Monday, May 30, 2016

Proper 5 C - 2 Samuel 11:26 - 12:15

“Each one is tempted when, by one’s own evil desire, one is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:14-15) David is not bewitched by Bathsheba’s beauty as much as he is consumed by his own evil desire and when his desire gives birth to sin he multiples it by killing Uriah. The story that leads up to Nathan’s “you are the man” details David’s desperation to hide the consequence of his adultery. If Uriah had been more like David and slept with Bathsheba the plan would have succeeded. Of course sooner or later someone would have noticed that Uriah’s boy looked a lot like the King. When the righteous will not cooperate with the schemes of the wicked the only solution is to kill the righteous one. Nathan sent by the Lord is given the unenviable task of speaking truth to power which is why he comes through the back door and tells a story of injustice before identifying David as the villain. That David can become so incensed at Nathan’s story of a rich man taking a poor man’s only lamb and not connect the dots speaks of sin’s power of self-deception. David, a man after God’s own heart, has broken God’s heart and in continuing to live as if nothing happened David is as dead as Uriah. The power to deceive self is why the accusation “you are the man” is a judgment that is actually good news for David, for though he suffers the penalty of sin he is restored to life. It is the same for us when Nathans sent by the Lord tell the truth about our infidelity, as all sin is unfaithfulness towards God. In the naming of our sin the Word that forgives is found for the One who was more righteous than Uriah, whose heart melted like wax within him as he hung upon the cross, recreates in us a clean heart and renews within us a right spirit. (Psalm 51)

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