Today’s scripture selection: Second Samuel 10-14
Key verse: Second Samuel 12:13
“The David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ Nathan replied, ‘The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.’”
We humans are great at rationalizing away our worst behavior.
King David had a real talent for this. After arranging for the death of one his most faithful soldiers, so that he could steal the soldier’s wife, he tried to pretend he had done nothing wrong. The prophet Nathan set him straight on that one.
Unlike a lot of people “caught” in their sin – David confessed his wrongdoing. And, most important of all, he recognized that he had not only sinned against others – he had sinned against God.
And the prophet Nathan, while pointing out there would be serious consequences to come, told David he had received God’s forgiveness.
Did it mean that he could sin again without worrying about it? No. Did it mean he had “gotten away” with something – free of consequences? No – in fact, there were some very painful days for David just ahead.
But, he was assured that by “coming clean” he would be able to start again – a fresh start – that was God’s response to David’s humble confession.
I find that very hopeful. I am not promised that my wrong actions won’t have consequences – for others and me. But I am promised that, if I recognize my faults and wrongdoings, God will help me set things right again. I need not fear that I am doomed to live as an outcast and failure forever. Every now and then, it’s a good thing to “come clean” before others – and especially before God.
A fresh start – it’s a wonderful thing.
Prayer: Lord, I know I am far from perfect. Forgive me for the ways I have sinned against others and you. And help me to do better in the future. I thank you, Lord, that you are a God of grace. AMEN.