2 Samuel 13-14
Absalom had murdered his brother Amnon. Yes, Amnon had raped and discarded their sister Tamar, and Absalom’s hatred for Amnon had festered for two years. But the fact remains: Absalom murdered Amnon in cold blood.
After the murder, Absalom ran to his grandfather and hid out there. Eventually he’d be allowed to return to his home in Jerusalem, but his father David would refuse to see him. This rejection went on for a while until Joab convinced David to reunite with his son.
I share all of that to tell you what Absalom said about seeing his father after all those years he’d been banished:
Let me see the king; if he finds me guilty of anything, then let him kill me. (2 Samuel 14:32b)
Do you wonder about that statement? Guilty of anything? You mean like murdering your brother, Absalom? Guilty like that?
What was he thinking? Did Absalom not carry any guilt over what he’d done? It appears not. That just seems absurd to me.
But it just reminds me that any of us can (and do) justify sin in our own lives. We might say or do something to someone thinking they deserve it, so that let’s us off the hook. We can’t be “guilty” if they started it, right?
The thing is, I don’t think God ever goes along with our rationalizations, our own sense of fairness, our excuses. I’m pretty sure sin is sin in God’s eyes, and the wages of any and all sin is death, no matter who started it or why we think we were entitled to sin considering the circumstances.
Two wrongs don’t make a right. That’s true. But also true is the fact that two sins don’t cancel out the serious consequences of sin.