I am amazed at my lack of conviction to confess my sins daily. This is a practice that Jesus taught us to do when He taught us to pray. He put this practice into perspective for us in teaching us to pray that we would be forgiven as we forgive those who sin against us.
Now when it comes to the way I am sinned against, I have no problem obsessing and repeating my complaints effortlessly. When it comes to confessing my own sins, I need God’s help to force a confession out of me.
So did David. He had committed the worst sin of his entire life, and yet he was living in complete oblivion. The year he did not go out with the army into battle was the year he slowly spiraled into a stronghold of sin. It started out small. He didn’t turn his eyes away when he saw a beautiful woman innocently bathing on her rooftop. He was not seduced. He was in no way trapped. He was totally free to avert his eyes someplace else, but he didn’t. Once the desire and lust for that woman took root in his mind, nothing else would do. He had many wives, but he wanted her. You probably know the rest of the story. David sent for Bathsheba, slept with her and sent her away.
Even though David couldn’t feel the conviction of his sin with Bathsheba, he did face the consequences. When she sent word that she was pregnant, David knew that it was a possible death sentence for her because, unlike David, her husband was away fighting the battles of Israel. This is where the sin turns deadly. After unsuccessfully trying to get Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, to sleep with her, David sent Uriah back to the army with orders to the commander that he be put on the front line, where he was killed. What a clever guy that David. He then mercifully took the grieving widow into his own home and all was well. And all was well with David. Not a bit of remorse, not a moment of regret is recorded in the Scripture.
David lacked the conviction to confess his sin or even to identify his sin. He was once again in need of God’s help. Just as Goliath, the bear, and the lion were too big for David to conquer in his own strength, so too was the sin in his heart. Romans 2:4 says, “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” Conviction is a gift from God. We are desperate for God to show us our sin so that we can realize that we are powerless over it. Repentance is transforming, but it is hard to get a heart to get there.
Once David’s heart was moved to repentance after Nathan’s clever confrontation, David’s actions revealed why he was called a man after God’s own heart. David repented fully and completely entrusted himself to God’s goodness. Nathan told David that the baby that was conceived by his sin would die. David knew that the mercy he received from God was much greater than he deserved so he did not delay in asking for more mercy, even requesting that God would allow the baby to live. When the baby died, David did not blame God but accepted God’s will.
The conviction to confess our sins is a gift given by a loving God. Consider yourself blessed if you are sensing God’s conviction. It is only there because He longs for you to repent and be restored to intimacy with Him.