Most of us have times where we know what we should be doing but for whatever the reason we justify not doing it but instead doing what “I” want. Think back, how well did that work out? More often than not things did not end well. Today’s message covers exactly this situation as Pastor Doug tells us the story of David and Bathsheba….
Do you feel that you can never be as close to God as others seem to be, never be as intimate with Him as you would want to be? Is it because in your past you’ve done things you’re now ashamed of and don’t want others to know about, or things you’re now doing that no one knows about and you feel God is disgusted with you, frustrated with you, even angry with you over the things you’re doing? You know He can forgive you with His mercy and grace but you just feel that He could never have a truly passionate and intimate relationship with you as He does with some because you are different, on a different level than those people, well I am certain God has given me this area of study where we can find some valuable life lessons and appropriately enough we begin this lesson on this Thanksgiving Weekend. Please listen to this eye opening story in scripture if you feel you have a shallow or a hardened relationship with Jesus.
2 Samuel 11:1-3
When David was young and unknown in Israel he loved and trusted God more than himself and with no reputation and nothing to lose he went to war against impossible odds when no one else would like when he fought Goliath when no one would simply because he loved and trusted God.
Now, as the story unfolds, David is in the prime of his life, ruling over Israel, his successes being overshadowed by his distractions to the world, his slow descent into walking after the flesh rather than following after God, now being completely opposite of where his heart once was.
He should have been leading his loyal men into battle for his God, but instead of leading he was the only one staying home, while the Ark of God was in the field of war David stayed home, comfortable. The passion David once had having turned indifferent.
The first honest question needs to be “What is my focus on”, popularity? Entertainment? Having it my way? Exactly what is more important to me than having intimacy with Christ? Do I purposefully place myself where I know God IS NOT just to satisfy self?
If you can answer with a honest “Yes” then obviously you are not walking close to God…..But don’t despair listen on…
2 Samuel 11:2
Who are you when no one else is around? That is the clearest indication of who you are living for, do you , when alone, walk to truly please Christ, walking in the Spirit, and making that walk consistent?
Had David been about God’s work, he would not have had time to linger. Had he been walking in the Spirit he would have had no desire to linger.Here is where David’s and OUR troubles begins; instead of turning from temptation we inquire further about it, selfish covetousness becomes the driver. Bathsheba’s beauty was not a sin, but her beauty was not for David to enjoy, she was married to another.
The fact that her house was so close to the King’s showed her standing in Israel, when David asked of her even his servants were careful to answer who she was and carefully insert she was married to Uriah, one of David’s most trusted and loyal “MightyMen”, the daughter of another of David’s Mighty Men, Eliam, and the granddaughter of one David’s chief counselors, Ahithophel.
Hidden in the servants response was the warning, your about to sin against God, the kingdom, a trusted friend, and one who was presently loyally risking his life in battle for him. Sadly David only heard “She belongs to Uriah who’s not here, so I can surely get away with this”. When we are tempted with sin we are so often blinded by our emotions that we can’t see(or don’t want to see) who else we can be hurting.
Ask yourself how many people are you going to affect when you give in to temptation for your own pleasure, when you give in to adultery as David did you affect (1)the life of the one you’re sleeping with(2)their own spouse(3)their own children and extended family(4)your spouse(5)your children and extended family(6)your ministry and your reputation with God(7) your own walk with God. THAT’S A LOT OF IMPORTANCE YOU ARE PLACING ON SELF, OVER EVERYONE YOU SAY YOU LOVE.
2 Samuel 11:4
Nothing in scripture suggest that Bathsheba was not a willing participant, it’s a possibility she complied out of fear but similar stories in scripture are descriptive when the woman is reluctant, the fact she was bathing immodestly and was willing to deceive her husband in a cover up later suggest she was a willing participant. Cleansed of her impurity meant she had completed her monthly cycle as proof she wasn’t pregnant before the affair, affirming the child was indeed David’s.
2 Samuel 11:5-11
When David learned of the pregnancy he planned to have Uriah come home to be with Bathsheba so everyone would believe Uriah was the father but Uriah’s passion for God was like what David’s once was and he would not stay at his home while Israel’s army was in battle. Ther’s nothing wrong with enjoying the blessings God has given but when they cause you to disengage from those in need of your help that is sin….and this has become a common sin of many Christians today.
2 Samuel 11:12-25
Even after David tried getting Uriah drunk, Uriah still refused to go home. David then used Uriah’s trust and loyalty and gave him a sealed letter to give to Joab with the orders to intentionally put Uriah in a battle and pull back and let him be killed, Uriah was not only killed but other warriors fighting for David also died in the process.
2 Samuel 11:26-27
Think about the attitude of David now revealed:(1)Now pretending to be the hero by marrying the fallen warrior(Who David had murdered) wife(2)abandoning his duty to God not accomping the Ark in battle(3)abandoning his men when he stayed behind as they fought(4)though he had multiple wives and easily could have had more he had to have a night with someone completely off limits, betrayed the most loyal people in his kingdom, lied to the man loyal to the death, even sending a letter to execute him by that man man’s own hand.
Imagine meeting such a man today, that slept with his friend’s wife, then killed his friend to hide the adultery…what would you think of him?
Now this man was whom God said was after His Own heart…HOW’S THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?
It is not the level of sin in your life but the attitude and faith towards God towards His love and grace and the humility and sincerity with which you repent that shows your heart to God.
We all have the potential for the worst sin in our hearts, we all look equally rebellious and fallen to God. It is not how good we can perform with our wicked hearts but how much we truly love and trust in a Holy, Righteous, Merciful God, how desperately we truly want him after we have sinned. Our trust in Him is the key not in ourselves that is why the worst of sinners can be the closest and greatest to God. Surely this is why God allowed the man who would someday be the Prince of New Jerusalem on earth, to have such a horrid story of sin in scripture. Scriptures are unnaturally brutally honest and revealing and they show no perfect heroes this side of heaven
King Saul arguably sinned “less” than David yet he was rejected as king because when faced with his sin he made excuses rather than repent and when he would finally repent he only worried how it would affect his standing with the people he never was truly broken over his sin on loss of fellowship with God.
David by comparison in the year following his sin to his confession and repentance David suffered horribly, he wrote Psalms 32 describing how he felt his bones wasting away, his strength being dried up and feeling God’s hand heavy upon him all day every day. Ever had those times you felt that way? So overwhelmed that you were just sick and weak from what you had done? The man after God’s Own heart has been there also.
During all this David is not only king but also the judge of the highest court in Israel. He is the final word, there is no appeal available, he is the supreme authority. So imagine how David’s friend and Prophet, Nathan, must have felt when he confronted David using a story that he knew would be close to David’s heart since he had been a shepherd growing up…
2 Samuel 12:1-7
When your own satisfaction is involved your sense of right and wrong become warped, but outside of yourself it is easy to see how terrible sin is. Get yourself out of the way long enough to sometimes see how you look to another, how would you feel if these things were being said to you, done to you, done behind you. When David heard the story he said the man deserved death though that was not the law but David’s sin did deserve death. So imagine Nathan’s heart racing as he says to the man who could order his execution “You are the man!!”
David though didn’t have him executed, nor did he continue to hide his sin even though it could mean his humiliation and possibly his death his response was…..
2 Samuel 12:13
I have sinned against the Lord, no excuses, no downplaying, I am guilty what ever the consequence. This is what made him a man after God’s Own heart. True sincerity, true brokenness, true desire for God over everything else, and true childlike trust that God still loves him. David wrote Psalm 51 describing what he felt at that moment….
David just didn’t want a pardon he wanted to change to what God desired, he wanted God’s presence back, he was broken over his sin not the punishment.
Shortly before David’s sin took place he did something that was an amazing forshadow of what God would do for him, AND US!
King Saul had made himself an enemy of David relentlessly trying to kill him even when David twice had spared Saul’s life. Now when David was King it was customary to kill everyone kin to the previous King, especially if they were hostile to the current king but David showed kindness and mercy of God in a huge way…
2 Samuel 9:3-10
David summons the last remaining relative of the former king, who was crippled, not only an enemy but physically unable to work or be in combat for the kingdom and with nothing but love and incredible mercy and grace David returns to him the land of his grandfather, commands it is to be worked for him to provide for his family, adopts him as his own, allows him to eat at his own table!
This is the perfect picture of how God Loves us, we are children of the enemy, our sin makes us totally useless for His Kingdom, and yet with our past and broken nature he brings us to his table, gives us blessings beyond belief, even when we actuall deserve death.
Stop basing how God views you and wants you and accepts you on (1) what you’ve done wrong, (2)how much sin you have right now. Understand that our sin has no bearing on how much we are loved or how close we can be to Him.
Our true repentance from that sin, our true belief that He is awesome enough to bring us to His table after all that we’ve done, these are the keys to a perfect fellowship with Him.
It simply a question of this:(1)do you really want more of Him(2)or are you looking for an excuse as to why He is the reason you just can’t get any closer.
If you want more of Him He is one simple breath away, come to Him with a truly broken heart over how you’ve lived or are living, a true desire to be different, to be closer and with absolute confidence in Him that He will restore you completely. Then sit down at the Table of Fellowship with Him and give real thanks from the bottom of your heart, He has done his part done all He can do, He’s waiting for you to accept what He has done instead of you accepting what you have done and are doing.
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