That is an ungodly response to pride. Today, I want to contrast how another godly King, although caught in ungodly and grievous sin, responds when that sin in confronted. Again I want to call and encourage you (and myself) to hear the truth and heed the voice of the Spirit of God from His word.
2 Samuel 11 records how King David, a man after God’s own heart, saw Bathsheba bathing as he admired the kingdom from his rooftop. He desired her, and exerted his Kingly authority to have her physically. After learning she was pregnant, he tried to cover it up by manipulating the circumstances in the life of her husband. When he didn’t cooperate because of his honest character, David again manipulated the circumstances and abused his authority and had Uriah killed.
David was guilty of adultery and murder! Although the text doesn’t explicitly say so, David was probably admiring the Kingdom on his rooftop in a spirit of pride. He saw this beautiful woman, and in his pride, he did whatever he wanted in order to have her. He was King, and he wouldn’t be refused. He thought that this authority would enable him to manipulate the situation and cover up his sins. However, he forgot the most important detail, God saw everything ( 2 Sam. 11:27).
2 Samuel records the exposure of this King’s sins. Nathan, the Prophet of God, was sent as God’s mouthpiece or representative to the King. Nathan told David a parable about a wealthy man that stole from a poor man. As David heard the story, he became enraged at such an arrogant, selfish act. He was so blinded by his own self-righteousness and hardness of heart that he couldn’t even read through the lines and realize that Nathan was describing him!
Nathan had to put it plainer. David needed to see the “handwriting on the wall.” David was the man from the parable. God had blessed him, and if that wasn’t enough, David would have been given more blessings by God. David had despised the word of God and committed murder. He had stolen Uriah’s wife, and now he would suffer the consequences.
How did David respond? “It was Bathsheba’s fault. If she wouldn’t have been bathing outside, I wouldn’t have seen her and been tempted. She should’ve said no to me. After all, I am a man. Who do you think you are Nathan? I am the King. How dare you talk to me like this? What about everyone else in the Kingdom? They sin also. Why don’t you go confront them?”
Those, and many similar excuses, would be what most people in our day would devise to cast the blame on others. David said, “I have sinned against the Lord.” He didn’t try to dodge the issue anymore. He assumed responsibility and claimed his sin was against the One that matters most.
I want to quote two verses from Psalm 51. This is the famous Psalm of David following this incident. While the whole Psalm is rich in content and instruction, notice verses 3-4:
“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.”
David confessed his sins. He called these acts what they were. They were not mistakes or someone else’s fault. He admitted again that He sinned against God. What David did was evil, not simply an error in judgment. He understood and confessed that God was completely just in all that David endured because of his rebellion and evil acts. God is totally blameless in everything.
Understand that God wasn’t exonerated just because David said so. God was blameless regardless of what David confessed or acknowledged. However, David’s acknowledgement was important for him. This paved the way for him to completely accept all of the consequences for his sins. David was truly humbled.
I will again pose the question. How would you react if someone calls you out for your constant anger? What about your impatience, worry, fixation on money or vanity, etc? Do you respond like Uzziah and become angry, or do you say like David, “I have sinned?”
Selfishness and self-defensiveness fueled by pride will become angry and lash out at the one speaking truth to you. Pride will rush to blame others and defend self at all costs. Pride will deny the truth and call attention on faults or failures of others so that the spotlight isn’t glaring on it. Pride doesn’t want to be broken.
Humility accepts brokenness. Humility does not rush to defend self and blame others. Humility rejoices in the truth and is grateful to the one bringing the truth.
Now, how will you respond when you hear, “You are the man”?