By Sam Greer
Senior Pastor, Red Bank Baptist Church, Chattanooga
Commentator on the narrative of I and II Samuel, David G. Firth wrote, “Sin takes us farther than we want to go, and its reach is far greater than we ever could have imagined.” Heath Thomas and J.D. Greear surmised:
“The sins of both Saul and David are like stones thrown in the middle of the pond. The initial plunge into the water makes a big splash, but the ripples move from the middle of the pond, to the shore, and then back to the middle in innumerable waves and mini-collisions. This is the nature of sin. One never can calculate its fallout.”
2 Samuel 21 is a reminder that sin is always called out and always has fallout. Three thoughts concerning sin emerge from the narrative in II Samuel 21.
First, the choice to sin is unrelenting (2 Samuel 21:1-2). Due to the continued famine, David sought the face of Yahweh (v. 1). The Lord told David that Saul’s choice to put the Gibeonites to death was the reason for the perpetual famine (v. 1).
From the Fall in the days of Adam and Eve until the Day when Jesus returns, all men, women, boys and girls are sinners by nature and by choice.
Adam chose to sin. Saul chose to sin. David chose to sin. You and I choose to sin. The choice to sin is unrelenting. Not only do we choose to sin, but we can choose our sin.
Second, the consequences of sin are ongoing (vv. 3-6). Sin leads to more sin. The unrelenting choice to sin leads to ongoing consequences of sin. Saul chose his sin, but he couldn’t choose the consequences of his sin.
David asked the Gibeonites how atonement could be made for Saul’s sin (v. 3). David was told that silver or gold would not atone for the sins of Saul (v. 4). What a reminder this is of what Jesus said, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36).
The Gibeonites told David the proper atonement before the LORD would be to hang seven of Saul’s sons (II Samuel 21:5-6). Sin is dangerous and the consequences of sin are continuous.
In Christ, the penalty of our sin is removed while the consequences of our sin on this earth remain. The consequences of our sin are ongoing even when we are dead and gone!
Third, the Savior from sin is coming (vv. 10-14). Rizpah was the concubine of Saul and two of her sons were hanged on account of Saul’s sin. She honored her dead sons by protecting their bodies from being preyed on by bird and beast (v. 10).
Upon hearing about Rizpah’s sacrifice and commitment to her sons, David provided a proper burial for Saul and his sons (vv. 11-14). David honored Rizpah’s honoring of her sons. As a result of atonement being made, God responded to David’s inquiry of the famine in the land (v. 14).
Saul’s sons died to atone for Saul’s sins against the Gibeonites. God’s Son died to atone for all mankind’s sins against God. The Lord Jesus died in order to atone for your sinfulness and mine.
One day all repentant, redeemed sinners will be in heaven with Jesus. Being in the presence of the Lord Jesus in all His glory, will surpass all suffering that sin has caused.