A Tale of Two Kings: David's Response
Hello and welcome back to day three of our adventure through the lives of King Saul and King David. This is part three in a four part series entitled “A Tale of Two Kings.” Lord willing, I will be posting the fourth and final installment of this lesson on Monday. If you haven’t already done so, I highly recommend that you read the first two posts so that you can gain a greater understanding of what we are discussing today:
Day One: ”A Tale of Two Kings: The Preacher’s Rebuke”
Day Two: “A Tale of Two Kings: Saul’s Personal Response”
Finally, before we begin, I invite you to read through the passage of scripture that today’s lesson is built on: Psalm 51.
On day one, we looked at the rebuke that the prophet Samuel and the prophet Nathan brought to their respective kings. We realized during that lesson that their rebuke was both personal, it was tailored specifically to their recipients, and prophetic, it was brought as an envoy on behalf of God. On day two, we looked at Saul’s personal response to Samuel’s rebuke. We looked at each of the four ways that Saul rejected Samuel’s advice. He deferred the blame, denied the blame, described the blame, and defied the blame. Never once, however, did he repent or show remorse for his sin.
On day three, today, we are going to look at David’s personal response to Nathan’s rebuke. It won’t take long to realize that this response is a stark contrast to what we saw in Saul’s life. David went through four phases in his response to Nathan. Let’s take a look.
David Acknowledged His Sin
“For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.” Psalm 51:3Unlike Saul, David didn’t play the denial card. He immediately admitted that he had done wrong against God. They say that the first step to overcoming is admitting that you have a problem. David had no problem admitting his wrong-doing.
Perhaps during the year that he waited for Nathan’s rebuke, the tender voice of God had been speaking to David’s heart about repenting. Then when Nathan spoke to David, it was the straw on the camel’s back. He just broke down and confessed his sin.
David Accepted the Guilt
“Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.” Psalm 51:2-4Recently in the news, I read of a man who had attacked, sexually assaulted, raped, and murdered his young neighbor girl. During the interrogation process, he admitted to all of it. He spoke of the bizarre fantasies that he had wanted to fulfill including cannibalism. Disgusting! During the interview, he explained that he had developed these fantasies as a result of abuse he had received from his parents and because of the rejection that he had experienced at school. He claimed that his disgusting, wicked actions were to be blamed on someone else: his parents and his school friends.
Men and woman have been passing the buck since the beginning of time. Adam tried to pass the blame onto Eve. Saul tried to defer the guilt onto his followers. Even you try to pass the blame onto other people for most of what you do. They just make me so mad. No! They don’t make you sin. That is a result of your own lack of spiritual and emotional discipline. Let’s not stray, however, too far from our feature presentation, the life of King David.
David didn’t follow the path of our psychotic, cannibalistic friend, of Adam, of Saul, or of you! He stepped up to the plate and boldly placed the blame on his own front door. He acknowledged that he had done wrong and he admitted that the guilt belonged to no one except himself.
David Asked For Forgiveness
“Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” Psalm 51:11-12Once David realized and admitted how sinful he was, he wasn’t satisfied until he had begged God to restore to him the relationship that they once knew. He desired passionately to be reunited with Christ in fellowship as intimate friends. Perhaps this is why the Scriptures later refer to David as ‘A man after God’s own heart.’ That title may be linked to the passion in which David sought after God’s heart.
David Actually Repented
“For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Psalm 51:16-17The greatest thing that David had going for him was the fact that he genuinely repented. According to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, “Repentance is a change of mind, or a conversion from sin to God.” David whole-heartedly turned from his sin and back toward the heart of God. His entire heart and mind were together in sorrow for his sinful past. He was a broken man.
As you can see, David’s responses were extremely different from Saul’s. Saul’s answers were filled with pride and more sin. David’s answers were filled with humility, brokenness, and a desire to be restored to God.
What is your response to your sin? When the preacher mentions your sin from the pulpit, do you cringe and get angry like Saul or are you moved to draw closer to God?