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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. [2] The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, [3] 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. 

[4] 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.' 

[5] 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 man's wife.

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. [8] 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! [9] 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. [10] 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. [11] 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. [12] '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?' [15] 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. [13] 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. [14] 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 Samuel 12:13-14)

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 our Lord."

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. [2] 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)

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