Sin has consequences

2 Sam. 12:13, “David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.”  This morning I want to look at the story of David and Bathsheba, and specifically this verse.  There are two things to stand out in it.  David repents by saying, “I have sinned against the Lord.”, and Nathan lets him know God has forgiven him with the words, “The Lord has put away your sin, you shall not die.”  What did David do that took only six words to attain forgiveness? Did he steal a loaf of bread or punch someone in the face?  Did he use hate speech or gossip behind another’s back?  Actually, much worse than that.

2 Sam. 11:2, “It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful.”  It was at this moment that David started to sin.  It was then that he allowed his carnal desires to drag him into the depths of sin.  After he sends his servants to get her, he ends up “laying” with her, and not long after, she has something to tell him.  2 Sam. 11:5, “…I am pregnant.”  We can comfortably assume those were not the words he expected to hear because he immediately sets a devious plan into motion.  When we acquiesce to the desires of the flesh, we often face unintended consequences that we feel the need to escape from.  It is then that, like David, we feel the need to do whatever it takes to extricate ourselves from the situation we placed ourselves into.

 

In Sam. 11:8-13, we find David inviting Uriah back from the siege of Rabbah.  He does this hoping that Uriah will go home and sleep with his wife.  If that happened, naturally, the blame for the pregnancy could be placed on him, but as we discover from the verses above, that does not occur.  Since Uriah does not do as intended, David is forced, at least in his mind, to do the unthinkable.  In 2 Sam. 11:15, we find David instructing the commander of his army to place the unfortunate man in the thick of battle and then leave him there to die.  Sadly, that was accomplished, and David even marries Bathsheba after her mourning period.

Of course, no sin goes unpunished, and God sends Nathan to accuse David and pronounce judgment on him in 2 Sam. 12:1-14.  In the first paragraph, I asked the question, “What did David do to that only took six words to be forgiven?”  It would be easy to say he committed adultery, and of course, he did, but further investigation proves he broke no less than three of the ten commandments.  “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife,” “You shall not commit adultery,” and “You shall not murder.”  According to Lev. 20:10, the due punishment for adultery was death – for both parties.  But David repents with those six words, and God forgives both parties.  Why?  Because David was sincere in his repentance.

As punishment, the sword would never depart from his house, evil would rise up from within, and he would lose his wives to his neighbor.  But that was not the worst that would befall David – the child from the illicit affair would also die – by far the worst of the punishments.  Today, the parent’s crime is not passed on to the child, thankfully, but that does not mean we will escape just punishment.  The moral of the story is this, “God will forgive even the most heinous of crimes with true, heartfelt repentance, but there will still be a price to pay for our indiscretions – all sin has consequences.”

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