David's Sin


Posted by Matt Postiff August 8, 2019 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Theology  Bible Texts 

Today's question:

David was a man after God's own heart, right? So can I sin—even in ways like David—and count on God's forgiveness? Aren't I forgiven all my sins: past, present, and future?

This question has recurred over the years of my pastoral ministry. Let me address it in this forum, with the hope that it will be a help to someone out there with this misguided thinking.

First of all, the kind of thinking expressed by the question is not the kind of thinking that a true believer expresses. The true believer understands his sinfulness and hates sin. He wants to depart from evil and do good. He wants to please the Lord. He doesn't want to "count on" the forgiveness of God as a cover for the flesh. He wants to make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts. If he does fall into sin, he repents and feels terrible about it. Whether the person who asked the question truly thought that as a "way of life" kind of thinking, I do not know. But I do know that it is an unbelieving pattern of thinking and indicates a big problem.

Second, the person asking the question doesn't understand that God judged David severely for his sin with Bathsheba and Uriah. Consider how God evaluated and how God judged David:

2 Samuel 11:27: "But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD."

2 Samuel 12:14: "By this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme."

2 Samuel 12:14: "The child also who is born to you shall surely die." That in fact occurred and is recorded in 2 Samuel 12:19.

2 Samuel 12:10: "The sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me."

2 Samuel 12:11: "I will raise up adversity against you from your own house."

And now, observe what history records:

2 Samuel 13: Amnon raped Tamar. Both are children of David. Subsequently, Absalom, another son, murders Amnon.

2 Samuel 15: Absalom rebels against his father and stages a coup. David has to leave Jerusalem and live in the wilderness. As David left the city, Shimei cursed him (16:5-14).

2 Samuel 16:22: "So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the top of the house, and Absalom went in to his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel."

2 Samuel 18: Absalom is killed. David's grief now extends to three of his children who have been either killed or raped.

2 Samuel 20: Sheba rebels against David's kingdom.

2 Samuel 24: David fell into pride and took a census of the nation of Israel. God punished him and thousands of his people died. He had that on his conscience all his days.

2 Kings 1: Adonijah presumed to take the kingdom from David and David's appointed successor, Solomon. The priest Abiathar joined him in the rebellion. In chapter 3, Joab was executed and Abiathar exiled.

Hopefully it is obvious that David's sin had far-reaching consequences. If that is the kind of thing you want to go through, be my guest. I trust you will choose the wise route and desire to live righteously before God.

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