In June 1972, five men were caught in the burglary of a political party’s headquarters. Investigations revealed that the break-in was part of a high-level campaign of political espionage and sabotage.
For 2 years, the incumbent President, who was from the rival party, denied any involvement whatsoever. In reality, however, he had ordered a cover-up of the incident. The Watergate cover-up resulted in the resignation of the President of the United States and the imprisonment of 43 people, including dozens of high-ranking officials.
King David had committed deceit, adultery, and murder. But he conspired to cover up his wrongdoings. So God sent his prophet Nathan to confront and uncover David’s sins (2 Samuel 12:1).
Nathan said, “This is what the Lord says” (v.11). He reminded David that there was a higher authority to whom he, even as the king of Israel, must give an account. It was God who had blessed David. Without Him, David was simply a poor shepherd! (vv.7-8). In his covetousness and pride, David had rejected and despised God as his provider and protector! (v.10).
In grace, God removes the guilt of sin (v.13). But through government, God punishes sin. Although forgiven, David paid a heavy price for his sins: “four sheep for each sheep stolen” (Exodus 22:1; 2 Samuel 12:1-4) and his family would “live by the sword” (v.10). The child of adultery died (v.14), and David’s three other sons died “by the sword” in family feuds (13:29, 18:15; 1 Kings 2:25).
God forgave David (2 Samuel 12:13), so why was he still severely punished? (vv.10-12). Why doesn’t God’s forgiveness make all things well?