The kings and The King
The Sin and the Sins (Part 2)
David’s sins begin to sprout, and the consequences of his wicked actions start taking their toll on others and himself. Join Todd as he explains more about consequences from 2 Samuel 13-15 and how God uses them to turn us towards trusting him.
If you've ever been to the beach, especially a beach where there are a number of large breaking waves, you're aware that underneath the wave once it breaks is what they call an undertow, correct? There are other names for them. I think riptide is one, it's usually a little more forceful. I think rip current is one. I was reading this week about some of these things. I'm not nearly this smart, I just read about it recently, okay? But an undertow is that which you can't see and it occurs after the wave has broken. In fact, once the wave crashes and breaks, then it creates a current that comes back out in the opposite direction and it has been known sometimes to take people out. It doesn't really take you under, but it sweeps you away from the shore. What's interesting is that as the wave breaks, it affects many people and as I was thinking about how undertows work and their effect and that they're not really seen initially, all you see is the wave and then suddenly there is this undertow that occurs and it affects you and other people, I was thinking undertow, that's what consequences are like. Did you know that? Consequences of sin are like the undertow after a breaking wave. You don't really seen them right off the bat, they are somewhat kind of hidden, and they affect a lot of people and they want to pull you away from the shore. They occur after the sin kind of breaks, doesn't it? We see that, "Like, man, that's awful!" But underneath that waterline is still more to come.
So as we look at a number of chapters today, I want you to have this picture in mind: this is just more of the undertow from David's sin of adultery and murder and deceit. It's just continuing to pull people from the shore. With that in mind, take your Bibles and locate 2 Samuel 13, can we go there? It's actually a little before 13, about 12:26. We're going to be looking at "The Sin and the Sins" here and we're going to see this morning a lot about how consequences work, what they do and how they affect us. I've got a good bit of things I want to share with you and a lot of chapters to cover. We won't be able to cover all of them in great detail but I think we'll get the real gist of the narrative for sure.
Remember, this story began in chapter 11. It continues through about the first part of 19. We're going to look this morning at two sections that show us the consequences to David and others. In fact, here's really our
Let me walk you through this sequentially first and before I do that, let me give you a definition that we can work with, I
When we sin and then there are consequences, and I think I've talked to you before about the severity of consequences sometimes
Let me walk you through the timeline, okay? I'll do this somewhat quickly. I'll post it for you as well. Here's really chapter 13 through about 15, a good three chapters, in a real nutshell, alright? I trust you've read this in advance with your family or individually, but let me kind of walk you through the real essence of the consequences in these chapters.
First of all, Tamar's rape. This constitutes the bulk of chapter 13 and, of course, it's on the heels of chapter 11 and 12 when David commits adultery and murder and he lies and then he's confronted by Nathan. He does repent but the Lord says to him, "I'm going to punish you in judgment in front of all Israel."
And suddenly now we see the undertow of David's sin beginning in chapter 13 when Amnon incestuously rapes his step-sister, Tamar. You can read the story in 13. I'll just read verses 11 through 14. He was involved in deceit and trickery and, by the way, he had a friend who was the last thing a friend should ever be. I mean, think about it, the friend told Amnon how to deceive his step-sister so he could get her into bed. That's not the kind of friend you want. Verse 11 says, "when she brought them near him to eat, he took hold of her and said to her, 'Come, lie with me, my sister.' She answered him, 'No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this outrageous thing. As for me, where could I carry my shame? And as for you, you would be as one of the outrageous fools in Israel.
We find that Amnon actually hated her more than he loved her as the result of this and she leaves and you can read the story.
So you have an incestuous rape, you have a murder, and also more deceit. You find David's passivity is increasing.
When you read this you find that his heart was grieved, he wanted to bridge the distance but he never did anything. In fact, look with me at verse 24 of chapter 14. It took Joab conniving a plan to kind of tell David another parable, kind of like Nathan. He tells David a parable, gets David to kind of understand why he should do something, and so he does a little something, but when Absalom comes to the city of Jerusalem he says, "'Let him dwell apart in his own house; he is not to come into my presence.' So Absalom lived apart in his own house and did not come into the king's presence." He did this for about two years. Verse 28, "Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem, without coming into the king's presence." Verse 33, "Joab went to the king and told him, and he summoned Absalom. So he came to the king and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king, and the king kissed Absalom." So though there is this official meeting at some point two years after the fact, it was a long long journey. David experiences lots of
Of course, Absalom wanted to get back to the palace for reasons that weren't relational. He was power hungry and so we see in chapter 15 his desire to really lead a coup against his dad. Look at verse 6 of chapter 15, it says, "So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel." So after about a two year period, Absalom does find his way back to the palace. There is some type of relationship in general or at least, I should say access, but Absalom uses that to actually do things his dad wouldn't do, to judge the hard cases and those who were vulnerable and maybe apparently mistreated. He kind of sides with them, he steals the hearts of the people.
He begins to win over Israel. Look at chapter 15, maybe then end of verse 12, "And the conspiracy grew strong, and the people with Absalom kept increasing." Do you see that? I think that's not just because of Absalom's proactive conspiracy, I think it's also because of David's passivity. He was passive with his family. He was also passive as the king. His previous sin had kind of crippled his ability to act as the shepherd of his family and the shepherd of the nation.
Absalom moves in on that and takes advantage of it. Well, this just leads to further humiliation on David's part. In fact, what you're about to read is sometimes overlooked but it is amazing what happens. King David is actually fleeing now from the very town that he actually set up. Remember, it used to be in Hebron and he moved the capital to Jerusalem, a more strategic location for the whole nation. That was his doing. He led the charge in that and now he's being forced out by his own son.
Look with me
You know, as I read through this, I pictured David like perhaps wondering where to step without maybe stepping on a landmine or maybe where to walk that's not going to maybe uncover another sin or something from his past. There's nowhere he can walk, no relationship he can have, no conversation he can have where something's not happening that, "Oh, that was the past. That's a result of the past." More consequences. As I was thinking about that and just reading through this, I remembered Julie and I visiting pauper's field in Woodlawn Cemetery just a few months ago, in fact, and we weren't able to actually go to the field because we left early but I remember him explaining he said, I think it
Sometimes our lives are that way when we have sin that we don't deal with and it pops back up. Remember, we don't bury or hide sins, what do we do? We plant them, don't we? And sometimes after sin breaks its initial way, we find ourselves, "Man, where do I land? Where do I walk? Where do I put the shovel because wherever I put it, I feel like I'm going to dig up an old bone?" That's how consequences work.
Now, all of this should hopefully position us to think, wow, we should take sin seriously because as you read through David's initial journey through the consequences, and there is still more to come, no one is here like, "Hey, yeah, I'm signing up for that." No one is thinking that. We should be leery and sober about sin.
So in light of our seriousness about it, let me share with you just some things that I think we can draw as principles from this because seeing it sequentially is horrific. It's like, "Wow, what a four year period in David's life, just being crippled and paralyzed and distant and now fleeing in humiliation from the very place that he set up. That's terrible." Let me see if I can draw out some principles for you that I'll run through kind of quickly as well. Five principles about consequences you need to know taken from this sequence of events.
First of all: consequences never sing a solo. In fact, just to make sure we stay within the
Principle 2: consequences can take a physical toll and increase fear. You'll find this as you kind of read through the narrative of David's situation here. Chapter 15, verse 14, the conspiracy grows stronger. David is involved in four long years of running and dealing with consequences. I think you can find this same principle in Psalm 51. In fact, flip over there, would you? Psalm 51 is actually the Psalm written in light of his confession about this sin but I find one verse kind of very interesting. Psalm 51:8, he says, "Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice." Now, let's be honest, that's a metaphor, it's an analogy speaking of God's punishment of David, but how does he describe it? He describes it in a physical way, doesn't he? Like, "God, you have brought a physical type of calamity to me. My body has experienced physical results of the judgment of sin." I think as we read this sequence of events, we begin to see David did experience increasing fear, a type of indecisiveness, a worry. Consequences take a physical toll and they can increase fear. I tell you that because if you are unwilling to deal with consequences, and I'll explain to you what that means in a minute, but own them, confront them, live through them, you're going to find that same thing in your life. There's going to be a lot of fear and you're going to find that it takes a physical toll. So just keep this in mind, one thing we learn from David's story is that these are the result of consequences.
3. Consequences can make us emotionally weak and passive. In fact, let me just mention three things to you that are somewhat similar to the second one but I want to make this more specific. Write these verses down, would you? In 13:21, David was angry but did nothing. In 13:37, David was sorrowful but did nothing. And in 14:28, David was pretending to do something. What do you find in all three of those examples? You find David unable to actually carry out or act upon what he either felt or knew. A type of paralysis from consequences. In fact, all of chapter 14 is about Joab trying to get David to do something about Absalom. Isn't that interesting? I think we can all agree that consequences can make us emotionally weak and passive. I think I mean by this, by the way, it's more than just being emotionally vulnerable or transparent. I think we'd all give thumbs up to that. We're all pro fans of like we want to be honest and transparent, authentic, vulnerable. I get that, but this is beyond that. This is almost where we're afraid to even venture out, do the next right thing because of what might happen and so we become emotionally weak and passive.
4. Consequences can continually extract credibility and leave us with a lessening influence. Don't you think it's interesting how in 15:12 it says that the conspiracy grew strong, the people with Absalom kept increasing, that didn't happen in a vacuum. It happened because David's own influence was lessening. It was weaker and why was it weaker? Let's not run from the obvious. I suspect it was very hard for David to speak into the immorality of his sons, the deceit of his sons, the murderous action of his
Now, we'll address this in a minute, okay? Because if that were the only standard, we'd all be toast, wouldn't we? You could never discipline your kids. You couldn't teach your kids because we've all done things that they're going to do. That leaves all of us unqualified. In one sense, yes. There is a way to work with this but just on the surface, at least, understand something: that when you deal with consequences, one of the things they do is they do lessen your credibility unless you deal with them. That's why each of these principles I have the word "can." Not all the time do consequences do this, but if we don't deal with them appropriately, this is sometimes what they can do to us
5. Consequences can force us to trust and not twist. I did not read to you yet the two best verses in these 3+ chapters. In that sequence of events, there are two verses that are incredible. They show David unable to make any other moves. He's out of plays. He's got to do something. He's probably feeling passive, he's feeling somewhat paralyzed, he's not sure what to do. It's verses 25 and 26 of chapter 15. I love these two verses because it shows David, he's not twisting anymore, he's finally just saying, "God, this is what it is. Do what you have to do. Do what you think is best. I'm trusting myself to you in the middle of these consequences."
Look at these verses, 15:25-26, "Then the king said to Zadok, 'Carry the ark of God back into the city.'"
So David here realizes, "Okay, if I take the ark with me," even though God wanted it in Jerusalem, and he just began to think through this so he finally said, "Do you know what? I don't need to take the ark as some kind of measure of protection or trying to make sure that I've got some magic wand here." So he says to Zadok, "Take the ark back to the city where it belongs," and watch this next phrase, "If I find favor in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me back and let me see both it and his dwelling place. But if he says, 'I have no pleasure in you,' behold, here I am, let him do to me what seems good to him." You find David in this sprawling position of trust – watch this – not only with his consequences but in the very middle of them. He wasn't going to twist anymore. He's done doing that. He's now just simply trusting God. You see, this is what consequences can do to us, consequences can bring us to the point that we have to trust the Lord. Can somebody say, "You know it, brother"?
In fact, I've told men this and I'll just be very honest with you here and very transparent. I'm always honest with you and I'll just be very open with you. I tend to believe and Julie and I have discussed this multiple times, our elders have discussed this at times, I tend to believe this is what makes a man repent when consequences grip him to the point that he's got no other move. So I'll often tell couples, don't rescue your husband, let the consequences have their effect because when consequences have their full effect, it can actually force us to trust and not twist and that is actually a good thing, and some of the reasons that we don't feel the weight of sin is because people are sometimes shielding us or rescuing us. And I'm not saying this is easy, I imagine it's very difficult, but stepping out of the way and letting the consequences have their full effect may be the very thing, in this case the very thing a man needs to break him and cause him to see, "Wow, I've got no other option but to trust the Lord in the middle of my consequences and with my consequences." This is what David did in 15:25 and 26.
Now watch this: this principle here doesn't violate our
I think that's the last thing I want you to see in these chapters. We've
Now watch this. I told you earlier that's how we talked about how to deal with consequences. I think this is the way to deal with consequences: own them, admit them, that's where you are, embrace them and endure them. As long as you're trying to twist out from under them, as long as we're trying to say, "Well, I don't deserve this! This isn't fair!" It's just angling, maneuvering, negotiating, it's not trusting. But admitting, owning and saying, "I'm sure I'm reaping what I've sown and so, God, I'm not sure how long this will last, I'm not sure all that's entailed but I trust you in it and I trust you with it." That's the posture. And what I've seen in former experience is when that's the attitude, then God takes what's really negative consequences and he uses them in a very positive way in our life.
In fact, I look around the room here at different people and they've been here since we planted the church 13 years ago. I know a lot of you, I know a lot of your stories and that's one of the things that I think that as a pastor if I had to say what's one of those
Can I explain how that works? Not on your life. I'm not near that smart, okay? But I love the way God works everything for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose, even the consequences
I'll close with one story in a minute but
Q. Do you believe this passage speaks of generational curses?
A. I do not believe it speaks of generational curses, I would say I do believe in generational consequences. Now, if I'm splitting hairs on words, I'm doing semantics, forgive me. I don't know who wrote the question in. If that's what you meant, then we would agree. In fact, I would say this to you: I don't necessarily believe in generational sins either. Did you know that? I don't believe that we're given a sin because our father committed a sin or our grandfather. I do believe we have generational consequences and maybe that means we have a proclivity toward certain things. Are you with me? But that's a consequence of things, that's not an actual... We're not like, "Well, he sinned this way so I've got to sin that same way too." That's not true but we do have consequences I think from previous generations. We know in the Old Testament that was true, but I would remind you of what's also true, that though it says that he would visit the sins of the fathers upon the third and fourth generation, later it says this, that there are blessings to 1,000 generations. And
When I read through that and thought about that, I began to think, I think that's really what I benefit from as Roger Todd Stiles, a
So, yes, do I believe in generational curses? No. I do believe in generational consequences but even more deeply, I believe in generational blessings. And if you're a man in here this morning, if you're a father, if you're a husband, and you feel like, "I've got a mile of sin behind me from my dad and my grandfather," break the chain. Stop that flow. Get serious about sin. Don't just manage it. Kill it through the power of the Holy Spirit and realize that consequences are extreme and difficult. Then as you think about consequences, let them have their full work and posture you under them in a way that you trust the Lord to live a life that's just different than the past, that's holy and righteous under the Lord's authority and by the Holy Spirit's power. It's a Gospel fueled life.
So here's what I'm going to ask you to do with me. You've kind of seen the sequence of events in these chapters, you've kind of seen the principles from them, you've seen the spiritual point of it, you see that consequences have their effect on us, it's the undertow, but they can have one good effect: they can force us to trust. My question to you is this: as you stand at the shore of your life and look out at the breaking waves, as you kind of survey, okay, there are these sins that I know I've committed and I'm still kind of enduring the consequences of them, and I think most folks would have to admit there are things like that in your life, as you stand on the shore of your life and you look out over the breaking waves that have happened and you start pondering now the undertow from that, what will be your response? What will be your response to the invisible but sucking current that wants to pull people away from the shore? If you're going to try to work an angle, manipulate, maneuver, negotiate, the undertow will get you. Instead, let it actually do what it's intended to do, to appreciate the shore, to trust the Lord, in other words. Let it posture you in that position, okay?
Israel's biblical history is more than military conquest in chronological sequence. It is messianic prophecy in narrative form. This is especially and beatifully seen in the books of 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings, and 1-2 Chronicles. Prepare to enjoy the adventure of the Old Testament in our 2017 series, "The kings and the King," and appreciate anew the anticipation of Christ woven throughout each of these historical books.