David was a nobody in the world’s eyes. He was born on the wrong side of the tracks. He had no idea that the black hole he lived in would be transformed into a holy hill. David was held in such low regard by his own father that when Samuel came and told Jesse that one of his sons would be the next king of Israel, Jesse didn’t even invite David to meet the famous prophet. He was not worthy of consideration in the eyes of the world, but God saw something else. God saw David’s heart.
This boy that no one wanted or cared about became one of the most prominent figures in history. He led Israel to become a mighty kingdom. He ruled with power, putting down threats to the Jewish people. He ruled with wisdom, uniting a nation that had been divided. He ruled with compassion, showing mercy to Mephibosheth, the son of his dearest friend, Jonathan.
God had a plan for David, and for much of his life, David followed that plan. But all of us know the story of Uriah and Bathsheba and how David strayed off the path of righteousness. His heart turned away from loving God to focusing on himself. He stopped following the Lord and started following lust. When Bathsheba sent word that she was pregnant, David did not repent. Instead, he concocted a plan to try to make it look like Uriah was the father.
When that plan failed because of Uriah’s character and commitment to do what was right, David did not repent. He concocted another plan to try to have Uriah killed in battle. That plan succeeded. David thought his sin was covered. “After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the LORD” (2 Samuel 11:27).
So God sent the prophet Nathan to confront the sinful king. Nathan told him a story about a rich man who stole a poor man’s sheep. David, who had grown up taking care of sheep, was outraged. He said that the rich man should pay with his life. Then Nathan thundered, “You are the man!” Broken, David finally repented. He turned away from his sin and sought God’s forgiveness.
In fact, he wrote a psalm about it. Imagine writing a poem about your sin that the whole church would come together and sing! David was serious about his repentance. He didn’t want to keep his sin close any longer. He didn’t want to conceal it. He wanted it gone. David’s repentance came after he was confronted with the reality of his sin.
True repentance is an appeal for God’s mercy and a cry for cleansing. But if we don’t think we are dirty, we will not cry out to be clean. So many Believers today are self-satisfied with the sin in their lives. They rationalize and justify and excuse it so much that they lose sight of the fact that they need to repent. If you see yourself in the presence of Jesus, your sin will be brought to light. No one is clean in the presence of the Holy God.