The language of Scripture is full of passion and inspiration.
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. [Thou art pure in Thy judging. YLT] Psalm 51:4
You are Right, Lord, I Did An Evil Thing!
This is the true definition of confession; it is agreeing with God! All self-justification, all rationalization, has ceased. When David confessed that he knew his transgressions, it wasn’t just admitting what he did—and he probably couldn’t say why—it was a confession of his wrong against God.
“What I have done,” David admitted, “was evil.” The word evil has an emphasis on the consequence1 of David’s unconscionable act.
The world might not agree. Cultural evolution is slowly eroding any bible-based foundation of morality discarding any definition of “sin”, redefining the nuclear family unit in terms of any and all social contracts, explaining away conviction as a self-inflicted guilt, and arguing against the reality of a God of mercy which makes everything else seem reasonable. Today’s world might contend that: this psalm is merely the unfortunate state of a man whose conscience misdirected him into thinking he needed to make amends.
But David knew God and knew God to be consistently wise, truthful, and merciful. In God’s eyes, in His judgment, what David did was evil! After a year went by (according to one scholar) and after Nathan cornered him, David, finally, agreed. The misery he felt may have helped drive him there.
So-In View of Which, On This Account
If God punishes him, David feels that, it is earned. He doesn’t appear, though, to be particularly anxious about this possibility.2 Judgments is what judges make; so, God might intend at this point in relationship with David to make this a lesson in the painful consequence of doing evil.3 (Thus the use of the word “so.”)
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. [A man dare not turn his nose up at God!] A man reaps what he sows.4
David emotionally exposes his own back to the lash because he knows he is in the wrong but he also knows the love of God.
God is in the Right
God is in the right whatever His judgment! …to quote Abraham, “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?5 ”God’s judgment is pure, clean. (“Beyond all controversy.”)6 If I may say it: unlike us, God’s decisions, conclusions, evaluations, judgments, perspective—call it what you will—is never based on a bias toward us much less a hidden, self-seeking motive, as if greedy for power. God’s judgment is based on covenant and the one we are under now was written in the Savior’s blood on Calvary.
2 In a cursory review of the Hebrew terms that might suggest some form of punishment I have yet to read David’s thoughts on the subject.
3 But I might add quickly that David knows God to be merciful. Punishment seems reserved for the proud not the humble who confess. But we will let this point rest here for a while.
4 Galatians 6:7
5 Genesis 18:25
6 C. H. Spurgeon. p. 935