When You Think You've Gotten Away With Something...

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Second Samuel 11 and 12 records a sad episode in the life of David. I remember that whenever I mentioned David as an example of someone with whom God was pleased one of the ladies in my study group in Caracas would immediately remind me of these sordid events. Yes, David wasn’t perfect—far from it—as these chapters prove.

David should have been out leading his troops (2 Samuel 11:1). He did not look away when he should have (11:2). He yielded to the temptation to exercise his power wrongly and took what wasn’t his to take (11:3, 4). Knowing his actions would soon be discovered, he orchestrated the death of an innocent man, one of his faithful servants and soldiers (11:6-15). And the Scriptures say “…the thing David had done displeased the Lord” (11:27).

In chapter 12 we read about how God’s servant, Nathan, confronted David about his sin and the king repented (12:13), recognizing that ultimately that what he had done was an offense against God. But the damage was done and there were consequences. David did not die, as his sin deserved, but the child produced by that night of illicit pleasure did (13:18). And David’s family would never escape the evil that his actions precipitated (12:10-12).

These are telling words that come from the Lord via Nathan: “You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel” (12:12).

There has been a great deal in the Canadian news recently about the “cheating” of our elected officials on their expense accounts. That people cheat is not surprising. But what is surprising is that they continue to cheat even though others before them have been caught and punished for doing exactly what they seem to think they can get away with. I have shaken my head and wondered why they thought no one would find out—especially with the heightened sensitivity to these offenses and the media attention to them.

But then, David thought he could get away with what he had done too. He thought the coverup was complete. For some reason he thought that God wouldn’t call him to account.

The families of our politicians may only bear the shame of what has been done. It's unlikely they will go through what David's family did. And, unhappily, there are probably a lot of people who don’t think that this abuse of power is even wrong. The media will move on to something else. Eventually people will forget.

But God doesn’t forget. God doesn’t move on to something more interesting or exciting. He doesn't take sin lightly. And though God will forgive when forgiveness is asked for, there are consequences that are unavoidable. The terrible part is that these consequences are often suffered by those who did not commit the sin.

Numbers 32:23 reminds us: “…you may be sure that your sin will find you out.”

That’s a good thing to remember that next time we are tempted to look and not walk away, or plot evil against someone, or try to coverup what we have done and hope that everything will just go away.


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