Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Delayed Consequences and the Price of Sin

The Chronological Bible reading this morning was the story of the rape of Tamar and the subsequent destruction that followed. As I read it, I considered writing about pulling weeds in my garden instead. (Yes. My own weeds were out of control. It took lots of weeding to get rid of them.) Weeds could symbolize the sin in our hearts. Pulling them out could symbolize repentance. It would work, I thought.

Pulling the weeds of sin out of our hearts is critical, because sin left to fester leads to action, often with catastrophic results.

David "took" Uriah's wife, Bathsheba. He let unbridled desire drive his actions. Lust turned to adultery which led to murder. 

As one of the consequences of his sin, Nathan brought a pronouncement from God. Evil would come against David from within his own house. The sword would never leave his house. 

Perhaps David was like a lot of us. Time went by. Nothing happened. He probably thought he'd gotten away unscathed, or relatively so. 

When he least expected it, his world began to unravel. It seemed as if a runaway freight train of disaster was barreling through his family.

David had a beautiful daughter named Tamar and a lust-filled son (Tamar's half-brother) named Amnon, who desired her. There were legal ways he could have had her as his life-long wife, but that was not what he wanted. He didn't want a delay or a commitment. He wanted desire fulfilled and nothing more.

Amnon tricked David into allowing Tamar to come to his house. He made an opportunity to get her alone, raped her, sent her out in disgrace, and refused to accept his responsibility to her.

Whether David saw Amnon's actions as similar to his own in taking Bathsheba is not known. David was "very angry" but he did nothing. 

Absalom was Tamar's brother. He was in a rage, too, and he would not be denied of his revenge. He took Tamar into his home and plotted vengeance. 

Two years went past. Amnon probably thought he had gotten away with his sin. Seemingly out of the blue, Absalom's plot unfolded. He killed Amnon with all David's other sons looking on. Absalom went a long way before reaping his own consequences for his actions. 

Newton's third low of motion says, "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction." In a way, we could make a similar law about sin. Amnon's lust and sin triggered an equally intense hate and sin in Absalom. His sin triggered equally intense reaction in Joab.

Every sin has a consequence, and it is not usually one we like. That could be a law of sin-motion, too.

My grandmother used to say, "Your sin will find you out." I'm not sure about that wording, but even forgiven sin has a price.

This morning, I'm remembering the hours I spent weeding my garden yesterday and wishing David had pulled the weed of sin out of his heart before he took Bathsheba. Wishing Amnon had pulled the weed of lust out of his heart before he raped Tamar. Wishing Absalom had pulled the sin of hate out of his heart before he murdered Amnon. On and on.

But what about the weeds of sin in my heart? In your heart? Our sin, if left unchecked, will lead to action. That sin-action will lead to consequences, all too often in the lives of our children. 

My own sin has left more than enough destruction behind. Hasn't yours? Let's take a close look at our hearts today and ask God to help us remove every weed of sin that's growing there, before they bring forth costly action.

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, 
and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:10 nasb

In case you missed it, here's the link for yesterday's post: Safest in the Battle. (

There is still time to join the Hosea Bible study. The assignment this week is to read the intro (found at and read quickly through the book of Hosea for an overview. The first weekly lesson will be posted on the new blog site on May 1. It's deep. It's intense. It's worth it.

#consequences #sinhasaprice #disciple