David sent and brought [Bathsheba] to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord … And the Lord sent Nathan to David.
If we stop seeking to cover up our sin, God is willing to cover it over.
David’s sin of adultery with (or very possibly even rape of) Bathsheba was compounded by his cover-up of it, arranging for her husband, Uriah, to be killed. But the plan seemed to have worked masterfully. David married Bathsheba, and no one was any the wiser. A time of deceit and silence followed. David believed he had it covered. Sin frequently deceives us into thinking that. But what others think of us and what God says of us are often very different.
God knew what others did not. He sent a prophet to the king. Yet Nathan didn’t show up at David’s door to jump straight to bold accusations. He simply told him a story about a rich man with many flocks and herds unjustly taking a poor man’s only lamb, which drew out David’s sympathy for the wronged man and rage over the rich man’s actions. Then Nathan delivered the devastating punchline: “You are the man!” (2 Samuel 12:7).
“The LORD sent Nathan to David.” Those six words are words of amazing grace! Yahweh would not allow His servant David to settle down comfortably in his sin. As unpleasant and difficult as it may have been for the king to face his sin, the reason why God sent the prophet to David was because He loved him. God granted David something he did not deserve, and David responded to Nathan’s words with humility and repentance. Because God intervened and David confessed, the story ended not with despair and guilt but with deliverance and grace (see Psalm 32:5-6). As Derek Kidner writes, “The relief of climbing down, and the grace which meets it … altogether outweigh the cost.”
That is true for us no less than it was for David. We may fear that if we quit our own cover-up games with sin, then our reputations will suffer. But if you are accommodating immorality in your life, it doesn’t matter how well you can conceal it from the watching world. Ultimately, the watching world is irrelevant: God knows your heart. It is on account of God’s faithfulness that He pursues us and won’t let us remain comfortable in our disobedience and rebellion. While we may not have a prophet like Nathan sent to us, we do have God’s word to open in front of us; it is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword … discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight” (Hebrews 4:12-13)—including both the creature writing these words and the one reading them. God exposes our sin that we might bring it to Him to cover it over with the blood of His Son.
What is He pointing out to you right now? Are you seeking to excuse or justify or hide it? It’s time to climb down and stop covering it up. The cost of sin is far outweighed by the benefits of forgiveness.
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Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg, published by The Good Book Company, thegoodbook.com. Used by Truth For Life with permission. Copyright © 2021, The Good Book Company.