In today’s reading we see some of the effects of sin in the life of one who has come to trust God in their life. We, perhaps, cannot see the eternal consequences, but we definitely see the immediate ones. We would all be wise to understand what is happening in II Samuel chapter twelve.
As we discussed yesterday, David was a man after God’s own heart and David had a very close and continual relationship with God. Although David was, most definitely, an amazing man of God; he was not above sin or the effects of that sin. We see the first effect of David’s sin at the beginning of the chapter when Nathan approaches him. Nathan was a priest, which means mediator. This was before Christ had come and taken away the sin of those who had repented so there was not yet a mediator between God and man in Christ Jesus. God chose to speak through His priests. David prayed often and sought the will of God; he had a great personal relationship with God. But just as Adam in the garden of Eden, when sin arrived, that relationship was hindered. God, in the garden, came looking for Adam because Adam was hiding from God. In this chapter we see God sending His priest/mediator to David because that close relationship was now non-existent. God does not tolerate sin, but strangely enough, we are the ones who hide from Him when we are involved in unrepentant sin. He continues to seek us out and bring us to repentance.
So David is now being chastised by God, through Nathan. It is very interesting that this priest does not come right out and accuse him of his wrong doing; he instead gives David a parable in order that David may understand. David, just like us, when in an unrepentant state, do not clearly see our own sin. Have we all not looked at others and immediately can see that they are way out of line? Yet at the same time we usually have ways to justify our own sin, we minimize our own sin while exaggerating other’s sins. This allows us to feel better about ourselves and continue to hide our own sin. But we are only hiding it from ourselves. Nathan gets a reaction of great anger and wrath from David before dropping on him that famous line: “you are that man.” I don’t believe that Nathan would have been successful if he had just outright confronted him. Nathan may have been put to death for speaking to a king in such a manner. But amazingly, God does not use Nathan in order to approach David with wrath, He instead uses His priest to draw David to repentance insomuch that their relationship could be restored. God was not a child sitting on an ant hill with a magnifying glass waiting for unsuspecting ants to crawl out in order that He may burn them up. He, instead, is long-suffering toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.
Another thing that we must, must realize is the fact that the effects of David’s sin still haunted him. God had forgiven him (see Psalm 51 for David’s repentance) David still felt the ugly consequence of his sin. David lost his child and in the future, his son will follow in his foot steps to the dismay of David and the nation of Israel. David paid a high price for a cheap thrill. Although we have forgiveness of sin in Christ Jesus, we still have to live through the effects of our sin. God is not only trying to save us from eternal damnation; He is also trying to save us from our own sin before we destroy ourselves.
The last thing that I would like us to see today is that sin never effects only the sinner. It effects all who are around us. David was not the only one to suffer in this sad situation. Bathsheba lost her husband and her first born child, men fell in battle needlessly losing their life in order to cause the death of Uriah, David’s son would mirror David’s sin and lastly, David’s son Absalom will (as we shall soon see) cause a rift in the kingdom which will almost tear it apart.
Back before restaurants had banned smoking, a waitress would ask “smoking or non-smoking?” My wife and I asked for the non-smoking section one time and the waitress took us to our seat. We were sitting on the border of these two sections and the only thing separating us from the smoking booth next to us was an 18″ wall between our two table tops. As we left the restaurant our clothes and hair stunk of cigarette smoke. Even though we were not involved in the “smoking section” we still stunk from its effects. In the same way, our sin will cause it’s stench to remain on those who are closest to us.