David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan said to David, “Now the Lord has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child that is born to you shall die.” 2 Samuel 12:13–14
The story of David and Bathsheba is possibly one of the most disturbing abuses of power in the entire Bible. This story is not merely troubling because of the gruesome nature of the crime but because the offense was committed by a man who was beloved by God and who certainly knew better. Lust overcame David, and when Bathsheba became pregnant, murder turned out to be David’s exit plan. The story came to an end when David confessed his sin to the prophet Nathan. God forgave David, but David and his family were forced to bear the consequences of the sin.
That may be exactly the way God deals with people of faith. We sin, we confess, we are forgiven, but we must live with the consequences of our actions. Sin does not limit God’s love for us. And yet, God’s love for us does not limit the consequences of our behavior.
Can you accept love that requires you to accept consequences?
Lord, I have sinned. That is David’s confession, and it is mine as well. We are sinful creatures who do not deserve Your love. And yet, You love us all the same, and You forgive us when we ask. That does not mean we don’t have to pay the price for our bad behavior. Help me to embrace Your love and Your forgiveness while accepting the consequences of my actions. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.