“Therefore, the sword will never depart from your house.” count the COST before you SIN- 2 samuel 12; romans 6:23
Even before Nathan confronted David and spoke God’s words of severe chastisement for his sins, David was a miserable man. The man who loved God with all of his heart had sinned and forsaken his first love and God’s heavy hand was on him. Psalm 32 and 38 show the misery and grief of an unrepentant believer as David was for over a year. These psalms reveal how spiritual illness, sin and unrepentance, (day and night your hand was heavy upon me) leads to emotional illness (My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear), which leads to physical illness (there is no health in my body; my bones have no soundness because of my sin. My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body. I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart; my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer). Of course, not all emotional and physical illness is caused by sin but it can be as seen here and other Scriptures. Pain is God’s megaphone to get our attention to turn back to Him.
“You may be sure that your sin will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23) But David still didn’t repent, so God sent Nathan to confront him (at the risk of his own life) and foretell God’s severe chastisement for David’s great sins: “Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.' "This is what the LORD says: 'Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, (Absalom) and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.' " 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 (which God’s law called for). But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, (i.e., to blaspheme God’s Name) the son born to you will die. "After Nathan had gone home, the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife had borne to David, and he became ill.” (See 2 Samuel 12)
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48) God had given David many, many spiritual blessings and thus great spiritual responsibility and his sin caused the unbelieving nations around him to blaspheme God’s Name. Look at the high cost of sin that David paid for the rest of his life:
1) The death of their baby – 2 Sam. 12:15, 18
2) David’s son Amnon rapes his half-sister Tamar -2 Sam. 13:1-21
3) Absalom hates his half-brother Amnon for raping his sister Tamar and murders him – 2 Sam. 13:22-33
4) Absalom flees (rebels) and runs away and goes to live with his grandfather in Geshur (Gentile territory – the father of another foreign wife of David) for three years. 2 Sam. 13:34-39 – Now David has lost two sons to death (the baby and Amnon) and one to exile.
5) Absalom leads a conspiracy against his father to take over the kingdom – 2 Sam 15-18
6) Absalom shames his father by sleeping with David’s concubines in broad daylight in the sight of all Israel. The consequences of David’s “hidden” adultery are now a public humiliation for him as prophesied by Nathan. (2 Sam. 16:21-22; 2 Sam 12:11)
7) Joab kills Absalom and throws him in a pit and covers it with stones – a disgraceful burial for a king’s son. Now David has lost three sons to death. Thus says the Lord: “The sword will never depart from your house.”
Notice that five of these sins and tragedies (1-4 and 6) are related to sexual sin or reactions to sexual sin– David’s besetting sin. (“Polygamy is just a Greek word for dunghill – jealousy, scheming, hatred, incest, rape, murder all collected around David’s many wives.” – Alexander Whyte) “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction.” (Gal. 6:7-8)
“Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.” (Proverbs 3:7b) “And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
As we will see next week, God’s severe discipline did bring David back to Him and “produced a harvest of righteousness and peace” for David as he truly repented and in the midst of his great consequences, trusted and obeyed the Lord till the end.
Discussion Questions FOR APPLICATION OF GOD’S WORD
Someone said we can measure the hardness of our heart by how long it takes to ask God for forgiveness (repentance) and how long it takes us to ask someone we wronged for forgiveness. It took David over a year to repent so his heart toward the Lord was hard and required a lot of “softening” through the Lord’s heavy discipline. Are you quick to ask God’s forgiveness? Are you quick to ask others to forgive you when you are wrong?
David was not only the king of God’s nation (a great blessing and great responsibility) he had also been entrusted with a great revelation of the goodness, power, justice and righteousness of God. He was a poor steward of all God had given him and done for Him. “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48) Our “blessings” from God are also our “responsibility” to God. Our time, talents, treasures, truth, (God’s truth) and relationships are all blessings from God that we are to use for His glory and purposes. In which, if any of these areas, do you feel God may be calling you to be a better steward and how can you go about doing that?
“Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.” (Proverbs 3:7b) David’s great sins and cover up showed no fear of the Lord, and God showed His own people and the watching nations around Israel how He deals with His “children” who disobey Him. Does the fear of the Lord turn you away from sin? Give an example of how the fear of God’s discipline kept/keeps you from sinning.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:22-25) It is in doing God’s Word, not in just hearing it, that we are blessed. What action will you take to apply these truths to your life?
Scripture memory verse: “God disciplines us for our good that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:10-11)