Spoken in modern times, this is usually a compliment; you are the only one who could have done this! No one else is as good as you are at this, etc.. But in 2 Samuel 12, the prophet did not think highly of the king to whom he said this.
Where do you take hurts so deep that you can hardly express them to someone as close as a spouse? How do you stop crying when part of your life that was a significant evidence of your redemption turns out to be a lie? “Who can ease the pain?” David asks in Truth of Truths rock opera of 1971.
David had sinned with Bathsheba, committing adultery with another man’s wife, then had the husband killed, not to mention a bunch of other guys caught in the coverup of how he had him killed. Confronted by Nathan, the prophet, “You are the man!” he knelt down in tears and repentance, but God still exacted a harsh punishment because of David’s sin (2 Samuel 12:7).
Pain like David experienced because of his sin is part of the package when we think, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?” (Psalms 73:11) There is judgement, and it usually follows those who are disobedient, but not like a mean warden who administers beatings or solitary confinement on a belligerent prisoner. God wants more than anything for the unrepentant to turn and live! (Ezekiel 18:23) More often than not, His judgement is simply a removal of the protection of the Holy Spirit and His angels who otherwise attend to us. (Psalms 91:12)
But in our stubborn hearts, we think we can get away with our little excursions into sin. We think this little thing will not matter to Him. But His eyes are not shut. He is not a god of stone or metal or wood, whose ears are deaf and whose mind is only in the imagination of the ‘worshiper.’ He IS the God who sees. And as we have noted before, “God does not hate sin because He is holy any more than a mother hates cancer because she is healthy. She hates cancer because she sees what it does to her children and He hates sin because He sees what it does to HIS children.” (Steve Elliott)
So long after we may have forgotten our sin; long after the consequences seemed to have been muted, the fruit of our misdeeds come back to embitter our taste and make our teeth hurt. Although God forgives sins and forgets iniquities, it often does not remove the consequences, which we see as God’s judgement. As a result of David’s sin with Bathsheba, he experienced a great deal of pain: among them: a son’s death; internal family feuding that resulted in the death of another son, Amnon; the verbal abuse by Shimei; abuse of his wives; public humiliation; disrespect and death threats of Absalom; the death of his beloved Absalom; then conflicts over his successor. ALL so he could have an hour or so of pleasure. And if our sin continues beyond a couple hours, how long can you expect the pain to continue?
It may come back to haunt you, as it did David, just when you think you can see the light at the end of life. Forgiven, many of us will enter Heaven with scars and wounds that only appearing before our Master will heal. But how much better if we could avoid those scars and the damage we do to others?
It is never too late to turn and set your heart on what God wants for you instead of what you think will be more “fun;” instead of thinking you know better than Him who created you what will satisfy the deepest longings of your heart. And if you do not turn away from sin, you may simply expect that there will be unforeseen consequences that will break your heart into crumbles finer than you realized it could be ground.
Remember, “Sin will take you farther than you ever intended to go, it will cost you more than you ever expected to pay, and it will keep you longer than you ever intended to stay.” (Kay Arthur)