Bible Reading Blog

Bible Reading Blog

“The Effects of Sin”

Categories: Congregational Bible Reading

BIBLE READING: 2 Samuel 13-15

O LORD, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;
many are saying of my soul,
“There is no salvation for him in God.”
(Psalm 3.1-2, A Psalm of David when he fled from Absalom his son)

In the wake of David’s sin with Bathsheba, his family was in disarray. David’s son Amnon raped his half-sister Tamar and humiliated her publicly. Absalom murdered Amnon to avenge this, while also terrorizing his other siblings. David passively exiled Absalom from Jerusalem, but eventually was manipulated to bring him back. Apparently sensing weakness, Absalom returned with a plan to depose his father and become king. He secretly gained the loyalty of people throughout the land before amassing a force to overthrow David in Jerusalem.

At this moment we see David as we’ve not seen him in quite some time: Broken, distressed and on the run (2 Samuel 15.30; Psalm 3.1-2). Some of this was the consequence of David’s actions. God promised evil would come from David’s house because of his sin with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12.11-12). Some of this was the result of David’s failure as a father. Surely the behavior of his sons towards women reflected what they had seen in their father (Amnon with Tamar – 2 Samuel 13; Absalom with his father’s concubines – 2 Samuel 16.21-22). Furthermore, David failed to actively address the deplorable behavior of his children. Some of this was simply the effects of living in a sinful world. People are selfish, impulsive, vindictive, self-seeking and power hungry. When agendas collide, strife and struggle rule (James 4.1-3).

Either way, these are the effects of sin. It shows no partiality and shows no mercy. It has a compounding effect that creates momentum in our life and the lives of those around us. What started as an “innocent” glance from the rooftop had morphed into a total fallout. As the saying goes, sin always takes us farther than we want to go, keeps us longer than we want to stay, costs us more than we want to pay.

No one is perfect, not even a man after God’s our heart. This is both comforting and convicting. Even the “best” of us are not exempt from the consequences of sin. In fact, the path to grace must go through the mud of sinfulness. We must see how degenerate it is to live selfishly. We must learn the power of pride and pleasure to devastate the things we value most. But most importantly, we must recognize the impact of choosing not to walk with God in faithfulness and discipline.

The good news is that God can redeem us from this plight. But we still have choices to make. David’s heartache and pain do not have to be replicated in our lives. We would do well to walk in the shoes of David and personally apply the lessons he learned. More importantly we must train our hearts to trust God both in word and power. His words are true, and he is able do what he says he will do.