Living in the Forgiveness of God

by Bethany

Relevant Text: Ps. 103:12
Full Text: 2 Sam. 13-14 + 1 Chron. 20:2-3

Rape | Amnon was David’s oldest son and, therefore, heir apparent to the throne. He was also a romantic:“Amnon son of David fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom son of David. Amnon became so obsessed with his sister Tamar that he made himself ill” [1]. Knowing incest was prohibited, Amnon raped Tamar. Then, “he hated her” [2] and discarded her. Unmarriageable and rejected, Tamar “put her hands on her head and went away, weeping aloud as she went” [3]. When David heard what happened,“he was furious” [4] but did nothing to punish Amnon. Instead, Tamar moved in with her brother Absalom as“a desolate woman” [5] and, two years later, Absalom murdered Amnon. When David heard about it, he“wept very bitterly” [6].

Shame | Rape is dreadful. As Mark Dever observes, “To take what God intended as the depths of mutual love and care and to make it about the violence of one person against another must be one of the most demonic distortions of God’s good gifts there is” [7]. And although David had the responsibility of disciplining his son, he refused. Rather than confronting Amnon, David avoided him because he could only hear echoes of his adultery with Bathsheba [8]. His shame over his past sin kept him from administering justice [9]. Although God had forgiven him, he wasn’t living in God’s forgiveness.

Finished | The sad and unavoidable truth is that we are all sinners. Yet, even though God calls us to repent of our sin, He does not want us to live in guilt over it. Instead, He wants us to feel His amazing grace and forgiveness. This is why He repeatedly tells us that our sin is nowhere near us: “as far as the east is from the west, so far as he removed our transgressions from us” [10]. Indeed, God put our sins in the palm of Jesus’ hands and nailed them to the cross – once and for all [11]. Thus, for the Christian, there is no unforgiven sin; it has all been punished: “It is finished” [12].

Prayer | Lord, In Christ, You punished all our sin and canceled our indebtedness. Yet, we confess that, like David, our guilty consciences sometimes accuse us. But Christ has pled our case and received our judgment. Now, when we fall, we will rise because You brought us out of darkness and into the light. Use us for Your great purposes and let us live in Your forgiveness daily. Amen. [13]


Footnotes: [1]  2 Sam. 13:1-2 NIV  |  [2]  2 Sam. 13:15 NIV  |  [3]  2 Sam. 13:19 NIV  |  [4]  2 Sam. 13:21 NIV  |  [5]  2 Sam. 13:20 NIV  |  [6]  2 Sam. 13:36 NIV  |  [7]  Mark Dever, “King’s Life Is Messed Up Bad.” 20 December 2009. Amnon never loved Tamar; his sinful desires merely deceived him into thinking that his lust was love.  |  [8] See 843 Acres. “The Outrageous Forgiveness of God.” 17 August 2011.  |  [9] Moreover, his delay (or denial) in administering justice nearly cost him his throne and, in fact, did eventually cost him the lives of two of his sons.  |  [10]  Ps. 103:12 NIV&nbsp ; |  [11] See Col. 2:13-14  |  [12]   John 19:30 NIV  |  [13]  John Piper, “How to Deal with the Guilt of Se*xual Failure for the Glory of Christ and His Global Cause.” 4 January 2007. (I was fortunate enough to be at Passion 2007 when Piper preached this sermon and, even though it has been nearly five years since I heard it, I am constantly going back to it. Although its title is how to deal with sexual failure, its truth cuts across all failures. The key issue in the sermon is what to do after we sin – are we guided by guilt or grace?) (To avoid possible spam filters, I added the *).

2 Comments to “Living in the Forgiveness of God”

  1. I believe The Lord Jesus Christ is God, The Son of God, and The Messiah; as clearly taught in The Bible. The stakes are too high to be wrong about this.

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