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Alternate Plans
Bible Order: 1 Chronicles 27–29
Chronological Order: Psalms 50, Psalms 53, Psalms 60, Psalms 75
New Testament Only: Luke 23:44–56

Forgiveness Does Not Remove Consequence

2 Samuel 12–13

Eye with tear BWWell, David had his moment of fun and now a life time of pain is due.  Nathan is sent by God to condemn David for his adulterous actions with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah.  It is interesting how Nathan broaches the subject with the king.  Instead of coming right out with it he tells the story of the rich man with many flocks and the poor man with one little ewe.  The rich man stole the ewe to feed a visitor.

The king was the “supreme court” of Israel.  He sat in judgment on many an issue.  David has always had a strong sense of justice and the behavior of the rich man in the story sends him into a rage.  His sense of justice is outraged.  Why do you think the story was necessary to convict David of his sin?  Do you think maybe David had justified and glossed over his sin?  Maybe he made it out to be nothing.  He is, after all the king.  How do you respond when you are called on your inappropriate behavior?  Are you defensive?  Do you attempt to justify or defend the behavior?

I mentioned President Clinton yesterday.  How did he respond to being called out on his behavior?  He denied and lied.  He felt he was under attack and so he went into defend mode.  Some might say he even went on the offensive.  I wonder how he would have responded if he had been approached as Nathan approached David.  You see, having passed judgment on another he could no longer defend himself.  He was stripped bare of excuses and had to face his sin head on.  He had to declare his own guilt.

What is the point of calling someone on their sin?  Is it to seek vengeance in the name of the Lord?  Is it to embarrass or shame the guilty?  No my friend, the purpose of calling someone on their sin is to restore them to right relationship with God.  The motivation is love.  If we have not love we have no right to call sinners to account.  Nathan did not barge into the kings presence with the fire of God’s righteousness in his eyes and fire and brimstone in his voice.  He took a humble approach designed to bring the king back into right relationship with God.

Notice that after David admits his sin he is told that “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die (2 Samuel 12:13).”  God has forgiven David.  It should be further noted that the follow on sentence pronounced by Nathan states that the child of his sin will die and of course earlier David has been told that there will be trouble in his house.  He is forgiven but sin has consequences.  Forgiveness does not take away the consequences.

The rest of today’s story begins the tail of these consequences.  David has sown sin in his house and his children will follow his example.  The beginning of the trouble in his house is from the same vine as David’s sin.  His son Amnon lusts after his half sister Tamar.  His lustful thoughts lead him to lustful actions.  He rapes his sister.  Like David’s sin before this wrongful sexual act leads to a murder; in this case the murder of Amnon by Tamar’s brother Absalom.  Absalom must flee.  This is just the beginning of the trouble David’s sin has sown.  There is yet a more disastrous harvest yet to come.

Brothers, by lusting after women who are not your wife you are stealing another man’s ewe lamb.  Thoughts lead to actions and those actions have consequences.  Was David guilty?  Are you guilty?  Repent.  Turn your back on sins of the flesh.  Do not fool yourself into thinking that you are not hurting anyone with your sin.  You hurt yourself, your wife, your children and our society as a whole.  It is not harmless fun; it is deadly sin.

If you wish to argue the point with me I’m afraid I will have to remind you of the words of your Savior:

Matthew 5:27-30 ESV

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’  But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.  And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”

This is serious stuff guys.  If you have a problem, search out a godly brother or your pastor and get help.  The good news brother is:

1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

And

1 John 1:9 ESV

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Finally, as Jesus said to the woman accused of adultery:

John 8:10-11 ESV

Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

Go brothers and sin no more!  You are forgiven and free!  You do not belong to sin for in Christ you are more than a conqueror!  Praise God!

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

(Originally posted 4/10/10)

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