The Consequence of Sin Can Outlive Us

by Kent Heaton

The apostle Paul declared in Galatians 6:7, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap." There has always been consequence to sin from the moment Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden (Genesis 2,3). Man should not think that he can escape the eye of God.

King David was a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22) and became the greatest king to sit upon the throne of Israel. Whenever David's name is mentioned there is always a sidebar of remembering the incident with Bathsheba, wife of Uriah the Hittite. In II Samuel 11 we read of David walking on the roof of his house one evening when he "saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold" (II Samuel 11:2). David brought Bathsheba into his palace and lay with her. Later she told the King that she was with child. Wanting to cover the incident up, her husband was recalled from the besieging of the city of Rabbah.

Uriah the Hittite was one of the mighty men of David (II Samuel 23:39; I Chronicles 11:41). He was a man of honor and nobility in service to his king. When called home from the war, he refused to enter his house as long as his men and the ark were engaged in battle. Failing at other attempts to coerce Uriah into bed with his wife, David sent an order (by the hand of Uriah) to his general, Joab, to place Uriah in the heat of battle and then withdraw. Uriah carried his death notice and died in the battle.

It was later God sent Nathan the prophet to David to declare unto him the judgment of the Lord upon David and Bathsheba, the child and the descendants of David. The immediate consequence of David's sin was the condemnation of God. The grace of God allowed David to live (II Samuel 12:13) but the child would die. Further consequence that David would suffer is the sword would never leave his house and adversaries would rise up against him - even from his own household (see Absalom and Adonijah). The house of David suffered many years of hardship because of David's sin.

The punishment outlined by Nathan (II Samuel 12:7-15) was immediate at least in the lifetime of David. The sad part of David's sin was that he would forever be marked as the man who took Uriah's wife. When the account of Abijam's reign in Judah is given in the book of 1 Kings it says: "Because David did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the case of Uriah the Hittite" (I Kings 15:5). The consequence of sin remained.

Remarkably when the genealogy of Jesus Christ is given in Matthew's account, David is again marked with his sin. "Jesse was the father of David the king. David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah" (Matthew 1:6). Generations removed David is still remembered for what he did to Uriah and his sin with Bathsheba.

Sin will take you farther than you want to go and keep you longer than you want to stay. The lust of the flesh will mark a person for lifetime as the one who is known for what they have done. This does not dismiss forgiveness as God forgave David but the reality of the reaping of sin sowed in a moment's reckless folly will blacken the pages of life - and sometimes long after the person has died. Many have walked that road today and bear a heavy burden. David cries from the grave long passed: "O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness" (I Timothy 6:11).