Yesterday we looked at James 4:17 and saw that scripture clearly tells us that when we know that right thing to do but avoid doing it, that’s sin. Today I want to draw your attention to a painful example of what can happen when we sit on our hands at a time that calls for action. The story involves King David and his kids. David was a great king. To this day he is revered by the Jewish people as the greatest king who ever ruled over them. But he made some costly mistakes.
To make a long story short, David’s son Amnon raped his half-sister Tamar (2 Samuel 13). David found out about it and became very angry (2 Samuel 13:21). But that was it. All he did was get really upset. Now to be sure, much of the anger we experience is sin. Not this anger. This was righteous, just, God-glorifying anger because it burned intensely over wickedness. He could have chose many responses to his just fury, but instead he chose to do nothing.
Why? I’m not exactly sure but I believe it had to do with the guilt of his own sexual sin. Not long before this, he had stole another man’s wife, committed adultery and tried to cover it up by killing the woman’s husband (2 Samuel 11). I imagine his guilt jeered him: “Who are you to call Amnon on his sin? You took what you wanted just like him. The two of you are no different.” David’s passivity cost him dearly.
If David had dealt with this issue, then possibly Tamar’s brother Absalom wouldn’t have murdered Amnon (2 Samuel 13:23-33). If David had dealt with that, then possibly Absalom would not have conspired to steal David’s kingdom (2 Samuel 13:37-15:12) and eventually be killed by David’s military forces (2 Samuel 18).
What’s keeping you from dealing with sin? Guilt, like David? Fear of rejection or an unfavorable response? Don’t sit on sin. Get it taken care of right away.