Desolation

*image originated here

2 Samuel 11 – 15

There are a number of lessons we can take away from this period of David’s life. They have to do with what happens when we sin, what God thinks of our sin, how it affects others, and we should respond to our sin.

  1. Sin always leads to more sin: When David committed adultery with Bathsheba he was going to lie about it since her husband didn’t go home to sleep with her while on leave, David has him murdered. After Amnon rapes his sister Tamar, his brother Absolom¬†murders him for vengeance and then is banished. Absolom returns only to betray his father by taking the kingship for himself.
  2. God takes our sin very seriously! He is merciful but always just. For David’s adultery, his house is cursed and his newborn son dies. His sons commit many sins under his own roof until Absolom’s betrayal drives him from Jerusalem.
  3. God loves us even though we sin. David still must suffer the consequences for his actions but God also gives him another son, Solomon whom the LORD loves and names Jedidiah. He also brings David and his household out of Jerusalem in safety and continues to answer David’s prayers.
  4. David takes responsibility for his sin. This king is not perfect by any means, however when he is confronted with the evil he has done he acknowledges and repents of his sin. He relies on God’s mercy and forgiveness while understanding that his actions are worthy of punishment. God may do with David what He sees fit and David still has faith that God is holy and will do what is best for him and for Israel.

Leaving Jerusalem to escape Absolom David goes up the Mount of Olives weeping. The people follow behind him grieving as well. The Ark of the Covenant and the priests follow him to the gates of Jerusalem but David turns them back. He declares,

…take the Ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the LORD’s eyes, he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place again. But if he says, ‘I am not pleased with you.’ then I am ready; let him do to me whatever seems good to him.

-2 Samuel 15:25-26

It isn’t easy to take responsibility when you’ve done something wrong. It is even more difficult to accept the consequences. What a wonderful comfort to know that God will still have mercy on us and will still love us no matter how many times, or how badly we fail!

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