Sin has consequences
2 Samuel 12-14
I read the part in 2 Samuel 12 where Nathan very cleverly confronts David about his sins of adultery and murder.
I love the way Nathan uses a story about a lamb to help David see the truth. God forgave David, but David had to face the consequences of his sins. God pronounced that murder would be a constant problem in his family and that his household would rebel against David. And Bath-sheda’s baby had to die. David receives God’s forgiveness and faces the consequences, he even wrote Psalm 51, which is where he poured out his heart to God and in Psalm 32, he expresses his joy of receiving forgiveness.
I guess it is clear in these verses that we can’t be tempted to think flippantly about God’s forgiveness; we can’t think that if we do something wrong that it’s ok because God will forgive us. We have to face the fact that when we sin, there are events that will happen that can’t be reversed. When God forgives us, our relationship with Him is restored, but he does not take away the consequences of our wrong doing.
The next 2 chapters were stories of murder and rebellion within David’s family, quite unpleasant, but sparked off by David’s own sinful behaviour.
Although David screwed up big time, his response to God was good. As soon as he realised that he had sinned, he confessed and once his baby had died and there was nothing more he could do, he worshiped the Lord. David did not dwell on his sin, but he returned to God. When we return to God, accept his forgiveness, and change our ways, he gives us a fresh start.
I know I have a tendency to beat myself up for a while when I make mistakes; I can definitely learn a lot from David and his response to God.
As David joyfully says in Psalm 32:1-2:
‘What happiness for those whose guilt has been forgiven!
What joys when sins are covered over!
What relief for those who have confessed their sins and God has cleared their record?’