Summary: The great thing about God is that though we are all guilty we can still be declared righteous. And the sin is totally forgiven as well as forgotten.
I. Guilt Exposed
A. What he did
B. How could he
C. Why did he
D. What now (consequences of sin)
II. Grief Expressed
III. Grace Experienced
Three keys to handling life’s problems
A. You can’t change the past
B. You must live one day at a time in the present
C. You must trust God for the future
If ever a court in town were to declare you justified or acquitted, and you were guilty, that would not change the fact. You would go to the grave with the guilt on your heart. It is possible for a man to be arrested for a crime, tried, and declared not guilty when, in reality, he is guilty.
I read the story of a man who had stolen a gold watch. He was arrested and brought to trial. The judge listened to the testimony, then gave this verdict: “Acquitted.” The accused man looked at the judge and asked, “Does that mean I’ve got to give the watch back?” Sometimes human judges make mistakes.
The great thing about God is that though we are all guilty we can still be declared righteous. And the sin is totally forgiven as well as forgotten.
Benjamin Franklin once stated: “How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them!”
Contrast Israel’s first king, Saul, when confronted by the prophet of God with his failures, Saul refused to admit guilt (I Samuel 15:13, 15, 20). After continued reproof, the king finally confessed, “I have sinned,” but tempered his confession with an excuse (I Samuel 15:24). Empty words! Because of his improper response concerning his sin, Saul’s kingdom was ultimately destroyed.
Over a third of a century passed, and the moment of truth arrived for Israel’s second king, David. David’s time had come. How he would respond was critical. Again, God sent His prophet to rebuke and restore His servant.
GUILT EXPOSED (12:1-12)
For nearly a year David was permitted to live in the anguish of his own guilt. In a sequel to Psalm 51, David reflected on his afflicted state:
“When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer” (Ps. 32:3-4).
As a result of not confessing his sins, David was affected physically in the sapping of his energy and emotionally by his roaring (groaning). Sleep escaped him. Life became barren. He felt the heavy hand of God’s chastisement upon him (cf. I Samuel 5:6).
Psa 103:3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
In this Psalm the connection between the emotions and physical health is established. The cure is also alluded to.
talking about diseases of the soul: Guilt, fear, depression, anger, greed
Karl Menninger, "if he could convince the patience in his Psychiatric hospitals that their sins are forgiven, 75% could walk out the next day.
There is an interesting story about Elizabeth I, England’s most famous queen. She had a special favorite among her noble coutiers, the Earl of Essex. One day Elizabeth gave him her ring as an indication of her affection and promised him that if ever he were accused of a crime, he had only to send that ring to her, and she would at once grant him audience so that he might himself plead his case before her. The day came when he needed that ring, for he was accused of conspiracy and high treason. He was executed, for the ring Elizabeth had given him was never presented to her, so she allowed her favorite to die.
The years passed. Then one day the Countess of Nottingham, a relative but certainly no friend of the earl, lay dying herself. She sent a message to Elizabeth asking the queen to come to her. She had a confession which must be made if she were to die in peace. Elizabeth duly arrived at the deathbed and the countess produced the ring the queen had once given to Essex, her favorite. It seems that Essex had given the ring to the countess with the urgent request that it be taken straight to Elizabeth, but the Countess had betrayed his trust. Now, in her last moments, she entreated Elizabeth’s forgiveness. At the sight of the ring Elizabeth was livid with rage. She seized the dying countess in her bed and shook her until her teeth rattled. "God may forgive you," she screamed, “God may forgive you madam, but I never shall.”
At last Nathan was sent to confront the king. However, instead of direct condemnation, a folksy parable was used to disarm David from any attempt at self-justification.
2 Sam 12:1-4; Wise Confrontation. Sometimes the way we confront someone determines the outcome of the conversation. We must remember that the goal is reconciliation not argument. We ought pray for wisdom when confrontation is necessary