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What Do You Do When You Know God Knows?
2 Samuel 12:1-5
"The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, 'There
were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor.  The rich
man had a very large number of sheep and cattle,  but the poor man had
nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it
grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup
and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.
 Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained
from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler
who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the
poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.'
 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, 'As
surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die!'"
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to be arbitrary with judgement
against others. We can usually see, with crystal clarity the sins and faults
in others and judgement usually makes perfect sense. David is right, this
man "deserves to die!" Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death;"
There are plenty of scriptures that makes us want to stoke the fires of
hell for sinners the likes of this man. And certainly, God will judge sin.
Matthew 3:12 says "His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear
his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the
chaff with unquenchable fire." (NIV) Judgement is sure. Solomon wrote,
"'God will judge both the righteous man and the wicked man,' for a time
for every matter and for every deed is there." (Eccles. 3:17 NASB)
In verse 6, David continues with his judgement, "And he must make restitution
for the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing and had no compassion."
(2 Samuel 12:6 NASB) David does more than pass judgment on this man, he
requires him to make restitution-to try to make the crooked way straight.
Then came the sobering word from Nathan in verse 7: "You are the man!"
Right about the time David could have enjoyed the satisfaction from
his self-righteous attitude, Nathan delivers a blow to his mid section-he
is the man.
It is much easier to see the sin in others, than it is to see the sin
in our own lives. I am reminded of Jesus' words in Matthew 7:3 when he
said, "And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye,
but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" (NASB) David was quick
to pass judgement on the rich shepherd without pausing for a moment to
consider his own sin. Lurking in the background of this encounter was the
great sin that he'd committed against God, one which was far greater than
killing an animal-he'd killed a man after committing adultery with the
In 2 Samuel 12:7-12 Nathan rebukes David for his sin. "Nathan then said
to David, 'You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel, 'It is I
who anointed you king over Israel and it is I who delivered you from the
hand of Saul.  I also gave you your master's house and your master's
wives into your care, and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah; and
if that had been too little, I would have added to you many more things
like these!  Why have you despised the word of the Lord by doing evil
in His sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, have
taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the
sons of Ammon.  Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your
house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the
Hittite to be your wife.  Thus says the Lord, 'Behold, I will raise
up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives
before your eyes, and give them to your companion, and he shall lie with
your wives in broad daylight.  'Indeed you did it secretly, but I will
do this thing before all Israel, and under the sun.'"
David had always known he'd sinned against God, but after this conversation
with Nathan, the weight of his sin sunk in. He became very aware that God
knows. What do you do when you know that God knows? David's mentor Saul
didn't handle his confrontation with the prophet Samuel very well. He began
by denying that he did anything wrong. "And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul
said to him, 'Blessed are you of the LORD! I have carried out the command
of the LORD.'" (1 Sam 15:13 NASB) When he didn't get away with that, he
rationalized his behavior.
"But Samuel said, 'What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears,
and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?'  And Saul said, 'They have
brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the
sheep and oxen, to sacrifice to the LORD your God; but the rest we have
utterly destroyed.' (1 Sam 15:14-15 NASB)
And when that didn't work, he blamed someone else.
"But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest
of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God
at Gilgal." (1 Sam 15:21 NASB) An old trick, one he'd learned from his
oldest ancestor. "'Yes,' Adam admitted, 'but it was the woman you gave
me who brought me the fruit, and I ate it.'" (Genesis 3:12 NLT)
David responded differently. He confessed his sin.  Then David said
to Nathan, 'I have sinned against the Lord.' And Nathan said to David,
'The Lord also has taken away your sin; you shall not die.  However,
because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the Lord
to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die.'" (2
When David confessed his sin, he met God's judgement, but it was tempered
with mercy. Yes it is true that the first part of Romans 6:23 says, "For
the wages of sin is death;" as I quoted early in this message, but the
last part says, "but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ
David was punished-he didn't get away with anything. It cost him his
son and his reputation. But in the midst of God's judgment, His grace flowed
freely. His sin was forgiven. Grace was extended.
That is the power of confession. In the midst of confession, God's grace
freely flows and gives us what we don't deserve-forgiveness and his mercy
falls down on us and doesn't give us what we do deserve-death. Please don't
let the familiarity of these words keep you from feeling their impact.
The only thing that stands between you and forgiveness is confession.
In the Scottish highlands is an old massive bridge that spans a gorge
known as "The High Bridge." But something happened that made it necessary
for officials to condemn it. A tiny birch seed, caught by a gust of wind,
dropped into a small crevice above the keystone. It lodged unnoticed in
the lime, and before long it germinated. Soon it was a young sapling, but
still nobody saw it. As it grew into a tree, its roots went deep into the
masonry so that the arch was severely damaged. The bridge that had defied
violent storms and supported the weight of marching armies finally had
to be closed to traffic. It had succumbed to a small seed.
In the Christian life, little hidden sins weaken the foundation of our
characters and cause our downfall. Deal with them now, as David did.
Shall we enter into a time of confession now. We are in the presence
of a holy God who knows. And now we know that He knows. We could try to
shift the blame or avoid responsibility, but we know that he knows, so
instead, we confess our sins to Him. We say, "yes God, you're right, that's
sin. Take a moment now to name your sins to God. Admit them. Confess them.
Repent from them-no matter how small you may think they are.
Admit your sin like David did in Psalm 51:3 "For I acknowledge my transgressions:
and my sin is ever before me." ( KJV)
Request forgiveness like David did in Psalm 51:1-2 "Have mercy upon
me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude
of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.  Wash me throughly
from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin." (KJV)
Invite God to change your life like David did in Psalm 51:10 "Create
in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." (KJV)
And ask for your joy back like David did in Psalm 51:12 "Restore unto
me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit." (KJV)