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Breaking the Pattern of Sin in Your Life



Ben Stuart demonstrates the folly of an aging king and the foolishness of a prince. David has invited chaos into his house and is facing major consequences for it. But the Man After God’s Own Heart turns back to the Lord in humility and we see a Kingdom restored.

Key Takeaway

Unrepentant sins of the past will always catch up with you and will often play out to a higher degree in the lives of your offspring. Repent when the sin is small so that it does not grow over time and reap unintended, yet massively destructive consequences.

1. David reaps what he sows.

Inputs have outcomes and the sins of the past catch up with him. Sin does not just roll downstream; it intensifies. Arguments and disrespect turn to anger and murder between his sons. The older generation affects the younger generation, so what you put on display in your own life, your children will put on display in theirs. David had lusted after a woman, violated her, and then murdered her husband. His son Amnon lusted after his half-sister, Tamar, violated her, and then kicked her out. Her brother, Absalom, kills Amnon. Get the idea of karma out of our heads, this is the principle of sowing and reaping, that our choices have consequences.

2. David's passivity is as dangerous as his activity.

Sins of omission are as bad as sins of commission. David is angry but does nothing when Amnon violates Tamar. His lack of discipline causes Absalom to brood with anger towards both David and Amnon to the point that he takes Amnon's life. David is upset about the murder but again does nothing. Absalom is tired of the middle ground so he turns the hearts of the people towards him and away from his father. Because of his passivity, David allows Absalom to fill the vacuum and bring chaos to the kingdom, forcing David, in his 60s, to leave barefoot with nothing to go to the Mount of Olives.

3. David's impotence does not excuse Absalom's arrogance.

As David leaves, he is humble, repentant, and not making excuses. His heart is contrite and we start to see what was so great about David coming back to life. On the contrary, all we ever find out about Absalom is that he's good-looking and insecure. This harkens back to Saul. Talent without character is a tragedy waiting to happen.

When you're a Saul, everyone below you is a threat.

When you're an Absalom, everyone above you is a threat.

If all you see are Sauls and Absaloms, you might be one yourself.

David's man appeals to Absalom's vanity and insecurity. They are two sides of the same coin of self-absorption. These lead to Absalom's downfall and he is killed while swinging from a tree by his hair. Why? Because God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble.

4. David puts himself in the Lord's hands.

David didn't retaliate, instead, he trusted God and prayed he would find favor again. God restored David to his throne and to a place where he was able to hand over the kingdom to Solomon who would bring it to its greatest height. David had help re-establishing the kingdom. Nathan, who rebuked David of his sin with Bathsheba, and Zadok the Priest, who was with him on his walk of shame out of Jerusalem came alongside him as his community that helped him come back into the Kingdom of blessing. That kingdom would bless the next generation so that generations would be blessed through them.

Here's the hope. David was in the process of reaping what he had sown, but God gave him grace and re-established him. We don't live in a karma world, we live in a world where our Father is ready and willing to lavish his grace and love upon us so that we might be called His Children. The same path David walked out of the city to the Mount of Olives, Jesus would walk as well into his betrayal and death where he bore our sins, past and present, so that when He rose, He would give us victory and re-establish us with our Father.


"We have to journey with sadness if we want to see hope return."

Ben Stuart

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Scripture References

  • 2 Samuel 13-19
  • James 4:17
  • Proverbs 24:11-12
  • Matthew 25:14-30
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21
  • James 4:6
  • John 12:24
  • Psalm 30:5
  • Psalm 126:5-6
Ben Stuart Ben Stuart is the pastor of Passion City Church D.C. Prior to joining Passion City Church, Ben served as the executive director of Breakaway Ministries on the campus of Texas A&M. He also earned a master’s degree in historical theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Donna, live to inspire and equip people to walk with God for a lifetime.