Read 2 Samuel 12:13-23; Psalm 32
Suffering is not always caused by sin, but sin always causes suffering. King David learned this the hard way and was confronted by the prophet Nathan about his sin. In response to Nathan’s accusation, the king admitted his wrongdoing and acknowledged the just punishment of the Lord. He also rejoiced in the forgiveness that was offered. It is God’s mercy that we read about in Psalm 32.
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit” (Psalm 32:1-2).
Guilt can gnaw at a person’s insides and make them sick—emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. David wrote, “When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer” (Psalm 32:3-4).
He could not get past the guilt of what he had done as long as he tried to hide it, but there was a solution: admit his transgression and seek the restoration of his relationship with the Almighty. “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin” (Psalm 32:5).
The king understood that God wanted to forgive him; still today, God wants to forgive man! We need to own up to our shortcomings and seek to repair the damage we have done to our relationships with other people as well as our relationship with God.
Some have described repentance as a change of heart and mind that leads to a change in action. That is exactly what happened in Thessalonica. Paul reminded those Christians that they had “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9). Repentance requires not only a cessation of wickedness, but also a commitment to righteousness.
David acknowledged his sin and after the death of his child, “he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped” (2 Samuel 12:20). “Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” (Psalm 32:11).