"Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have not only despised My command, but you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.” Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall be with your wives in the sight of this sun.”
II Samuel 12: 10, 11
“Sowing and Reaping”
“Consequences are unpitying.”
George Eliot, Author
Have I ever reaped what I sowed by my actions?
In the story of David, how do I feel about the consequences which resulted from his behavior?
What can I learn from the life of David about “despising” God’s advice and the subsequent results that might follow?
“Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside). He (she) inevitably deludes himself (herself) who attempts to delude God. For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap.”
Galatians 6: 7
“When the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again.”
When I was in 6th grade, the little school I attended had a patch of dirt in the corner of the playground that our teacher let a group of us cultivate as a garden during recess and after school. Well, as you might imagine, with a group of “creative-minded” kids, we decided to not only plant rows of carrots, radishes and lettuce, we also got the wild brain-storm to plant flowers of all kinds and mix the seeds together so we wouldn’t know what was going to sprout up in certain rows. Let’s just say, we were sowing and had no idea what we would be reaping. We thought it was a great idea at the time, that is until the carrots and radishes began to hurt the roots of some of our flowers that had been planted too closely to these larger underground vegetables.
I wish that in our lives the only negative consequences of mistaken sowing and reaping were tangled roots. But I’m certain as most of us know from personal experience, reaping and sowing, especially as it relates to personal behavior, has long-lasting consequences which many times out-last the lives of the individuals who perpetrate the acts in the first place.
This is exactly what happened to David and it happened to Bathsheba, too, because she chose, as we have already studied, to attach herself to David.
I’d like to be able to tell you that when David made the mistake, granted a huge mistake, of taking another man’s wife – which in itself was bad enough and then murdering the man - he was forgiven by God, and all was well from that time forward. But just think for a moment of the lives which were affected by David’s act.
This point was driven home to me in a very personal way a few days ago after the terrible act of violence in Tucson, Arizona where deadly force took the lives of six people and wounded fourteen others. As family, friends, acquaintances, business associates, neighbors, medical personnel, and first responders began to share their stories, everyone realized that one individual’s action not only rippled through a community, a state, and a nation – but it even affected the world.
We are not islands living unto ourselves. The English clergyman and poet John Donne penned this sentiment in his famous words, “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were.” (1572-1631)
For evil or for good, we don’t live in a bubble by ourselves. There are consequences to our actions whether we like it or not, because every one of us has a sphere of influence – others whose lives we touch. In David’s case, he touched many lives and so the seeds he sowed, brought forth a plot of heartache and pain, not only for himself, but to all those around him, even in the nation he ruled.
This fact brings me to a very important point about the Bible. God could have inspired His written word, the Bible, to be a book that just showed the best of every person. He could have lauded the good and skimmed over the evil. But He didn’t! God gave us a complete picture of individual lives. And for me, this is one of the most convincing arguments in favor of the inspiration of the Bible. Only a holy, perfect, and Almighty God would be bold enough to let us see the entire picture of people for He knows that when we see His complete and perfect work in us, this will build faith in our lives that cannot be shaken by any earthly power, or destroyed by any earthly foe.
Over the coming weeks, we will be studying in more depth the consequences of David’s decision to “despise” God’s commandments. But take heart, we will also see, through heaven’s magnifying glass, the detailed beauty present when our Father wraps His arms of compassion around His fallen children and brings them back into the fold of His presence again.
The poet Anna E. Hamilton talks about the results of the consequences of our actions in her poem entitled, “Shadow-Selves.”
“This learned I from the shadow of a tree,
That to and fro did sway against a wall;
Our shadow-selves, our influence, may fall
Where we ourselves can never be.”
David’s behavior, and his influence had consequences that for the rest of his life, brought pain into his household and kingdom. What a lesson for you and me on how dangerous it is to “despise” the word of the Lord. And how important it is for us to recognize that our influence touches many whom we may never know.
“As A Man Soweth”
“We must not hope to be mowers,
And to gather the ripe gold ears,
Unless we have first been sowers
And watered the furrows with tears.
It is not just as we take it,
This mystical world of ours,
Life’s field will yield as we make it
A harvest of thorns or of flowers.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Dorothy Valcấrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.