Cost, Cover-up, Consequences

Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 11:1-27; 12:1-17; 21:15-22; 1 Chronicles 18:1; 19; Psalm 51; 60

David's passion got the best of him. He saw a beautiful woman and was filled with desire. Even after he found out she was married, he still pursued her and had a night of passion with her. It was probably very romantic, exciting, and intoxicating. But was it worth it? The cost was devastating.

David went to extreme measures to cover up his sin. He manipulated and murdered to protect his reputation. We see it over and over again … people giving in to their passion, and then lying, cheating, deceiving, manipulating, putting others at risk, destroying other people's lives, just to cover it up or to justify their behavior. But it destroys them in the end. Whether they end up getting caught or not, they compromise their morals and damage their character. They often end up losing more than their reputation … they lose their family, friends, job, self-respect, and the respect of others.

David tried desperately to cover up his one night of passion. For a while, he even thought he got away with it. But then God confronted him with the ugliness of his sin and, instead of remaining hidden, his actions were written in history books and handed down to every generation to come. The consequences for his sin fell, not only on himself, but also on his family and his whole kingdom.

When he finally fell on his face in repentance, God restored David and gave him a brand new start. Through it all, God never stopped loving him. He loved him through his sin; he loved him to repentance and restoration; he loved him into a deeper, fuller relationship with God.

Lord, let David's moral failure be a reminder to us of the far-reaching damage sin can have. It's so easy to allow ourselves to be consumed by pleasure, and then ignore the truth and try to rationalize our behavior. We may think that our sin can be kept secret and that we're not hurting anyone. But, at the very least, it hurts our character, our relationships and our spirit. Most of all, it hurts you.

When you rebuked David, you reminded him of all the good things you had done for him. "And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes?" (2 Sam. 12:8-9). When I'm tempted to flirt with evil, remind me of all the goodness you've poured into my life. Nothing I could ever want that you don't approve of can bring more pleasure than living in the full realization of your love. The blessings of obeying your word far outweigh any sinful pleasure that I could ever imagine. When I'm tempted to give in to my wrong desires, remind me of the cost, the cover-up and the consequences. Help me to turn away from sin and turn to you. Deepen my trust in your unfailing love.

"God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life" (51:10 Msg). Wash away the dirt and sweep away the clutter so you can create in me a new, clean heart, and fill my mind with clean thoughts and right desires that are pleasing to you. Restore in me a steadfast spirit that is willing to obey you (51:10,12). Take the chaos that I have created and shape it into a new beginning, full of hope and joy because of my renewed fellowship with you.