READ: 2 Samuel 12-14
THINK: Are you good at hiding? Can you keep a secret? While these might be assets if you're playing a game, they can spell disaster if you're trying to conceal wrongdoing. When it comes to sin, no matter how much we try to keep it a secret or cover it up, God isn't fooled. Like David, we often try to avoid dealing with our sin by trying to hide from the issue. But God holds us accountable for our actions. All sin will eventually be revealed, if not through confession and repentance, then through judgment. In David's situation, God eventually confronted him through the prophet Nathan. But God didn't leave David mired in guilt and hopelessness, nor does He leave us. Instead, He reveals our sin to us and gives opportunity to repent and receive forgiveness. Though the consequences of David's actions lingered throughout his lifetime, the Lord showed mercy, as Nathan's visit was God's way of rescuing David.
RESPOND: Why didn't David recognize himself in Nathan's story (12:1-4)? What does it mean that David despised the word of the LORD through his sin? (See 12:9 note.) What damage can be done when leaders defy God as David did? What consequences would David suffer? (See 12:10 note.) Why are the consequences of our sin typically similar in nature to the sin itself? What does it mean when sins committed "in secret" (12:12) come out into the light? What is significant about David's reply to Nathan (12:13)? From what punishment did God spare David? (See 12:12 and 12:13 notes.) Though God forgave David, why did he still suffer consequences for his sin? (See 11:2 note, subpoint 3 and 13:36 note.) How did David's sin and God's forgiveness affect David's personal relationship with God? (See 12:13 note.) How did it affect David's reputation from then on? In what way did the consequences of David's sin come back on him through his family? (See 13:1 note.) Why didn't David take serious disciplinary action toward Amnon after what he did to his sister? (See 13:21 note.) How can past sins undermine a person's ability to exercise leadership? In what way does 14:14 describe God's character and plan for saving people from sin?
PRAY: Give God thanks for the fact that He exposes sin so you can repent, receive forgiveness and be restored in your relationship with Jesus. Thank Him for mercy in not giving us what our sins deserve.
ACT: Ask God to turn a spiritual searchlight on your life to expose any unconfessed sin. If you become aware of any-or if you already know of anything you've held on to or tried to conceal-admit it to God, ask Him to forgive you, and sincerely turn back to God's way before He has to bring it further into the light.
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