Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
Have you ever heard people say, “God does not grade sin. The sin of gossip is just as bad as murder in God’s eyes”? Yes, any sin is severe enough to disqualify us from heaven. But the Bible and everyday experience tell us that not all sins are the same. After all, do you know anybody who has gone to death row for gossiping? Not all sins have the same consequences, and that is certainly true when it comes to sexual sin. In 1 Corinthians 6:18, Paul said, “Flee [sexual] immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.” The sin of adultery has devastating consequences.
You see that in the life of King David. In 2 Samuel 12, he was at the zenith of his kingship. But one night when love and lust were in the air, he noticed a beautiful woman bathing on the rooftop next door. David thought, “After all I have done for God, I deserve a little bit of fun.” He summoned Bathsheba to him, and the rest, as they say, is history. She conceived a child, and David had her husband murdered on the front lines. It was one of the greatest scandals in history.
For a year, David refused to acknowledge his sin, but in one of the most beautiful passages in the Bible, he finally asked for God’s forgiveness: “Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin” (Psalm 51:1-2). Did God answer that prayer? You bet He did. In Psalm 32:1, David wrote, “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered!”
It does not matter what sin you have committed or how long you have committed it–if you truly ask for God’s forgiveness through Christ, He will grant you that forgiveness. But God’s forgiveness does not erase the earthly consequences of our sin. David spent the rest of his life suffering the consequences of his immorality. Those consequences included a dead child, a disloyal son who led a rebellion against him, and ultimately a divided nation.
You see, bad grace assumes that when God forgives us, He erases the consequences of our adultery. Won’t He rebuild my broken marriage and restore my damaged reputation? No. Good grace recognizes that all sins are forgivable, but the effects of adultery continue long after God has pronounced us forgiven.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Good-Grace Marriages” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2020.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org