v 13. Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Nathan replied, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin.
Good on you David! We have heard this story so often that the enormity of David’s response might just pass as a casual comment. In reality it is a massive moment of humiliation for David – he had been unmasked and his failure had become apparent. Might he have tried to bluff it out, or claim some powerful kingly right, or even bluntly deny it all – ‘Not me, Gov.’ But no, there is a wonderful frankness and honesty in his response. What could so easily have become a low point in David’s life, with him stuck in an ice-cold crevasse of his own making, is transformed into a spiritual peak of honest confession and renewed acceptance by God. Nathan can announce ‘but the Lord has forgiven you’, and David’s walk in obedience to God is restored.
There is a point in a Church of England prayer book service when people are invited to confess their sin and the minister prays and reminds them:
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who of his great mercy hath promised forgiveness of sins to all them that with hearty repentance and true faith turn unto him; Have mercy upon you; pardon and deliver you from all your sins; confirm and strengthen you in all goodness; and bring you to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
This is a reminder we all need when we are aware of sin in our lives. Pardon and forgiveness are promised to those who genuinely repent, as David did.
Repentant sinners are not abandoned by God, but are restored into fellowship with him.