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Summary: How to repent

David’s Repentance

2 Samuel 11-12

Psalm 51

Tell the Story David in Jerusalem

Bathsheba on roof


David marries B

Nathan’s story – Poor man with pet sheep…

“You are the Man”

“I have sinned against the Lord”

I think that we all get to that point in our faith at one time or another – it might not be as disastrous a sin as adultery and murder, but at some point we hear the words “you are the man” and they strike deep with in us – we look at ourselves and are horrified at what we’ve done, who we’ve become.

At that point we are ready for repentance – turning our hearts back to God. In the story, David says “I have sinned against the Lord.” But in the psalms we find out that those words were just the beginning: true to form, David wrote a song to sing out his grief and shock and his desire to return to God. We have this song in Psalm 51 – the words, not the music. And it teaches us how to respond when we are drawn into repentance.

Read Psalm 51

1- YOUR unfailing love, YOUR great compassion - focus is not on the sin necessarily, but on God and his goodness

– English is not getting the depths of these words – the passion that God has for his people

Romans 2:4 “God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance.”

We often think that it is God’s judgment that leads us to repentance – we know he is angry, and we want to duck the lightning bolt. But that is not it – true repentance comes from knowing the goodness of God.

2- the image of stained clothes that need to be washed over and over again to come clean – he needs a miracle wash!

3-6 – no excuses

Against you and you only – what about Uriah?

David is seeing the big picture – his slide into self-serving lust and deceit and murder, began with a slide away from God, and at its core the whole misadventure was flouting God from beginning to end.

Last week I talked about how David stepped away from serving God to acting like he was god. Many people were hurt in the process, some killed, but David’s greatest sin was unfaithfulness to God.

It is so easy to have a higher view of ourselves than we should – when caught in a sin, even when we are guilt wracked, we will often hear ourselves saying, “I don’t know what came over me, that is not who I am.” We want to believe, that at the core, we are not the kind of person who would do such a thing.

David will have none of that – “this is exactly who I am.” He says – I was sinfull at the start – it wasn’t that I was acting out of character, this sin just showed up how screwed up my character is.

We can be full of excuses and explanations – I was tired, caught off guard, I was drunk & didn’t know what I was doing, my spouse isn’t treating me right….

David will have none of that – “It’s me, I did it, I’m at fault, I am faulty.”

Rihanna has this song that’s out right now called “Take a Bow.” The picture is her boyfriend standing outside her window crying and apologizing for being unfaithful…again.

Rihanna is saying that he’s putting on a lovely show, but she’s not buying it.

The line is, “And don’t tell me you’re sorry ‘cause you’re not

Baby when I know you’re only sorry you got caught.

This is not David – he’s actually glad he got caught – no excuses, no explanations, just a full and complete confession.

A confession of his sin, a confession of his bent character.

I’m Broken, I’m Broke, fix me.

He begs God to cleanse him with Hysop – it was part of the ritual of the priest declaring a healed leper clean. David is not saying he made a slip, he is saying he is diseased – unclean as a leper & he’s asking for healing and purification – He wants his character fumigated.

Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow

Let the bones you have crushed rise up and dance

1 Blessed is he

whose transgressions are forgiven,

whose sins are covered.

2 Blessed is the man

whose sin the LORD does not count against him

and in whose spirit is no deceit.

3 When I kept silent,

my bones wasted away

through my groaning all day long.

4 For day and night

your hand was heavy upon me;

my strength was sapped

as in the heat of summer.


5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you

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