No Secret Sins


“The character Of David was singularly rich in fine qualities, but it was also marked by a few flaring defects. One was, proneness to animal indulgence; another, the occasional absence of straightforwardness. These were the very defects which his children copied.” -- Matthew Henry

In the time when the kings go to war David stayed behind. We are not told why, but we are told that he did, an indication that he shouldn’t have. As the infamous story goes, this is when he sees Bathsheba cleansing herself from her time of monthly uncleanness. A time, he should have known, that made her particularly available for pregnancy. Dominated by lust, he enlists the aid of his agents to apprehend her for his indulgence. After the news of her pregnancy, a plan is devised and Joab is commissioned to bring her husband Uriah home from battle. The plan is simple: have the war-beaten Uriah spend an enjoyable night at home so that his wife’s pregnancy is welcomed and not suspicious news.

But Uriah is an honorable man. After two nights of flattery and the offer of home, Uriah is determined not to partake of peacetime creature comforts while his men are at war.

Seeing no hope for his plan, David sends Uriah back to war with a letter for Joab, a letter that is Uriah’s death sentence. In the letter are instructions for Uriah to be sent to the frontlines of the most fierce fighting and then have the men back away from him. Instructions which must have been suspicious if not obvious to the other soldiers.

When David was told that Joab lead a group of men too close to the Ammonite walls, causing many of them to be struck with arrows, Joab reminds David that this was the cost of having Uriah killed. Not only were David’s hands guilty with Uriah’s murder, but he conscripted others into his fevered lusts, wrecking the lives of many with his “secret” sins.

How easily and quickly lust can take us to a place we thought we would never be. The idle hands of a king that should have been protecting his people, instead wrought fierce destruction against his own kingdom and his own home.

Enter Nathan the prophet, sent by the Lord we are told, to take the veil of lust off of David’s eyes. With the power of story, Nathan describes to David a wicked character: a rich man who will not depart from the slightest portion of his wealth (a meal) and instead takes all of a poorer man’s treasured possession. David sees the character rightly–gruesome, callous, devouring, and monstrous, but he doesn’t see that the character is himself until Nathan calls him out.

Sin is deceiver, convincing you that you are a different character in the story. Sin persuades you to think that you are misunderstood, that your intentions were not to harm others, and that you were desperate for relief. But sin is a liar. The Lord must be the one to name our sins rightly, revealing which character we truly are. If you are caught in the grip of lust, concealing your indulgences, using others as a utilities, then you are on the side of evil. There is hope for you, but be under no illusion as to which character you are when your obedience is to the flesh.

Sin is never isolated strictly to the sinner. Like radiation, it poisons those around it, even if they are unaware of what is happening or where it is coming from. Getting rid of Uriah, concealing the evidence, hiding behind walls and doors or cleared search histories cannot seal up the effects of sin. For David, this meant that “the sword would never depart from his house” (2 Sam 12:10), a consequence that plagued the rest of his life.

God is a total Redeemer and can make all things clean. But He is also holy and will not be mocked. Your sins, even if forgiven, will often carry lifelong consequences. The wise man ends his life with a lot less scars than the fool by turning away from sin and clinging to Christ as quickly as possible.