Peninsula Community Church
December 16, 2012
God’s Gift of Family – From Failure to Forgiveness
Text: Matthew 1:1- and 2 Samuel 11:1-12:25
As we continue to focus our attention on the family of Christ, our discussion this week will center on the story of David and Bathsheba. As we read this story, one of the first things that stands out to me is that David rather than being with his army, is at home. Listen to what the scripture says here. “In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all of Israel.” It was common in those days for the king’s armies to take a break from battle in the winter as it was difficult to fight during the colder months. But once spring came, the kings returned to battle. It was important for the king to lead his armies but notice that David stayed in Jerusalem.
As we read through this text, we witness a process of sin that causes a downward spiral toward disobedience on a grand scale. Notice how the process is involved in this story. The process is simply this he saw, he coveted, he took, and he hid and covered up his sin. These four elements are almost always involved in the cycle of sin and disobedience. Let’s see how these are played out in David’s life.
First of all, we see that he saw. Because David stayed at home and was idle instead of being where he should have been he is presented with a moment of decision. As he is walking on his on his roof top, he sees a beautiful woman bathing on the rooftop of her home. In this moment, he has a choice. He could either turn away, reject the temptation that was brewing in his heart or he could continue to stand there and continue to stare at the one bathing. It is unfortunate that he chose the latter, as this was the beginning of him sliding into a state of extreme failure. Instead of taking on the attitude of Joseph when he was presented with an opportunity to sin we find that David lusted for Bathsheba.
Because of his lust for her, he coveted her. It is of great import to note that David inquired about who she was and yet even though those around him told him that she was a married woman, he continued to pursue her. It is interesting to note that he could have stopped his slide toward failure right here but he takes the next step.
It is here that David takes the next step toward his catastrophic failure. He saw, he coveted and he took her. David summons Bathsheba. He calls for her to come to his palace. As the king, he could summon anyone he wanted and almost do anything that he wanted to do. But notice that there seems to be no push back from Bathsheba. She could have refused but we don’t see that she made any effort to reject his advances. Either one of them could have cut this off but he took her and had an adulterous affair with her. He chose to commit a great sin even though he already had in his possession anything that he wanted. But he chose to go after one that could not have.
Now the story gets interesting as we find that she sends word to David that she is pregnant and that the child is his. After the consequences of his sin were revealed, instead of repenting, we find that he tries to hide his sin. He invites Uriah home in hopes that he will lay with his wife and think that the child she is carrying is his. When that doesn’t work he tries to get him drunk but even in a drunken stupor he refuses to go to his wife. It is notable to observe that it seemed that he was more loyal to the army and his comrades than David, the King was. When all the above fails David sends him to the front lines with orders given to Joab that he should be placed on the battle lines where he was sure to be killed. In essence, he was being setup. In reality it is murder. Notice that in 1:27 “The thing that David did displeased the Lord!”
But rather than seek forgiveness and do the right thing it seems that David became comfortable with his sin. You see it would have been nice for David to recognize his sin and deal with it and a year passed and David has not confessed or repented of his sin. But God sent Nathan into David’s life. Nathan tells David a story by way of a word picture and then seeks his advice about what should be done to the one who committed a serious wrong. Nathan’s story was one of a rich man who had many sheep and a poor man who had only one. When the rich man had quests arrive, he took the poor man’s lamb and had it killed so that he could feed his guests. Nathan Asks David what he would do. David is angered about this and he stated that this man deserves to die and he should restore the loss four fold.
Then Nathan makes a statement that reaches a level of crescendo in David’s heart and mind. “David, you are the man.” What sad words. But these words penetrate David’s heart and he immediately repents. It should be noted that it is from this experience that we find that David pens the words of Psalms 51, 32 and 36. David experiences God’s forgiveness but his actions come with a price.
As a result of his sin that went without a righteous confession, David had to suffer a great price. Notice that Nathan proclaims the results of his sin. Because David kept this a secret, his punishment was to be in administered in the open. And, it impacted more than just him. The sin committed by David and Bathsheba would result in the death of the child conceived between David and Bathsheba …Nathan continues by saying – Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun'” (2 Samuel 12:10-12).
In the end David and Bathsheba have a second child together and his name is Solomon. Christ’s lineage would be kept in tact even though there was a grievous sin and difficult consequences involved.
As we look at this story we see that there are several lessons to be learned. First of all when we find that we are spending more time trying to hide our sin than deal with it we have a problem. Isn’t it interesting that David spends such an inordinate amount of time trying to hide his sin rather than making his sin right.
Secondly, we note that sin has consequences. We see that his sin caused the loss of his son. There will also be great turmoil as the sword would not depart from his kingdom. God also brings about evil in his home. And finally we see that his wives will be taken and given to his neighbors. We see this worked out in a number of ways. For example, the current headlines of this young man that perpetuated these actions on this elementary school has now caused there to be a ripple effect around the world. For many there has been the act of adultery in their lives and though they thought they had the act revealed, the ripple effects of those actions are felt by the family, the spouse, the children, and by their associates.
Thirdly, we all need a Nathan in our lives. We need someone that will speak the truth and bring us to the place of recognizing of the reality of our hearts. It should be noted here that we must be sure that God has called us to be a Nathan in someone else’s life. Too often we get involved when it was never God’s will.
Fourthly, there is always forgiveness in Christ. There is never a sin too great, too bad, or too evil that God cannot forgive. There is forgiveness at the foot of the cross. Forgiveness and repentance is not to be something that is feared but rather it is to be embraced as it brings freedom to the heart. Regardless of the consequences of our decisions we can live with a heart that is free. We can walk in liberty. Once again notice the power of these words in 2 Samuel 12:13, “The Lord has put away your sin; you shall not die.” He is forgiven and he is restored.