2 Samuel 18
Despite all of Absalom’s rebellion and betrayal of his father, David remained more concerned for the safety of his son than for his own life. Initially, he intended to lead the army in order to ensure his son’s safety. When his commanders insisted he was of more value remaining in the city than in the battle, he stood by the gate and spoke to the troops, instructing them to be careful to not harm his son.
As a parent, David recognizes that Absalom’s failings can’t be seen apart from their origins in his own sin. David’s sin with Bathsheba and murder of her husband led to God’s pronouncement that the sword would not depart his house and that one close to him would dishonor his wives in the daylight just as he dishonored Uriah’s wife in the night.
Nothing is as gut-wrenching as seeing the impact of our bad choices borne out by someone we love. Imagine the mother whose children are abused because of her relationship choices. Or the father whose gambling results in his family losing their home. Or the sister whose example encourages her sibling to experiment with drugs. We are often less concerned about the consequences we bear ourselves than the consequences our loved ones bear, but too often we don’t contemplate those consequences until it is too late.
God’s commands are for our good. Too often we view them as lists of what we cannot do, instead of pathways of blessing. Like any forbidden fruit, we see only the appealing view of sin, rather than the longer-term pain it will cause. Sometimes we can foresee the consequences of sin if we pause and think things through, but even if we don’t see what the repercussions might be, we can trust the Lord. If He has commanded us regarding a situation, we can be assured that His counsel is for our good. We can be certain that disregarding His counsel will eventually result in painful consequences (although not all painful circumstances result from sin).