* Often, only God’s mercy can undo the messes we make in our lives

* Thankfully, God’s steadfast love is stronger than the strongest sin

King David knew better, and knew exactly what he was doing, which is why his sin is so appalling, and why it humbles us, for some part of King David resides inside us all.

The facts are easy to grasp, in a time when King David should have gone to war with his men, he stayed home, and looked lustfully upon women as they bathed. The average home was less than 6oo square feet and had no internal plumbing. To bath and maintain good hygiene, men and women went to separate semi-public places.

The King’s house was on a high perch and looked down on the homes below, and upon where women bathed. Many look unattractive at a moment like that, but not the younger Bathsheba, the text mentions her as gorgeous.

Adding insult to injury, not lost on the King was the hour when those kinds of things generally took place.

The King calls his assistant and asks for her, everyone knows what that means, but no one says anything.

Both David and Bathsheba commit adultery and are guilty of it. Their sin is punishable by death under the laws of Moses. While Bathsheba was taken advantage of, she had options— screaming, saying no, or appealing to her grandfather or father, both of whom were loyal counselors to the King. It can be believed that had Bathsheba said no, David would have respected her for it.

Bathsheba’s pregnancy led to comedic tragedy. By the time David is done killing her husband, he will have broken each of the Ten Commandments.

None of this pleased God, who for the moment was doing nothing about it, but that will soon change.

Shortly after the child is born, the Prophet Nathan arrives at David’s door, the text in II Samuel 12:1 sounds haunting, the Lord sent Nathan. The Prophet arrived with a message, told through an enticing story of wrong, were the King, if there was any justice left inside him, would be compelled to demand immediate justice.

The tables are now turned on King David, for Nathan now speaks, and sacred daggers pierce David’s heart. You are the man, Nathan says.

David’s sin now comes face to face with God.

Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, is the next line, spoken without a stutter. Nathan delivers a blistering series of good that God did for David. He spoke in staggering terms of God’s great abundance and never ending promises, delivered without fail to the little shepherd boy.  So rich, vast, and immediate were the blessings, and here is the deeper truth Nathan let’s out, God was willing to give King David anything he wanted—anything of course, but sin.

The consequences roll hard and firm, and David must hear it, the love child will die, and the sword will never leave your house, the things which you did privately against God, the Lord will allow publicly.

David has a single response, and it saved his life and legacy—I have sinned against the Lord, is all he says.

No justification.

A deep and true repentance is all David had to offer God.

And that is all God ever wanted in the first place.