Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. - Psalm 119:105


Recognizing Sin

By Lino A. Feliciano
What are the actions that we think we can hide from God?

Recognizing Sin

Bible Study NotesJune 08, 1999

Biblical Information: 2 SAMUEL 11:1-12:19
Reading Text: 2 SAMUEL 12:1-10, 13.
Main Text: Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord"-2 Samuel 12:13.
Central Truth: "Recognizing sin is the first step towards repentance and forgiveness".
Objective: "To be able to recognize a specific sin and ask God for forgiveness".


INTRODUCTION: (Go to the top)
Years ago they had soap operas on television that caught the attention of many believers. Some people would complain and say they would not be able to attend if the times were conflicting. What is it captivates so much when it comes to a soap opera?

In chapter 11 of 2nd Samuel we find a story that could be used as a plot for soap opera. The characters, with their temptations and weaknesses, are described with an impressive clarity. In this account of the Bible we find the elements of adultery, deception, murder, and tragedy.

Why is such a story in the Bible?

The main characters of this real life story are King David, a man who desires to please the Lord, but falls into temptation. Bathsheba a beautiful woman, who's husband, Uriah the Hittite that possessed a single-minded devotion to duty. The general Joab who obeys blindly the commands of the king without considering the outcome, and Nathan the prophet of the Lord, who places his life in danger by speaking the truth to the king.

The story describes the human condition as it is and without excuses. What is described is about what happens when a servant of God forgets that he himself can fall to temptation, just like any other person. This story is to warn us all.

Remember that although we might be spiritual leaders, we don't have any right to feel confident and proud, but instead we should be watchful and alert in order to avoid a fall.

God works through human beings that are marked by sin, but only through his Love and Grace, we can maintain ourselves standing firm in the middle of the temptations that surround us.


A rich man who had abused power: (Go to the top)

2 Samuel 12:

1 The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, "There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor.

2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.

4 "Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him."

King David had committed adultery and had killed a man. Then later he married the widow, thinking that everything would go back to normal and that he will live like always.

But 2 Samuel 11:27 states that "the thing David had done displeased the Lord."

Nathan the prophet then utilized a parable to deliver the divine message that judged the king actions. With that story the prophet was able to enter the king's conscience.

If you notice the story does not refer to a case of adultery, or murder, but to the sin of coveting, greediness, and stinginess.

David put attention to the story, which explained of an injustice committed to a poor man by a rich one.

The judgment: (Go to the top)

2 Samuel 12:

5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, "As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die!

6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity."

The story produced the expected result, which Nathan hoped for. The king reacted with indignation and declared judgment and penalty against the person who committed such injustice. "The man who did this deserves to die", said the king, declaring that such action could not be accepted that had to mended immediately.

The identification: (Go to the top)

2 Samuel 12:

7 Then Nathan said to David, "You are that man: This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul.

8 I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.

9 Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.

Here we come to the moment when boldly and decisively the prophet tells the king: You are that man.

Without any doubt, many people and Israel's own leadership had knowledge of what had happened. Nathan faced his own fears and said what nobody else wanted to say.

The fact is not that Nathan did not approved the king's actions but that it was a sin against God.

When we sin against our brothers, we are sinning against God.

That was the concept that Nathan wanted to convey to David.

It was the voice of God that David heard that day. Likewise, when we sin we should expect to listen to the voice of God.

Notice how the prophet mentioned all the blessings that God had bestowed upon David.

He makes him remember that just like that rich man from the story, he himself had enjoyed abundance.

There's nothing more moving in the life of a believer than to feel the love of God constantly protecting him, and guiding him.

Why did David sin after enjoying so many blessings?

Why do we continue in our unbelief and in our sin?

Why is it so difficult to enjoy the love and grace of God in Jesus Christ?

The consequences: (Go to the top)

2 Samuel 12:

10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.'

The judgment of God is declared in a solemn way. Three of David son's died and years later, many other tragedies occurred in the life of his family.

Our actions produce results in our lives and of those we love. We must remember that we can not live an egocentric life, only centered on our interests and personal desires. Our actions affect many people.

The confession: (Go to the top)

2 Samuel 12:

13 Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." Nathan replied, "The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die."

In this verse we find the central truth of the lesson. David proclaimed his confession: I have sinned against the Lord.

Notice that he did not excuse himself or pointed his finger to others. Neither he complained about God's judgment upon his life and his family.

In Psalm 51, David expressed his repentance and recognized his sin. We sin as individuals, and we are responsible for our actions.

God is always available to forgive us, he never rejects a person who comes to Him, in sincere and truthful repentance. His intent is not to push us away from Him, but to make us come close to Him, through his love and his grace found in Christ Jesus.

After David confessed his sin, the prophet Nathan assured him that he would not die.

Let us seek the forgiveness of God and will find it through his son Jesus.

Restoration and divine consolation is available in God, if we come with a humble and contrite spirit.

To reflect: (Go to the top)

    1.  What are the actions that we think we can hide from God?
    2.  Remember those circumstance in your life, that we had judge others. What happens when we think that we know how to discern what is  right or wrong in the life of our brothers?
    3.  Let us make a list of those actions that impact our family and friends favorably.
    4.  Privately, let us make a list of those actions that had damaged our friends and family members.
    5.  What sin do we have to confess before the Lord? What are those hidden sins that hurt us and we must confess? 

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