As Seen On Sunday: A Tale of Two Men
We provide a recap of the Sunday sermon to encourage you in the faith each week but it's not the same thing as being here.
"There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man's lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him." - 2 Samuel 12:1-4
How would you feel if someone told you this story and you had the power to avenge this wrong? You personally could make the situation as right as it could be righted, you would wouldn’t you? that is exactly what King David wanted to do when he heard this story the Bible says,
Then David's anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, "As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, 6and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.” - 2 Samuel 12:5-6
But what would you do if you spoke about all the things you would do to right this wrong and you were told that YOU were the one who did it?! Me? How could it be? In fact the story represented the very act that you had gone through great lengths to cover up! Again this is what happened to David:
7Nathan said to David, "You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. 8And I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. 9Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.' 11Thus says the Lord, 'Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.'" 13David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." And Nathan said to David, "The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. - 2 Samuel 12:7-14
So okay this isn’t exactly a story of someone lying, but the great lengths in which David went to cover up what he had done caught my attention and David getting called out is what people hope for when it comes to the opposing candidate.
There aren't many candidates who don't have some kind of scandal or coverup and that’s just the ones that have been caught. Even King David, a man after God’s own heart, had this big scandal. Many of them you get the feeling when they say that they would have done it different, that it means that they wouldn’t have gotten caught. They’d have done it differently in that no one would know about it. They are sorry that they got caught and wish that they could have gotten away with it. But don't we all do this? It’s not just the candidates running for office, it’s all of us. As long as no one sees our mess up, it didn't happen. Sometimes we even keep doing it since no one knows about it.
First think if Bathsheba didn't get pregnant, 1) you think it would have been a one time booty-call? and 2) even if it was, it would have been like it never happened.
Buttttt she got pregnant and David had to think fast, OH, make it look like it would be the husband’s kid! Just think if David had successfully gotten Uriah to sleep with Bathsheba? What a relief it would have been. That didn't work, so he had the guy killed. Fast forward a year later, he got the girl and no one is none the wiser. He must be feeling pretty good.
Even if we have repented of our sin, there is still a happiness that comes from having dodged ill effects of what we did while enjoying God’s grace. The more time that passes often gives us the feeling as if we have gotten away with it. No one likes to get caught, even if we have changed our ways and become a better person for it. It feels as if we can move on with our lives if we can keep it under wraps, but our sin follows us and it hurts a lot.
Lying starts with ourselves (Deception of ourselves)
We deceive ourselves into thinking that it is okay just this one time, I need it, I deserve it, it’s only a little sin.
Then, we deceive ourselves into thinking no one saw, but God saw. The last thing that is said before God sends Nathan to David is “But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.” God obviously saw what David did and was displeased. But sometimes we act as if “only God” seeing is somehow better than if everyone else saw.
Hebrews 4:13 says "And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account."
When we lie, deceive, or try to cover something up, we are not fooling God and we will give an account for our actions. Even if no one else saw. Even if we “got away with it.”
Prayer: Father, confront us when we have fooled ourselves into thinking you have not seen. You have seen and you are displeased. It is only then, when you confront us, that we can begin to truly repent.
Consequences of Sin
God tells David all the things will happen as a result of his sin like his wives being taken publicly and his son dying. Our sin has consequences. It does not mean we are not forgiven, but often what we have set into motion God elects to allow. We have to live with it. I believe this is what I am personally scared of most much of the time: those things that will happen regardless of a repentant heart. We cannot expect that suddenly all of the consequences will go away because we say that we are sorry or ask God to forgive us. It will be hard.
Prayer: God, allow us to accept the consequences of our actions and give us the strength to trust you through it all and not to blame you for what we've done.
We still have Hope.
"I have sinned against the Lord." And Nathan said to David, "The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.
As a result of being confronted about his sin, David acknowledged that he had sinned. In Psalm 51 we see just how repentant he was. We have to realize that we have sinned and repent of it or else we are just rationalizing what we did. “maybe it’s not that bad.” We have to see the reality and severity of what we have done when we have sinned against God.
God forgives us when we repent. That is our hope. The hope that Jesus came and died for our sins so that we can have a relationship with God.
Prayer: God forgive me for I have sinned. I have displeased you and I am going to displease you again. I cannot do this without you. Please enable me to live the life that you are calling me to live and to glorify you.
Let us come clean with ourselves, with God, and with our mentor about our sin. Psalm 51 is a good starting point, Especially if we truly ask God to give us a clean heart.