The Mess and Mercy of Being Caught in Sin

7304614700_104fa308f5_bWe’ve all been there. Heart racing. Eyes bugging. Sweat dripping down your forehead. That oh-no feeling of getting caught doing something you shouldn’t be doing. When I was in 4th grade, I used to make fun of my Sunday School teacher. It was awful! I made fun of the way he talked. My parents heard me make fun of him one day at home and told me to never do it again. Well, one day at church I was making fun of my teacher in the hallway before Sunday School started. As I went through my disrespectful skit, my friends went from loud laughing to scary silence. The look in their eyes told me everything I needed to know. My teacher was right behind me! I was caught.

While David’s sin with Bathsheba and Uriah was much more serious than making fun of my Sunday School teacher, he was also caught and called out in his sin. David tried to cover his sin with Bathsheba by having her husband “accidently killed” in battle. Anytime you try to cover your own sin, you will only dive even deeper into sin. It’s kind of like when you are eating chips and salsa on the couch. Maybe you’re watching a movie, get distracted, and spill some salsa on the couch. Quickly, you try to cover the mess with a pillow. Instead of hiding the mess, you have only made it worse. Now, the couch and the pillow are covered in salsa. Not that I have any experience with this or anything! While David was trying to hide and cover his sin, the Lord who sees all things planned to call him out and deal with his sin.

The Lord sent Nathan the prophet to David. Nathan called David out in his sin by telling him a story about a rich man who had flocks upon flocks of sheep and a poor man who only had one little lamb that was like a family pet. A traveler came to visit the rich man, and he wanted to have a cookout with some delicious lamb. But instead of going out to get one of his thousands of lambs, he took the poor man’s one and only family pet to cook for his guest. Now, David assumed this story was true, so he was really, really angry with the rich man. He said that the rich man deserved to die for being so selfish and cruel to the poor man. David didn’t yet know that he was caught in his sin and he was being called out in his sin.

No one enjoys being caught in sin. It isn’t pleasant. I felt awful when my teacher caught me making fun of him. I’ve never wanted to be invisible more than in that moment. Do you think David enjoyed being caught and called out in his sin? Do you like being caught in sin? It hurts. But nothing was better for me and my heart than getting caught and called out in my sin. Nothing was better for David than to have someone like Nathan confront him in his sin. And nothing is better for you than to have someone catch you in sin and correct you by pointing you to Christ who alone can sufficiently cover your sin. Even though it hurts when they do it, you should thank God if you have parents or friends who love you enough to stop you in your sin and send you running to Christ.


Mathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is Associate Pastor for Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He is the author of Come to the Well: 50 Meditations to Fuel Your Joy in God (Westbow Press, 2016). He is a M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew is married to his high school sweetheart, Erica. Mathew and Erica live in Tupelo with their son, Jude. You can follow him on Twitter @mat_gilbert.

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