Truth or Consequences

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Truth or Consequences

By Larry R. Lasiter

2001

The evening began innocently. It was such a beautiful night the King decided to take a walk on the rooftop of his palace. Surely the stars would be shining magnificently on such a clear night.

Many years earlier as a young shepherd boy, he spent many nights gazing at the vast expanse of the universe above. While contemplating the awesomeness of what he saw he once asked the great Creator in prayer.- "What is man that you are mindful of him?"

It was on nights such as these that he spent much time in intimate contact with his God, growing to love Him, learning to trust in him.

Twice his father's sheep were attacked by predators, once by a lion and once by a bear, and both times his God gave him the strength to overpower them.


Out in the fields he would write inspiring songs about his God, singing them to the flock as his played on the harp. Sometimes he became so jubilant that he danced before the Lord. His God said of him,- "He is a man after My own heart."

Once while his older brothers were serving in the army of Israel, his father sent him to the war camp with provisions for them.

While he was there an immense enemy standing upwards to thirteen feet tall stepped onto the plains and cried out defiant insults against the God of Israel. The army of Israel trembled and no man answered the challenge from this giant called Goliath. No one except this young shepherd boy who was there only to deliver goods.

Running to meet this armored giant, with only a sling in hand and five stones, this young shepherd proclaimed,- "The same God which gave me the power to kill a lion and a bear will give me the power to kill you this day." With one shot the giant was felled and this young shepherd became a hero and later a beloved King.

Perhaps he was reminiscing of these things as he strolled along the rooftop that night. Maybe he was again looking at the starry sky as he did while in the fields as a youth. But when he saw a beautiful young woman bathing on her own rooftop these good thoughts left him and he began to desire what was not lawfully his,- this young woman was already married to a warrior in the King's army.

For Bathsheba, the evening began innocently as well. Perhaps she had just written a letter to her beloved husband Uriah who was off at war. Maybe she was worried about his welfare, wondering,- "Is he still alive?" She thought, "A nice bath before bed would help me sleep."

Suddenly she heard a knock at the door! Who could that be at this hour? Standing at the door were the King's messengers saying that King David wished to see her. Obedient to the King's request Bathsheba departed with them to meet the King. What an honor to be summoned by the King! The man who slew Goliath! A man who carried the commandments of God with him at all times! A man of whom God had said "is after My own heart!"

As she entered the King's court she bowed humbly as the King commanded they be left alone. Perhaps she was surprised as it became clear this would be no cordial meeting. Perhaps as the King began to remove her clothing she told him that she was married. Was she surprised to learn that he already knew that?

King David shamefully had his way with young Bathsheba and then sent her back home. "No one will ever know," he thought. What a shock it must have been when he was informed that Bathsheba was pregnant with his child!

David's thoughts must have raced back and forth through his mind,- "What must I do now?" "I will summon her husband from the war so that he will lay with her and later believe that he is the child's father when it is born."

This David did, but Uriah was so faithful to the King and his fellow soldiers that he refused to visit his wife while others were sleeping on the battle fields, but instead laid down on the steps of the palace.

The King became desperate! "I will instruct my Commander to place Uriah on the front line so that he will surely die!" Uriah did die in battle and the King took his wife as his. But the damage was not done, but had just begun. The eyes of the Lord which flash to and fro as lightning across the earth had seen it all.

The Lord sent a prophet named Nathan to convict David of the evil which he had done and tell him the judgments he must endure.

The King was cut to the quick and cried,- "I have sinned against the Lord!" The prophet replied,- "The Lord has taken away your sin." David's sin was forgiven the moment he repented in his heart, however the prophet added that there were consequences for these sins even though he was forgiven of them.

(1) "There shall be constant WAR all the days of your reign."

(2) "Your OWN WIVES SHALL BE RAPED in broad daylight. What you did secretly I will do before all Israel."

(3) "I will cause your own FAMILY TO RAISE UP AGAINST YOU."

(4)"The BABY conceived from this adulterous act MUST DIE."


What a high price to pay for what began as a wanton night of fleshly indulgence.

As the Apostle Paul told the Corinthians,- "A little leaven leavens the whole lump." (1 Cor.5)

Sin, unchecked, always spreads, always grows, always ensnares.


(1) WAR: What is peace worth? So many wars throughout history have been fought to "end war." Even the value of a single person's peace of mind is made clear when he experiences a troubled mind.

David's reign was cursed by constant war. We may wonder,- "How many valiant soldiers died as a result of David's sin?" "How many widows were left in Israel due to the casualties?" "How many children were orphaned?" And when David requested permission to build a Temple for the Lord he was denied on the grounds that he was a "bloody man."

Yes God loved David. Yes he had deeply repented. Yes he was a man after God's own heart. Yes he was loved by the Lord. And yes there were consequences even for his forgiven sins.

(2) WIVES OPENLY RAPED: (3) FAMILY WILL RAISE UP AGAINST HIM:

Amnon, one of David's sons raped Tamar, his sister though she pleaded,- "No, my brother, do not violate me!"

Another brother, Absalom rose up and killed Amnon for this degraded act against his sister.

After a time Absalom began to conspire against his father in order to take the kingdom from him. After raising an army he made his march into Jerusalem. He found the city without a King for David had fled from his presence.

As conqueror, Absalom commanded that a tent be pitched on the roof of the King's house that he may rape his father's wives in the sight of all Israel.

In counter-attack, Absalom's army was engaged by Joab, commander of the King's army and Absalom was killed. Though Absalom had killed his brother Amnon, and had raised his hand against his father, David still loved him deeply and was grief-stricken over his death.

Yes there are consequences for sins.

(4) THE BABY MUST DIE: Shortly after Bathsheba gave birth the baby became ill. Laying on his face, refusing to eat for seven days, David pleaded with the Lord to have mercy on the child. David sought the Lord fervently but at the end of seven days the baby died. The Bible says little of the mother's reaction, only that David attempted to comfort her.

The devastating effects of what began as a simple stroll on a rooftop plagued David throughout his life. Thousands of lives lost in battle, thousands of widows and orphans made, the fear of the enemy in the land, not being allowed to build the Lord's Temple, having a son rape a daughter and another son kill him for it, a son raise up to take the kingdom from him, a son rape his wives in broad daylight in the sight of all Israel, the same son killed in battle, and the suffering and death of Bathsheba's baby.

Yes there are consequences even for forgiven sin.


Even after all this, God still proclaimed that David was a man after His own heart.

While the baby was sick David's servants could not console him, and when the baby died they were afraid to tell him, thinking that he may do harm to himself.

But when David heard them murmuring he perceived that the baby was dead and arose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, changed his clothes and entered the house of God to worship. David knew that he must endure the Lord's judgments against him without complaint. He knew the judgments were just and necessary. And he knew that the Lord had forgiven him and would not hold his acts against him in God's eternal, righteous Kingdom to come.


THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES FOR WHAT WE DO

AND FOR HOW WE LIVE

Though Moses was faithful he was not allowed to enter into the promised land because he did not treat the command of the Lord holy. God had instructed him to speak to the Bethel Rock that it may bring forth water for the children of Israel. But in his anger over their constant complaints, Moses struck the Rock instead.

The Lord was angry with Moses and said,- "Because you did not treat Me as holy in the sight of Israel, you shall not lead My people into the land of promise."

Though Moses later pleaded with the Lord, He would not listen saying,- "Enough! Speak to Me no more of this matter!" (Deuteronomy 3:26)

Moses accepted the judgment of the Lord knowing that it was just and righteous. Moses knew he was forgiven, he knew he was loved by God. Here is a man of whom God says,- "There is none so faithful, he is My friend."

Yet, there are consequences for sin.

Why is it that the Lord so often warns us about sin which so easily ensnares us? Why does He exhort us to ever "Be Alert!?"

Is it not because of His great love for us? Jesus said,- "No greater love can one have than for him to lay down His life for his friends." This He did, willingly, to save us from the fiery judgment of the Lake of Fire.

But what can save us from living lives full of trouble and despair? Perhaps living each moment knowing that there are consequences for even forgiven sins. And trusting that God's way is always the right way.

 

 


 


 

 

 

 

Points of Truth Ministries