No one likes to be publicly called out when they’ve done something wrong. We humans like to keep our shame to ourselves and out of the limelight. Social media has gone a long way to out our wrongdoings—real or perceived. Just because we can out someone doesn’t mean we should. And, on the flipside, just because we can hide our wrongs, doesn’t make it right.
The story of David and Bathsheba is one told often. Leonard Cohen (and countless others since) even sang about it in his popular song Hallelujah. We see a king go to extremes to obtain a beautiful woman. He commits adultery. He commits murder. He tries to hide it all.
Some might think that God was playing the bully when He sent the prophet Nathan to deal with David. Yes, David was mortified and probably enraged that he’d been found out. The payment for his sin was the death of his first child with Bathsheba. Hey God, that’s a little harsh, don’t you think?
David was the man God had anointed as a youth to be king over Israel. Since Samuel first poured oil on his head, David was accountable to a different set of standards (not that it’s okay to sleep with the spouses of other people and then have their spouse killed so you can have that person to yourself). At this point, God had already promised David an eternal lineage of kings. The ball of salvation for all mankind was already rolling. Had David been allowed to continue along the line of the actions that lead to Uriah’s death, the lineage to Jesus could have been permanently sullied.
Instead, God sends Nathan to have a chat with the king. David knew what he did was wrong—he did it all in secret, after all. But it wasn’t until it was made public that he was able to deal with it.
It’s never comfortable to have someone else know about your sin. We’d all like to keep our secrets, well, secret. But without acknowledgement, there can be no healing.
Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Nathan replied, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin.”
2 Samuel 12:13-14 (NLT)
We must ask this: it is easier to live with the secret of our sin or to out ourselves and be freed from it?
Daily Bible reading: 2 Samuel 10-12, Luke 19:29-48