FEBRUARY 27, 2022
HIDING SIN UNDER A ROCK
Pastor Jean Owens 607-273-5682 firstname.lastname@example.org
I am one of three children. I had two brothers. My older brother, Paul, who was seven years older than me and my younger brother, Alan, who is two years younger.
One day, I heard my older brother tell my Mom that he was going outside for a while and could she make sure Alan and I didn’t go into his room and monkey with the model airplane he had just finished building. He said the paint was drying on it and he looked directly at me and said they always go in my room and break my stuff.
I took offense. I was probably around six years old. I waited for my brother to leave. I got my younger brother to sneak upstairs with me to my brother’s bedroom. I found the airplane and grabbed some of the bottles of paint in his cupboard. The war was on.
I gave Alan the paint brush and paint and got him to go to town repainting the plane. It was made of balsa wood so the airplane didn’t fair too well with the renovations. I slipped the damaged plane back on the shelf and away we went.
When Paul got up to his room all hell broke loose. He came flying downstairs and immediately accused me of being the master of destruction. Not me I said. It was Alan. Alan didn’t deny it. He was guilty as charged and was disciplined for the invasion. I got off scot free. Or so I thought.
The years went by. Paul passed away at an early age due to health issues. He was only in his 50’s.
At the Memorial Service in his home church the time came for sharing memories. Wouldn’t you know. My brother Alan stood up and talked about something he had done to his brother’s airplane years before that he really regretted.
That nasty little thing came squirming out from under that rock at the worst possible time. How could the timing of such an event be so wrong? Or was it wrong?
David and Goliath. We all know the story. David saved his country by doing battle with the giant Goliath and slaying him which was against all odds since he was a mere boy. Then came David’s turn to fall.
David and Bathsheba 2 Samuel 11:1-27:
11 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
The first cause of sin is idleness. It was not a requirement that David lead his men into battle. His presence was not necessary when an Israelite victory was certain. But now he had time on his hands apparently with little to do. Idle hands are the devil’s handiwork.
2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. Resting during the heat of the sun was not uncommon, but resting until the evening is an indication of too much idleness.
From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3 and David sent someone to find out about her.
The second cause of sin is a wandering eye. The city of Jerusalem was hilly and king David’s palace was on one of the hills. The houses had flat roofs. It gave the homeowner’s additional space and it also allowed the residents to catch the evening breezes. So, as David walked around on the roof his house, he saw a woman bathing and she was very beautiful. If David had inadvertently seen her and immediately looked away, that would have been the end of the story.
But David was captivated by this beautiful woman. We know that to be the case because “David sent and inquired about the woman.”
The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” As soon as David heard that she was married, he should have stopped pursuing her. David himself was already married with several wives.
4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home. 5 The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.” David’s sin was complete. Not everyone knows about all our sin. We each have sins about which no one else knows. But a consequence of sin is that more often than we like other people know about it. The Bible says, “…and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). All sin has consequences. Sometimes those consequences show up rather quickly. Sometimes they may not show up in our lifetime.
When he learned that she was pregnant, he should have immediately repented and sought forgiveness from God, Bathsheba, Uriah, and his people. But, he did what so often happens: he tried to cover-up his sin.
6 So David sent this word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent him to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going. 8 Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So, Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him. 9 But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house.
10 David was told, “Uriah did not go home.” So, he asked Uriah, “Haven’t you just come from a military campaign? Why didn’t you go home?” 11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my commander Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!”
12 Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So, Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 At David’s invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master’s servants; he did not go home. 14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15 In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”
16 So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were. 17 When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.
18 Joab sent David a full account of the battle. 19 He instructed the messenger: “When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle, 20 the king’s anger may flare up, and he may ask you, ‘Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you know they would shoot arrows from the wall? 21 Who killed Abimelek son of Jerub-Besheth? Didn’t a woman drop an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you get so close to the wall?’ If he asks you this, then say to him, ‘Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.’”
22 The messenger set out, and when he arrived he told David everything Joab had sent him to say. 23 The messenger said to David, “The men overpowered us and came out against us in the open, but we drove them back to the entrance of the city gate. 24 Then the archers shot arrows at your servants from the wall, and some of the king’s men died. Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.”
25 David told the messenger, “Say this to Joab: ‘Don’t let this upset you; the sword devours one as well as another. Press the attack against the city and destroy it.’ Say this to encourage Joab.” 26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27 After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the Lord.
If David, a man after God’s own heart, can fall into sin, is there any hope for any of us? David’s sin was great, just as our sin is also great. However, Jesus’ obedience is greater yet. His death covers the penalty for all of David’s and our sin.
Back to the Memorial Service. I interrupted my brother as he was speaking. It only took him a second to realize. I had set him up. I confessed. What I had done as a child, years before, something I hadn’t thought about for many years, resurfaced.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.