Defining Moments

Whitney Capps

Day: 47 | Plan: 1-2 Samuel

Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 16

2 Samuel 16:21 (NIV) “Ahithophel answered, ‘Sleep with your father’s concubines whom he left to take care of the palace. Then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself obnoxious to your father, and the hands of everyone with you will be more resolute.’”  

David’s story can be divided into two halves – life before his sin with Bathsheba and after. This defining moment changes everything for David, his children and countless Israelites who are swept up in the conflict that results.

In 2 Samuel 16 we read about some of that conflict. King David and his loyal followers are now fugitives. Absalom has usurped the throne, and David is hiding and running again, but not from Saul this time – from his own son.

David is accustomed to running and hiding. But this season of David’s life is different than his escape from Saul. David’s sin with Bathsheba and the killing of her husband, Uriah, brought God’s judgment on David’s household. Delivering the Lord’s rebuke of David’s adultery, the prophet Nathan says, “Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel” (2 Samuel 12:11-12).

That judgment is realized here in 2 Samuel 16. Taking the advice of Ahithophel, Absalom decides to assert his authority and cement his claim on the throne by sleeping with David’s concubines on the roof of the palace in the sight of all of Israel. Calamity has indeed come to David from within his own family.

My heart grieves with and for David. This is a sad moment for him and all of Israel. David’s sin had lasting consequences for more than just his family.

When we say yes to sin, we say yes to God’s judgment. Judgment is God’s divine assessment and punishment of sin. God can use various means to demonstrate His judgment – through circumstances, people and conviction. Though not pleasant, His judgment can be trusted and always serves a purpose. God’s judgment rightly deals with sin, but it can also serve to warn against future sin. One choice in David’s life changed everything for him. His son’s heart was turned against David in pride and rebellion. Conflict was an ever-present reality after his sinful choice.

God’s judgment of David is an invitation for us to weigh the potential consequences of our own sin. What if you knew one sinful choice was going to dramatically alter your future? The truth is, any sinful decision has that potential. We don’t know the ends of our stories, but 2 Samuel gives us the end of David’s. What will we do with that knowledge?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the warning of David’s story. Help me learn from the consequences he endured. I confess I don’t often weigh the potential problems my choices can bring. I want not just knowledge from Your Word, but wisdom to apply it. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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