When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she lamented over her husband. And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD. 2 Samuel 11:26-27 ESV
Lust, sexual immorality, lying, murder. 2 Samuel 11 contains one of David’s lowest moments: lusting after and taking another man’s wife, lying, and ultimately, committing murder to cover up his sin. The chapter ends with the sentence: “But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.” What an understatement. David had broken God’s commandments and broken even more of them to cover it up. According to the law, David’s actions did way more than just “displease” the LORD. God sends Nathan the prophet to David to deliver His word. Nathan tells David the parable of the Rich Man and the Poor Shepherd. This story convicts David and Nathan tells him of his punishment: evil will rise up in his household.
David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.” 2 Samuel 12: 13 ESV
God’s mercy shines out in this story. David deserved to die. He truly had sinned against the LORD. But God states through Nathan, “you shall not die.” David cried out to God for forgiveness after the incident as recorded in Psalm 51.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Psalm 52:1,7,10-12 ESV
David’s cry for the LORD’s forgiveness and a clean heart is one of the most recognizable psalms. David knew his sins risked alienating him from God, so he prayed for reconciliation between him and the LORD. He asks God to purge his heart and make it pure again. He begs God for mercy to cover his abundant sins.
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Psalm 32:1-2, 5 ESV
In Psalm 32, David proclaims the man who admits his transgressions to the LORD and is forgiven to the “blessed.” David experienced God’s forgiveness first-hand, as I have. Through Jesus, God has forgiven all my transgressions and inequities and put my sins on the cross. God’s forgiveness and mercy to David foreshadowed his abundant forgiveness and mercy towards us through Jesus. I have sinned. I have fallen short of God’s standard. But that’s why Jesus died.
Dear God, thank You for sending Jesus to die for my sins and for forgiving me. Please give me a clean heart and also give me a heart that yearns to follow Your ways. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.