“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 very large flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing except one small ewe lamb that he had bought. He raised her, and she grew up with him and with his children. From his meager food she would eat, from his cup she would drink, and in his arms she would sleep. She was like a daughter to him. Now 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” (2 Samuel 12:1–4). David was infuriated. “The rich man must pay!” Nathan replied, “You’re the man!” (2 Samuel 12:7).
For a year, maybe more, David had lived with the awful secret of that sin-filled night. Constantly, his spirit condemned him. Every time he looked at Bathsheba’s baby, he winced, remembering. Now, the truth was told and God’s just judgment was announced. “Now therefore, the sword will never leave your house because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hethite to be your own wife. This is what the Lord says, ‘I am going to bring disaster on you from your own family.’ ... Because you treated the Lord with such contempt in this matter, the son born to you will die” (2 Samuel 12:10–14).
David confessed! David repented! David acknowledged his sin and begged for forgiveness. “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13).
The promise is true! “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). But listen closely... though we are forgiven, we will often live with the consequences of our sinful acts.
Bathsheba’s baby died (2 Samuel 12:18). Tamar, David’s daughter, was raped by her brother (2 Samuel 13:11-14). Amnon, David’s son, was murdered by his brother (2 Samuel 13:28-29). Absalom, David’s son, revolted (1 Samuel 15), humiliated his father by sleeping with his dad’s concubines (2 Samuel 16:22), and was later brutally murdered (2 Samuel 18:14-15). The price was high.
Following Nathan’s proclamations, as the prodigal king returned to the Lord, he worshipped and sang: “Be gracious to me, God, according to your faithful love; according to your abundant compassion, blot out my rebellion. Completely wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin. For I am conscious of my rebellion, and my sin is always before me. Against you—you alone—I have sinned and done this evil in your sight. So you are right when you pass sentence; you are blameless when you judge ... Turn your face away from my sins and blot out all my guilt. God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore the joy of your salvation to me, and sustain me by giving me a willing spirit” (Psalm 51:1–12).
“How joyful is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How joyful is a person whom the Lord does not charge with iniquity and in whose spirit is no deceit! When I kept silent, my bones became brittle from my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was drained as in the summer’s heat. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not conceal my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you forgave the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 32:1–5).
Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay!
All Scripture quotation, except as otherwise noted, are from
Holman Bible Publishers’ Christian Standard Bible.