“You acted in secret, but I will do this before all Israel in broad daylight.” 2 Samuel 12:12.
God spoke these words to King David when He confronted David about his sins with Bathsheba. David had committed his sins in secret– his affair with Bathsheba occurred in the middle of the night, and David covered up the murder of Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, by having Uriah killed in the heat of battle. David went to great lengths to see that these actions remained secret. He did everything within his power to keep word of his deeds from getting out. But God sees everything that we do. His light penetrates even the deepest and darkest of cover-ups. We cannot cover up our sins from God.
As the old saying goes, “it’s not the crime that gets you, it’s the cover up.” This is true in David’s case. Had David gone straight to God and confessed his sins to the Lord, David’s punishment might not have been so severe. But, because David tried so hard to keep his sins secret from everyone, including God, he faced severe consequences. God was going to exposes David’s actions to all of Israel; everyone would know what he had done. On top of that, David’s family would suffer the consequences of his sin. They would be plagued by turmoil and strife and would be publicly disgraced in front of all of Israel. Because of David’s sin, his family would tear itself apart. Shortly after the incident with Bathsheba, David’s son, Amnon, raped his half-sister, Tamar (who was David’s daughter by another woman.) Because of this vile offense, Tamar’s brother, Absalom (who was also David’s son,) kills Amnon (who was also his half-brother.) But the drama didn’t end there. Absalom revolted against his father, David, and he declared himself king of Israel. To validate himself as king, Absalom began to sleep with David’s concubines. There was a terrible war between armies loyal to David and armies loyal to Absalom; the entire kingdom was engaged in a brutal civil war. Finally, Absalom was killed by one of David’s generals and the war ended,but David never really overcame the emotional toll of having to wage war against his son. Grief plagued him the rest of his life.
This was a heavy price to pay for a midnight rendezvous and the subsequent cover-up, but that’s the thing about sin– very often, it hurts people who had nothing to do with the act itself. None of David’s children were involved with his actions with Bathsheba and Uriah, yet they ended up paying the price for it. When we attempt to conceal our sins from God, we are inviting harm on those close to us. Look how often we see this playing out in our world today. Every time you look at the news, there is another scandal of one sort of another that is ripping a family apart, or causing someone’s reputation to be ruined. And, more often than not, the individuals at the center of these controversies were caught as result of their attempt to conceal their actions. In many cases, most of these individuals could have salvaged much of their reputation, and possibly avoided public scrutiny and humiliation, had they come clean after committing their sins. But, just like David, these people tried to conceal their actions, and they, along with innocent parties, wind up paying a hefty price because of it.
God still demands righteousness as much as He did in David’s time. But when we fall short of His righteousness, as we will do, we must not try to conceal our actions. We must humble ourselves and admit our sin to God immediately. We must confess our sins to God and face his loving correction. We cannot risk hurting those near and dear to us just so we can try to get away with our sinful actions. God will correct our actions one way or another, but we must accept the consequences of our sins before it brings grief and heartache to those we love.