King David’s Son Still Died…

Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.” -2 Samuel 12:13-14, NIV


Forgiveness does not wipe out all consequences for the sin. We can see this in the verses quoted above. King David is forgiven, but his son still dies, and he experiences the flagrant rebellion of his own son, Absalom, trying to usurp his throne later for his adulterous, murderous sins (see 2 Samuel 12:9-12). Yet King David is forgiven.

God’s justice demands the adulterous spouse’s death (see Leviticus 20:10 and Deuteronomy 22:22). This is God’s Law. That is the context of the Prophet Nathan’s pardon for David. He is telling David that God is mercifully not going to kill him for adultery and murder.

God forgives David.

That means David gets to live.

But David will experience severe consequences for his sins even though he is forgiven!

Somehow, evangelical Christians have interpreted and twisted the idea of forgiveness to mean an adulterous spouse is entitled to the marriage he or she destroyed through committing adultery. Like David here, the adulterous spouse has shown contempt for God and their spouse by committing adultery. They are fortunate God does not strike them dead on the spot for such flagrant rebellion.

God is patient.

And God is merciful.

And God is also just. 

Let me use an analogy to help us grasp what forgiveness entails and does not entail in the situation of adultery:

Say an inmate rapes a victim. He is caught and sent to prison for a ten year term. The rape victim may forgive her rapist but that does not mean the rapist is set free from prison. He broke the law and must pay for his crime.

An adulterous spouse has raped the soul of his or her spouse. They have obliterated trust and violated their partner in the deepest of ways. It is a crime against the soul. While the faithful spouse ought to forgive the adulterous spouse, this does not restore the destroyed marriage or mean the faithful spouse ought to trust the adulterous spouse anymore than the rape victim ought to trust her rapist after forgiving him.

Along those lines, divorce is a Biblical option for a victim of adultery (see Jer, 3:8, Mt 1:19, Mt 5:32, and Mt 19:9). A faithful spouse can truly forgive the adulterous spouse and still choose divorce. They are not mutually exclusive any more than the rape victim choosing forgiveness and allowing the state to punish the rapist for breaking the law. A consequence of breaking one’s marriage vows by committing adultery is divorce may occur.

The adulterous spouse–like King David–can be forgiven yet still experience consequences–like divorce–for their sins.

They are not entitled to the trust of the faithful spouse, and therefore, they are not entitled to a relationship–i.e. marriage–that requires such trust. In fact, each day they are not divorced by their faithful spouse is a mercy that they do not deserve.

Divorce is certainly a more merciful choice then how they handled such sinners in the Old Testament days.

14 thoughts on “King David’s Son Still Died…”

  1. I love your blog. You are the first Christian site and person I have come across that is able to put words, verses, and human emotion into the severity of what happens to the spouse after adultery has occurred. I have needed validation so badly for the trauma I experienced in my marriage. Thank you.

  2. It is devasting. The betrayal is devastating all by itself but the lack of validation is salt on the wounds. Idk if I would have stayed married after the adultery any longer than I have. But what I do know is the complete disregard that anything happened to me by my husband for 2 yrs I waited. I waited for my turn. Fix him or help him and then it will be my turn. It was never my turn. Still isnt. Now I’m beat daily with God by him. I dnt care ab my kids. I don’t care ab my family. I dnt care ab my marriage. Who cares for me? It’s not selfish to ask. I’m not spoiled even if he and all his godly counsel say I am. I do matter. My trauma! He made choices that changed everything about my life. He didn’t ask me if it was ok. He just did it. I do matter. I am not less than. I am worthy of fidelity.

    1. You ARE worthy. It is a hard, lonely path at times. Walk it you must. Trust God’s word, not others interpretation of it who persecute you. Stand strong.

    2. movingforward,

      My heart goes out to you! What a horrible, horrible experience. It breaks my heart to hear how so many people failed you in this. My hope for this blog is that it will start turning the tide against such abuse of faithful spouses exhorting all to take adultery seriously. It does not sound like it was or is by those around you–especially by your cheating spouse who does not seem to realize or care how he harmed you. They act as if God considers divorce is worse than adultery. He does not.

      Also, I would encourage you to read my post here: Do not allow his narrative or the demonic one through him to override the truth. You are not horrible for hurting. Adultery is devastating. It is soul rape. And a faithful spouse is allowed to divorce an adulterous spouse–especially an unrepentant one who likes to deny the devastation of his sin–with NO SHAME (see Jer 3:8, Mt 5:32, and Mt 19:9).

      Blessings and virtual hugs,

  3. To clarify I do care ab my kids. They are everything to me. Those are the things he says to me

  4. PLease clarify this for me. Are you saying I did something terrible and therefore my spouse left me for his secetary? I admit I was not perfect in our marriage and asked forgiveness. But I never let it effect him or my kids. He is living happily ever after. He is the one that left us for another women and I am punished.

    1. Magicrain,

      Confused here? Is this in response to this post or something else?

      I want to be clear: Absolutely NOTHING justifies adultery. Period. It is not your responsibility. No “Shared Responsibility Lie” here. You couldn’t have done anything to cause him to leave you and the kids for his secretary. King David was completely responsible for choosing adultery and not any of his wives that were his while he was cheating.


      1. I read this to mean that even if you ask forgiveness for your sins doesn’t mean God doesn’t punish you. King david is forgiven but his son still dies..

        So I must of done something wrong for my marriage to be broken. Maybe my sins caused this….

        I just think its unfair that me ex left us and lives happily ever after. He had an affair nd yet I am punished not him…

        1. God says He punishes adulterers and NOT faithful spouses (see Hebrews 13:4). And God is just…I don’t see God punishing you and not him over this. It is out of God’s character as I understand God.

          We don’t control these things. Job’s “friends” thought the calamity that fell him was because of his sins. It wasn’t. Similarly, I want to encourage you that your disaster is not your fault. Nothing you did causes adultery or justifies it. God is not the author of evil. Adultery is evil.

        2. Magicrain- you are not responsible for your ex’s affairs. Yes, there are consequences for our actions, even with forgiveness. However, it’s not a 1-1 trade system with God lining up consequences (good and bad) for each of our actions. Discipline and punishment are two different things. Consequences are a part of positive discipline, where the aim is to build up and teach. It uses natural and logical consequences that are reasonable and appropriate for the context at hand. Punishment seeks to demean, belittle, destroy and forcefully enforce power. It’s a punitive, legalistic, one-size-fits-all approach where everything is based off merit, so naturally, no one can ever do anything right by it. Adultery is NOT justifiable. God is not sitting up there throwing out punishments and keeping score for every misstep. He’s not looking for a reason to cast you out, beat you down, make you suffer. That voice that says otherwise is coming from Satan. It is a lie that your husband’s adultery was somehow your fault.

    2. Mag, I understand your pain and frustration. After initially denying the affair to her family (who were the first people I told), upon admitting it, she explained that this married “man”…”poured into her” in a way I didn’t. Guess that included semen too huh?…her family covered for her, then justified her actions, then accused me of a “smear campaign for exposing her to our church, where she was a licensed missionary, evangelist and prophetess, while screwing another man. I’ll also point out something I’ll admit I forget : you don’t really know he’s living happily ever after, and all isn’t said and done.

      1. ThAnks deacon. He tells me he is so happy. I don’t know how you can be happy when you have no relationship with your kids…her posts on Facebook are happily ever after posts. I can’t seem to get over he gets a companion and I don’t. I get bills, poverty, sadness, I have to raise three kids solely on my own.

        1. Adulterers are liars and posers who deal in delusion even of themselves. Forgive if I pause to laugh at myself telling others things I once had trouble believing. You’ve got your children. Be thankful. When the family court got done with treating me, a man who raised my son all of his life, like I was some deadbeat “baby daddy”, I got poverty and bills too, and my son every other weekend, thank you. we’ve all got our burdens to bear.

  5. One more thing Mag….STOP LOOKING AT HER FACEBOOK PAGE!!!! it should be called Fakebook. Everybody paints a pretty picture on there, and it’s not healthy. Again, forgive me as I laugh at myself. I’ve done what you’re doing, and it’s just not healthy. Satan feeds us lies in our favorite dishes. Push the plate away. There’s a scripture about not being able to plow straight if you’re not looking forward. ..your lines are crooked! 🙂

Comments are closed.