?August 2, 2009
Proper 13
2 Samuel 11:26-272 Samuel 12:1-13

The cookies seemed to disappear more quickly than they should. The mother suspected that her 5-year-old was developing skills that would serve him well in FBI covert ops. She asked him if he was taking cookies when he shouldn’t. He shrugged his shoulders and didn’t answer.
She began her own covert operations. She set the sting with fresh chocolate chip cookies, purposely putting them on the counter to let that warm, sweet aroma fill the house. She reinforced to her son that he was not to eat these cookies. She let them cool, put them in the jar and went about her business in an adjacent room. It wasn’t long before she heard the faint sound of the cookie jar lid being slowly lifted. She positioned herself to watch her son stuff a cookie into his mouth. She waited and then stepped into the kitchen as he swallowed the last bite.
“Did you just eat a cookie?” Holding up his hand as if to make his lie truthful, he swallowed and shook his head “no.” His mother looked at his hands covered with cookie crumbs and looked at him. “Now, tell me if you have been eating cookies…”
What do you do when you are caught in a sin? We all sin, and in various ways God points out our sin. How do you respond? If you were the 5-year-old with cookie crumbs on your hand, would you shake your head “no”? Would you say you were just counting the cookies? How about saying that you didn’t know you weren’t supposed to eat them? In this passage God is telling us how we should respond when we’ve been caught in sin.
David’s evil sin, described in chapter 11, is now confronted. In a tidy literary unit that begins with God sending Nathan to David in verse 1 and ending with Nathan leaving David in verse 15, God shows us how to react when we’ve been caught in sin.

I. God’s Covert Ops (2 Samuel 12:1-4)
God in His wisdom chose to confront David through his emotions. Nathan tells a story about a man who owns only one special lamb, which was stolen out of blatant greed. Given David’s background of being a shepherd, it is understandable that he reacts emotionally. Nathan doesn’t call for a judgment; but in anger, David gives it.

II. God Catches David (2 Samuel 12:5-12)
David’s condemnation to death of the greedy man is turned upon him with Nathan’s words that nail him to the wall, “You are the man.” Nathan pushes the nail in more deeply as he describes that David had everything but still wanted more. He took it from Uriah. David’s sin began with greed and escalated to adultery and murder. David is standing there with cookie crumbs all over his hands and mouth as he listens to the uncovering of his sin and the listing of the consequences that would follow. So what is his response? How do we respond when God nails our sin on the wall through His Word, a sermon, a song or by just bringing us to our senses? Perhaps as you hear this, there is an “evil thing” in your past that God has brought freshly to your mind. What does God want us to do when we are caught? What are you going to do?

III. David Confesses His Sin and Is Forgiven (2 Samuel 12:13)
This cant’ be. How could God just forgive him? Though I am hesitant to quickly run to the New Testament to interpret the Old, this forgiveness ultimately came through Christ’s death and resurrection. Though David couldn’t fully grasp those future events, he understood that he had sinned against God. When he saw the crumbs on his hands he submitted to God. With a simplicity equal to the direct accusation, “You are the man!” he confesses, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
The consequences of David’s sins were disastrous to his own family and to the nation; but because of his trust in God, expressed through his submission, he was forgiven. When we see the crumbs of our sin clinging to our life, let’s submit to God and confess that our sin is against Him.

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