|Reflections for this date are based on the following scripture passages:|
|2 Corinthians 12||2 Corinthians 13||Numbers 1||Psalms 51|
David's sin of adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband did not give him the outcome he had anticipated. In exchange for the short period of pleasure he had with Bathsheba, he experienced heartbreak, grief, and a total loss of joy. Was that what he expected when he succumbed to temptation? And what did he expect when he took measures to have Uriah, Bathsheba's husband, killed in battle? No doubt he expected to hide his sin. Along with multitudes of others both before him and since he lived, he thought that as long as his sin was hidden all was good.
We would say David did the honorable thing by marrying Bathsheba and giving a home to the child she conceived through their illicit sexual encounter. And so he did compared to abandoning her and the child. The honorable thing, of course, would have been to avoid the encounter with her all together. Only in hindsight do we see the cause and effect of our actions, both good and bad, and David's actions surrounding these events set in motion effects that plagued him for the duration of his life.
The effect that is the focus of Psalms 51 is that of dealing with the guilt of his sin and the loss of joy that resulted. We should never underestimate the affect guilt has on us, even when we do not admit to having done anything wrong. The primary effect of sin is a break in relationship with our Creator and impacts us in ways we cannot understand nor explain. We do not have to be a "religious" person or even admit there is a God for this break in relationship with our Creator to impact us.
In various ways we attempt to avoid our sin thinking it will not effect us. Most of all we try to avoid it by not admitting we have done anything wrong. Or, we may admit to ourselves that we have done something wrong but we think an act of penance or a good deed or voicing a prayer of "I'm sorry" to God will cover the wrong though no change of heart has occurred. David discovered these things didn't work. Instead, he discovered that God desires "integrity in the inner self." We have to be honest about our actions, both with ourselves and with God, call them what they are and look on them as does God. David could have gone to the temple priests and arranged to have offerings sacrificed for the forgiveness of his sin, and he may have done this, but he came to realize that it is not sacrifice that God wants, but a "broken spirit."
It is the uniting or reuniting of our spirit with God's that He truly desires, and this can occur only when we agree with God concerning our sin and place ourselves totally at His mercy to remove the guilt and the penalty of our sin. And then God can "restore the joy of (His) salvaion" to us.