The Tragedy of Sin


I’m not sure there is a more tragic portion of Scripture than what we have in 2 Samuel 11. Most of us, even if we don’t spend a lot of time in the Bible know this story. David, one of the most loved and celebrated men in the history of Israel committed one of the most disgusting acts that we can imagine. This act I am referring to is his sin with Bathsheba, and the ensuing murder of her husband to cover up his sin.

The Bible says that, “In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.” This is an important detail that we might be quick to just pass over. As the stage is set for the Bible to relay the story of David and Bathsheba to us, we see that David should have never been in position to commit this sin, he was supposed to be out in battle with his men. David however has grown complacent, and instead is at home while his men go out and fight his battles.

This is an important detail for us, and the point in which I want to make. I’m writing today, not so much to talk about the tragic case of David and his sin, but I want to write about the nature of sin, and the danger of sin. I’m not writing just about David’s sin, but our sin as well.

Sin tends to snowball. One sin leads to another sin. In order to avoid the consequences of one sin we have to commit another sin to cover it up. Our sin ends up not simply impacting us, but the people around us. Very often, it isn’t only ourselves that suffer for sin, but those around us as well.

David’s very first sin in this scenario, is as I said slothfulness. He was supposed to be in battle with his men, yet he stayed behind. The next sin we see David committing is lust. David takes a stroll on his roof and he sees Bathsheba, a beautiful woman bathing. David then sent and inquired about the woman and discovered that she was the wife of Uriah the Hittite. One would think that a righteous man such as David, in whom we’ve seen God work so mightily throughout the Bible up to this point would then back away from the situation. Certainly an upstanding man such as King David wouldn’t pursue this relationship any further.

Sadly, this isn’t the case. David sends for Bathsheba and he commits adultery with her. Sometime later, Bathsheba informs David that she is with child. In order to cover up his sin, David sends for Uriah and makes several attempts to get the husband of Bathsheba to sleep with his wife. Uriah, being more righteous than David refuses to do so. He refuses to eat and drink and lie with his wife while the other soldiers are in battle. When David can think of no other way to cover up his sin, he sends word to put Uriah on the front lines of battle, then for the other men to fall back. To put it plainly, David has Uriah murdered. David then takes Bathsheba as his own wife.

Usually when we talk about the heroes of the Bible, we don’t associate a sequence of events like this with their lives. If we had only studied the life of David up to this point, and knew nothing of this story before now…we would be in utter shock!

But the Bible is very clear about sin, even the sins of those whom God in his providence chose to use in mighty ways. The Bible is very clear about the nature of sin. Sin is dangerous, sin is evil, and even the best of us are not immune to its disastrous effects and consequences. This window into the life of David is a powerful reminder for us all. When we crack the door, even a little bit and let sin into our lives we have no idea how tragic the results can be.

In David’s own life, what started out as sloth and complacence gave way to lust, which gave way to adultery, which gave way to murder. As a result of David’s sin a righteous man died. But not only did David’s sin cost Uriah his life, but several other of David’s men died. We know from further reading in 2 Samuel that the child whom was conceived as a result of David’s sin also died.

Again, David’s sin had tragic consequences that were far reaching. The depths of sin and the consequences of sin were far beyond anything that David could have imagined.

Truthfully though, this isn’t just true of David’s sin, it is also true of our sin. It is very rare that our sin impacts only us. Very often when we allow sin to take root in our lives, the end results are far reaching. As parents our sin affects our children. As husbands our sin affects our wives, and vice versa. The sins of children affect their parents – and we could keep going, but I think we get the idea. Sin is indeed tragic, and left to itself it kills and leaves a path of destruction in its wake.

But God in his grace has given us the remedy for sin. God offers mercy and forgiveness, for even the most tragic cases of sin. What is that remedy you might ask? Repentance. When we come face to face with our sin, when we see it for what it is God calls us to repent – to humble ourselves, admit our sin, and turn away from it and throw ourselves upon the mercy of God. We know that this is what David did. (2 Samuel 12, Psalm 51)

God’s forgiveness ultimately comes through Jesus Christ, the “Son of David” who willingly took upon himself the tragic consequences of our sin so that we wouldn’t have to. This is good news for us all. Again, if David can fall victim to the tragedy of sin, no one is immune. So, no matter where you are today, no matter what you’ve done, you have hope in Christ. Turn to him today and ask him to take your sins away and to pour out his mercy upon you.

Death, Tragedy, Glory, and God: Is there more there than we think?

Continuing to add to couple of weeks of tragedy, I heard two days ago about the death of our pediatrician’s 22 year-old daughter due to H1N1. My prayers go out to this family, especially with her 3 year-old little girl.

I read in the news that now this doctor was on a mission to get all children in the area vaccinated. My wife also told me, as we were discussing this tragedy that he and his wife were planning to give out vaccinations at their daughter’s funeral. This got me thinking, how so many times when a family is struck by tragedy or the death of a loved one, there is this innate desire to use it for good. There is this longing within us that a tragedy or the death of a loved one should mean something, can be used for something.  How many times have we heard the phrase, “I didn’t want his/her death to be in vain.” How much good has been done, and how many lives have been changed because of someone taking death or tragedy, and using it for good.

As I said though, this got me thinking. Why do we as humans have this desire to turn bad around and use it for good? Why do we so often want to use the tragic death of a loved one, and use it for the good of others? I think I have an answer, or at least a thought on what the answer could be. Could it be, that God has programmed this into the DNA of humans to prepare our hearts for the Gospel? What greater good has come about as a result of a tragedy, than the atonement of our sins, through the blood of Christ? What greater good has come about than the salvation of our souls, as a result of the brutal murder of our Savior, God’s own son, Jesus? (Ephesians 2:13)

The idea of tragedy/death bringing about good, and being used for good isn’t a new, or even unique concept. Just watch any number of movies. Like I said, I believe that just maybe this is something that has been programmed into the hearts, mind, and DNA of humans in preparation for us to receive, or be able to receive the truth of the Gospel. The thing that boggles my mind though, is that God didn’t just decide to use the tragedy of the cross for good, but He planned it. (1 Peter 1:2) He used, no planned the tragedy of the cross for the greatest good imaginable, to bring a people who were once far away, near to Himself. Thank God that His ways are not our ways.

What love does it show that the God of the universe would come down, take on flesh, and die for us? Not because He had to, or needed to, but because He wanted to. He planned to…from before the foundations of the earth. (1 Peter 1:2, Romans 8:29, Ephesians 1:4-14) Simply amazing…