Summary: Sermon on God’s Forgiveness
Text: 2 Samuel 11:26-12:10, 13-15
Admit your guilt–the LORD forgives
Admitting our sins is one of the hardest things for us human beings to do. You see it already in little children. They do it even before they realize what they’re doing. “Who broke this glass?” “Glass?” “What glass?” “Oh, that glass.” “My sister broke that.” “The dog must have done it.” What makes it so hard for us to admit what we’ve done? Why are we so prone to making excuses for it? The Word of God for today wants us to see what a beautiful thing comes our way when we admit our sin. We receive God’s forgiveness–total and absolute removal of all guilt for our bad deeds. Why would we want to keep them inside? Why would we want to hide them? Our God promises us free and full forgiveness through His Son Jesus. Listen and learn today from the way that God brought full admission from and full forgiveness to one of His closest children–David.
David was one of the most dearly loved children of God in the Bible. God made him the king of the Jews during the greatest time in the whole history of the Jews. But you’re familiar too with the sin that David fell into, right? After he became the king of all Israel and had established Jerusalem as his capital, he settled into his palace and got a little too comfortable. He became attracted to Bathsheba, his neighbor’s wife and he committed adultery with her. When he discovered that Bathsheba had become pregnant with his child, he ordered that her husband, who was in the army at the time, be placed in the front lines of the battle that was taking place in Ammon. And her husband was killed. When he heard that her husband had been killed, and when the usual period of mourning was over (usually seven days), he took Bathsheba to be his wife. He acted as if he had done nothing wrong.
But the LORD, who knows all things, knew what David had done. And he sent his prophet Nathan to confront David. Nathan told a little story to get David to see his sin. He said there were two men who lived in the same town. The one was rich and the other was poor. The rich man had many sheep and cattle. The poor man had only one little ewe lamb. It was the family pet. It lived in the house, ate with the family, and even slept with them. It was like one of the children. One day the rich man had a visitor come to his house, and instead of slaughtering one of his own animals to feed the guest, the rich man stole the poor man’s little lamb, slaughtered it and fed it to his guest.
David became angry. He must have thought that Nathan was telling him about a real incident that had happened in his kingdom. He said, “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die!” A pretty harsh statement! David wanted to see that the people in his kingdom got justice. And he was ready to do anything to see that this poor man’s rights were defended. This rich man would have to pay. Nathan looked at him and said, “You are the man.”
It is so hard for us to see our sin but it is so easy to see the sins of others. Notice how Nathan brings a confession out of David. Nathan was probably pretty apprehensive when he had to confront David with this sin. David was the king, and kings in the Middle East at this time were known for doing some pretty harsh things in order to get their way. Certainly David was a believer in God, but he was doing some pretty off-the-wall things at this point in his life. If he had had one man killed already, Nathan must have considered that David could just as easily have him killed.
That may be part of the reason why Nathan confronts David with this hypothetical story. It was a clever way for Nathan to get David to confess. It was a way for Nathan to get David to see the enormity of his sin. If David was ready to sentence a man to death for stealing a lamb, then David himself certainly deserved death. David had been covering this up for the better part of a year already. In Psalm 32, he gives us an insight into how crushing his guilt felt. David writes “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.” He thought he could cover it up. But his conscience wouldn’t let him rest. No matter how tough an exterior he was showing at this time, when Nathan said, “You are the man,” he instantly gave in.