The Tell-Tale Heart

Weekend Series: Bad Boys of the Bible

DreamTeam Writer: Julie Mabus

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Guilt, shame, and paranoia accompany all sin. We do our best to hide the feelings, to excuse our actions, and convince ourselves that what we did wasn’t that bad. Sometimes we can temporarily deceive ourselves and believe that the action was okay. Yet, as the character in Edgar Allen Poe’s story “The Tell Tale Heart” discovers, it’s like a monster in the dark waiting to be discovered.

In David’s sin with Bathsheba, he did everything in his power to cover it up. Under the customs of ancient law David, as king, could technically take any woman, married or otherwise, as his wife. However, as a Jew, he knew that he had broken God’s law. Feeling the guilt and shame of his sin, he tried to cover it up. Like Poe’s character, David became more frantic and calculating to avoid being discovered. But in both cases, the sin was eventually uncovered.

David was a man who knew the thrill of fellowship with God and the joy of righteousness. He had written beautiful poetry celebrating his relationship with God, but his actions had broken that fellowship. David’s sin cost one man his life, another her integrity, and a child his life. But he knew that honesty before God about the state of his heart was the first step toward restoration. He knew his sin with Bathsheba was, first and foremost, against God. When confronted with his guilt, he fell on his face and owned it.

Psalm 51:4
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just.

David knew that sin breaks fellowship with God and separates us from him. It is the same for us. God already knows all that we have done. Hiding it only causes us to lie to ourselves and makes us fearful of discovery.

Hidden sin destroys us and those around us. It eats at us and ruins relationships. It makes us hide from God and lie to ourselves. When we confess our sin to God, he will forgive us, and once our sin is forgiven, we are freed from the power it holds over us.

Admitting sin is hard because it means admitting guilt. But until we are honest with God, we will never be free.

What sin(s) are you hiding from God? What is keeping you from being honest with God about the state of your heart?

Next Steps:
If God has revealed a sin that you need to confess to him, get honest with him. Tell him that you have allowed sin to break your fellowship with him, and confess your need for his forgiveness.

Gracious, heavenly Father, you are so kind to me. You meet me where I am and offer forgiveness when I do not deserve it. Reveal to me areas where I am holding on to sin. Restore fellowship with me so I may enjoy the freedom only you can provide. Help me to be honest with you even when it is difficult. Thank you for the gift of forgiveness. Amen.

Series Theme Verse:

Psalm 37:3-4
3 Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. 4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

This post was written by Julie Mabus, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Devotional.

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