Private Sins, Public Shame
The producer of Gangs of New York, Harvey Weinstein, is making newspaper and media headlines. But sadly, not for another movie, but for multiple allegations and women coming forward to reveal that they have been sexually assaulted, groped, and raped by the director. According to these women, they have been asked, forced, and paid to make sexual advances or to be alone with him in hotel rooms; they have been tricked into one-on-one meetings in offices or in buildings. And in all of these horrendous and wicked acts of sexual sin, Weinstein remained in power over their word and fame as actresses. These secret sins in the hidden areas of offices, closed doors, and hotel rooms have not been exposed for what they are: disturbing acts carried out by a human being with a heart of stone, full of sexual immorality, lust, falsehood, pride, and in the place of power to abuse and shame the opposite sex in the process.
The Increments of Sin
One of the most notorious sins recorded in the Bible is that of David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11). The most powerful man in Israel, David, stayed home during ‘the time when kings go out to battle’ (v.1). Instead, he ‘remained at Jerusalem.’ David, who resides in the king’s palace, was walking on the roof of his house and across the other houses he saw ‘a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful’ (v.2). He then sends one of his messengers to find out more about who she is and learns that the woman, Bathsheba (v.3) is the wife of one of David’s men fighting in the battle. David then, takes the next steps: he sends more of his messengers to ‘[get] her’ (v.4). And being in the highest position of power in Israel, he comes to David’s house. And David, gets what he wants and ‘lay[s] with her’ (v.4). We then find out (v.5) that she becomes pregnant. Uh-oh.
So, David arranges that Uriah is retrieved from the battle and talks to him casually about the war, the people, and how is commander, Joab, was doing (v.7). David sends him home in home, with a present; but Uriah instead goes to sleep outside of David’s house on his doorstep (v.8-9). Why did he do this? “[The rest of the men are camping in an open field.]. Shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.” (v.11) Out of loyalty and love to David and his men, he resists and desires to honor them well. Then, David welcomes Uriah to his home, they eat, purposely get Uriah drunk (v.13), but Uriah doesn’t go home again, he instead sleeps on David’s couch (v.13) with the rest of his servants.
Finally, David writes a letter to the commander, Joab, that instructs him to place Uriah in the front of the ‘hardest fighting’ and then to ‘draw back from him, that he may be struck down, and die.’ (v.15) And in this, David sends this letter with Uriah (v.14)! It happens. Uriah is sent upfront, and he is killed. Bathsheba hears about it, she weeps heavily, and then David weds her to be another one of his wives (v.27).
Do you see the increase in the increments of sin, particularly sexual sin here with David?
- First, laziness and being alone. David does what he wasn’t supposed to be doing, he was at home and but was supposed to be at battle.
- Second, the look. Not a glance, a look. He continued to look, and the text describes her as ‘very beautiful’ as David noticed.
- Next, he wants more information on this woman.
- Then, he gets a name. And it drives him to demand he have her! So he does, and sleeps with her.
- David then attempts to cover up his sin by the husband, twice.
- And then, he sends the death warrant in the hands of the one to be killed. David commits murder to finally hide away his shame and evil act.
Sin always starts small. It always starts in private, in the depths of our hearts (Mark 7:21). As it exposes itself in desires, it turns into sin; and sin, leads to death (James 1:15). David followed his heart. And that was the problem. Friend, our sin and shame for the things we do never come out of nowhere. They come out of the secret thoughts and desires from within us that we want and follow. This process of David took time: from the first glance to the time it takes to conceive – David had time to confess, flee from the guilt, and hate what he did by turning to God (repentance), but he did not. He wanted to cover it up. We follow the leading of our heart which is dead to the things of God, in love with the flesh, and under the influence of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Sin, Shame, Savior
In God’s word, we see this wicked event that David commits. It was sinful, horrible, and wicked for him to do such a thing. David looked with lust (Matthew 5:28), committed adultery (Hebrews 13:4; Exodus 20:14), and then murdered a man (Matthew 5:21-26; Exodus 20:13). He used a position of power in a cruel way and then attempts to hide and ‘deal with’ his horrendous things.
This is similar to Mr. Weinstein. It all started with the lust of his heart that he desired to commit and to fulfill his sinful desires. According to the news released, it has been happening for years and years. In 2 Samuel 3 and 5, David takes multiple wives over a period of time. This sin was over a period of time, as was Weinstein’s. Weinstein would look with lust, and act on it, many times aggressively getting what he wants, covering it up with money, threats, and/or the public shame that the women experienced from this horrific events.
Sin brings shame (Genesis 3:7), and it always has. For those who commit the sin, and for those who have been sinned against. Sin and shame spiderweb across the board and stain every person of those involved, whether the sinner or the party sinned against.
So, what of these sinful and shameful acts? Where is the justice? Insert: the Cross.
David sinned against Bathsheba and against Uriah. He broke two marriage covenants and trampled over their purity. Yet, David attempted to cover it up one step at a time
Uriah is the innocent party. He is betrayed by David, sinned against by David, and is then sent off carrying his own death warrant for the sin and shame of others that he had no part in.
David has sinned greatly and openly. But the death and party that received the punishment for the crime was innocent, actually obedient in regards to doing his duty and being a husband. David’s sin, but another one bears the guilt and penalty.
Friends, all of us have sinned greatly in the sexual realm: from looking with lust to all types of sexual immorality (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5; 1 Corinthians 6:13). Those who commit such sins are guilty of breaking God’s law and sinning against him (Romans 3:23, 6:23). But God, in his mercy has sent his Son to be borne under the Law of God to save those who have broken the Law of God (Galatians 4:4-5). On the cross, Jesus was counted as if he had committed the sins of all who will come to him. Jesus was sent in the likeness of sinful man (but not sinful!) to be have our sin condemned on him (Romans 8:3).
Then, he who knew no sin did so in order that we might be counted righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21). Though he did not commit any sins, he was sent away with a death warrant for ours; Jesus bore our punishment for us. He was counted as a sinful man, given the shame of those who committed those sins, and bore the wrath of God (1 John 4:10). He was then raised from the dead for our right standing with God (Romans 4:25) for the believing ones.
God’s justice towards sin and sinners is seen at the cross: it is finished (John 19:30). He took the holy wrath of God for law breakers. God’s love to forgive and grace to pardon is seen at the cross. Adam and Eve were covered by God from an innocent one (Genesis 3:21), David’s horrendous sins were ‘put away’ on the cross of Christ (2 Samuel 12:13; Romans 3:23-26). And the same is true for all who turn from their sins and come to Jesus — the sin-bearing, shame-carrying substitute for sinners to save them from their penalty and to be given Jesus’ merits.
Just as Adam and Eve sinned against God and hid from him in the bushes to attempt to cover their shame and guilt, so will Weinstein. He feels deep shame and guilt; the question is: will he attempt to cover it himself with religion, good works, and morality, or, will he he turn to God to put to death and clothe him with a righteousness outside of himself (Genesis 3:21; John 1:29; Romans 3:22)?
Justice will be satisfied. The Judge of the earth will do what is just (Genesis 18:25). Whether Weinstein sees his loss of reputation, job, and fame as God’s hand to reveal his sin and expose his need for the cross, or to give him up to what he truly wants (Romans 1:21-26), God’s purposes will stand.
The sins of Harvey Weinstein will be dealt with at the cross by his repentance and faith, or by rejection of Christ and take the punishment that is deserved under God’s wrath.