Forgiveness and Consequences | Psalm 3:1–2
1 O Lord, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;
2 many are saying of my soul,
“There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah
You might feel like you face many enemies, but the king of Israel was a prime target. He repeats the word “many” three times to describe their number. Sadly, they were even residing in his own household.
What’s going on here? David wrote this psalm while fleeing from his son, Absalom. In 2 Samuel 15:12–13, we read that he conspired with David’s own advisors until all the hearts of Israel went after him. David had to flee the city at night to allude capture.
David might even have felt a bit of what Uriah felt. Remember that, in 2 Samuel 11:15, David instructed Joab to allow the enemy to kill Uriah. Now, everyone’s withdrawing from David. God told David through Nathan the prophet that, because he “struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword” and took his wife, “the sword shall never depart” from his house (12:9–10).
God can forgive even your great sins. It may be hard for some to imagine committing adultery and covering it up with murder. However, we all have a deceitful and desperately sick heart capable of great sin (cf. Jer 17:9). Nonetheless, David sought and received the Lord’s forgiveness, even penned both Psalms 32 and 51 before these events. Indeed, the hope of this psalm is predicated on his ongoing relationship with God. You can likewise find forgiveness through Christ Jesus.
Your sin still has consequences. Primarily, someone must pay for the sin, and that is Jesus Christ. Moreover, because we reap what we sow (Gal 6:7), the horizontal consequences of his sins lead many to falsely assume that God had forsaken David. We who have God’s forgiveness and love will have His discipline. Hebrews 12:11 says, “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” God may in His mercy lessen or even providentially remove some consequences, but those humbly acknowledging their sins must accept that they deserve ill results of their decisions.