Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sin, Consequences, and Forgiveness

"David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying sackcloth on the ground. The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them." (2 Samuel 12:16-17)

Think before you act! You reap what you sow. There are consequences to sins...some are more devastating than others, such as in David's case. More often than not, the consequences of our sin affect not only ourselves but also others, including those we love. As a result of David's sin (sleeping with Bathsheba and getting her husband, Uriah killed), his family was in turmoil, filled with many troubles (death of his & Bathsheba's first son, constant bloodshed, rebellion, his daughter, Tamar, was raped by his son, Amnon, who in turn was murdered by his other son, Absalom, his wives were violated in public). Don't ever think that one little sin is no big deal and that you can get away with it. Usually, one sin leads to another and then another. Slowness to repentance causes one to be more and more insensitive to sin. Look at David's descent into sins. Lust/coveting. Adultery. Murder (plot to get rid of Uriah) to cover adultery. Blindness to his own sin and injustice (until Nathan confronted him).

There's grace and forgiveness available for us when we repent and seek God. David's remorse made him a broken & contrite man and God forgave him & graciously spared his life (David deserved the death penalty for adultery and murder according to the law). He was called a "man after God's own heart", even with all the mistakes he made. David humbly confessed, "I have sinned against the LORD." (2 Samuel 12:13) He did not try to rationalize or make light of his sin or make an excuse. Psalm 32 and Psalm 51 show David's heart of genuine repentance, of joy from receiving God's forgiveness, and of gratitude for God's unfailing love. He pleaded with God to spare his son's life but in the end, he accepted God's discipline/correction/punishment and was not bitter towards God. After finding out his son was dead, David "went into the house of the Lord and worshiped." (2 Samuel 12:20) While God forgives sin (1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness"); He doesn't necessarily remove its consequences. "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life." (Galatians 6:7-8)

Finally, God gives and takes away; blessed be His Name!

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