Painful Consequences

Scripture Reading — 2 Samuel 15:1-18

“Come! We must flee, or none of us will escape from Absalom. We must leave immediately, or he will move quickly to overtake us and bring ruin on us. . . .” — 2 Samuel 15:14

After David had been king for many years, one of his sons, Absalom, tried to take over. Absalom declared himself king and built up a following.

David had committed some terrible sins while he was king. For example, he took another man’s wife, Bathsheba, and had her husband killed. And although God forgave David when he repented, not everyone forgot what David had done (2 Samuel 11-12).

David had also been a terrible father. Because he had several wives, some of his children were half-brothers and half-sisters. One day David’s son Amnon raped his half-sister Tamar, the full sister of Absalom. David was furious but did nothing about it. Then, awhile later, Absalom killed Amnon and ran away (2 Samuel 13).

Now Absalom was staging a coup—and one of David’s ­trusted advisers, Ahithophel, had joined Absalom. Why? It seems that Ahithophel may have been Bathsheba’s grandfather (see 2 Samuel 11:3; 23:34). If that was the case, could Ahithophel easily forget what David had done to his granddaughter?

David learned many lessons from the deeds he had done. The consequences of wrongdoing can be painful, on all sides. But instead of making things worse, we can turn to God and ask for forgiveness, and we can work to forgive as the Lord forgives us.

Prayer

Lord and God, forgive us our many sins. Help us to do right and to forgive others, just as you have forgiven us. In Jesus, Amen.