2 Samuel 12:1-12 (Part 2) – Rationalizing Away Our Sins Does Not Make Them Go Away

Posted: June 25, 2018 in 10-2 Samuel

2 Samuel 12:1-12 (Part 2 of 2)
Nathan Rebukes David

All of us rationalize our sins away. You do it. I do it. We all do it. We try to minimize our sins because of our circumstances. We think that we get a “get of a sin free” card because what we have to put up with in life. Whether it be a bad husband, a bad wife, a bad boss, horrible children, or some other difficult circumstance of our lives, we often use the circumstances as a justification for why our sin is OK with God. We figure it balances out the bad circumstances in our lives that God overlooks a sin here and a sin there. We all look for justifications for our sins. I know I did and probably still do. None of us is free from sin even the most mature and wise Christian that you know. We all struggle with sin. And worst of all, there are sins that we think are OK because we think we have like a personal, special deal with God. It may be God’s general rule that something is a sin but it’s OK for me because God and I have a deal – since I have had to deal with so much during my life that it’s OK for me to commit this sin or that sin or at least that God will not hold it too much against us. Sound familiar? We all go to great lengths to justify our favorite or pet sins. We go to great lengths to justify and make OK how our direct violation of God’s Word is alright with God.

You think about adultery. Those of us who have been victims of it or have perpetrated it can find common threads among all adulterers. They did not go it without a sense of the fact that it was wrong. They did not go into thinking that it was OK. There is simply something wired into us by God whether we are believers in Jesus Christ or not that adultery is wrong. However, almost every adulterer after beginning an affair will begin building a case for why their particular brand of adultery was justifiable. Every adulterer will blame their spouse for something as justification. Whether it is lack of sex, lack of attention, lack of common interests, you name it, the victim spouse gets blamed for it. As well, they will develop a case history of reasons of “things they have had to put up with”. They will develop all of these defenses in their mind as to why their particular sin was OK with God. They will always and inevitably invoke somewhere along the line, the phrase, “God just wants us to be happy!” This theology of God just wanting us to be happy is used to subvert the fact that their sin is in direct opposition to God’s direct command. The Bible says directly that we are not to commit adultery. It is plain and simple. There is no verse or passage or theology that can be developed from the Bible that says “God just wants us to be happy”. Even further, since the Bible does not say that, there is no theological tenet that says that our happiness overrules any of God commands that are indeed specifically stated in the Bible.

Can you think of other sins where we do this? There are plenty of examples out there of other sexual sins that we try to justify with rationalizations. There are sexual sins out there that are expressly forbidden by the Bible that in our modern “enlightenment” that we try to justify as OK. We have even legitimized certain sexual sins as acceptable by the law and by the culture. We pat ourselves on the back for our enlightenment as a result. However, in order for the legitimacy of sexual to be validated there are mountains and mountains of paper that have been expended to justify the sin. Rationalization of sexual sin has reached new heights in the 21st century. Everywhere you look, people are espousing the benefits of certain sexual sins. Justification here. Justification there. Relying on the courts to legitimize and enforce the acceptability of sinful behavior over there. There was a line from Shakespeare that seems appropriate, “methinks he protesteth too much.” In order to legitimize what is wrong in the sight of God, we must inherently create justification of its legitimacy and spend great energies to convince people of its right-ness. Why is it that non-biblical forms of marriage require federal law and the court systems to legitimize them when God’s brand of marriage does not? That’s not unique to America. That’s the history of man. We are wired by God to see right from wrong (even when we do not believe God exists). The truth needs no defense whereas lies/sins need significant work to give themselves the appearance of truth.
And it’s not just sexual sin. We try to legitimize all forms of sin. We rationalize away why it’s OK to take pens from our office that were purchased by the company we work for. We rationalize away why it is OK to tell “little lies” here and there. We rationalize sin until we are confronted with the cold hard truth of God’s Word and we must deal with our sins head on.

That was the thing that I thought of today when reading this passage, 2 Samuel 12:1-12. Here, we see that David had basically forgotten that his adultery and the related murder were sins because he had spent so much time rationalizing how it was OK – how we all do that to the point that we actually begin believing the rationalization as truth. Let us read 2 Samuel 12:1-12 now to see how these two concepts come into play:

Chapter 12

1 So the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: “There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. 2 The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. 3 The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. 4 One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest.”

5 David was furious. “As surely as the Lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! 6 He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.”

7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man! The Lord, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul. 8 I gave you your master’s house and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more. 9 Why, then, have you despised the word of the Lord and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and stolen his wife. 10 From this time on, your family will live by the sword because you have despised me by taking Uriah’s wife to be your own.

11 “This is what the Lord says: Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you. I will give your wives to another man before your very eyes, and he will go to bed with them in public view. 12 You did it secretly, but I will make this happen to you openly in the sight of all Israel.”

In this passage, we see that David had so rationalized his sins away that he had become insensitive to the sins that he had committed. He did not even realize that he was the subject of Nathan’s parable. We often do the same thing when we are trying to justify our own sins as being OK or maybe we just hope that God forgets about it after a while. We minimize our sins with reasons that we fell into them. We justify our sins by saying that God wants us to be happy even if what we have done is in opposition to God’s Word. We think that the “God just wants us to be happy” idea trumps even his direct commands specifically when it comes to us as individuals. We rationalize that we are a special case to God. We rationalize that God will overlook our sins because either (1) we have been through so much in our lives that we deserve to have a sin or two overlooked or (2) we have done so much more good than we have bad. Don’t you think these were the exact rationalizations that David used? The same ones that you and I use?

May we become a people who recognizes our sins and repents of them on our own. May we become a people that has the humility to realize that we have sinned and repent rather than justify. May we be a people who sees the error of our ways in light of God’s truth and begs Him for forgiveness. May we then forever turn from our sin. May we understand that our sins cannot be rationalized away in the sight of God. May we see that God never forgets our sins. May we see that we will be judged for our sin. May we see that we are condemned to hell by each and every sin that we commit – even the ones we have made OK in our head because of justification or forgetfulness because of the passage of time. May we see that on our own, we will not be able to rationalize our way out of hell in front of the true and righteous Judge on our judgment day. May we see that it is only through belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who died for our sins on the cross and who arose from the dead to give us victory over sin and death that we have a cleanliness and purity before God. It is only through Jesus that we have hope of heaven. Help us to seek Him and be honest about our past sins and how we need Him. Help us to have the humility to admit our sins when we commit them rather than justify them. Help us to seek forgiveness and to turn around 180 degrees away from our sin once we are honestly confronted with them. Help us oh Lord. Help us.

Amen and Amen.

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