A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

David – A Case Study in Real Repentance

UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.

***

[July 20, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]

Because repentance is so often feigned by the abuser, it is extremely important for us, as well as victims, to understand what real repentance looks like. Here is a truly repentant man — King David. He had sinned horribly. He had murdered, committed adultery – and did it all against a most loyal subject and the Lord Himself. Now he is confronted by Nathan the Prophet. Read the story and see if you can identify characteristics of his real repentance —  (NOTE: The parable of the Prodigal Son is another excellent place to learn about the characteristics of genuine repentance (Luke 15)).

(2 Samuel 12:7-17  ESV)  (7) Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul.  (8) And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more.  (9) Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.  (10) Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’  (11) Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.  (12) For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.'”  (13) David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.  (14) Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the LORD, the child who is born to you shall die.”  (15) Then Nathan went to his house. And the LORD afflicted the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and he became sick.  (16) David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground.  (17) And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them.

Let’s see if we can list the qualities of David’s real repentance —

  • In the face of the most difficult consequences and condemnation of his sin, David makes NO excuses. In fact, we know from one of his Psalms that the took ALL of the blame and embraced the evil nature of his sin.

(Psalm 51:2-4  ESV)  (2) Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!  (3) For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.  (4) Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.

  • David’s grief over his sin was real, not feigned. It wasn’t evidenced in some quick “Oh, shoot, I really blew it” with a tear or two. David was absolutely leveled by the realization of the evil of his sin. The horror of what he had done enveloped him. His actions were not those of someone faking it.
  • David’s prayers and grief were not focused upon himself, but upon his child who was suffering for his father’s sin. When the Lord did not heal the child, David did not blame anyone but himself. He knew God was totally justified in this judgment.

Notice still another Scripture that speaks of David’s heart after he had sinned —

(Psalm 32:3-4  ESV)  (3) For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.  (4) For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.   Selah”

What do we see here? A genuine Christian (which the abuser is not), may fight against repentance for a time. But as he does so, he is miserable. The Lord will not let us enjoy ourselves when we are in a hardened heart condition. For the abuser, this is not the case. He can easily sin most wickedly and not be bothered at all. If an abuser were ever to be brought to a true realization of the evil he has perpetrated upon his victims, he would be absolutely consumed with grief at the horror of it all. His ‘bones would waste away’ and he would ‘groan day and night.’ This can happen. It is rare, however. It requires nothing less than the powerful, saving and converting work of the Spirit of God in a person, granting them faith in Christ and repentance toward God.

But we must never be duped into accepting anything less.

[July 20, 2022: Editors’ notes:

—For some comments made prior to July 20, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to July 20, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to July 20, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (July 20, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]

7 Comments

  1. theevolutionofosiris

    Good. I was trying to point out that true repentance is not a change of thought or mind. It’s crying on your knees, with horrible remorse and regret of what you have done. It is too simple to just change your mind. because that does not bring tears! these men are so afraid of crying….

  2. Finding Answers

    I was reading through parts of the ACFJ blog when I came across this very old post.

    Rather than copy-and-paste from the post (or other peoples comments) as I would usually do, I opted to add a much shorter comment….

    There’s mention of David sinning against God, and of David sinning against Uriah, but there is no mention of David sinning against Bathsheba.

    David raped Bathsheba.

    David murdered (indirectly) Bathsheba’s husband.

    I realize the culture was much different in David’s time, but that doesn’t mean the truth can’t be acknowledged and spoken about now.

    • Hi Finding Answers. I’ve noticed over the years that every now and again people in Christendom start debating whether or not David raped Bathsheba. The debate gets heated, cantankerous, even vitriolic. I’ve noticed that few people engaging in the debate present a really solid logical case for their point of view. Most can present bits of evidence that support their point of view — that David raped, or did not rape — but precious few present a case that takes fully into account all the Scriptures that pertain to the David narrative, and interpret that evidence against other narratives of rape in the Bible such as Tamar and the Levite’s Concubine and the Mosaic case law about rape.

      I myself am not convinced that we can know for sure that Bathsheba was raped by David. The reason I am not convinced is that Scripture does not tell us whether Bathsheba resisted or objected to David’s intention to have sexual intercourse with her. To argue that it was rape seems to me to be making an argument from silence.

      I recognise that there was a power imbalance between David and Bathsheba. David was the king and he sent messengers to tell Bathsheba to come to his palace. It would have been a great risk for Bathsheba to refuse to go to the palace, and she would probably have had no idea why the king had summoned her. Once she arrived at the palace and it became clear to her that David wanted to have sex with her (do sex to her) we do not know whether she resisted him or to what extent she was seduced by him or overpowered by him against her will.

      Consent is the YES you give when you are are not free to say no. Certainly the power imbalance would have made it difficult for Bathsheba to say no; but we are not told whether (in the privacy of her own will) she internally consented to the sexual intercourse, or whether she internally did not consent.

      • Finding Answers

        Barb,

        You wrote (20TH JULY 2022 – 9:16 PM):

        I’ve noticed over the years that every now and again people in Christendom start debating whether or not David raped Bathsheba. The debate gets heated, cantankerous, even vitriolic.

        I didn’t know that people debated whether or not David had raped Bathsheba — it wasn’t until relatively recently that I’d even come across the idea that David had raped Bathsheba, and it made sense to me….especially given what I know and understand about the culture at the time of David and Bathsheba.

        In the same comment, you wrote:

        I myself am not convinced that we can know for sure that Bathsheba was raped by David. The reason I am not convinced is that Scripture does not tell us whether Bathsheba resisted or objected to David’s intention to have sexual intercourse with her. To argue that it was rape seems to me to be making an argument from silence.

        (Bold done by me.)

        That.

        In the same comment, you wrote:

        I recognise that there was a power imbalance between David and Bathsheba. David was the king and he sent messengers to tell Bathsheba to come to his palace. It would have been a great risk for Bathsheba to refuse to go to the palace, and she would probably have had no idea why the king had summoned her. Once she arrived at the palace and it became clear to her that David wanted to have sex with her (do sex to her) we do not know whether she resisted him or to what extent she was seduced by him or overpowered by him against her will.

        (Bold done by me.)

        That.

        Consent is the YES you give when you are are not free to say no. Certainly the power imbalance would have made it difficult for Bathsheba to say no; but we are not told whether (in the privacy of her own will) she internally consented to the sexual intercourse, or whether she internally did not consent.

        That.

        When I’d come across the idea that David had raped Bathsheba, it made so much sense to me that I hadn’t considered the fact that I was making assumptions in believing that David had raped Bathsheba.

        I also didn’t realize that I might unintentionally have been adding fuel to the fire by stating it the way I have when commenting on it.

        In my (20TH JULY 2022 – 2:25 PM) comment, I wrote:

        There’s mention of David sinning against God, and of David sinning against Uriah, but there is no mention of David sinning against Bathsheba.

        Considering what you wrote in your comment, Barb, we can’t actually know if David actually sinned against Bathsheba. And we can’t actually know (but it might be possible) that Bathsheba sinned against her husband (Uriah) and against God.

        And only God knows the truth….we won’t know until Eternity.

Trackbacks

  1. David – A Case Study in Real Repentance by Jeff Crippen (via A Cry For Justice) « The Cross Is All
  2. David – A Case Study in Real Repentance by Jeff Crippen (via A Cry For Justice) | At the end of myself…at the feet of Jesus
  3. David – A Case Study in Real Repentance by Jeff Crippen (via A Cry For Justice) | The Cross Is All

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