We talked about David and Bathsheba yesterday with 5th and 6th grade…
…no, I don’t have a death wish.
When I heard this story growing up, I don’t think I got it. I think it was honestly told to me as a warning against sexual sin.
But to focus on the sin itself–whether we talk about the adultery, the murder, the lying–that misses the point completely.
And, as always, a sixth grader pointed it out to me.
When David confesses and repents in the 51st Psalm, he says, “You would be just to punish me.” He knows he deserves everything to be taken away from him-after all, it was God who gave it to him.
David also says, “You don’t desire a simple burnt offering as my sacrifice. What you desire is my heart and spirit to be broken for you–you will never turn that away.”
David knows that, although God could punish him and no one could call him unjust, that God can’t turn away a repentant heart. It is outside of his nature.
Sounds pretty simple, eh? God just requires our heart.
But it sounds freaking scary and outside of our nature.
It is really risky to be vulnerable with God.
It is scary to open our hearts up to anybody, but for some reason, it’s even scarier with the one who made our heart in his own image.
We have this tendency to smooth over our actions and admit they never happened. We move on with our life, and if we feel especially bad, do some sort of “penance” to pay for that sin–say something extra-kind, give extra in the offering plate, make sure we attend church that Sunday, pray more.
But God doesn’t want us to do more. He wants us more.
It’s like we’re back in the Garden of Eden, afraid to be vulnerable with God and let him see the “dirty parts” of us, and so we cover ourselves with fig leaves, thinking he won’t notice.
Because bearing our naked soul is scary.