“Then David said unto Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ And Nathan said unto David, ‘The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.'” (2 Samuel 12:13)
Have you ever been really angry with someone, and then been forced to tell that person right away that you will forgive him or her? Maybe your brother left your favorite toy out in the rain overnight and ruined it, or maybe your sister borrowed your favorite sweater without asking and spilled spaghetti all over it. Then–as mothers tend to do–your mother insists that your sibling should apologize, and that you must forgive as soon as an apology is offered. Has that ever happened to you? If so, you know how hard it can be to be able to get over something and forgive someone right away.
No one has ever hurt you more than you hurt God every time you sin. Whether by speaking unkindly to someone, lying to your parents, or even just daydreaming about doing some sin that you might not really ever do, you are sinning against the God of all heaven and earth. And just as it would be a much greater evil to call your mother “stupid,” than it would be to call your cat “stupid,” any sin you do against the God of heaven is far more evil than anything that anyone else has ever done against you.
Yet God is quick to forgive , and He does not have to have anyone tell Him to do it. David, one of the godliest men who ever lived, committed a dreadful sin when he took Bathsheba, another man’s wife, for himself and had her husband murdered. When confronting David about his sin, the prophet Nathan told him a story about a poor man who had one little sheep and made that sheep his pet and best friend. Nathan said that poor man loved his sheep so much that he would let her come to the table with him and would feed her from his own plate. He would also let his little sheep sleep in his bed at night. Nathan said the poor man treated his little sheep as though she were his own daughter. But one day a rich man needed to prepare a great feast for a visitor. Rather than slaughtering one of the many sheep he had in his own flock, he took the poor man’s beloved pet sheep and slaughtered her for the meal.
Naturally, David was horrified at the story, but he was humbled when Nathan pointed out that it was David himself who had done this very thing when he took Bathsheba for himself. One cannot help but be amazed that, although God still punished David for his sin, He immediately forgave David .
It is no accident that in 1 John 2:1, when the Holy Spirit writes, “These things write I unto you, that ye sin not,” He follows that warning right away with a promise: “And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” God never wants us to sin, but for the times we do sin–He is quick and ready to forgive us. He is so ready to forgive us that He even prepared for our forgiveness ahead of time. He sent His Son to die for us even before we ever committed our first sins. What an amazing, forgiving God!
God is quick to forgive a repenting sinner.
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