We truly repent when we are repulsed by our actions

May 24, 2010

You remember the story, don’t you? When King David should have been out leading his men into battle, he was instead hanging around the palace with nothing to do. That’s when he saw her. Bathsheba was bathing on her rooftop and the king liked what he saw, sent for her, slept with another man’s wife, and got her pregnant. He realized this might not look so good since he was “God’s man for Israel,” so David tried to cover his tracks. He brought Bathsheba’s husband home from the battle and encouraged him to spend some time with his wife. Uriah refused, not wanting to enjoy the pleasures of marriage when his brothers were fighting and dying on the battlefield. So David got Uriah drunk, knowing that alcohol breaks down one’s inhibitions. Uriah still would not go home to his wife. Finally, David sent Uriah back to the battle with a note to his commanding officer that instructed him to place Uriah where the battle was hottest and then withdraw the men around him. Uriah died, alone, fighting for his king and his country.
David breathed a sigh of relief, perhaps, thinking he was in the clear. “Now, I can turn my attention to my new wife and baby on the way!” He forgot about one very important player: “There is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
God sent a man named Nathan to David. May I say here that it is a wonderful and amazing blessing of God to have brothers or sisters who are willing to be sent with words of correction. We need them. We also need to be willing to go, to be a Nathan for someone else.
Nathan did not mention adultery and murder. He simply told King David about a rich man who owned many sheep and a poor man who had one little ewe lamb that was like a pet to him. It followed him everywhere and ate of his food and drank from his cup, and was like a daughter to him. Visitors came to the rich man’s house and instead of taking a lamb from his vast herds, he took the poor man’s only lamb and slaughtered it for his guests.
When David heard this, he was enraged. His anger boiled over and he said, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this shall surely die!” Nathan looked David in the eye and said, “You are the man.”
This is a crucial point to the story. David had to see his sin the way God saw it before he would repent. The deceitfulness of sin is that we can know we are in it but not be repulsed by it. David had gone almost nine months knowing full well that he had sinned, but he did not see it correctly. He was not sickened by it to the point where he was willing to have it fully exposed and dealt with so he could be free. He kept silent and kept suffering. But then God sent Nathan and David understood that he had sinned against heaven and in God’s sight and that his deceitful hiding of his sin was repulsive. God will bring His people to that place because He is not in the business of just plucking sins out of our lives like we would pick lint off our shirt. He changes our character.
Have you seen your sin through God’s eyes? We truly repent when we are finally repulsed.