2 Sam 12:13 Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord .” Nathan replied, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin.14 Nevertheless, because you have shown utter contempt for the Lord s by doing this, your child will die.”
Matt 27:3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and the elders.4 “I have sinned,” he declared, “for I have betrayed an innocent man.” “What do we care?” they retorted. “That’s your problem.” 5 Then Judas through the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself.
Jer 16:17 I am watching them closely, and I see every sin. They cannot hope to hide from me.18 I will double their punishment for all their sins, because they have defiled my land with lifeless images of their detestable gods and have filled my territory with their evil deeds.”
As I continue to journey through the Bible I usually get morsels daily from several OT passages and a NT passage. I tend to look for a common theme as I’m reading to gain insight which I then take to glance in the mirror to confront myself.
This morning the story of the prophet Nathan confronting David with his adultery with Bathsheba was on my plate. Even the King of Israel, anointed one, man after God’s own heart, the giant killer, gifted musician and strong military leader couldn’t get by with sin. What was so admirable about David is that when confronted he quickly humbled himself without any defense and accepted responsibility. God forgave him no doubt, but……. this is what I see in myself and many other Christ-followers, we don’t want the consequences of our sin.
We want to admire Jesus of the NT and ignore the God of judgement from the OT. As a triathlete I love the easy strokes taken in a lap pool during training. The open water swims during an event changes everything. I still remember during my Ironman swimming under the bridge that connects Louisville with Indiana. It felt like I was going nowhere because of all the choppiness. I believe so many of us want to swim in the calm river of God’s grace and not experience the choppiness of God’s judgment. He loves us dearly, but still wants us to learn our lesson. It amazes me how people try to take advantage of that grace and don’t want to take the step of responsibility after it is given. The key word after he forgives us is “nevertheless”……
Later I read about Judas who instead of repenting and moving forward like Peter did, or David in this past verse, he took the judgement on himself and ended his life. It doesn’t have to go there. Reading in Jeremiah this morning in the above passage reminds me that God sees all. It’s so mind-boggling to think that he sees every sin! He watches closely the beat of our hearts and motives. He’s not waiting to zap us as we are imperfect, but waiting on our hearts to repent and accept the aftermath. For David it was a painful one that haunted him the rest of his life.
Before I start my day I look in the mirror and ask forgiveness for my natural tendencies to flee holiness and run after worldliness. I ask God to change me from the inside out and I accept responsibility for bad decisions and flat-out sin in areas of my life. I don’t hide it nor hide it under the rug. God even says what is in darkness will eventually come into the light.
“Father today I ask you to forgive me. Cleanse and purify my heart, my mind, my motives, and help me to never take advantage of your grace and always accept the consequence. You are my father and when I disobey there’s often trips to the wood shed. I know that a parent that declines to discipline their child really doesn’t love them at all. It’s painful but thank you for caring enough to correct me, just as I know how painful it is to discipline my own boys. I am yours and love you deeply. Amen”