Sins Red Light | 2 Samuel 12
The long, bony finger of Nathan the Prophet pointed to David. His sinful deed was done. Scandalous whispers buzzed throughout the palace, but no one dared say a word to the king. His pregnant bride was a mute reminder of that fateful spring night when adultery stained the king's record. Not only adultery but murder and hypocrisy and deception and a hushed cover up. The sin that had been committed was now in the open and it must be dealt with.
Nathan confronts David in an unusual way. He tells a story.
There were two men in one city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a great many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb which he bought and nourished; and it grew up with him and his children. It would eat of his bread and drink of his cup and lie in his bosom, and was like a daughter to him.
Now a traveler came to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take from his own flock or his own herd, to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him; rather he took the poor man's ewe lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him. (II Samuel 12:1-4)
Quick and powerful, David's response was like lightning tearing though a clear black night.
As the Lord liveth, the man who hath done this thing shall surely die; and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he hath done this thing, and because he had no pity. (II Samuel 12:5-6)
In that vulnerable moment, David was trapped by his own reaction. Then Nathan thrusts through David's heart the sharp edged words of truth. "Thou art the Man!"
While David kept his secret, his conscience kept him bound in a straitjacket of guilt. It wasn't until Nathan confronted him that he repented, open and broken before God.
David 's sin had crushing effects upon his life. The adulterous act, the murderous scheme, the hypocritical words, David committed them all behind the closed door of secrecy. Not only were they done secretly, they were done willfully. The whole tangled web of sin was woven by David's own hand. Yet, while David kept his sin hidden from the eyes of others, God saw it all.
But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord. (II Samuel 11:27b)
Psalm 32 is a psalm of David which describes his feelings in his unrepentant state. Notice the words:
When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For Day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. (Psalm 32:3-4)
One psychologist describes guilt as the red light on our internal dashboard. When you see the light's feverish glare, you have a choice to make. You can either pull over, get out of the car, open the hood and see what's wrong; or you can smash the light with a hammer and keep driving.
The first option leads to fixing the problem; it makes you aware of the broken water hose or the cracked radiator or the low oil level. The second only relieves the symptoms. You may be able to keep the light from glaring, but after a few more miles, serious harm could be down.
How do you treat guilt's red light? Do you take it seriously, stopping to analyze why it is flashing? Or do you smash it with the hammer you conveniently keep in the glove compartment of your conscience? Let's look at how David dealt with his guilt. How can we receive forgiveness from our sin as David did.
First - We must have an open and unguarded admission of our sin. Notice that David made such an admission without any if's, and's or but's. He said, "I have sinned against the Lord."
Do you have an unconfessed sin in your life about which you need to open and unguarded?
Second - We must desire to make a complete break from our sin. We should not only be sorry that we were caught in sin but we should be sorry and repentant of the sin itself. David had the desire to separate himself from his sin. He said:
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. (Psalm 51:7)
Third - We must trust God for forgiveness and acceptance. God did not condemn David although he had done wrong in his sight. God saw that David was repentant with a broken spirit and God's steadfast love reached out once again to him.
We come now to another place and time when God's steadfast love has confronted sin, our sin. On the cross Jesus took upon him the penalty of our sin. He met us so we would have the forgiveness from God. This table represents what Christ did for you and me.
As we come to the table let us openly and unguardedly say, "God, I am a sinner. Give unto me your grace which will cleanse me from my sin."