The Ripple Effects Of Sin

Yesterday, a close friend shared the living hell in his marriage, and the constant pressure he felt to seek companionship elsewhere. Over the years he has made a noble effort to salvage a tragic situation. But to no avail. Every instinct within me says, “Leave. You dont deserve this. Find someone who will love you and help you raise your children in a sane environment. Get a life!


Then in my devotions this morning, I read of David’s sin with Bathsheba. Amazingly, at that juncture, David was at the apex of his career: Powerful. Loved by his people. Magnanimous. And lounging instead of warring. (2 Samuel 9:1-10:1, 2a; chapter 11)


What really caught my eye in the narrative was the number of people affected by David’s sin:

  • Bathsheba – Morally corrupted; lost a husband and baby. (2 Samuel 11:26; 12:24)
  • Uriah – Bathsheba’s husband whom David had killed in battle. (2 Samuel 11:6–21)
  • David and Bathsheba’s baby – Whose life God took. (2 Samuel 12:19-21)
  • Abimelech – Died unnecessarily in battle alongside Uriah. (2 Samuel 11:21)
  • David – Committed adultery and murder. Hypocritical. Suffered multiple family tragedies. Weakened as a leader. (Psalm 32; 2 Samuel 12:19-21; 13:23-29, 37-17:29; 15:13-19a)
  • Joab – David’s Chief of Staff: Corrupted; committed murder. (2 Samuel 11:6-21; 18:14, 15)
  • Nathan – The Prophet, whom God commissioned to expose David’s sin. (2 Samuel 12)
  • Tamar – David’s daughter, who was raped by her brother Amnon. (2 Samuel 13:1-22)
  • Amnon – Murdered by Absalom’s men for the rape of Tamar. (2 Samuel 13:23-29)
  • Absalom – Committed murder, insurrection, and fornication. Was estranged from David. Murdered by Joab. (2 Samuel 14,15,18; 16:21, 22)
  • Ahithophel – Bathsheba’s father: Rebelled against David. Committed suicide. (2 Samuel 16:20–17:23)
  • David’s wives, concubines and children – (2 Samuel 5:13-16; 16:21, 22; 1 Samuel 25:42-44)
  • David’s fighting men – Humiliated and weakened. (2 Samuel 19:5-8)
  • The Nation – Weakened, and ultimately divided. (2 Samuel 19:9-15a, 40-43; 20:1, 2; 1 Kings 11, 12)

Little did David realize the price tag for his adulterous action. In his delusion, he thought he could cover it up, failing to realize the Scripture’s warning, “You may be sure that your sin will find you outA man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction… ” (Numbers 32:23b; Galatians 6:8a)


Perhaps a worthwhile exercise for us would be to jot down the names of the people who would be adversely affected if we were to fall into sin. Then we should ask the question as to whether the immediate gratification would be worth the long-term consequences? I rather doubt that it would! What do you think?



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