Face To Face With God

3:01 pm faith, God, redemption, sin

In II Samuel 12, one of the most dramatic moments in the life of David is revealed to us.  David is confronted by the prophet, Nathan, regarding his sin with Bathsheba.  David comes face to face with himself, with God’s judgment, with God’s grace and with God’s glory.
Face to Face With Yourself
Facing the truth about yourself is most troubling.  Many avoid it entirely.  The lies we tell ourselves are attempts to conceal the truth about ourselves.  Some questions we must consider are: “Who do you think you are?”  and “Who do you think God is?”  David was the champion of Israel, her greatest warrior, Israel’s most illustrious king, and author of many of the Psalms.  Yet, he was a sinner.  David’s fall began with an indecent thought about another man’s wife.  It grew with site of her unclothed (II Sam. 12:2-4) and it blossomed into lust that concluded in sexual sin.  It developed further in lies and murder.  His sin was accomplished “secretly” as far as men were concerned, but “openly” as far as God was concerned. Nathan was sent by God to confront David about his sin.  God knows all things including the secret things of man. Nathan tells a short story about a man who took another man’s only lamb.  David immediately perceives the injustice of the act and condemned it.  Then, Nathan tells David, “Thou art the man.”  This stunning revelation to David pierced through the lies David had told himself and exposed the truth about him.  This is strong medicine.  But, its design is to save the soul.  David confesses his sin (II Sam. 12:13, Psa. 51:4).  He comes face to face with the truth about himself.  Sin is a great leveler.  David now occupies common ground.  His need for redemption is shared with all others who have succombed to temptation’s power.
Face To Face With God’s Judgment
When Nathan delivers God’s message to David, it contains God’s judgment.  God, through Nathan, rehearses all of the blessings he had given to David.  God gave David everything he needed and more.  He said that, if that were not enough, He would have given him even more.  David’s sin involved ingratitude for all that God had given him.  David was not content.  He desired what God had forbidden. God’s justice rains down hard on David.  God said that the sword would never depart from David’s house.  He told David that He would raise  up adversity against him from his own house.  God would take his wives and give them to his neighbor before all Israel.  Finally, God told David that the child conceived with Bathsheba would die (II Sam. 12:14).
Face To Face With God’s Grace
David confessed his sin (II Sam. 12:13).  Honesty with self shatters pride.  He pleads for mercy, cleansing and grace (Psa. 51).  God answers his plea and pardons his sin (II Sam. 12:14).  God told David, “I have put away thy sin.  You will not die, but the child conceived between you and Bathsheba will die.”  All of the consequences of sin are not erased by God’s forgiveness.
Face to Face With God’s Glory
The Lord struck the child so that it became very ill (II Sam. 12:15).  David pleads for the child’s life.  He prays and fasts.  He lays prostrate on the ground all night.  On the seventh day, the child dies.  David arose, washed, anointed himself, changed his clothes and went to the house of the LORD and worshiped.  This moment deserves a long pause for thought.  While many curse God or attack God and turn away from Him after facing similar dilemmas, David in a moment of deep humility and profound reverence, enters into God’s presence and worships.  He enters into the presence of God and contemplates His glory.  There are times in the human experience, when we must let God be God!  David’s loss is great.  His heart is heavy.  His humility before God stays any anger and he quietly draws near to God.  In this act of deep devotion, he reveals his utter dependence upon God (II Sam. 12:16-23).  Here is the man later described as “a man after God’s own heart.”
Before the child died, David hoped in God’s providential will.  He states, “Who can tell whether the child may live?”  David knew God’s revealed will.  But, he hopes in God’s provdential will.  Once the child dies, David knows that God’s revealed will and His providential will are one.  There was no going back.  He must go forward.  Yet, he continues to hope in God’s revealed will–the resurrection of the dead.  David says, “he will not come to me, but I will go to him.”  All is resolved by absolute trust in God.
David’s Journey and Ours
Every person must come face to face with the truth about himself/herself.  Every person must come face to face with God and know His judgment, His grace and His glory.  This is the pathway of redemption.  Everyone who desires to see God and be with Him in eternity must walk it.

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