God told the Jews that their sin would always find them out (Numbers 32:23). Because of Achan’s secret sin, the anger of the Lord burned against the children of Israel (Joshua 7:1). They began to lose battles. Joshua was confused and began to whine and complain. God’s response was quick and decisive. He said to Joshua: “Get up! Why are you lying on your face? Israel has sinned. For they have even taken some of the accursed things and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff” (Joshua 7:10–11).

One can just hear the rationalization today: But God, is that so horrible a sin? No sin is ever small to a holy God. His righteousness must always be in perfect balance with His justice – always! “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face” (Psalm 89:14).

Achan confessed that he had stolen property (Joshua 7:18–20). Achan was guilty, and he confessed, but sin always has its consequences (Romans 6:23). Achan and his entire family were killed. This seems to be severe punishment for such a seemingly small crime. God’s judgment always fits the crime. This message is now penned in the Bible for a thousand generations to read and heed.

As a young man, David had a heart for God. So much so that God selected this simple shepherd boy to be the king of all Israel. His family produced the line from which the Messiah would come. His throne is the throne upon which our Lord will one day reign. Yet David became a tremendous example of how believers can and do sin and how God disciplines those whom He loves.

There came a time in Israel’s history when all the soldiers went off to war, but David, the warrior king, stayed home. This was not good. One morning he got up early, walked out on his roof, looked across the way, and saw a woman bathing. She was very beautiful. David was overcome with lust. He found out that her name was Bathsheba and that she was the wife of Uriah the Hittite – one of his best soldiers.  

David had the woman brought to him. She bowed before his wishes because he was the king. When she informed him later that she was pregnant with his child, David sent to the battlefield for Uriah. David hoped that her husband would go in to his wife so that Uriah would think that the child was his. Uriah refused, saying that he would not enjoy his home life while his men were fighting.

David was frantic. At his command, Uriah was shipped to the front line of battle where he was killed. Like Achan, David tried everything to cover his sin, but he could not (2 Samuel 11:27).

God sent Nathan the prophet to give David a house call. Nathan gave David this illustration. He said that there was this very wealthy man who had thousands of sheep, but this neighbor had one little lamb that had grown up with his children. A guest came to eat with the rich man, and the rich man stole the little lamb from the poor man to feed his guest. David was furious and lashed out. How dare that man do that! “He shall repay fourfold for the lamb, because he had no pity” (2 Samuel 12:6).

There was probably a long, deafening silence. Nathan said simply and probably quietly, “You are the man” (2 Samuel 12:7). David’s sin had found him out. It always does. David’s confession was simple and sincere. “Against You (God) and You alone have I sinned” (Psalm 51:4a).  Did he not sin against Bathsheba? Yes! Did he not sin against Uriah? Yes! Did he not sin against the entire nation of Israel as their king? Yes! David realized, however, that his sin was against God. He had rebelled against Him, and that led to the domino effect that touched all the other lives. David asked God to purge him from the guilt of his sin, to wash him and make him as white as snow. David cast himself entirely upon God’s grace. There was no arrogance and no prideful attitude. He did not blame others. He took full responsibility. He brought out all the details. He cried out to God for forgiveness (Psalm 51:1-12). David’s greatest desire was for God to restore to him the joy of his salvation. David had not lost his relationship with God, but He had lost his personal fellowship. After his confession, he was forgiven. Forgiven! That is one of the sweetest words in any language. David’s joy returned (Psalm 32:1–6). Stay safe and stay tuned.