2 Samuel 11:18-27
18Then Joab sent and told David all the news about the fighting. 19And he instructed the messenger, “When you have finished telling all the news about the fighting to the king, 20then, if the king’s anger rises, and if he says to you, ‘Why did you go so near the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? 21Who killed Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Did not a woman cast an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?’ then you shall say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.’ ” 22So the messenger went and came and told David all that Joab had sent him to tell. 23The messenger said to David, “The men gained an advantage over us and came out against us in the field, but we drove them back to the entrance of the gate. 24Then the archers shot at your servants from the wall. Some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.” 25David said to the messenger, “Thus shall you say to Joab, ‘Do not let this matter displease you, for the sword devours now one and now another. Strengthen your attack against the city and overthrow it.’ And encourage him.” 26When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she lamented over her husband. 27And 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.
Back in the 1980s, there was a show on TV called The A-Team. One of the main characters was John 'Hannibal' Smith, the leader of a group of Vietnam veterans who went around the world righting wrong. It always involved an elaborate scheme of some sort and lots of dynamite and guns. Hannibal’s favorite line, quoted almost weekly, was “I love it when a plan comes together.” That must have been how David felt as he saw his plan for Uriah’s demise come to fruition so that he could marry Bathsheba and claim the child conceived in adultery. He probably felt pretty smug. He had gotten away with adultery and murder. Who would ever be the wiser? What is so odd about this is that he seems to have completely forgotten the God that he loved. Of course, God isn’t going to simply let this go. But that’s for tomorrow.
The whole concept of getting away with sin is rather ridiculous. Just because those around you don’t know about your failings doesn’t exonerate you from their consequences. Another famous story, written by Oscar Wilde (a renowned atheist by the way) and printed in 1890, tells of a hedonistic man name Dorian Gray. Dorian is enthralled by his own beauty and sells his soul in order that the painting would age rather than his physical body. Dorian’s wish is granted and the portrait ages and becomes a hideous representation of the very black and sin-filled soul of that possesses him. Finally Dorian is so horrified by his own life that he plunges a knife (which he had previously used to kill another person) into the portrait, thus killing himself. Up until he actually gazed upon the terrifying portrait, he had been so very smug and self-satisfied. But sin had indeed taken its toll and showed with horrifying intensity with every stroke of the painter’s brush.
Sin marks us as well; especially when we think no one else knows what we’ve done! Those hidden, secret sins leave a destructive and painful mark, for they are never hidden from the sight of a holy and righteous God. As we will learn in the next chapter, God pursues those who sin willfully and secretly. He doesn’t let us just get away with it. Even those secret sins demand repentance and the forgiveness that only the blood of Jesus can provide.