Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Against whom did we sin? Psalm 51:4 makes a startling confession. David confesses that he is concerned about the fact he has sinned against God. He isn’t worried about any of that other stuff. Bathsheba? Her husband, Uriah, the friend, advisor, and lead warrior whom David arranged to have die in battle? And what about all the other people who were doubtless harmed in the months that led up to the birth of the child of David and Bathsheba’s relationship, the child who was taken ill and died in infancy? No, none of that seems to matter to David.
What kind of a clodhopper is he, anyway? David is no kind of clodhopper in this. Is he concerned about the living, who have been harmed? Yes. But at the root of all is his sin against God. He didn’t trust God’s revelation of what a good marriage looks like. He didn’t trust God’s Word which defined the right relationship between Bathsheba and Uriah. He didn’t respect the love God had for his children. He was willing to misuse the truth itself in order to get his way. He was guilty as guilty can be before God.
David knew better. He understood that what he was doing was sin. He pushed ahead with it anyway. He loved his pleasure and his power more than he loved God or his neighbor. David knew better.
Many of the people we sin against will never know that we did anything. But God knows. So we also call out before the Lord, “We have sinned against you, and you only.” And in his mercy, our Lord grants forgiveness and restoration. Sometimes he also brings other matters to our understanding. We realize that we are called to repentance and that there are humans against hom we have sinned, actions which call for forgiveness and restoration. But it’s got to be rooted in our acknowledgement of our sin before God.
May we have grace to keep our priorities in order.
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