Here is another recurring theme in our devotionals. Hosea said it best in Hosea 8:7, “they sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.”
Our behavior has consequences. When we sow to the Spirit and yield ourselves to God’s will, then the fruit of the Spirit will grow in our heart. (Galatians 6:9) In the same way, when we sow to the flesh, then the wild seeds of weeds will be scattered in the garden of our heart and nasty stuff will pop up overnight and do serious damage.
David’s life was no different. David’s sin brought about intense consequences in his family and in the nation. His children were divided, his nation was divided, and his throne was threatened.
I believe it is important to pause at this moment and make a very important point. The consequences that David suffered in chs. 13-20 were not the result of the one sin with Bathsheba. I’m not saying that that one sin did not deserve harsh consequences, because it did. I’m saying that the consequences are rooted deeper into David’s life and into the entire heritage of the nation. One of the key sins that produced so much pain was the distorted view of women in the culture. Had the men of Israel not treated women like cattle, taking multiple wives and concubines, there would not have been the division and rivalry amongst the half-brothers. Also, had the nation not begged for a king, the inevitable treachery that swirls around every human throne would have not happened. Remember that Samuel warned them that these events would come. Treachery, pain, murder, and warfare are part in parcel with a human monarchy. That’s what power does to any person. The division of Israel was inevitable. David’s sin with Bathsheba just became a catalyst for the crumbling of the shoddy foundation upon which the nation was built. These consequences were the results of generations of disobedience to God.
We have talked a lot about consequences in past devotionals. Simply put, the message is this, if we repent from our sin and are restored in fellowship with God, that does not remove consequences. If you lost brain cells from drugs, they’ll still be gone after salvation. If you’ve had a child out of wedlock, the child will still be there after salvation. If you’ve been divorced and the children are in pain, they’ll still be hurting children of a broken marriage after salvation. Enough said.
The point for today is found in David’s attitude towards these consequences. How do we typically respond when we reap what we sow? We tend to get bent out of shape and start shaking a rebellious fist at God, saying, “How could you do this to me? A loving God wouldn’t do this.” Or, we implode in shame and depression, saying, “Yes, I deserve this punishment, I might as well not go on living.”
Look what David did. In 2 Samuel 15:25-26, when he was fleeing from Jerusalem for his life, David said, “If God wants me back in Jerusalem, then I’ll go back. If not, then I won’t.” Then, when Shimei was hurling stones and insults at him, David said, “Leave him alone; let him curse, for the LORD has told him to.”
Here again we see why David was considered a man after God’s own heart. David took the consequences of his sin in the same way that he took the adversity and the victories he had experienced before the sin with Bathsheba. He accepted the consequences with an open spirit, realizing that he was in God’s hands, was God’s servant, and was willing to take whatever God wanted to give him. He didn’t fight back in resentment and he didn’t crumble in shame. He submitted his heart to the will of God and humbly and courageously followed wherever God took him.
Let us never forget two important lessons:
- There are always consequences for sin, so think twice before you do something stupid.
- The attitude of a godly heart remains the same regardless of circumstances. Our attitude should always be one of humble submission to God’s plan.