Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Consequences of Sin

"Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised Me [the LORD] and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own" (2 Samuel 12:10).

God forgives us when we repent of our sins, but if those sins have impacted the lives of other people, other consequences may continue to play themselves out over time. In David’s case, the fact that he had assaulted the integrity of another man’s family meant that the integrity of his own family would be assaulted. As he had taken another man’s wife, so his wives would be taken. As he had murdered, so murder would follow in his house.

The principle God used to bring this to pass was: like father, like son. David’s firstborn son, the heir to the crown, was Amnon. Like his father, Amnon was smitten with the beauty of a forbidden woman, and like his father, he decided to possess her. She was his sister Tamar, and he raped her (2 Samuel 13). Compromised by his own sin, David failed to act against Amnon, and after two years Tamar’s brother Absalom took matters into his own hands and slew Amnon.

Absalom fled into exile, and David alienated him further by failing to invite him home. When at last he was allowed to return, David refused to see him. By the time David allowed Absalom back into his presence, Absalom had become his enemy (2 Samuel 14). Every day, Absalom stood near the city gate and intercepted anyone taking a petition to David. He told them the king would not hear them, but that he would help them instead. In this manner, he stole the hearts of the people. Soon he proclaimed himself king and drove David out (2 Samuel 15).

Upon the advice of Ahithophel, Bathsheba’s angry grandfather, Absalom pitched a tent on the roof of the palace. There, in the place where David had decided to possess Bathsheba, Absalom lay with his father’s concubines, an act calculated to seal the breach between himself and David (2 Samuel 16).

Civil war ensued. David, knowing that his sin and failure to act had brought this to pass, gave orders that Absalom was not to be killed. In the ensuing battle, Absalom was caught in the woods, and though David’s men refused to kill him, Joab slew him anyway. David wept bitterly, saying “If only I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” (2 Samuel 18).

What does Romans 6:23 say is the wages of sin? At the beginning of this sad story David was afraid to die (2 Samuel 12:13), but by the end, he was wishing he had died (18:33). Let David's life be a lesson for us all: take sin seriously and root it out before it brings you to ruin. Seek after God's mercy and ask for His enabling grace to grow in sanctification.