David Admits His Wrongs — Step 5

STEP 5: We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5:16

When we find David in 2 Samuel chapter 11, he is hardly behaving like a man after God’s own heart. (See 1 Samuel 13:14.) David is having an affair with Bathsheba and in an effort to keep it secret, he also arranges to have her husband Uriah killed while off at war.

The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.” 2 Samuel 12:1-4 (NIV)

David being a just king becomes enraged and decrees that the rich man must make good to the poor man. That is when Nathan points out that David is the rich man and the story was used to illustrate his transgressions against Uriah. It is then that David confesses his sin to Nathan and to God just like a Fifth Step.

We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) To begin the healing process, we first must be forgiven and to do so, we must admit our wrongs. When we acknowledge those wrongs in the presence of a trusted advisor, like David did with Nathan, it brings our sins into the light so that God can deal with them.

David still had to deal with the repercussions of his sin. God was clear with David that he would still have consequences for his wrongs. Admitting our bad choices and asking for forgiveness does not mean that we escape the fallout of our sin. It is through these consequences we can grow deeper in our faith, build our character, teach us humility, and strengthen our commitment to lead a healthier life. It’s through Step 5 that we can see firsthand God’s grace and love for us in action.

David’s Key Verse for Step 5

Then David exclaimed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord!” Nathan replied to David, “Yes, and the Lord has forgiven your sin. You are not going to die.” 2 Samuel 12:13 NET

Examine your heart

  1. God brought Nathan forward for David’s admission. Was it easy or difficult for you to locate a person for your Fifth Step?
  2. God did not remove the consequences of David’s sin. Looking back on some of your wrongs, do you believe the repercussions of your choices were important in the healing process?
  3. Admitting the exact nature of our wrongs is a humbling process that can deepen our faith. Why is admitting this to God so important?

Learn More

This story comes from the chapter 11 and 12 of 2 Samuel. The book of 2 Samuel is located on page 387 of the second edition of The Life Recovery Bible. The book of 2 Samuel tells many powerful stories of King David and offers the following recovery themes: Justice with Mercy, Recovery Follows Failure, Accepting Reality, and The Seriousness of Sin.

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