2 Samuel 12 | The Blessing of Repentance

by | Jan 22, 2021

READ 2 Samuel 12

David responded to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Then Nathan replied to David, “And the Lord has taken away your sin; you will not die.” (2 Samuel 12:13)

“I have sinned” is a little bit of an understatement. We’re talking about sexual assault and murder. Conspiracy and deceit. So why was David being forgiven so quickly, when Saul was not? Saul’s sin wasn’t as heinous as David’s, but he lost his anointing, kingship, and ultimately his life. So what made the difference?

Repentance. Saul made excuses for his sin, but David quickly confessed: “I have sinned against the Lord.” In Psalm 51, written around this time, he added the word, “alone.” Because the worse thing about his sin wasn’t what he did to another person. It’s what he did to the God who created him, loved him, and provided for him (as Nathan reminded him in the story of the rich man).

If we only think about our sin as being against another person, we can always find a way to justify it. “Well, you should see what that person did!” You can always wriggle your way out of your sin if you’re only thinking horizontally. But when you start thinking vertically, you have no excuse. Up there is a perfect, holy, righteous, loving, glorious God. And down here is this selfish, foolish sinner.

That’s why David prayed in Psalm 51, “I have done what is evil in your sight.” We don’t like to think of ourselves as evil, but David knew that the best way to move back toward a fulfilling relationship with God is to stop sugar-coating our sin. That’s how we’ll experience what David prayed for: “Restore the joy of your salvation to me.”

View the Daily Boost archive

Get Daily Boost posts in your inbox