King David of Israel was chosen by God to be king when he was just a boy. His predecessor Saul had also been chosen by God to be king, when the people were disgruntled with the prophets that had been in the service of the Lord. But Saul had issues, and God had plans.
David the shepherd had the courage to fight the Philistine giant, when none of the warriors of Israel would. God provided that victory, and also provided David the kingdom. The Old Testament stories of David's glorious triumphs against all odds make you want to stand up and bellow "THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKIN' 'BOUT!"
But there were losses in David's life also, as there are loses in every life. During one of the times his people were away fighting, he was home putzing in the castle. He happened to see the wife of Uriah, one of his elite warriors, bathing. He was immediately smitten, summoned her, and produced a child with her. He ended up having Uriah left at the front of the battle lines, where the fighting was fiercest, so that he was killed.
David was immediately approached by one of God's prophets, who told him a story. The story was of a rich man and his poor neighbor. The rich man had multitudes of everything he needed, and lacked nothing. The poor man had a little lamb. And every where the poor man went, the lamb was sure to go. He loved the lamb, like one of his children - it brought him great joy.
One day, the rich man had guests come for dinner. He was so selfish that he took the little lamb from the neighbor to feed his guests, instead of providing dinner from his surplus. At this, David cried out "That man deserves death!". God's prophet replied, "You are the man".
David knew immediately his sin; he knew he had sinned greatly against the Lord by coveting, taking and killing that which was not his. He confessed this to Nathan, and accepted God's punishment: the life of David's firstborn son.
Another story about David's less than perfect walk comes from to-days reading (2 Samuel 24). David the king decided to take a census of the people of his kingdom. This time, no prophet was needed to let David know he had sinned. He regretted immediately doing this, and confessed it to the Lord. The Lord then sent another prophet to let David choose his punishment (which ended up being quite severe again!).
What I see from these two stories is a sinner, not un-like you and me, who acknowledged his iniquity and who confessed his sin to almighty God. I believe God has given us this history lesson to show us that we need to do the same.
None of us are without sin. Yet I believe that our heart's attitude toward our sin is very important: are we repentant or are we stubborn to the point of making excuses and blaming circumstances, others, etc.?
David is referred to as man 'after God's own heart'.
He knew his sin, and he acknowledged it before God.
Let us pray for the grace to daily do the same.