Recognizing the Sin Within
“So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this shall surely die! And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.”” (II Sam 12:5-6)
It is easy to see sin in others. In fact, many times we can spot it a mile away. Maybe it is that guy at work that is using profane language. Perhaps it is that close family member who is being vengeful and not showing grace, forgiveness, and love to others. It could even be our own children or our spouse that is being disrespectful to us. It tears at us and saddens us when we see that gross sin oozing out of those that are close to us. For we long for them to turn from their sin, repent, and have restoration with the Lord. However, what we do not realize is that for how easy it is for us to spot the sin in others is directionally proportional to how hard it is to recognize the sin within ourselves.
David, the king of Israel, was sitting on his rooftop enjoying the view. He spies Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, bathing on the rooftop. In a moment of weakness, he invites Bathsheba to his house and has an affair with her. Later she is found to be with child, David’s child, since this transpired while Uriah was away at war. David has Uriah murdered during a battle with the Ammonites to hide his sin.
David thought that his sin was successfully hidden from everyone. David looked left and right, but he did not look up. God knew all that David had done. God spoke to Nathan, the prophet, and told him all that had happened and sent him to speak to David.
Nathan told David a story of a rich man and a poor man. The rich man had flocks but the poor man had nothing except for a little ewe lamb. The poor man loved his lamb and treated the lamb like a member of his family. When a traveler came to visit the rich man, the rich man was unwilling to take from his own flock to feed him. The rich man took the poor man’s ewe, slaughtered it, prepared it, and served it to the traveler. David was appalled at this story and he demanded that the rich man be put to death and that the rich man restore fourfold to the poor man. What David couldn’t recognize that this story was all about him! It was not until Nathan called him out and said “You are the man!” (II Sam 12:7). David could not see that he was the rich man, Uriah was the poor man, and the ewe lamb was Bathsheba.
The penalty for stealing or slaughtering sheep was restitution (Exo 22:1), not death. However, in this parable, the stealing and slaughtering of the lamb represented adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah by David. Thus, under Mosaic Law, both adultery (Lv 20:10) and murder (Lv 24:17) required punishment by death. David deserved death under the Law. However, through God’s mercy, David was allowed to continue as King.
Although there were consequences for his sin, David repented of his sin and he acknowledged “I have sinned against the Lord” (II Sam 12:13). Psalm 51 which David wrote after this experience where he declares “Against You, You only, have I sinned.” David displayed a repentant heart to the Lord and his relationship was restored to God.
May we learn the lessons from David and not hide our sin or ignore our sin. Let us no longer be blinded by the sin in our life or the sin in our hearts, but instead pray that the Lord opens our eyes for us to see that sin. Once we see that sin, let us kill that sin and be restored to our Father in Heaven who loves us so much that he gave us a Savior.
Fellow Bond Servant in Christ – Daryl Kas