Posted by: Brad Beaman | July 23, 2013

When Scars Remain

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Fairytales are so uplifting. Prince charming rescues the princes and of course they live happily ever after. A lot happed to the princes. The fairytale ending whitewashes the harsh reality of the remaining scars. Everyone has struggles.

Yes you were washed clean when you trusted in Christ but you will still have struggles. There are still consequences from what was set in motion from wrong actions of the past. Those consequences do not automatically stop even we have a new life in Christ. In fact do not expect them to. Some scars will remain. They certainly did for King David.

2 Samuel 12:13 makes a tremendous statement. “The Lord has taken away your sin.” The Lord said this to King David after his sin with Bathsheba. That “sin” was really a long list of big sins; deception, lust, adultery, murder and cover up. Happily ever after is simplistic. In real life you can’t just sweep sin under the carpet without consequences. This does not change the most wonderful truth of Grace. You really do have complete forgiveness in Christ when you put saving faith in Jesus no matter how big the sin.

Psalm 51 shows the beauty of David’s forgiveness. But it really does not end there. We can’t just say David arranged for Bathsheba’s husband to be killed married her received forgiveness and then David and Bathsheba lived happily ever after. Even with such incredible forgiveness David received wounds and from those wounds scars remained. We find that out from 2 Samuel 12-18. These chapters tell us of the scars and consequences that remain from David’s sins even though God forgave him.

Read six chapters: 2 Samuel 12-18

The more worldly your background the more turbulence in life you can expect to come. Yes you are forgiven, but you better stay seated with your seat belt fastened. It may get rough. It sure got rough for King David. For David it was more like landing the plane without the landing gear than turbulence.

I want you to know what David set in motion from his sin with Bathsheba. Not all problems are a result of sin and we don’t usually see such a one to one correlation between our past sin and our problems but it is explicitly clear in King David’s case (2 Samuel 12:10-14). It is the norm for the consequences of sin to play out.

The guilt before God of our sin is removed in Christ as far as the east is from the west. But David experienced some of the deepest suffering known to man. Some of his suffering was as severe as Jobs. It was the consequence of lust David did not control. Forgiveness yes but also scars remain too.

The child that David conceived will die because David did this deed. Not every child conceived in adultery dies. But David has given occasion for the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme (2 Samuel 12:14).

The child fell sick at birth. David fasted and lay on the ground all night. Seven days after the child was born he died. No one even wanted to tell David his son had died because they were afraid that David would harm himself when he heard the news. Verse 2 Samuel 12:23 tells us of David understanding of what happened when his son died.

Just think if David had just turned his eyes away when he first saw Bathsheba bathing on the roof top. If only he had just retreated to his chambers to write another beautiful Psalm of praise he could have avoided unthinkable pain.

As the story of David moves to 2 Samuel chapter 13 the repercussions of David’s sin has taken root on his firstborn son in line to the throne Amnon. He burned with lust to the point of illness for his beautiful sister Tamar. Following in his father’s footsteps he succumbed to this lust rather than take it to the Lord.

Amnon acted on his desires and lied and schemed to rape his sister. As soon as he raped her the “love” which was actually lust turned to hate (2 Samuel 13:15). He held an intense hatred for his sister.

Absalom was rightly outraged. Amnon caused his sister to live out her life a desolate woman. David himself was furious. One by one the prophesies that Nathan spoke after David sinned began to unfold. The child died, calamity came and the sword will never depart from your house. Absasolom waited two years for the right time to avenge his sisters disgrace. He waited until his brother was drunk and had him struck down and killed.

The death of a son days after he was born, his daughter violated and desolate one son murders another. Could the depth of agony for David and the killing get any worse? Yes! It will get much worse for King David. Absalom set himself up as king in Hebron. This was the place of David’s original rule. Absalom stole the hearts of the people (2 Samuel 15:6).

David the great king of Jerusalem fled for his life and lived as a fugitive like when Saul pursued him. In 2 Samuel 16:5-14 David is cursed and pelted with stones and dirt was thrown on him. All this tragedy was consequences set in motion from David’s sin before Absalom was even born.

His own son does the most despicable thing possible to become a stench in his father’s eyes. There was a resulting battle and twenty thousand men are killed. Absalom was stuck in a tree and killed. David had ordered his son protected but David’s general would not obey that command. David’s anguish is recorded in 2 Samuel 18:33.

David’s men were confused. They fought and won the battle for David and he was acting as if he had lost the war. The pain and scars were there. It was the consequence of David’s sin he had been forgiven by the Lord for decades past.

To simply say that David sinned greatly and was forgiven would not tell the whole story. Was David the greatest king in the history of Israel? Yes. He received the covenant promise of God. He was the man after God’s own heart. He wrote much of the Bible. But sin has consequences. Sin leaves scars.

There are many great servants of God whose past sins rival that of King David. But they also carry scars like King David. Psalm 51 is the great Psalm of the forgiveness of David’s sin. We carry on despite the consequences. You may carry scars of your own. Press on and keep your faith.


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