Private Sins, Public Consequences
This devotional was written by Leslie Snyder
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgression. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. Psalm 51:1
Sin is serious. It is enticing, alluring, provocative, inviting, and even enjoyable, but it is serious and its consequences are heavy. Once the immediate pleasure of the moment fades, the gravity of the consequences surface. And even what appears as a small indiscretion, emerges as a full-blown monster whet with an appetite to devour you and those around you. Leadership expert John Maxwell says this, “Sin always takes you further than you want to go, keeps you longer than you want to stay, and costs more than you are willing to pay.”
A case in point is the biblical account of David and Bathsheba, a true-to-life soap opera but with no commercial breaks and no comic relief. David, king of Israel, is home walking around on the roof of the palace (mistake #1—he was home in wartime instead of with his troops, as was the custom). He sees a beautiful woman bathing on the roof and inquires about her (mistake #2). He summons her to the palace to become his wife even though he knows she is already married (mistake #3). Bathsheba becomes pregnant (mistake #4), David tries to cover it up (mistake #5), fails, and makes plans to have Bathsheba’s husband killed in battle (mistake #6).
David seems to have gotten away with the entire sordid affair. But, Nathan the prophet, aware of David’s sins, doesn’t mince words. “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own.’”
God is serious about sin. It is never hidden from Him and it never comes away without casualties. Simply put, sin destroys lives. Consider the consequences of David’s sin with Bathsheba. Uriah lost his life, Bathsheba lost her husband, David and Bathsheba lost their child, and “the sword never departed from David’s family.” Fortunately for us, the story doesn’t end here. 2 Samuel 12: 13 records David’s confession, “I have sinned against the LORD,” and Nathan’s reply, “The LORD has taken away your sin.”
Today, if you are carrying the weight of sin or have caused pain in others by your actions, go to the Lord, confess your sin and be free. Make Psalm 51 your own prayer. Then, go and make right what has been wronged.
- What sins in your life are you hoping remain hidden?
- God knows our hearts. What steps do you need to take today to be free of sins that weigh you down?
2 Samuel 11 – 12; Psalm 51