Have you ever done anything wrong? Have you ever done something stupid that you regret? Have you hurt someone close to you because of your own selfish choices? I have. It is not easy to talk about and I can’t imagine that anyone wants to revisit these moments of failure. There are times we fail to measure up to even our own standards of right and wrong. Sometimes our bad choices pile up to the point that relationships are destroyed. Have you ever lost a friendship or become estranged from family because the trust was broken too many times?
God provided a standard that he laid out in just a few rules to show us a path of living righteously. Those 10 rules come in two parts. 1-4 are rules for our relationship with Him. 5-10 are rules for our relationship with our family, friends, passersby, and enemies. Let’s look at those last six rules quickly to see how we measure up to God’s standards and evaluate how we have failed those around us.
Exodus 20:12-17 MSG
5. Honor your father and mother.
6. No murder.
7. No adultery.
8. No stealing.
9. No lies about your neighbor.
10. No lusting after your neighbor’s house—or wife or servant or maid or ox or donkey. Don’t set your heart on anything that is your neighbor’s.
#5 Have you ever been disrespectful to your parents?
#6 Have you ever hated someone and then killed them? Hopefully the answer is no, but if you have hated someone in your heart God’s standard says that you have broken this rule.
Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 1 John 3:15 ESV
#7 Have you ever committed adultery? Of course not some of you would say… But Jesus tells us that God’s standard is that even looking with lust upon another person is enough to break this rule in God’s eyes.
But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:28 ESV
#8 Have you ever stolen anything? Be honest with yourself, even if it is something small or intangible?
#9 Have you ever lied?
#10 Have you ever wanted something that someone else had and thought about how you could get it or wished they did not have that something?
If you are a normal person and are anything like me then you have broken every one of those rules and you have broken them over and over. Are you familiar with the history of King David? Read his story in 2 Samuel 11. King David is the leader of a people, who loves God, and is loved by God. He is blessed with every material possession. David a good person sinned and then did more evil to cover up what he had done. As King he ordered a woman that he lusted after to visit him (#7,#8,#10). She became pregnant and to cover this up he called her husband, Uriah, home from war in order to get him to go home and be with his wife so that when it is discovered that she is pregnant everyone would think that it was Uriah’s child (#9). Uriah who is an honorable man refused to go home to his wife when all the soldiers were still at war where he felt he should be. So King David did an even more terrible thing. He sent this man back to war with orders to the General to make sure that the Uriah would be placed into a battle where it was guaranteed that he would be killed (#6). King David who is a good king almost overnight breaks five commandments because of one selfish action.
When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she lamented over her husband. And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord. 2 Samuel 11:26-27 ESV
While I do not have the power of a kingdom at my disposal to act on my selfishness I am still a great sinner based on God’s standards. I am guilty because I have broken all those same commands in different ways. If you are honest and reflective on this you should agree that you are in the same boat with me because the human condition in this matter is universal.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23 ESV
I have displeased the Lord just as King David displeased the Lord. What Judgment did you pass on King David? That same judgment is due to yourself as well. Remember that if you are honest then you have admitted breaking the same rules that King David broke.
So where does that leave us? Like King David we have sinned and have been judged. What recourse do we have? I recommend the same path King David took and is recorded for us in Psalm 32…
Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment. For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. Psalm 32:1-7 NLT
Recognize your guilt before God. Confess your sins to him. Stop trying to hide and pretend that you have done nothing wrong. God forgave King David of a horrible string of sins. He will forgive you as well. In fact that is why God became a man in the body of Jesus to take the judgment of sin on our behalf. Act now as David wrote “let all the godly pray to you while there is still time”. Now is the time of mercy and forgiveness before judgment comes.