“For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.”
II Samuel 12: 12
“Under The Cover of Darkness”
“Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny.”
Are there things I have done in secret that I would not want light shown upon?
Why do I think God brought David’s secret behavior out into the light?
“One leak will sink a ship; and one sin will destroy a sinner.”
“It may be a secret sin on earth, but it is open scandal in heaven.”
Lewis Sperry Chafer
There is an old Latin proverb which states, “Sin can be well guarded, but cannot be free from anxiety.” When I read these words, I thought about David and how he must have felt trying to hide his “secret” tryst with Bathsheba and the subsequent murder of her husband from all the people in his life. Just think for a moment what it was like getting up every morning, worrying about who might find out what had happened. Don’t forget, King Saul was very popular with some of the people. Even after King Saul’s death, there were individuals in Israel who were loyal to him. And there were certainly people within David’s sovereign realm who didn’t show David total loyalty. As we will soon find out, there were whispers around the palace hallways. Sideways glances and raised eyebrows. And there was gossip even back in that day. David’s secret act, behavior he thought he had kept secret, began to leak out.
When Nathan confronted David with all he had done, he reminded David that not only did God see how he had behaved, but as our text states, “You did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.”
Under the cover of darkness, David had “his people” go to Bathsheba’s home and escort her back to the palace. Then before morning, these same “people” dropped Bathsheba back at home. A deed done in darkness, so no one would know.
I always find it interesting to see ads for Las Vegas, a city some call “sin city.” With a theme like, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” and the entertainment hub of the city “coming alive” after dark, we can almost get a picture of how David’s thinking might have led him to believe that, “what happened in the palace, stayed in the palace.” Not so!
If no one else knew what was going on, God did. What’s more, the high position of trust with which David had been entrusted required that David be an example.
Not long ago, I read a piece by a pastor who was unhappy that as he put it, “I’m being held to a higher standard than other people.” I would respond that when any of us accept God’s leading and guidance in our lives, God’s call is to a higher level of service and behavior, not a lower level. God calls us to, as the Bible tells us, “walk in the light,” not the darkness.
Positions of responsibility require their possessors to have behavior of responsibility. As king of Israel, David made decisions that affected the lives of all the people in Israel. He was the person who was respected and admired. And when you have people looking up to you as “God’s anointed,” indeed there is a responsibility not to let them down.
We might say that as individuals we would do well to look to God as our example, not to other humans, and while this is true, it doesn’t undo the great harm a leader of God does when they betray their heavenly Father.
Had actions done in the dark and hidden from human sight been kept covered up, just think how easy it would have been for David’s subjects to think they could also “get away” with doing whatever they liked as long as they kept the act secret.
Sin is sin whether done in secret or in full view. We can call sin an accident but God declares it to be an abomination. I can say I blundered but God tells us that sin is blindness to His will. I can even say sin is a human defect but God calls it a disease. And if the disease of sin is allowed to go unchecked, hidden within glorious palace walls, this toxic disease will destroy all that is good and pure.
Author Jeremiah Burroughs put it best when he wrote, “Take heed of secret sins. They will undo thee if loved and maintained; one moth may spoil the garment; one leak drown the ship; a penknife stab can kill a man as well as a sword; so one sin may damn the soul; nay, there is more danger of a secret sin causing the miscarrying of the soul than open profaneness, because not so obvious to the reproofs of the world; therefore take heed that secret sinnings eat not out good beginnings.”
“What in me is dark
Illumine, what is low raise
“O Lord, forgive what I have been, sanctify what I am, and order what I shall be.”
"Each morning, Lord, I hold out my life to You, an empty vessel for You to fill. I give back to You this gift of a new day. In Your Mercy redeem today’s mistakes and rescue its good intentions, so that what I am may reflect Your life in me.”
Dorothy Valcấrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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