The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), April 26
It seems today that celebrities can’t do anything in secret; the paparazzi post themselves around their homes, tail their cars, and even tap their phones to uncover juicy celebrity tidbits. Rulers, however, seem to get away with their deeds because their power protects them.
David thinks he has power enough to protect him from the exposure of his sin. When he commits adultery, he thinks he has covered the sin—but the woman becomes pregnant. David tries to cover his sin by bringing her husband home, but again exposure looms, because the husband’s fidelity to the king does not permit him to go home to his wife. David’s final attempt to conceal his sin crosses another, far more serious, moral line—he abuses his power to murder a loyal subordinate. Still, he has not covered his sin.
Or has he? The story does not end with sin covered, but with God’s displeasure: “But the thing David had done displeased the LORD” (11:27). David’s cover-up attempts are a dismal failure because he has forgotten that the only One who matters sees all and uncovers in His time. God exposes David’s sin before all, punishes him before all, and even teaches him forgiveness in a public manner.
Moses had warned the two-and-a-half tribes against unfaithfulness to the LORD, “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Num. 32:23). Solomon wrote long ago, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Prov. 28:13). God has a way of expressing His displeasure that exposes our sin, exalts His holiness, and features His mercy.
The best followup to our sin is swift confession and true forsaking; covering up sin only brings painful exposure. Paul well says, “For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged” (1 Cor. 11:31).
Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (1 Chronicles 14; 3-9; 20:1; 2 Samuel 5:14-16; 11:1-12:25; Psalm 51):
- David seeks to cover his sin by bringing Uriah the Hittite back from the battle, but Uriah frustrates David’s schemes at every turn. What qualities does Uriah display that every follower of the Lord ought to have?
- In the world’s eyes, David completely covers his sin, but the Bible reveals not only the actions of men but also the motives of the heart and the mind of God. How does the Bible expose David’s motives and God’s attitude toward David’s sin?
- When Nathan the prophet comes to David, he tells him a story to expose his sin. What is David’s response to the story?
- God’s rebuke to David builds on several key truths. What are these key truths about God’s relationship to David, and David’s response to that relationship?
- At the end of the story, the child born to David and Bathsheba dies. How does David handle the child’s death, and what can you learn about the deaths of children from this story?