It was inevitable—and for those of you not there yet, just wait. I remember going with my mom to an out-of-town dermatologist. Among other things, she was concerned about the bruises on her hands and arms. Her skin was becoming more fragile and she wanted to know what she could do. With a straight face, the doctor offered this advice: wear full body armor or make really wide turns around things. Unlike me, mom didn’t see the humor in his suggestions. Now I’m wondering if this special protective gear might be offered somewhere on-line.
King David had a similar experience, not with skin damage associated with aging, but with a condition that affected and damaged his heart. It, too, was inevitable. Almost everyone knows the story of David and Bathsheba and their baby’s death. David needed damage control and we read in 2 Samuel 12 that the “doctor” made a house call. Nathan the prophet had advice just for David in the form of a parable.
As the story goes, unexpected travelers came to visit a certain rich man and he provided a meal for them. The rich man had “a great many flocks and herds”, but his poor neighbor “had nothing except one little ewe lamb” that he had raised and nourished and which was “like a daughter to him”. That lamb is what the rich man took for his main dish. Samuel tells us that when David heard what the rich man had done, his anger “burned greatly” and he declared that this man should die. Nathan agreed, but affirmed that because of what David did with Bathsheba, he was that man.
Nathan explains God’s view of the matter as verse 7 begins “Thus says the Lord God of Israel…” and in response, David immediately declares in verse 13, “I have sinned against the Lord.” (Psalm 51 is a fuller expression of David’s confession.) David’s sin was inevitable. Maybe not this particular one, but sin in general because “all have sinned….” (Romans 3:23). David’s heart was bruised and damaged by his unrighteous thoughts and actions.
In verse 13 we also see God’s gracious forgiveness. Because of God’s love for those He created in His own image, He provided a “cure” for death, the consequence of sin. Jesus, God’s Son, the perfect Lamb, died to make eternal life with God available to all who believe. Acknowledging the inevitability of sin and our inability to save ourselves, those who accept God’s plan of redemption through the blood of Jesus are forever in God’s family. By faith David knew this and accepted God’s grace.
Can we avoid Satan’s attacks and prevent sin’s damage to our hearts? Remember the advice given to my mom? Ephesians 6:13 begins “Therefore, take up the full armor of God….” Really? Full body armor for believers? Absolutely. And there are numerous verses that command believers to avoid, watch out for, steer clear of and maintain your distance from sin. Sounds like “make really wide turns” to me.
When we don’t take the precautions we should, the damage to believers is inevitable. There are times when I forget the doctor’s advice and look down to see bruises on my hands and arms. It’s the same with sin. Forget to follow God’s commands and immediately our relationship with God is damaged and in many instances the bruises are visible to those around us. Sin is avoidable, but living in this fallen world, it’s also inevitable. That’s why God’s grace gives us 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins”, He is faithful to forgive.