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Repenting of Unbelief

by David A. DePra

And David sent and inquired after the woman. And one said, Is not

this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?

And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto

him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness:

and she returned unto her house. And the woman conceived, and

sent and told David, and said, I am with child. (II Sam. 11:3-5)

     The story of David and Bathsheba is well known, and there is no

need to repeat it in detail here. David had not only committed

adultery with the wife of one of his loyal soldiers, but had then

deliberately covered it up by seeing to it that he was killed in battle.

Thus, David was guilty of both adultery and murder.

We might imagine that adultery and murder were the worst of

David's sin in this situation. But they were not. David was guilty of

something even worse: Unbelief.

     Unbelief? Sure. For it was David's refusal to keep his heart

open and exposed to God that opened him to the sin. And that

refusal is unbelief. Unbelief is not ignorance or the inability to

believe. It is the refusal to believe -- by closing myself off from God.

By hardening my heart and closing my ears to the Truth.

     Think about it. David had walked with God for years. He knew

God. We are not told what condition his heart was in the night that

he saw Bathsheba on the roof, but he knew what he was about to do

was wrong. He was told directly, "Is not this Bathsheba, the

daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" (II Sam. 11:3) That

should have settled it. David could NOT have her. But it was right

there that David made a choice to turn his face away from God and

do what he knew was wrong. We are told, "And David sent

messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay

with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she

returned unto her house." (II Samuel 11:4)

     It was later that David discovered that Bathsheba had become

pregnant. So he tried to get Uriah to sleep with her so that it would

be assumed that the child belonged to Uriah. But Uriah would not

do so. So David finally had Uriah put on the front lines in battle so

that he would be killed. Adultery and murder.

     Here's the question: What was David thinking all this time?

Where was his relationship with God? What was he praying about?

Didn't it even occur to him that what he was doing was evil?

You bet it occurred to him. In fact, he KNEW what he was doing

was wrong. How can we be sure about this? Simple. David lied.

David tried to cover up what he had done. That PROVES he knew

it was wrong. David had chosen a path of UNBELIEF.

Comfortable With Sin

     It was one thing for David to turn his heart away from God and to

do what he did. But even AFTER he committed adultery and

murder, he still didn't turn his sin to God. We find that once Uriah

was killed that there was a period of mourning. David then took

Bathsheba into his house, and she bore him a son. This means

that probably at least one year had passed since this all began,

and maybe as much as two years or more.

     It was then that the Lord sent Nathan to David. Nathan told David

a story about how a rich man had taken evil advantage of a poor

man. The rich man had taken from the poor man his one small

lamb. David's reaction was that his "anger was greatly kindled

against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the

man that hath done this thing shall surely die. And he shall restore

the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no

pity." (II Samuel 12:5-6)

     Now notice something here: David was completely oblivious to

the fact that this story was about him. Despite the fact that he had

done this evil thing in the eyes of God, it did not occur to him that

Nathan was talking about HIM. Only when Nathan answered and

said to David, Thou art the man," (II Sam. 12:7) did David realize

what was happening.

     There is a big lesson in this for us all. It has to do with getting

comfortable with sin. It has to do with rationalizing away wrong. It

has to do with adjusting the truth to fit ourselves. David had, with

premeditation, done this wicked thing in the eyes of God. But over

the course of time he had so insulated himself from God, that he

was completely blind to his own condition.

     There is a phrase the Bible uses in reference to sin in the book

of Hebrews: The deceitfulness of sin. There we read, "

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of

unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another

daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through

the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we

hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; While it

is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in

the provocation. (Heb. 3:12-15)

     According to this passage, "the deceitfulness of sin" is really "the

deceitfulness of unbelief." After all, unbelief is THE sin. It is THE

sin of hardening my heart against God. THE sin of refusing God's

grace and forgiveness. It is, in fact, THE sin we need to repent of.

"The deceitfulness of sin," or of unbelief," is found in the fact that if

I continue to "harden my heart" in "departing (in my heart) from the

living God," I will eventually become comfortable with my condition.

The "hardening" will be manifested in the fact that nothing God does

to wake me up can any longer make an impression upon me, or

turn me.

     David found himself in such a condition. Yet God was faithful to

send Nathan, as one who would "exhort each other (in this case,

David) daily." David opened his eyes and confessed the Truth.

And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And

said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt

not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great

occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also

that is born unto thee shall surely die. (II Samuel 12:13-14)

     The Truth that we need to see in all of this is that despite the acts

of sin that David committed: Adultery, murder, and lying, that behind

those sins -- indeed, the CAUSE of those sins -- was UNBELIEF. If I

am turned towards God in an attitude of faith, those terrible sins will

not find a home in me. But if I turn away from God in unbelief, then I

am going to fall. Big time. It will just be a matter of how. And if I

continue in my departure from God, I will eventually become quite

comfortable in my condition.

     God says continually, "Repent and believe." But repent of what?

Repent of NOT believing! And if I do, then what happens? I WILL

believe! Repent of unbelief and begin opening yourself to God,

and you will find that all of your sins have been forgiven in Jesus.

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