I fell asleep with someone heavy upon my heart. I brought this tender soul before the Lord and let sleep become my solace. God gently cared for this concern while I rested. When I awoke the Lord reminded me of His words and message through the night. He brought the account of King David and Bathsheba to mind. The perspective God brought to me felt fresh and new. I noticed in detail the Spirit guiding my thoughts, arousing curiosity, and directing me to dig into the biblical account. I began to ponder and wonder about insight from the Spirit and the Word.
As the next few weeks unfolded, God continued to convey a similar theme through solitude spaces, soul care sessions, conversations, and biblical study. I didn’t necessarily look for these encounters, and yet God seemed to highlight a message to me, for both myself and those I love. I welcomed God, listened, and reflected with the Holy Spirit.
If you find yourself unfamiliar with the record of David and Bathsheba, take a moment to read 2 Samuel 11:1-12:25.
While numerous approaches to this text exist, the Lord offered a direct perspective for me to consider: I noticed the way David approached his sin with Bathsheba. He attempted to manage his sin.
Manage – be in charge of, have the position of supervising, maintain control or influence over, succeed in dealing with…
I wondered if David experienced remorse after his fleshly encounter with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. Or, did he create and develop new and false narratives to justify his behavior? Did he rationalize that Bathsheba was needy and alone? Did he justify his position as a leader? Did he consider himself entitled because he was God’s chosen king, called by God? Bathsheba returned home and perhaps David thought, all was well.
It comes easy to create new stories. What stories do you tell yourself to rationalize and sanitize your sin? Consider sins such as: anger, pride, entitlement, avarice, indifference, belittling, control, power, deception, manipulation, isolation, etc. In what ways do you justify your ungodliness?
All appeared well to the outsider until Bathsheba realized God ordained a life on the inside of her being. She notified David. Did his heart palpitate? For whose well being was he most concerned – Bathsheba or his own? Did David notice any conviction within himself? Whether he did or not, at this moment David took action to manage his sin.
Three times David maneuvered Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, into spaces to cover up his sin. David took control by managing his sin and brought Uriah home under pretenses of checking upon the troops, yet hoping Uriah might sleep with his wife, Bathsheba. David’s sin management efforts failed.
Next David invited Uriah to enjoy a meal together during which David provided alcohol, causing inebriation. Again, Uriah, an upright soldier, did not lie with his wife in his drunken state, but stayed with the servants. David’s efforts to manage and deal with his sin failed again.
The devil tempts us to manage our sin. Like David, we might think that if we control who knows of our imprudence then really, we aren’t responsible. If Uriah had slept with his wife, then it would be assumed by all others that the child was his. No one but Bathsheba would ever know of David’s sin. That may be how the devil works, but that is not how God works. The Father of Light loves us too much to allow us to hide in the darkness (1 John 1:5-6).
As I sat in curiosity about David’s predicament, I felt his anxiety and fear. His sin management plan did not work. Now what?
Have you ever found yourself grasping for straws to find a way to cover up a sinful attitudes and actions, a misspoken word, an unfaithful message, lies, and deceit? Hiding your sin may work temporarily, but ultimately, God will illumine the darkness within (Ephesians 5:11).
David increased his efforts to manage his sin by using his influence and position to have Uriah stationed in battle where certain death awaited. David planned Uriah’s death and then welcomed the hiddenness of his selfish sin. I wonder if David believed he would be free from the shame of his sin, gallantly wed the widow, Bathsheba, and then become the proud father of the baby within her? Perhaps at this moment, David sighed a breath of relief; “Whew! All tracks covered, no one will know. Sin successfully managed!”
Yet, God loved David too much to allow such duplicitous interior and exterior movement. God desired David’s full allegiance and yet, David’s sin management revealed allegiance remained to himself and his desires alone. Even though David believed he was God’s chosen king and likely felt God’s favor and presence upon him, David took what he wanted, did what he wanted, and created pretentious occasions to coverup what he knew violated not only God’s law, but God’s loving order. God uncovers that which we think we bury (Ephesian 5:13).
Inquire of the Lord. What sin are you currently attempting to manage? Sit in stillness for a moment. Ask the Holy Spirit, alive within you, to elevate awareness. Notice the ways you attempt to cover sin, assuming no one, or very few would ever discover. How are you rationalizing attitudes and actions that lack integrity and honesty? Let the loving light of Christ shine upon your soul.
Nevertheless, God sent a man to confront David. The man, Nathan, approached David and challenged him with a story. David experienced stirring within his soul. Did David wonder who sent the man? It didn’t matter. Was David angry that the man knew of his sin? It didn’t matter. Did David like or agree with the message? It didn’t matter. I wonder what other questions arose within David’s soul as Nathan shared his story.
When God brings a rebuke into your life, do you rebuff the message? Do you shift the blame to the messenger? Or, do you consider the message and allow God’s kindness in the message, lead you to repentance (Romans 2:4)?
Maybe David wrestled with many things within his soul as Nathan confronted hm, but ultimately, when David was challenged, he broke. Finally, David’s arrogance, deceit, and harm rose from his soul and he recognized that managing his sin had not worked. God saw. God loved. God held him responsible. God offered reconciliation.
Who are the truth tellers in your life? Do you receive the messenger, even if you don’t like the message? Do you submit to the voice of others to question you and show areas of blindness? Will you experience God’s compassion and offer of reconciliation?
God directed Nathan to approach David. In humility Nathan confronted David. Might the Lord direct you to approach someone? Do you resist? James 4:17 reminds us that “any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin.” Perhaps you manage sin with silence? Maybe you are aware of sin and yet allow the enemy to make you mute? Are you managing sin with your silence?
David acknowledged his sin not only in his mind, but in his heart as well. David repented with his whole being before the Lord and before his whole community and nation. When living repentant, we no longer fear what others think or say, as our focus is living rightly before God and others. Read Psalm 51 for a glimpse into the heart of David living in repentance.
When David and Bathsheba’s child died as a consequence of sin, David did not blame Nathan, the messenger, or God, the one who saw all and called upon him for accountability and transparency. David accepted responsibility and continued to walk in repentance.
David submitted to the consequences because he took responsibility for his sin, without rationalization. David’s entire being submitted to the correction of God. In God’s timing, He exposes all that is hidden. The Father of Light reveals the father of lies who masquerades as light (2 Corinthians 11:14).
We might experience grave consequences like David, but we might not. Nevertheless, God looks for the righteous and whether He chooses great exposure as he did with David before his kingdom or exposure within the light of our soul alone, God always exposes. We cannot hide. He loves us too much for that.
Allow God to bring to your awareness places within your soul you need to surrender. Will you welcome outside voices into the interior of your life? On the outside David looked great, but on the inside, the disease of sin took route and blinded him to his disordered narratives.
God loves you and desires honesty, humility, and freedom for your journey. Be real before Him and others. Receive his cleansing and enter into deeper communion with the One who loves you. Experience the grace and goodness of God into those places you want to hide. His light loosens the chains of sin and pours His love and grace upon your soul. He loves you.
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Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.
1 John 1:5-6 – This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.
Ephesians 5:8-13 – For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.
Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.
Joseph D. Creedon. Walking in the Light of His Word: Daily Scripture Reflections. Pawtucket, RI. 2022.
Neil Anderson. Walking in the Light: Discerning God’s Guidance in an Age of Spiritual Counterfeits. Nashville, TN. 1993.
Sprinklings of Truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.
Lauren Daigle. Light of the World. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cLhaZIBSpo
Hilsong. Light of the World. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmJ737MSHOEY