Oh You Hypocrite! (and me too)
Nathan's approach to David was inspired. Maybe God scripted it for him. Maybe his time under Saul's reign made him wary of a direct approach with a king; but he used storytelling to bring the King's own crime against him. and he made a lamb at the center of the story, probably because of David's time as a shepherd.
Stealing a domestic animal wasn't a capital offense. At yet, David pronounced death on the rich man in the story.
Think about that.
He was so shocked at the injustice in the story, he proclaimed the rich man should die.
Wile he was carrying around the sins he had done to Bathsheba and to Uriah without, seemingly, an ounce of remorse.
It's so easy to see the smallest sin in others. I know that I have been more mad at a driver that I perceive to be rude than remorseful for significant sins of my own. I attribute rationalizations to my sins, no matter how big, because I perceive myself as a, generally, good person. But other demonstrating what I perceive to be selfishness or thoughtlessness are showing that they are, generally, bad people. Not that I have that thought consciously at the time; but upon closer examination, that seems to be my thinking.
And God watches it with the same clarity that he watched David outraged at the rich man while being unmoved by his own evil.
Wiersbe points to two Psalms attributed to David after Nathan's exhortation, Pslams 51 and 32. My Ryrie bible assumes that 32 is the sequel.
51:1 Starts off with a plea for grace, based in the characteristic of God, lovingkindness.
In verses 1-2 he actually asks to be washed and cleansed.
In verse 3, he acknowledges that, although he seemed to be unphased or unconcerned about his own sin, he knew. And it was always before him. That's how it is, often, with me. My conscious thoughts I can keep occupied and busy--distracted. But In the back of my mind, I know. It's there and it's clear, just quieted enough to be temporarily drowned out.
Verse 4 he acknowledges what I spoke of at length in a previous post-- his sin was, first and foremost, against God and in God's sight. He admits that God has every right to speak against and judge him.
I have verse 5 highlighted in my Bible yet struggle to completely understand it. Then The rest of the Psalm are his hopeful requests to God, again, based in God's character of justice, but also mercy and grace.
- Purify me; wash me
- Let my broken bones know joy
- Blot out my sin
- Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me
- Do not take away you Holy Spirit (as you did with Saul)
- Restore to me the joy of my salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways and sinners will be converted to you.
- Deliver me from blood-guiltiness
- I will praise and worship you, not with burnt offerings, but with a broken and contrite spirit and heart.
In the final verses, 18-19, he extends his prayer to his nation.
This is a Psalm looking back. His experience is fresh in his mind; but the crisis is behind him and he is reflecting.
In 32:1-2 David celebrates being forgiven and what a blessing it is. It is a blessing. Christians talk about forgiveness so much and place so much emphasis on it, that we forget it's a gift. Not to be taken for granted and expected. Even more, some parts of Christianity make it transaction. We use God's promise that if we confess and repent, we'll be forgiven as a mechanism. 'Ok, I confessed, now You forgive.' Forgetting that Jesus was beaten, humiliated, crucified, and faced down death to provide that forgiveness for you. He doesn't owe it to you because you said a magic phrase.
Lord- please forgive me for all of the time I took your forgiveness for granted and took it lightly. David is right to be amazed and proclaim us blessed if we know our sins are covered.
Even though David never seemed to be bothered by his sin until Nathan confronts him, it sounds like God was afflicting him physically and emotionally. (v 3-4)
And then, when David did confess, God forgave his guilt. (v 5)
In verse 6, David makes an excellent point- pray to God WHILE HE MAY BE FOUND. Again, God isn't bound by our wants and needs. We can't take for granted that He will be there when we decide to reach out. He is faithful. He is patient. He is loving. But He IS NOT beholden to us.
V 7. Then David praises God for being David's safety, security, and deliverance.
V 8-11 he brings the message to his people, his nation. Encouraging them to be obedient voluntarily, not as a beast of burden, who requires a bit and bridle to obey.