The Depth of Sin and the Height of Forgiveness by Karen Aker

January 28, 2013 | Tags: ,

 “Why have you despised the word of the LORD by doing evil in His sight?”  

2 Samuel 12:9 NASB

At a time when kings went to war (2 Samuel 11:1)… David did not. He certainly was not the young king he once had been and with more than a few victories under his belt, he decided to stay home.  With his men on the battlefield,  as David strolls around his rooftop one evening, he spots a figure. From his view he can see a woman bathing. He inquires about her and is told that she is the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite (2 Samuel 11:3). This alone should have been enough to squelch any further thought of her. He knew exactly who she was. Her prominent family was in the king’s service. Eliam (or Ammiel, as spelled in 1 Chronicles 3:5), her father, was one of David’s mighty men. And her grandfather, Ahithophel, was David’s advisor. And not just any advisor! In 2 Samuel 16:23 we read,  “The advice of Ahithophel, he gave in those days, was as if one inquired of the word of God ; so was all the advice of Ahithophel regarded by both David and Absolom. “

Despite all of these red flags, David desired Bathsheba and sent his servants to bring her to him. It appears she left willingly, but we know one does not refuse to be in the presence of the king (I always say this is equivalent to the President’s secret service showing up at your door asking to take you to see the President…  are you going to say no?). When David was done with Bathsheba he sent her back, used. It wasn’t until necessity had driven her to send a message to David with three simple words, “I am pregnant” (hardly a love letter) that she had any contact with him again.

David never responds to Bathsheba’s message, but instead sends for her husband, Uriah. ‘All that is needed here to right my wrong is simple,’ David might have thought. ‘I will give him the opportunity to sleep with his wife, then return to the battlefield, and everyone will think the baby is Uriah’s.’ Ironically, Uriah’s integrity forced David to a new low. When he refused to go home to be with Bathsheba and instead returned to the battlefield, David sent him with his own death warrant. Uriah was killed in battle and to cover his sin, David brought Bathsheba into his fold. She mourned for her husband and most likely for herself as well.

God was not pleased and sent a messenger, Nathan, the prophet, to confront David with his sin. He does so with a heartbreaking story of a poor shepherd and his ewe lamb. David related to Nathan’s words as he realized within the powerful story was special insight into the relationship of Uriah and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:3). He immediately repents of his sin but out of Nathan’s rebuke some of the most stinging words in Scripture are found, “Why have you despised the Word of the Lord….” (2 Samuel 12:9). David, the man who inquired of God, the man after God’s own heart, the man who trusted God to defeat giants, at the moment when given an opportunity to honor God, chose his own lust. Rarely do we think of sin this way but when we chose sin over God, we are despising the Word of God.

Although David is left with heart wrenching consequences for his sin, he is not left without hope and neither are we. I wonder if you can relate to any part of this story? Have you ever suffered at the whim of someone in authority over you?  Have you submitted to something you knew wasn’t right but felt you didn’t have a choice in the matter? Maybe you feel completely wronged in a situation. Did someone else’s decision bring you grief and change your life? Maybe you have regrets about your behavior or your own decisions that affected someone else’s world. In any of these situations, the solution is the same:  forgiveness – forgiving yourself, forgiving the other person and, most importantly, God’s forgiveness.

Like David, sin and our poor choices can take us to the lowest place in our lives, but no situation is beyond the power of Heaven and God’s forgiveness. His gift of forgiveness can redeem the depth of our sin, restore our life, and lift our hearts to unimaginable heights.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” – Psalm 51:10

 “Restore to me the joy of thy salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit then I will teach transgressors thy ways and sinners will be converted to you.”  – Psalm 51: 12

By Karen Aker

Edited by Margaret Simpson

Today’s devotional was reprinted by permission from Grove Avenue’s Women’s Ministry. To read more from the Grove Avenue Women’s Enrichment blog, please click here.

Be Sociable, Share!