God is Gracious But Sin Has Terrible Consequences

Topic:
Category: Excerpts

Praise be to God that He forgives our sins and that we won’t have to go to hell for them. But this doesn’t mean that there will not be fierce and severe consequences for our sin. God’s forgiveness doesn’t in any way nullify His discipline.


This is an excerpt from the sermon, “Secret Sins“.

Transcript

Now we noted that God forgives. Forgives so fully that David escapes death and brings joy to his soul. But there are consequences. I cannot tell you that if you come clean of your sin, your wife won't leave you. I cannot tell you that your kids won't hate you. That your boss won't fire you. The government won't arrest you. I cannot make you that promise. God often allows dark consequences to follow our sins. I know a man who pressed on for many years in pornography and saw his wife die. He felt her death was God's discipline for his sin. God may discipline you terribly for your sin, but it's still worth it to come clean. You may lose everything, but you'll have God. (incomplete thought) Second to finally, David pleads and presses on. Now what David does next is shocking. He fasts and prays that God would not inflict the fullness of His discipline on him. He fasts and prays for the life of his child. Chapter 12, verse 15, "And the Lord afflicted the child that Uriah's wife bore to David, and he became sick. David therefore sought God on behalf of the child and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. And the elders of his house stood beside him to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. On the seventh day, the child died, but the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, 'Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him and he did not listen to us. How can we say to him the child is dead? He may do himself some harm.'" They thought David was suicidal. "But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David understood that the child was dead. And David said to his servants, 'Is the child dead?' They said, 'He is dead.' Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. He went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. He then went to his servants who said to him, 'What is this thing you have done? You fasted and wept for the child when he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.' He said, 'While the child was alive, I fasted and wept. For I said who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live. But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.'" David's servants were confused by David, and maybe you're confused by David too. What's going on here? They thought he was praying and fasting out of grief. But he was not primarily fasting and praying out of grief. He was fasting and praying for mercy. He was hoping God would remove some of the consequences. Did you know you can do that? If you come clean over your sin and God disciplines you, you can ask God to suspend the discipline. In fact, I've seen God grant mercy to so many disciplined saints over the years. I remember a young woman who had lied to her school. If I remember correctly, she had cheated on a test affecting her entrance requirements. And as she came to know more of God's holiness and grace, she came clean, but she knew she might be kicked out of her school. We prayed and prayed and God had mercy on her. And when she told the school administration, they had mercy on her. I remember a man who was fired for lying at work. We prayed for God to be merciful to him as he came clean. And he was given another job by a different company that day. Sometimes - many times - He does that. He releases us from the discipline. He does not treat us as our sins deserve. I knew a man who by the time he came to Christ had such a damaged marriage that it did not look like the marriage could be saved. Yet, he prayed and prayed, and he would not take his wedding ring off. He prayed and prayed, but in the end, he had to take off the wedding ring because God did not restore the marriage. But God still forgave his sins. He was not treated as his sins deserved. Can I say this to you this morning? I have not been treated as my sins deserve. And you have not been treated, believer, as your sins deserve. Perhaps you have confessed some secret sin sometime in the past and the discipline has stayed. God was being merciful to you. How you should praise God with shouts of hallelujah this morning that God didn't reject you and send you to hell, but He kept you as His child. And maybe you're here this morning and you're like I did get myself in a pickle. I should have lost my marriage. I should have lost my job. But instead, God sustained even those. We should have shouts of hallelujah to the rooftops for how God has preserved us even in the midst of our sin. Finally, God restores. The last two paragraphs of this chapter are fairly scandalous. David is treated with real, practical grace. These paragraphs include two instances of God being super-gracious to David. Treating him the way we kind of get mad when we see sinners treated. Treating him well and lavishly. It says that God gives David Bathsheba. And then personally sends a note where He decides what Bathsheba's son will be named. You talk about divine intervention in your life. It says in v. 24 of chapter 12, "Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba and went in to her and lay with her and she bore a son and he called his name Solomon, and the Lord loved him and sent a message by Nathan the prophet so he called his name Jedidiah because of the Lord." You can imagine how much David would have doubted the love of God after all of God's discipline upon him. And there he is standing with his new son and Nathan comes - the same one who had convicted him - and slips him a note. God has decided the name of this new child. What an assurance of God's involvement in David's life; God's love for David. Now you might get all judgy about David and Bathsheba getting to have a happy marriage after all the mess they were in, but some of you started your relationship with a bunch of fornication before you were married and lo and behold, God still gave you to each other and after you came clean of your sin, He actually gave you a stable marriage. Some of you He even gave kids. Pretty amazing really. And I know of people who should not have gotten divorced. The Bible after all seldom allows divorce. And they should not have gotten remarried. After all, the Bible really speaks negatively of remarriage after an unlawful divorce. I know of people who have done that, but lo and behold, God gave them grace and sometimes even children. We should not take stories like this as an excuse to sin. But if you've been blessed after you came clean from sin, then you have one more reason to bless the Lord this morning, and one more reason to come clean if you've hidden sin in your life. How can you hide sin against the God who has been so gracious to you?