“So David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.'”– 2 Samuel 12:13
If not dealt with, unconfessed sin has a way of ripping through our lives from the inside out. In his graciousness, the Lord brings us to a place of repentance. As Spurgeon once wrote, “The Lord sometimes allows His people to be driven into a corner so that they may know how necessary He is to them.” We certainly see this happen in the life of King David.
It is believed that after Uriah was murdered, a year had passed before Nathan came to confront David’s sin. During this time, there was no peace within David’s heart. His sin was very near to him at all times. And we see it in David’s contemplation. During his spiritual struggle, David remembered, “When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer” (Psalm 32:3-4).
It must have been difficult for Nathan to hear from God about the sins of King David. The more challenging task for him, though, must have been confronting David. Our view can be that Nathan is bringing terrible condemnation to a man who deserves it. This is not the case at all. Nathan was charged with God’s command to get the good news of grace to an undeserving human being. As it is written, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7).
The Scriptures give us an honest view of God’s people. In many cases, they are uncut, and we see people for the way they are, “warts and all.” In this case, even after David took Bathsheba as his, the Bible continued to label her as Uriah’s wife. A reminder of unconfessed sin. It was not until after David came clean that her title changed. This was a sign of restoration. As always, sin had to be confessed before a heart could be repaired. David knew he had sinned against God. Just as God remembers our sins no more, we must also do the same. As G. Campbell Morgan once wrote, “A man puts away his own sin when in sincerity he confesses it. That makes it possible for God also to put it away.”
“For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight”– Psalm 51:3-4