A person of authority can say, do, and have anything they want, right? If you are the boss, the owner, the leader, or the ruler, you get to make the rules, right? Even spiritual leaders get to live by a different standard, right? Wrong!

King David, the “man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14), proves to be anything but godly when he lusts for another man’s wife and commits adultery with her leading to pregnancy. In a classic case of cover-up, he brings the honorable husband of Bathsheba, Uriah, home from war, makes him drunk, and encourages him to be with his wife. When Uriah refuses, saying, “I will not do this thing” (2 Samuel 11:11), David returns him to battle where he is certain to be killed. The king then takes Bathsheba to be his wife, “but the thing that David had done displeased the Lord” (vs. 27).

Enter Nathan, the man of God, who tells the king a parable how a rich man has taken all that a poor man possesses. David’s anger is so great he exclaims, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die” (12:6). What follows are the haunting words of the prophet that would send the king to his knees, “You are the man!” (vs. 7) Filled with godly sorrow, David makes a confession, “I have sinned against the Lord” (vs. 13). Though forgiven, Israel’s greatest king would suffer the consequences of his sin for the rest of his life.

Nowhere does David pour out his heart to God more than he does in Psalm 51. With heart-wrenching yet eloquent statements, he confesses his sin (vs. 1-6), he pleads for God’s cleansing (vs. 7-12), and he concludes the psalm by consecrating his life to the will of God (vs. 13-19). The story of David has brought both sorrow and hope to the heart of sinners for three thousand years. It is a reminder that no one is above or beyond the law of God, but it also reminds us that no one is beyond the reach of God’s mercy when we truly repent of our sins.

Today, I will…read Psalm 51, remembering my own transgressions while rejoicing that God’s grace is greater than all my sin.