All through the life of King David the Scriptures show God’s character of mercy and grace with unconditional love. They also show indisputable evidence that what a person sows, he will reap, whether it is blessings or the consequences of sin. God continually shows mercy and grace with unconditional love, but the choice to receive that provision is up to man. Man can choose to continue in sin, but God’s response is perfect, just, and automatic. His laws of sowing and reaping and the consequences of sin will surely follow. David committed the premeditated murder of Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, to cover their sin of adultery. According to the letter of the law, King David should have been executed, but God loved David’s heart because he was quick to repent and take responsibility for his actions. This was the only factor that saved King David. He did not try to place the blame on others, as King Saul always did, but owned up to his own mistakes, sins and guilt. The key to God’s mercy, grace and unconditional love in anyone’s life is to take the blame for your own mistakes and sins. Repent and God will always forgive. However, be warned that, unlike God, people may not always extend you mercy, grace, and unconditional love.
The prophet Nathan warned King David that because of his sins of adultery and murder, the consequences of sin would take effect and that rebellion, shame, death and murder would affect his family and his life forever. "Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.’” 2 Sam. 12:9-12 (NKJV)
I believe one reason God spoke through the prophet Nathan to warn King David was that even though God would forgive him, other people would not. I believe if we study the Scriptures, it becomes apparent that many people in Israel lost respect for King David. They did not understand mercy and grace. They thought David was a hypocrite and they despised him. Also, I believe the nation thought David did not rule with impartiality and justice, but that he showed favoritism with his children and cronyism with his friends. I know that Absalom felt that his father, David, did not administer justice fairly, so Absalom took justice into his own hands, killing his half-brother, Amnon, who had raped his sister Tamar. "Then Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore her robe of many colors that was on her, and laid her hand on her head and went away crying bitterly. And Absalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now hold your peace, my sister. He is your brother; do not take this thing to heart.” So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house. (2 Sam. 13:19-20)
King David was a man after God’s heart because when confronted with his sins, he took full responsibility and repented. We can be confronted with our sins through reading Scripture or some other method the Lord uses such as people. In David’s case, the confrontation came through the Prophet Nathan. God’s forgiveness is ours when we truly repent, but man doesn’t always forgive. Many people did not forgive King David because most humans are not mature enough in their relationship with God to operate with His character, which manifests itself in the fruits of the Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace, gentleness, meekness, self-control, diligence, temperance, mercy, grace, forgiveness). This immaturity is part of what defines the warning of “what a man sows he reaps”. God knows that other people will not be as kind to the repentant guilty party as He always is. What David reaped was partly because, in many ways, he was a weak leader and a weak father. David should have nurtured his children with godly mercy, grace and unconditional love, yet chastening them even as God disciplined him (forgiving him when he repented for adultery and murder, but allowing the death of the child of his sin with Bathsheba). It did not matter how much David interceded in fasting, crying and prayer...the baby died anyway. "However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.” (2 Sam. 12:14)
King David’s adult children did not repent but continued in their prideful selfishness, manifesting in rebellion against their father. Instead of dealing with his children's selfishness, he tolerated their pride until Amnon, Absalom and Adonijah were killed because their hearts never changed. "And Absalom spoke to his brother Amnon neither good nor bad. For Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar." (2 Sam.13:22) "Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, “Watch now, when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon!’ then kill him. Do not be afraid. Have I not commanded you? Be courageous and valiant.” (2 Sam.13:28) "So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the top of the house, and Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel." (2 Sam. 16:22) "Then Joab said, “I cannot linger with you.” And he took three spears in his hand and thrust them through Absalom’s heart, while he was still alive in the midst of the terebinth tree." (2 Sam. 18:14) "Now therefore, as the LORD lives, who has confirmed me and set me on the throne of David my father, and who has established a house for me, as He promised, Adonijah shall be put to death today!" So King Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he struck him down, and he died." (1 Kings 2:24-25) As parents , if we do not deal with our children’s unbridled pride, it will manifest in poor attitudes and behaviors. Weak parenting causes our children to shame us and to destroy themselves. Eventually society must deal with them according to the letter of the law.
King David really was a weak leader. It took him forty seven years to deal with Joab who had murdered three people without ever repenting. David’s immaturity and weakness in dealing with his own children and his friends caused the people to despise him, and contributed heavily to the sowing and reaping process and consequences of sin. This is also true for our own personal sin situations in life.
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