Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Forgiveness and Consequences

“Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’
Nathan replied, ‘The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the Lord show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.” (II Samuel 12:13-14 NIV)

The complete story is in II Samuel chapters 11 and 12.

David’s sins were awful. He violated the clear commands of God “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not commit adultery.”

David, in order to hide his adultery, had Uriah called home from the front in order to attribute Bathsheba’s pregnancy to him. David was concocting a lie that did not work. David sent him to his home and sent him a gift. Uriah did not go home. The next day David gave a dinner for Uriah and made Uriah drunk. He did not go home. So David had him killed and then took his wife.

David did not confess. He was still hiding his sins (or thought he was.) He was then confronted by Nathan the prophet. Before David confessed, Nathan prophesied awful consequences. After he confessed another consequence was prophesied. David did repent of his sins. David was forgiven. The consequences did happen. The baby son died. One of his other sons raped one of his daughters. Another son killed the son who raped the daughter. That son was then exiled. He was returned from exile, conspired against his father, the king, and openly committed adultery with his fathers concubines. That son was then killed. How do we know that David was forgiven? “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’--and you forgave the guilt of my sin.” (Psalm 32:5 NIV)

“Have mercy on my, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. . . . Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. . . . Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. . . . You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O god, you will not despise. (Psalm 51:1-4, 7-12, 14, 16-17 NIV)

David did not minimize his sins. He realized his sins were against God only. David counted on the greatness of God’s mercy, love and compassion. He knew he would not be forgiven by ritual repentance.

David had the joy of forgiven sins but still had to face the results of his sins.

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