Forgiveness Still Has Consequences

2 Samuel 12:11–12 (ESV)
11 Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’ ”

The story of David’s ascension to the kingship is one of the most famous of the Old Testament and one that provides many life lessons for us some 3000 years later. David is characterized as one who is after “God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 16:7; Acts 13:22), yet he was human, and sin certainly did not evade his walk with God.

Our study verse above is a direct consequence of David’s sins with Bathsheba. David started by breaking the tenth commandment of coveting (Exodus 20:17), then the seventh commandment regarding adultery (Exodus 20:14), and then the sixth commandment against murder (Exodus 20:13), while the Lord silently watched his behavior.

David famously confessed his sins and repented from such ways as recorded in Psalm 51, and the Lord did forgive him as He remained faithful to never let the sceptre depart from his line, there were still consequences for his behavior and actions as outlined above. In David’s imperfect life with sin, we see even more the need for a perfect king to rule, that of Christ (Isaiah 42:1-4).

The prophecy in verse 11 comes to fruition in 2 Samuel 16:22, when David’s son Absalom publicly lies with David’s concubines on a rooftop. The family is divided, and three of David’s sons—Amnon, Absalom, and Adonijah—all eventually die by the sword (2 Samuel 13:29; 2 Samuel 18:29; 1 Kings 2:25, respectively).

In David’s son Solomon, there was much wisdom, but unfortunately much pride and immorality. Through the actions of Solomon, Israel would be divided into the 10 tribes of the North (Israel) and the 2 tribes of the South (Judah).

So what is the application for us?

God is indeed faithful to forgive us when we truly repent (1 John 1:9). However, the consequences of our actions will still bear the wicked fruit we have planted. Notice that even for someone as close to God as David was, God did not intervene and prevent him from his destructive behavior. Nor can we expect Him to do that for us.

We cannot blame God for the circumstances we find ourselves in. The freewill He gave us affords us to accept the consequences fully, without any attempt to pass the blame on to another (see Genesis 3:12).

Once you have acknowledged your sin and have repented, allow God to refine you through these consequences. See Him throughout the trials of life, knowing that His chastisement will bring you closer to Him. Be content knowing that only a God who loves you would want to correct you (Proverbs 3:12; James 1:2-4).

Remember, none of us are perfect and we all will stumble at one point or another. Confess your sin, and let God have more of you so you can withstand the temptation the next time it comes around.