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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

No Excuses

Then David sent messengers to get her; and when she came to the palace, he slept with her. She had just completed the purification rites after having her menstrual period. Then she returned home. Later, when Bathsheba discovered that she was pregnant, she sent David a message, saying, "I'm pregnant." Then David sent word to Joab: "Send me Uriah the Hittite." So Joab sent him to David. (2 Samuel 11:4-6 NLT)

It used to drive me crazy when I would catch one of my children in the act of doing something wrong, only to hear the words, “I didn’t know!”  The facial expression told me otherwise.  The statement was simply an attempt to avoid getting in trouble.  David is doing everything he can to avoid getting in trouble here.  He slept with another man’s wife.  She gets pregnant.  He tries to cover it up by bringing the man, Uriah, back from the battlefield so he will sleep with his own wife.  Maybe, then, Uriah will think the child is his.  Uriah is too committed to his comrades in arms who are fighting for the safety of Israel.  So, David sends Uriah back to the battlefield with a note to Uriah’s commander.

The letter instructed Joab, "Station Uriah on the front lines where the battle is fiercest. Then pull back so that he will be killed." So Joab assigned Uriah to a spot close to the city wall where he knew the enemy's strongest men were fighting. And when the enemy soldiers came out of the city to fight, Uriah the Hittite was killed along with several other Israelite soldiers. (2 Samuel 11:15-17 NLT)

David got word that Uriah was dead.  So did Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife.  She mourned for the loss of her husband.

When the period of mourning was over, David sent for her and brought her to the palace, and she became one of his wives. Then she gave birth to a son. But the LORD was displeased with what David had done. (2 Samuel 11:27 NLT)

David’s plan to hide his sin had failed.  We can hide things from other people.  We can even try to hide things from ourselves, pushing them deep down into the hidden recesses of the mind and heart.  We can’t hide things from God, though.  God sees everything – good and bad.  God cannot be tricked or fooled.  With God there are no excuses.

So the LORD sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story:

"There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man's own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man's lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest."

David was furious. "As surely as the LORD lives," he vowed, "any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity." Then Nathan said to David, "You are that man!

The LORD, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul. I gave you your master's house and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more. Why, then, have you despised the word of the LORD and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and stolen his wife.” (2 Samuel 12:1-9 NLT)

Now, David has another choice to make.  He knows that God knows.  He knows that what he did was wrong.  He even knows that avoiding Scripture and avoiding God in prayer does not mean he didn’t know.  He cannot give a valid excuse to God.  With God there are no excuses.  At this point, at least, David finally gives in and admits to his wrong.

Then David confessed to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." Nathan replied, "Yes, but the LORD has forgiven you, and you won't die for this sin. Nevertheless, because you have shown utter contempt for the LORD by doing this, your child will die." (2 Samuel 12:13-14 NLT)

How about you?  Do you try to avoid God when you are doing something you know you shouldn’t?  If you get caught, do you try to make excuses like, “I didn’t know.”  Or, do you realize that there are no excuses and admit that you were wrong?