1. What do you feel caused David to seemingly so easily ignore such big sins and to go on living life as usual?
2. Is there a sin in your life you’ve ignored? Identify it, own it, and ask God for forgiveness.
2 Samuel 11-12; Acts 13:22; 1 John 1:8-2:2