It is refreshing to read this text - finally a leader is honest. David has done a horrible thing - lusted after beautiful Bathsheba on an afternoon when "others kings had gone off to war," then had her husband, Uriah, killed at the front lines, so he could have her as his own wife. Nathan, God's prophet, confronts David with his sin by a story of a rich man, with his many flocks, taking a poor man's one little lamb, which was a family pet, and slaughtering it for a meal. David is horrified at such arrogance. "You are the man," Nathan yells at David. You are the arrogant one. David knows his crime, his sin, and confesses - "I have sinned against the Lord." Here is a healthy dose of truth that one doesn't often see in leaders and politicians. Too, often we hear excuses, or spin zones, not "fessing" up. But David's confession is a confession not only to his people, but to God. "I have sinned against God." Here, too, is a great reminder that all of us stand before God, who has given us the truth of his standards that guide human life - don't commit adultery, don't murder. God will forgive David. But the child that David and Bathsehba conceive will die, and the second child will ruin the kingdom and divide the tribes of Israel forever. The death of their child is not God's punishment for their sin, but a reminder, too, that, even in the midst of God's grace and forgivenss, there are some things God's forgiveness cannot cover - the effect our sin has on others. It is a hard lesson that sometimes we do not heed.
Love, Pastor Dave