Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you …”
2 Samuel 13:1
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2 Samuel 12:1-31
In the midst of this truly terrible account, this one exchange between David and Nathan displays a beautiful character trait of our God: He is quick to forgive the one who repents.
Nathan’s story caught pierced David’s heart, both before he knew it was about him, and after. His indignation against the rich man dissolved into shame when he found that he was the thief. And his repentance came swiftly on the heels of that shame.
I love that there is no gap between David’s confession and Nathan’s assurance of forgiveness. “I was wrong” is followed immediately with “You are forgiven.” But we can’t overlook the fact that David’s actions brought consequences on himself and his family.
That same principle is true today. Whatever our sin, God is ready to forgive. But very often, while our soul is comforted by His always-open arms, we still must live with the consequences of our actions.
David did suffer from what he did. He lost his son, and the sword never departed from his house. Yet despite that chastisement, and despite the severity of his sin against God and Uriah, David is still known as being a man after God’s own heart.
The great mystery of God is this: that He loves us and continues to love us, even in the face of our rejection, our disobedience and our failure. We bring down consequences on our own heads, but He is still there to urge us forward and to see past those failures to our true selves, the selves He has created us to be.