Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man! The Lord, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul. I gave you your master’s house and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more. Why, then, have you despised the word of the Lord and done this horrible deed?
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. Nevertheless, because you have shown utter contempt for the word of the Lord by doing this, your child will die.” 2 Samuel 12:7-9a, 13-14
Have you ever had an “Aha!” moment? I’m talking about the sort of thing that stops you in your tracks and changes the trajectory of your life. Most of you are a bit on the young side to knowingly nod your head. Don’t worry. It’ll come. But even if you haven’t had that experience yourself doesn’t mean you can’t learn from someone else’s “Aha!”
Our passage today describes an “Aha!” moment in the life of David. Chapter 11 of 2 Samuel details the sin that brought David to need an “Aha!” There are at least three sins that led to this need. First, David wasn’t engaged in the activities that God had set before him. His entire army had gone to war and David as commander-in-chief had opted to stay home. Second, He became bored so he started looking at things at which he had no business looking. After looking, he took another man’s wife. He engaged specifically in an activity that God prohibited. And, as often is the case, there is a natural consequence - an “unexpected” pregnancy. Whoops! Third, David tried to hide his sin by having Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, sent into a position in the battle that would certainly lead to his murder...and did!
Notice the progression. He stopped doing what God asked him to do - omission. He started doing what God told him not to do - commission. And once he started down the path of sin, it wasn’t a tall leap to take life into his own hands, playing god and taking life. He had despised the word of the Lord and done this horrible deed. (2 Samuel 12:9a) There are plenty of lessons here (and you probably see them!), but the most important thing I think we can take away from this story is found in David’s response.
David didn’t miss a beat. The “Aha!” hit him between the eyes and he confessed, “I did it!” But even with his confession, the natural consequences followed and that very night David and Bathsheba’s child became ill. For a whole week David fasted and prayed, laying on the ground before God, refusing to eat. After a week of this, the child died and David’s advisors reluctantly told him about the death. David surprised everyone by rising, washing, putting on fresh clothes and worshiping God. (2 Samuel 12:15-20) Don’t miss it! He worshiped!
David’s worship is his response to the “Aha!” moment in the story. He recognized his sin which had seemingly started out so innocuous. He sought forgiveness and though he didn’t receive the gracious outcome, in this instance, for which he sought, he recognized that God is God and has the right to do whatever He pleases. This story serves as a turning point in David’s life. Much misery follows him from this time on, but David responds with humility before God at every step instead of self- righteous pride.
Do you worship humbly before God? Or do you pridefully think that you have your life in your own hands. Take David’s “Aha!” and make it your own. Confess the pride that rears its ugly head in each of our lives (more often than I wish it would!). Let God guide your way today.