As I prepare for Sunday, I am overwhelmed by the tragedy of events in David’s life. Last week, we celebrated David’s restoration. Psalm 51 records his pleading with God for forgiveness.
(Psalms 51:10–12 NIV) Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
God forgives David. At the end of 2 Samuel 12, David returns to battle. He resumes his role as king and leader. David has survived. On the one hand, we are thankful for God’s forgiveness and grace. We, like David, desperately need to be cleansed from our sins. On the other hand, we understand that David’s actions are serious; adultery and murder are a big deal.
In this week’s text, we see how David’s sin plays out in his family. David’s son, Amnon, is a lot like his father. His lust for women is out of control. Amnon’s passion is distorted and grotesque. He longs for his half-sister, eventually raping her. David’s other son (Absalom) models his father’s behavior by murdering his own brother (Amnon). David’s actions toward Bathsheba and Uriah are perpetrated in his own family in hideous replications. David is left heartbroken.
God’s forgiveness is powerful. No doubt, Jesus’ death on the Cross covers our sins. We are transformed from death to life through his sacrifice on Calvary. At the same time, sin destroys on all levels. While we are forgiven, the consequences of our sins are not erased. Paul describes sin as seed. The farmer sows his seed and it will eventually produce a crop. If the seed is good, the crop will be good. If the seed is bad, it will produce a bad crop. In the same way, our sins play out in our lives. As we explore 2 Samuel 13, we survey the destruction in David’s family. We are reminded that sin devastates.
We will celebrate communion on Sunday. We remember the body of Jesus broken for us, his blood shed for us. As we reflect on the horrors of sin in David’s family, Jesus’ sacrifice is all the more momentous. May we never make light of sin. May we cling to work of the Cross and plead for God’s grace as we strive to live in the light of His love.