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Monday, May 2, 2016

Exposed! (2 Samuel 11:27)

"After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the LORD."

It seems today that no celebrities can do anything in secret; the paparazzi post themselves around their homes, pursue their cars, and even listen to their calls in order to uncover some juicy celebrity tidbit. Rulers, however, seem to get
away with their deeds because their power protects them.

David thought he too had power enough to protect him from the exposure of his sin. When he committed adultery, he thought he had covered the sin--but the woman became pregnant. He tried to cover his sin by bringing her husband home, but again exposure loomed because the husband's fidelity to the king did not permit him to go home to his wife. His final attempt at concealing his sin crossed another, far more serious, moral line--he abused his power to murder a loyal subordinate. Still, he had covered his sin.

Or had he? The story does not end with sin covered, but with God's displeasure; "but the thing David had done displeased the LORD" (11:27). David's cover-up attempts were a dismal failure because he forgot that the One who matters sees all and uncovers in His time. God exposed David's sin before all, punished him before all, and even taught him forgiveness in a public manner.

Moses warned the 2 and 1/2 tribes, "Be sure your sin will find you out" (Num. 32:23). Solomon wrote long ago, "He who conceals his sin will never prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes it will find mercy" (Prov. 28:13). God has a way of expressing His displeasure that exposes our sin, exalts His holiness, and showcases His mercy. The best followup on our sin is swift confession and true forsaking; covering up sin only brings exposure that's painful. Paul well says, "If we judge ourselves, we would not come under judgment" (1 Cor. 11:31). What are you covering up today? Bring it to Jesus for confession, cleansing, and mercy.

Questions for Today's Chronological Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 11:2-12:24a; Psalm 6; 32; 38
  • David seeks to cover his sin by bringing Uriah the Hittite back from the battle, but Uriah frustrates David's schemes at every turn. What qualities does Uriah display that every follower of the Lord ought to have?
  • In the world's eyes, David completely covers his sin; but the Bible reveals not only the actions of men but also the motives of the heart and the mind of God. How does the Bible expose David's motives and God's attitude toward David's sin?
  • When Nathan the prophet comes to David, he tells him a story to expose his sin. What is David's response to the story? In your own life, has anger ever revealed something that you've kept from God? In what ways can self-righteous anger expose our own wrong attitudes and motives?
  • God's rebuke to David builds on several key truths; what are these key truths about God's relationship to David, and David's response to that relationship?
  • At the end of the story, the child born to David and Bathsheba dies. How does David handle the child's death, and what can you learn about the death of children from this story?
  • The psalms in today's reading have two common themes that define as "repentance" psalms. What are these key themes and how are they expressed in these three psalms?
  • In today's reading, Ps. 32 expresses most clearly David's joy of forgiveness. What specific steps did David take to experience that joy?
Turning Truth to Prayer
We can experience no greater blessedness than the joy of forgiveness. Too often, we refuse to receive the forgiveness God has already granted in Christ, choosing instead to try to earn forgiveness through penance. When you sin, thank God for His gracious forgiveness, receive it by faith as you confess your sin to God, and rest in that forgiveness. If you are in Christ, He has taken all your sin--all of it (Col. 2:13). Receive forgiveness by faith and rejoice in the blessedness of forgiven sin!