Repentance, Confession and Forgiveness
The Biblical record of the life of king David illustrates two things – the depth of iniquity and triumph of faith, or in other words, confession and forgiveness. Each aspect is presented to teach those who come that repentance and confession are essential for forgiveness.
In 2 Samuel chapters 10 and 11 when David went to war with the Amorites, he committed a heinous act against an innocent man in an effort to cover up his own iniquity. The record of David’s sin with Bathsheba is a bold and stark record of iniquity. Here we find “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and pride of life” (1 John 2:16).
2 Samuel 12 – Nathan is sent to confront David and bring his sin into the open. I assume this happened after the baby had been born. 2 Samuel 11:27. For all this period David concealed his iniquity from the people and did not seek forgiveness from God. In 2 Samuel 12:1-4 we find injustice, in verses 5-6 we find David a man with strong commitment to justice. I just think that his mind went straight to the Law of Moses ... Exodus 22:1. Nathan’s response was “Thou art the man”. What a stinging and direct rebuke!
God gave David all he needed, yet he conspired to rob Uriah of his life and wife. In 2 Samuel 12:9 David is accused of two crimes that were punishable by death - murder and adultery. Even though God forgave David, in a sense he suffered the death sentence through the death of the child and the sword that highlighted his household afterwards.
In 2 Samuel 12:13 David acknowledges his sin. All sin, no matter who the victim is, ultimately is a sin against God. James 1:14-15 reminds us of how sin is conceived.
2 Samuel 12:15-17 – David poured out his heart to God, but the die had been cast and the child had to die. Psalm 51:1-3 reveals David’s thoughts at this particular period of time. We need to be washed by God, washed in the blood of the lamb and this is only possible if we confess our sins and repent. Psalm 51:4 – All sin and transgressions are against God.
There were two ritual offerings for sin after David had confessed his sins – although the bullock and lamb were offered on the altar, there was the sacrifice of a broken and contrite heart.
Psalm 32 related to this period in David’s time. It speaks of sin which is concealed for a period of time. For all those months while Bathsheba carried their child David concealed his sin but it gnawed at his very being. He would have no peace. He was tormented by his secret. When finally exposed, David was able to confess and experience the wonderful relief that comes with forgiveness. Psalm 32:5,10,11 - Uriah’s conduct shows an austere soldier-like spirit that guided his conduct and character and the discipline of David’s officers. It is one of the touching parts of the story that Uriah falls unconscious of his wife’s dishonour – Bathsheba herself was a woman of extraordinary beauty – is she partly to blame for placing herself in a position where she could be seen by king David?
Bro Gordon Ochieng (Manyanda Ecclesia, Kenya)