“I’m so sorry. I wish I had never done that. It was wrong. I hurt you. I hurt your family. I disappointed my friends. I actually disappointed my own family. I let down other Christians. And I am sure non-Christians were surprised as well. No matter what way I look at it – it was wrong from every angle.”

Sometimes, in our deep regret over something we have done, we overlook ‘who’ we really offended. We list all the people with whom we have relationships. We can be full of remorse over our wrong word or deed. But who did I really hurt the most?

King David, a married man, looked with lust at the wife of one of his top military men. Tragically, he didn’t flee the temptation but gave-in to the impulses that demand immediate self-gratification. At that point, it didn’t matter that beautiful Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah the Hittite, one of the King’s 30 military commanders. He wanted her – period. He sent his staff to bring her over to the palace and the rest is tragic history. No sin will be hidden forever but some sins are exposed quickly. It wouldn’t take long for the news of her pregnancy to spread.

King David devised a way to legitimize his relationship with Bathsheba. He darkly connived to have her husband become an honourable war fatality. He ordered his top commander to place Uriah in the riskiest line of attack. Sure enough, he died. David and Bathsheba then were married.

It really happened, and it is a very dark chapter in the life of King David – a man who loved his God but failed miserably on this occasion.

King David hurt and disappointed many. He betrayed his own wife. He violated Bathsheba by using his powerful position as King to have her stoop to adultery. He did wrong against Uriah the faithful man – faithful to the King and to his wife. Imagine what the palace staff must have thought when he ordered them to bring Bathsheba to his room. Disillusioned and disappointed in their king – to say the least! He held a position of power and who would dare question the king! Think about how he hurt his own family and Bathsheba’s extended family. What did his top commander think when David ordered him to place Uriah in the most dangerous position on the battlefield?

All the above were hurt by David’s act of adultery and murder. But who did David really hurt? Ultimately David’s sin was against His own God. It’s one thing to say ‘sorry’ horizontally. But spiritual restoration only comes when we acknowledge our sin was ultimately against God Himself.

The King’s prayer of confession, repentance and restoration is found in Psalm 51.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified when You speak, and blameless when You judge. Psalm 51:2-4

Any kind of sin in my life is first and foremost against GOD. As a Christian, I will never enjoy fellowship as a child in God’s family, until I acknowledge and confess that my sin was against God Himself. As much as I need to right my wrongs horizontally, my most urgent concern should be the One I offended vertically.

Are you right with God today?

Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.

Warmly in Christ
Peter Ramsay

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