it seems to me that the Bible isn’t very clear on rather or not one experiences suffering/death (i’m going to equate the two here) as a result of past deeds.
For example, the passage about Jesus healing the man born blind seems to suggest that physical suffering/handicap is not the result of sin as the disciples assumed it was. But then, you have King David losing the son (v. 13-14) he had with another man’s wife. This suggests that sin is inherited.
Not to mention these passages. And just when it seems that you might as well throw in the towel of personal responsability and become a fatalist,
Deuteronomy 24:17 pops up suggesting that God sees it fitting that each die for his own sins.
On the contrary however, we have David living for a murder he committed but his son dying instead. And each is to die/suffer for his own sin?
This contradictory theology had me scratching my head until i considered the reason God is said to have killed David’s son. i stopped scratching my head for a moment when i read that, but now i’m scratching my head again.
14 But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, [a] the son born to you will die. (NIV)
That single sentence expresses how much the God of David was concerned about using Israel to draw all of the nations to Himself.
So much so, that He would (as the account recorded in our bible goes), cause harm to the house of David so that the nations wouldn’t completely turn their eyes away from the God of David in disgust.
As for why God chose to slay david’s son instead of David himself, is still beyond me, in light of Deuteronomy 24:17.
I mean, David, the one who had a man killed after sleeping with the guy’s wife, doesn’t die for his sin, or for giving the other nations a reason to mock the God of Israel. But, his son dies.
Also, what is God’s intent in causing David’s son to die? Was it to punish David without killing him? Or was it to show the mockers of David’s God that He did not approve of what david had done? Was it both?
According to the reasoning of the prophet Nathan, God’s surmised expression of disapproval towards one man mercilessly stealing from and killing another man is portrayed because those acts do not reflect who the God of David was/is.
It seems that David’s God/the God of Israel was/is very concerned about Israel reflecting who He is.
As for God intending that David suffer for having wronged someone,
David seems to have been grieved over the loss of his son. And as far as having his wives stolen, i don’t know where in the Bible that happens or if it’s even recorded.
Both of these instances involve a loss of something David had been given by God.
The Bible seems to support the reasoning that all the things we have are given to us by God.
(here’s where i start to ramble)
The reason i mention that what we have has been given us, is that i wonder if pain can exist without pleasure. I mean, yes there are viruses, which one would assume are created to inflict pain, but what do viruses do? They use the building block of life (a cell), which is composed of the blueprint for life (DNA), to live, killing the cell in the process.
Look at this parallel:
161-162.] p. 32
there’s also the passages which deal with children being blessed for their parent’s actions.
this article (see 6th paragraph)