The ultimate reference point
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. Psalm 51.4
In pouring out his heart to God, David makes this arresting statement: "Against you, you only, have I sinned..." But what about Uriah, whom he murdered, and Bathsheba, whom he raped? David was only too well aware of his guilt towards them. What he is expressing now plumbs even deeper depths. He has scorned God's covenant of love. God chose David and promised that he would prosper as King of Israel. With sickening horror, David realises just how completely he has failed God.
The really wretched thing about sin is that it does not only affect the perpetrator, it infects those around them. We are witnessing that in our own day, with the "Me Too" movement and with the uncovering of slavery's scandalous legacy. So, where do we put our shame and how can we clean up the mess? David who, after all, was still described (by God) as "a man after God's own heart" shows us where and how to begin: on our knees in confession to God, who created everything and alone has the power to restore its original goodness.