Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 147

One Sin Often Forces Another, May 20

And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die. 2 Samuel 12:5.

The Bible has little to say in praise of mortals. Little space is given to recounting the virtues of even the best men and women who have ever lived. This silence is not without purpose; it is not without a lesson. All the good qualities that people possess are the gift of God; their good deeds are performed by the grace of God through Christ....

It was the spirit of self-confidence and self-exaltation that prepared the way for David's fall.... According to the customs prevailing among Eastern rulers, crimes not to be tolerated in subjects were uncondemned in the king; the monarch was not under obligation to exercise the same self-restraint as the subject. All this tended to lessen David's sense of the exceeding sinfulness of sin.... As soon as Satan can separate the soul from God, the only Source of strength, he will seek to arouse the unholy desires of humanity's carnal nature....

When in ease and self-security he let go his hold upon God, David yielded to Satan and brought upon his soul the stain of guilt.... Bathsheba, whose fatal beauty had proved a snare to the king, was the wife of Uriah the Hittite, one of David's bravest and most faithful officers.... Every effort that David made to conceal his guilt proved unavailing. He had betrayed himself into the power of Satan.... There appeared but one way of escape, and in his desperation he was hurried on to add murder to adultery....

Nathan the prophet was bidden to bear a message of reproof to David. It was a message terrible in its severity. To few sovereigns could such a reproof be given but at the price of certain death to the reprover.... Appealing to David as the divinely appointed guardian of his people's rights, the prophet repeated a story of wrong and oppression that demanded redress....

Nathan fixed his eyes upon the king; then, lifting his right hand to heaven, he solemnly declared, “Thou art the man.” “Wherefore,” he continued, “hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight?” The guilty may attempt, as David had done, to conceal their crime ...; they may seek to bury the evil deed forever from human sight or knowledge; but “all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” ...

The prophet's rebuke touched the heart of David; conscience was aroused; his guilt appeared in all its enormity. His soul was bowed in penitence before God. With trembling lips he said, “I have sinned against the Lord.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, 717-722.

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