2 Samuel 12:13-14 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the Lord show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.”
Our sins have consequences, and they aren’t limited to us. Just before this Nathan specifies some things that indeed happened to David because of his sin, but here he declares that the totally innocent child who had been born because of David’s sin would die. David himself had repented because of Nathan’s forthright confrontation, and Nathan tells him, “The Lord has taken away your sin.” (The Japanese says, “overlooked your sin.”) Here, David’s repentance is expressed very tersely, but Psalm 51 is the full expression of that repentance. God’s forgiveness is real, but it doesn’t necessarily interrupt the chain of consequences that come from sin. Opportunities are lost, and evil things are set in motion. That said, verses 22 and 23 show David’s grasp of God’s grace, as he responds to the death of the child. We need to grasp better what it is to fear the Lord and so hate our own sin, knowing that it resonates to those around us. God is indeed love and He is indeed gracious, but He is also perfectly holy, and we must never forget that.
I honestly don’t know which of the unpleasant things in my life have resulted from my sin and how many are strictly part of living in this fallen world. (John 16:33) I also don’t know the cause of the many physical/health-related attacks on Cathy. If they are in any way a result of my sin, I want to know how to repent! She has benefited from some good doctors, but she has also suffered from some poor doctors. Right now, her Parkinson’s specialist is insisting her pain doesn’t come from that disease, but her Orthopedic Surgeon very reasonably says that is the trigger. I just don’t want her to be in pain! I do know that all pain in this world is temporary, but that doesn’t necessarily make it easier to bear. I want to so walk before the Lord that I won’t be a pain vector, to Cathy or to anyone else. I want Cathy to be free of pain, but I don’t want her taken from me, even though her own experience demonstrates that heaven is marvelously free of pain. In some ways that’s rather selfish of me! Like David, I need to walk in humility and repentance, trusting God’s grace but not presuming on it, so that His will may be done in and through me for His glory.
Father, thank You for this reminder. I do pray that You would keep Cathy from any unnecessary pain, and that You would keep me from being a source of pain in any way to others. May I be an open channel of Your grace, and experience it myself in the process, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!