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“Four Warnings and a Promise” | Sunday Message (with Pastor Jonathan Laurie)

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
August 28, 2022 3:00 am

“Four Warnings and a Promise” | Sunday Message (with Pastor Jonathan Laurie)

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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August 28, 2022 3:00 am

How important are our choices? When we look back at David’s failures, we get the answer: very important. In this Sunday episode, special guest Pastor Jonathan Laurie reminds us that our actions not only impact us, but also our children. With them, we lay their foundation. Tune in to see how you can ensure it’s a sturdy one!

Notes

The way we walk matters.

“The chastening hand of a loving heavenly Father is a very different thing from the judging hand of a holy God.” —Alan Redpath

The choices we make matter. 

1. The Death of David and Bathsheba’s First Son 

The hope of Heaven guarantees a reunion.

2. The Rape of Tamar

Monogamy is God’s original and best design.

We cannot pretend that our actions do not affect those around us. 

When you engage in sin, it is easy to see the same sin in others, but hard to correct.

3. The Murder of Amnon 

4. The Rebellion and Death of Absalom 

Then Joab came to Absalom at his house and demanded, "Why did your servants set my field on fire?" —2 Samuel 14:31–33 

So Joab told the king what Absalom had said. Then at last David summoned Absalom, who came and bowed low before the king, and the king kissed him.

Our actions today lay the foundation upon which our children and our descendants will build their lives.

The Promise: God does not just sweep life away; instead, He devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from Him.

Scripture Referenced

Galatians 6:7

Matthew 7:2

1 Thessalonians 4:3

Hebrews 12:6

2 Corinthians 5:17

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Learn more about Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries at harvest.org.

This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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A New Beginning
Greg Laurie

Hey there, thanks for listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast, a ministry supported by Harvest Partners. I'm Greg Laurie encouraging you.

If you want to find out more about Harvest Ministries and learn more about how to become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org. We could spend so much time getting into, I mean, just the life of David alone, we could spend years in, and we love getting to go over this with you, and we're excited. As we bring this series to a close, not today, but in a couple of weeks, we're going to be kicking off our new series, Am I Doing This Right, talking about parenting, talking about singleness, talking about marriage, talking about grandparenting.

There's going to be something there for everybody, and so make sure you stay tuned for that. It's going to be a great time, but today we are talking about King David. We're talking about his life. We're talking about the repercussions for his decisions, as we learned last week about David and Bathsheba, the god of the second chance.

Wasn't that a great message last week, hearing God is the god of the second chance, one of the amazing attributes of his character. Hello to our friends watching as well from Harvest Riverside, as well as those who are watching all over the campus here in Orange County, upstairs in the loft, in the family room, as well as those that are outside in the heat right now. I think there might be a few of you out in the courtyard in Riverside. You people are crazy.

I don't understand you. It's so warm out there. Can we make sure we welcome all of those that are joining us outside of this room, as well as those of you watching online at Harvest at Home and Harvest Online.

Great to have you all here. Well, right now it's summertime in Southern California, isn't it? You guys enjoying the summer? I'm enjoying it. I'm looking forward to my kids going back to school.

I like the routine that it offers and getting everything back into a normal pace of things. It's nice, but it's hot in summer, obviously, right? It gets hot during the summer, and I tend to run hot. If you're in the front row right now here at Harvest Orange County or Harvest Riverside, you tend to notice that it's like a meat locker in the front row because the air conditioning that pipes down is super cold because I run hot and I hate to sweat. You don't want to see me sweat.

It's not a good look. And so during the summer, my favorite way to beat the heat is go to the beach, right? You go to the beach. It's always a little bit cooler on the sand, which is nice. It cools down quite a bit.

But my favorite thing is going in the water because the water is like 73 degrees at the warmest. So it's always just right to take that heat off and to really get you to cool down. It's great, too, because it's free and it's one of the only things that you can enjoy in Southern California now that is free. It's a perk for sure. And taking the kids there, they come home tired, which is maybe the best part of all. They fall asleep in the car and you're like, oh, my goodness, thank you that you actually exerted some energy doing something outside, which is great. And I also love the fact that did I mention that it's free is always a positive. And so it's a good time.

Yes. One of the best things about living in California. Lord knows it's not the property taxes. But recently I was at the beach with my kids and one of my favorite things to do with them is to go and look for different things at the beach, whether it's fish or look in the tide pools or in this case, I was walking with my son Christopher to go look for some crabs. I've talked about Christopher before. He loves to catch anything that moves. He'll catch snakes. He'll catch lizards all day long. He'll catch bugs. He is not afraid of spiders at all. I am a full arachnid phobe and he has actually helped me break this. He started catching these little spiders and it's like, OK, this one's not too bad. I'm blown away.

This kid has no fear. So he loves to catch things. So we were walking down to one of the jetties in Newport to go catch crabs. He was looking for some crabs. And as we were walking there, had about maybe, you know, a hundred yards or so to walk to the jetty. And as we're walking from where our stuff was to the spot where the crabs were, I would turn every so often as we're walking down and watch the sets that were coming through because I love going in the water, love body surfing and we're walking down and looking at the waves.

And so I'm kind of turning and walking and checking it out. And as I turn around, Christopher is like almost bumping into me. He's right behind me. And before I can even ask him what he's doing so close to me, he actually turns around or he turns to me rather. And he says this. He says, Dad, I'm right behind you.

I'm walking in your footsteps. And I look at his little three and a half foot shoe size is literally pacing every step inside of my ten and a half foot shoe size. You know, walking there on the sand. And he's turning when I'm turning.

I look and sure enough, when I was pivoting and kind of cross stepping over, looking at the the waves, but moving in the same direction. He's turning his little frame and trying to step in my steps as well. And of course, hearing that just made me pause.

It made me pause. And of course, I'd heard this phrase before, but never out of the mouth of my own son, right? Dad, I'm right behind you.

I'm following in your footsteps. And so fathers, grandfathers, mothers, grandmothers, sons, daughters, the way you walk matters. I'm not talking about if you pronate or supinate, right?

Walk on the inside of your feet or the outside your feet or if you're bow legged or whatever it might be or how fast you walk. But it is actually pretty funny how kids will take on the characteristics of how their parents walk. Maybe your dad walked and he like flailed his arms around a lot or something. And someone told you, you kind of flail your arms around a lot. You're like, I do. My dad used to do that.

I didn't want to do that. I hated that about my dad. It's funny how those things get passed on to us. My dad is like one of the maybe probably the top three fastest walkers that I know, perpetually doing a slow jog everywhere. I don't know what it is, but he is able to do like a slow Usain Bolt walk or something.

I don't know what it is. I did not inherit that. I am not a fast walker.

My wife is also in that top three category. She is constantly walking ahead of me. I'm like, do you want to walk together or do you want me to jog with you?

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do here. I think she is encouraging me probably to jog with her subtly. But no, I'm not talking about the way you walk in the sense of your physical gait or the way that you have your steps and so forth. No, I'm talking about the choices we make in lives, the choices we make matter.

Right. It's been said that we make our choices and then our choices make us. I'm talking about the way we speak to the people we love. I'm talking about the type of affection we display, our devotional life. If we drink alcohol, if we smoke, if we overeat, if we watch pornography, if we serve at church, if we've been divorced, if we're a prayer warrior. These behaviors, for better and for worse, can be passed on to our children and those around us. Not because you are necessarily teaching those things directly, but because of your behavior around those things. Being a prayer warrior or a drinker or having a devotional life, watching porn. Man, there is evidence in your life of those things and around those things that point towards the actions, whether they are private or public. Now, if you came here last week, again, you heard my dad's message, the God of the second chance.

And maybe you're thinking, hey, I thought we got a second chance in life here. If we came to Christ, doesn't he cast our sins as far as east is from west? Isn't that in the Bible somewhere?

Doesn't he forget our iniquity? Didn't Jesus come so that we could go to heaven? Absolutely.

Absolutely. And to help summarize kind of what I'm getting at here is a preacher said this named Alan Redpath and commentator. He said the chastening hand of a loving heavenly father is a very different thing from the judging hand of a holy God. You see, we were delivered when we put our faith in Christ from the hand of the holy God. We do not want to be judged by a holy God because we would be judged as we are. But when we put our faith in Christ, we are pardoned. We are excused. We have the righteousness of Christ impugned to us, given to us.

And so we stand accepted in the bleva. But no, the loving hand of a heavenly father is what we experience. And that's what happens when we sin.

We face the consequences, right? God is the God of second chances because he forgives our sin. And the Bible also teaches us whatsoever a man sows that he will also reap. In Galatians 6-7, we know that to be true. In life, we know there are certain laws to be true, right? There's the law of gravity. We know that, right? What goes up, must come down.

That's right. What goes up, must come down. There's the law of thermodynamics, which is basically everything that is in motion will not always perpetually be in motion.

And it's slowly breaking down. That's true of our bodies. That's true of energy in general. It doesn't continue on forever. I think I got that one right, thermodynamics.

I'm not the right person to get that exactly right. And then, of course, there's the law of Murphy, my favorite, right? I don't think it's an actual law, but it sure seems to be. And that is what can go wrong will go wrong.

Yes, I have definitely had that happen firsthand, no question. And so there's certain laws we accept to be true in this life, like if you go and rob a bank, and then a week later you feel really bad about it because you go to church maybe with a friend, and you're, you know, patting your eyes with $100 bills and you're feeling terrible about what you did, and you commit your life to Christ, and you repent, and you recognize that that was sin. And you say, you know what? I'm going to go and turn myself in to the local police department. So you go and you tell them what you did, and you tell them that you're sorry, and they say, OK. And they put you in handcuffs.

They send you to jail for 10 years. Are you going to say, what? I thought that I was forgiven by God and I'm a Christian. Yeah, absolutely. You are forgiven by God. Hey, praise the Lord.

But you know what? There are consequences for your actions, right? The choices we make matter. And my message title for today's message is Four Warnings and a Promise. Four Warnings and a Promise. And I want to warn you a little bit as we get into this message. We are going to be looking at the consequences of King David's actions with the sin he committed with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, and all the things that unfolded as a result of that one sin, and the behavior that he displayed to his children and how his children followed in his footsteps. So this is a warning. And then at the end, there will be a promise. And so just hold on.

It's going to be a good message and you'll be encouraged and challenged. So last week we heard the story of David and Bathsheba. David saw this beautiful woman from his palace, from his throne or, you know, from his basically his balcony by his bedroom. And he looks out and he sees this beautiful woman, Bathsheba. She's naked. She's taken a bath. She knew what she was doing, too.

She knew that she was directly in eyesight of the king. And so we can get into that another time. But King David doesn't resist his impulse and he sends someone to go get her. He brings her up and they have a night of pleasure. They enjoy each other. They have sex with each other. And what happens next? She gets pregnant.

That does happen. And so David decides that rather than own up to his sin, he's going to cover it up. And he tries to get Uriah, her husband, to go and sleep with his wife while he is still on the battlefront. He brings him back. Uriah is a stand up guy. I can't do that.

My men are out on the battlefield suffering. I refuse to do that. Uriah gets him drunk, tries to get him to do it again. He won't do it.

This is a stand up guy. And so David sees there's only one choice left. He goes and he sends Uriah to the battlefront and he tells the commander, he says, send everybody on a charge, send everybody forward to go and fight the army. And then when Uriah advances, pull everybody back. And so ultimately he signed Uriah's death sentence.

Uriah is killed in battle. And for 12 months, King David wrestled with the guilt, the shame and the unrepentance until Nathan the prophet confronted him with a hypothetical situation which really paralleled what King David had done. Basically, he told the story about how this wealthy livestock owner had tons and tons of sheep and he was rich. And a friend came and visited him. And so they decided to slaughter a lamb to eat together. But instead of going and killing one of his many sheep, he goes over to his neighbor who is poor and only has one sheep. And he slaughters that sheep instead. Now, this sheep was not any ordinary sheep.

It was the family pet. The guy had named it. The guy literally saw it as one of his own daughters, King Nathan, rather the prophet Nathan says. And so he's framing this whole thing. And as King David hears us, his blood begins to boil and he's so angry. And so at the end of it, he says, King David, what do you suppose should happen to such a man? And David says right away, oh, he should restore fourfold what he has taken and then he should be put to death. Wow. Pretty harsh judgment, right?

I mean, it was bad, but being put to death and fourfold, pretty severe. And then Nathan says the famous words that we all know. You are the man. You're the guy, King. You just pronounce judgment upon yourself.

This is what you think should be done. And almost prophetically, we see that these things begin to happen to David fourfold. He pays dearly for his time that he had with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband. Jesus said in Matthew 7 to listen to this, for you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

Oof. King David lived those words out. Truly, he paid dearly for that one night of pleasure. And almost prophetically, the judgment King David declared against that livestock owner is exactly what happened to him. So again, we're going to be looking at the four tragedies that David experienced that were a direct result of his sinful behavior that serve as a warning to us. And then look at the promise that we can put our hope in when we have failed, because we have all failed.

We have all fallen short of God's standard, and we have a hope in Jesus. And so the first death that we're going to be looking at today that David experienced as a result of his sin was the death of his child that he had with Bathsheba. Point number one, the death of David and Bathsheba's first son. Second Samuel 12 14, it says that the Lord sent a deadly illness to the child, and even though David begged the Lord to spare the child, ultimately the child died seven days later. Experiencing the death of a child is one of the worst, if not the worst, things that a person can ever go through.

It breaks the natural cycle of children burying their parents, and as time goes on for the parent, the pain may not be as sharp anymore, but there is always a hole there in the heart that that child once filled. David said in Second Samuel 12 23, what can I do now? Speaking of this child that passed away, what can I do now?

Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me. I think David's words set a perfect example, a great template on how we should grieve. David says, what can I do now? I fasted, I prayed, I did everything I could while the child was alive, but now all that's left to do is leave it in the Lord's hand.

He cannot come to me, but I will go to him one day. When we experience the death of a loved one, I'm sure I'm not alone in this, but when that happens, especially when it's unexpected, often our minds go to the cesspool of whys and what ifs. We always want to know the unknown. Why did this happen? Why did God let this happen? Why couldn't it have happened to me?

Why, why, why? And then we also ask the question, what if there was something I could have done to prevent this? What if I was driving the car that day? What if this happened? What if I had this conversation with them? What if I picked up the phone that day and told them, don't go?

What if there was something I could do? And those are questions that will fill our mind and take up all of our consciousness and our energy. And let me just tell you firsthand experience here. They will never bring you comfort. They will never bring you peace. Those things will never help you.

They'll never help you process it. It will just haunt you and plague you and ultimately hurt you. And I'll tell you that firsthand because I have not lost a child, but I've lost a brother who I was very close to and it will occupy your mind forever, but it will never bring you peace. And in David's case, you can imagine he probably had those thoughts literally because it's his sin that brought about the death of this child.

The guilt that David experienced would have been unlike anything he had ever gone through. But instead, what does King David do? He says, what can I do?

I've done everything that I can. He cannot come to me, but I can go to him. Instead of dwelling on those types of questions that we have no good answers and no sure answers, David shifted his focus away from what he did not know onto what he did know. That someday he would see his child again. That one day there would be a heavenly reunion.

That one day he would be able to embrace that child. And that is what the Bible teaches. And that is the source of hope of those for those of us who have lost loved ones, who have lost children or parents or family members or relatives or close people that were believers. That is the hope of heaven, that heaven guarantees a reunion. Amen.

That is what we put our hope in. Point number two, the second consequence that David faced as a result of his sin was the rape of Tamar, the rape of Tamar. Second Samuel 13, one tells us that now David's son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar. And Amnon, her half brother, fell desperately in love with her. Amnon became so obsessed with Tamar that he became ill. She was a virgin. And Amnon thought he could never have her. Before Bathsheba, David had concubines that he was sleeping with and having sex with. He had multiple wives that he was impregnating.

And so he was going way off the reservation before Bathsheba came around in his affair with her. And so a quick footnote here. Let me be really clear. Just because we see King David doing these things and we don't always see immediately saying, and this was sin that David did that, it's just listing out the story for us. And generally, yes, the Bible does say that it is sin.

But a quick footnote. It is still very, very clear. The Bible is still very, very clear that monogamy is God's best and original design. Just because David had concubines and multiple wives does not mean that the Bible or God condones or supports that. Monogamy, being married to one person of the opposite gender for life, is God's original and best design. The Bible is still very clear about that.

And some will say, I mean, I've heard people argue this on the Internet and wherever else, and not to my face because it would be hard not to laugh at them. But some people would argue that because King David did it and he was still called a man after God's own heart, that this would somehow justify extramarital sex. Well, you would have to completely ignore all the other scriptures, hundreds of scriptures found in the Old Testament and New Testament that condemn this kind of behavior. But I would encourage you when you're reading your Bible to know that the Bible sometimes will report things. And it's important that we recognize that it is not always prescriptive if it's describing certain behavior, meaning the Bible is kind of two things.

Let me frame it this way. It is both descriptive and prescriptive. It is descriptive and prescriptive.

Some things are for us. They are prescribed for us by God, like a doctor would prescribe a prescription. You go to the doctor's office and they give you a prescription because you've got an infection.

You got some scratch and now it's all messed up and you need antibiotics. So they send you to the pharmacy. That is a prescription. And so in the same way, God gives us prescriptions. He prescribes things for us. Let me give you an example of something that God prescribes to all of us. First Thessalonians 4-3, for this is the will of God, your sanctification that you abstain from sexual immorality. That's for us. That's for all of us. That is prescriptive, right?

Now, let me share something that is descriptive. Let's take David and Goliath. David hears about this giant Philistine and he's blaspheming the name of the Lord and so David goes and he decides that he's going to take this Philistine out. So he goes and gets a rock, puts it in his sling and he nails Goliath in the face. He knocks him down.

He goes over, pulls out the guy's sword and he decapitates him. Now you tell me, is that prescriptive or descriptive? Thank you very much. Yes, that is descriptive. Exactly. We should not go around doing that. Some of you might want to.

Don't do that. That is not what God wants us to do to blasphemers. We need to pray for them, okay?

Not decapitate them. And so some things are descriptive and some things are prescriptive. First Thessalonians 4-3, prescriptive. First Samuel 17, descriptive. Just because it's in scripture does not mean it is approved by God. Now, of course, we look at scripture through the lens.

All scripture is profitable and good for reproof and correction and for teaching. Some things we learn from their mistakes, some things we learn from the things that they did that were positive and were to follow in that behavior. Okay, so now that's covered.

Back to point number two. Tamar, the rape of Tamar. Number two, David had a daughter named Tamar and a son named Amnon, both from different mothers. Tamar was beautiful and Amnon fell in love with her. And rather than pursuing the appropriate route of making his half-sister, Tamar, his wife, again, descriptive, very descriptive here.

British royal family should probably take note. The whole incest thing is a bad idea. But instead of pursuing marriage, Amnon rapes Tamar. He has sex with her against her will and then his passion and his lust that has completely blinded him to what he should be doing, it wears off right away.

It wears off. And then his love and his passion towards her turns to hate and he banishes her from his sight. Where else would Amnon have observed this kind of behavior except his own father? David had concubines. He had wives. He was sleeping with other people's wives. Amnon followed the sinful footsteps of his father, David.

David demonstrated this behavior and Amnon followed in this behavior. In America today, it's reported that 36 percent of marriages end in divorce. This wreaks havoc on the children. They're the product of those broken relationships. And as a result of this, children are, statistically speaking, more likely to experience emotional and behavioral problems. And the likelihood of them getting a divorce themselves is driven up 69 percent.

Now, if both the child and their spouse now come from homes that were divorced, the risk of divorce skyrockets to 189 percent. It's devastating. It's devastating. We cannot pretend that our actions do not affect those around us. Wedlock is to be a padlock.

It is to be a lock and you throw the key away. Divorce cannot be an option the moment you say, I do. And that is why we want to make you all sure that you are coming out for our next series that we're going to be going through September 11th as we talk about Am I Doing This Right? We're going to be talking about singleness. We're going to be talking about marriage, parenting, what foundation to build on and some strategies to follow so that you can guarantee success, whether you're single, newly married parent or even a grandparent.

Am I Doing This Right? Starting September 11th. Here's a sneak peek of what you're going to be hearing about. Do what the Bible says. Yeah, that's basically it. That's going to be in a nutshell is do what the Bible says. And so we see David's behavior now being displayed in his own children. Amnon rapes his virgin half sister Tamar.

Absolutely sickening, devastating. But to make things even worse, what does David do? He has no response. There's a complete lack of response to Amnon's wickedness. 2 Samuel 13 tells us 21 verse 21, when King David heard of all these things, he was very angry. Great. That was it.

No action. And my Bible actually has a footnote. It says that David did not punish Amnon because he loved him for he was his firstborn. OK, that is not an excuse to not punish sinful and wrong and horrifying behavior. David saw the behavior of Amnon.

I believe this is the reason why. And it was like looking in a mirror. He saw what Amnon had done and he saw himself. He loved him, but he didn't punish him because he knew his son had observed him, King David, engaging in the same behavior. And so, again, you see the consequences for David's sin with Bathsheba and even before that. Listen, when you engage in sin, it's easy to see the same sin in others, but hard to correct. And what Jesus warned against when you are picking the splinter out of your brother's eye to be aware of the log in your own, that's what David was wrestling with. He was struggling with it. He's like, I know that I did these things. I know that.

How can I correct that behavior when I was doing it myself or maybe in currently doing it? David's guilt from past sins made the same behavior difficult to correct in his children, which caused further suffering for everyone. Third, we see David's son Absalom basically saying, if King Dad's not going to take care of this issue, if he's not going to go and reprimand and correct Amnon, I'm going to take matters into my own hands. And that brings us to number three, the murder of Amnon, the murder of Amnon. Second Samuel 13, 28 says, Absalom told his men, when Amnon gets drunk at my signal, kill him. Don't be afraid. I'm the one who's given the command.

Take courage and do it. And so at Absalom's signal, they murdered Amnon. And then the sons of the other king jumped on their mules and fled. And so we see Absalom now repeating the same behavior that David committed. First Amnon treats Tamar as David treated Bathsheba. Then Absalom treats Amnon as David treated Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba. David's failure to correct this disgraceful behavior in Amnon created even further animosity in his home. Now, understandably, Absalom was outraged about what happened to his sister Tamar. And even more so, his father's lack of action, not even a rebuke, no punishment was given to Amnon.

And so he took the matters into his own hands. And parents, this is why it is so important that we discipline our children, that we correct them when they are going off the reservation, when they are doing something that is wrong, that we lovingly correct them and lovingly discipline our children, not out of anger, not out of spite, but because we want to protect them from the destructive behavior and the further repercussions of their sin. You can think of parental discipline kind of like guardrails on a mountain road. And if your kid's out of control and they're spinning out of control and they're heading towards a cliff, are you just going to let that happen?

No, you're going to be that guardrail. You're going to be that buffer to make sure they bounce off of you so they don't further harm themselves and those around them. Because why? Because you love them. You don't want to see them go to the nth degree with their sin.

You don't want to see them go to the nth degree with lying when you catch them in a little white lie. You teach them the principles and you hold their feet to the fire and you do it because you love them, not because you're angry, not because you're jealous, but because you want the best for them. The Bible tells us to not discipline is to not love. Hebrews 12, 6 says the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son whom he receives. To not discipline and teach and train up your children in the way they should go is to fail to prepare. It's been said by failing to prepare, you prepare to fail. Both Absalom and Amnon could say, I'm right behind you, Dad.

I'm following in your footsteps. And that brings us to our fourth and final movement, number four, the rebellion and the death of Absalom. Second Samuel 13, 37 to 39. It says Absalom fled and went to Talmai, the son of Amuud, king of Gesher, and David mourned for his son day after day. And so Absalom fled and went to Gesher and he was there for three years. And the Spirit of the Lord longed to go out to Absalom because he was comforted about Amnon since he was dead.

David's refusal to discipline and correct sinful behavior unfortunately did not stop with Amnon. Now Absalom has murdered his son and he has fled from his father David's house and went to his grandfather Talmai's house and Gesher for three years. I love that for just a second that he literally ran away to grandpa's house. When you were growing up and you were in trouble with Mom and Dad, did you have a type of grandparent? You were like, I can run away to grandpa's house. I'll live with them.

They'll let me do whatever I want, right? That's literally what we see Amnon doing here. Absalom kills his brother and he runs to grandpa's house. How classic is that? Talmai, his grandfather was like, come on, Abby, we'll take you out for ice cream. You can forget all about that murder that you committed. We still love you. Don't worry about that mean old dad David of yours. My favorite thing was when I would be disciplining my kids and talking to them or punishing them for something they did that was wrong. And I'm helping instruct them as they would get upset and they'd say, well, I'm just going to run away. I'm going to go live at Papa's house.

And I'd be like, you'd be doing us all a favor. No, I never said that. I never said that. So, yeah, you know what? Absalom, you go tell grandpa Talmai. But we read that David longed for Absalom. He loved his son. He loved his son. He didn't condemn his behavior.

He missed him. And honestly, you have to kind of sympathize with the humanity of David here. He had been through the wringer. He had suffered for his sin. And you can almost sympathize with them until you remember David modeled this behavior for his family. He modeled this behavior just like Absalom ran from David and hid from him. And then David hid from the Lord. For those 12 months, he hid from the Lord. He was unrepentant. He didn't talk to the Lord. He didn't confess what he had done wrong. And so Joab, who was the commander of David's army, saw that the king loved his son and wanted his son to come back.

But he was unwilling to go and reach out and reconcile Absalom to himself. So Joab thought he would help the king and he devised a plan to help the king get what he really wanted. He and a wise woman from a nearby kingdom called Tekoa to come and deliver a hypothetical scenario, once again, to corner the king into bringing his son back from banishment.

Very similar to what Nathan the prophet did with King David when he confronted him over his sin with Bathsheba, presenting a hypothetical situation and presenting it as fact. And so this woman shows up to the king. She says, Oh, King, have mercy on me.

I have an issue and I need your attention right away. And she tells him this made up story about how she's a widow and she has two sons. You know, her husband has died and she has two remaining sons. And the two sons got into an argument.

They got into a squabble. And one of the sons was killed at the hand of the other son. And now the people in the local community are calling for the death of her last remaining son. And she comes to the king and she's saying, please have mercy on him.

I only have one descendant left. Would you have mercy on him and make sure that he doesn't get put to death? And so King David tells her and he, OK, I will take the case on.

You go home. I'll make sure nobody messes with your remaining son. And she was like, OK, that's good, but I need action now. Can you, like, make me a promise or something about this? And David says, OK, I assure you, I promise you nothing will happen to your son. And then she was like, OK, thanks, but can you like maybe swear an oath to me and really cement this? And David said, OK, I swear an oath to you.

Nothing will happen to your son. And then she was like, gotcha. It's actually your son Absalom. If you're willing to do it for me, how much more should you be willing to do it for your own sons? And then King David was like, man, I really need to stop doing this, letting this happen to me.

I need to plead the fifth more often here. And so he brought back Absalom. He welcomed Absalom back. And while David does invite Absalom back, he pretty much sentences his murdering son to house arrest. There is no discussion of what he had done to Amnon.

There is no discussion of what Amnon did with Tamar. He basically says, OK, you can come back. You can live in Jerusalem, but you can't come and see me. And you have to live in your home and you can't leave the reservation. You can't leave your property.

Basically puts them under house arrest. They hadn't seen each other for three years when he went off to live with his grandfather, Absalom did. And then for another two years, David didn't even show his face. He wouldn't allow Absalom to come and see him. So for five years now, David said nothing about Absalom's behavior or Absalom's murder of Amnon. This is not a pattern of healthy parenting right here.

This is the definition of sweeping things under the rug. And so what happens? Absalom becomes resentful of his father. He becomes discouraged. He gets angry. He's in no man's land, not knowing where he stands.

He's under house arrest, but he's also not being held accountable for his action with Amnon. And so he asked for a meeting with his father. He tells Joab, hey, go tell my father, the king, I want to meet with him and I want to hash this out and get this figured out. There's no action. Nothing happens. And so Joab, rather, Absalom goes and tells Joab again, hey, tell my father, the king, I need to meet with him and I want to have this discussion.

Let's figure this out. Where do I stand? Am I heir to the throne? Am I going to be sentenced to death? What's going on?

I don't like living here. And so Absalom, rather Joab, doesn't respond again. Two times he does not respond to Absalom. And so Absalom does what any rational person would do. He goes and he sets Joab's barley fields on fire.

Very appropriate. That'll get his attention. And so he got his attention and we read in 2 Samuel 14 31. Joab came to Absalom and he demanded, why did your servant set my barley fields on fire? And Absalom replied, because I wanted you to ask the king why he brought me back from Gesher if he didn't intend to see me. Just here for a moment, Absalom's heart here. I wanted to ask the king why he brought me back from being banished if he didn't intend to see me.

I might as well have stayed there. Let me see the king. If he finds me guilty of anything, then let him kill me. The guy just wanted resolution.

The guy just wanted to know where he stood. And so Joab told the king, verse 33, what Absalom had said. And then at last, David summoned Absalom and he came and bowed low before the king and the king kissed him. Ah, restoration, right? Reconciliation, forgiveness. But the damage was done. The damage is done because we see what happens next for the next four years as Absalom had freedom. He goes and he buys a chariot, right? And he rides around in a chariot and he hired 50 bodyguards to go run ahead of him everywhere he goes. And he decides that he is now going to undermine his father's rule, throwing him under the bus anytime that he can, slowly, slowly gaining influence in the kingdom through schmoozing anyone and everyone he can.

People would come to the city gates and they would present their issues before the king. And Absalom, at this point, it seems that David kind of became a hermit. And Absalom was now going out into the area and he was meeting people and people would bow before him as the prince and he would take their hand and kiss their hand and he would ask them where they're from and get to know their name. And he was just trying to schmooze everybody and win the affection of the people.

And it worked, it worked. He slowly began to devise a plan that he was going to overthrow his father. His resentment now towards his dad, King David, manifests its way into a complete rebellion against his father's authority. And at last, he gets enough influence to drive his father out of Jerusalem, off of his throne and into hiding. King David had to run for his life with his servants and his wives and his concubines and everybody.

They had to run for their lives. And so Absalom's plan, it was now complete. All he needed to do was kill his father. So he hunted David at every turn and so that he could take the throne rightfully. And finally, we read in 2 Samuel 18 during a battle, Absalom sees enemy soldiers of King David because the two were at war and he sees his father's soldiers and he runs for his life because he's no King David. He's no man after God's own heart. He's no mighty warrior that slew Goliath. No, he is the prince, right? And so he's running away from the soldiers, not engaging in battle.

And what happens? Absalom had really long, beautiful hair. We read that he cut it every couple of years and they would weigh it and it would weigh like 10 shekels, which is a few pounds. That's a lot, a lot of hair. He was considered to be the most handsome man in all of Israel, probably because of his hair. He probably had jewelry in it and little braids in it and little gold clasps and whatever else.

So that's probably what made it weigh so much. But that hair, as he was riding away for his life from David's soldiers, he rides under a tree and you know what happens? His hair gets stuck in the tree and he's left hanging from his hair in the tree, completely defenseless.

The donkey rides off away from him. And what happens? The men go and they kill Absalom and as he's hanging from the tree, they killed him right there on the spot. And so that is the death, the rebellion and death of Absalom. Wow, talking about escalating quickly, right?

That was radical. All of this, all four of these things, we can draw a line directly back to David's sin with Bathsheba. All of these things, his continued failure to correct his children because of his guilty conscience, the direct result of Absalom killing Amnon, the rape of Tamar, all of these things, you can draw back to the sin of death, of his sin with Bathsheba, excuse me. And so now let's bring this message to a close. These four things, wow, this is heavy message. Yes, we are learning about the repercussions for your sin. These four things ought to serve as a warning to us that our children walk in our footsteps, our grandchildren will walk in our footsteps. And so fathers and mothers and grandmothers and grandfathers, sons, daughters, take heed to the way you walk, lest you stumble. Our actions today lay the foundation that our children and our descendants will build their lives upon. That is the ultimate warning today. After reading all four of those things, what's the summary of it?

That's it right there. Our actions today lay the foundation that our children and our descendants will build their lives upon for better and for worse. The choices we make today matter, don't they? This is the lesson we can learn from David's failures.

This is the warning we can take from the message. And so maybe you're here today and you might be the product of a broken home and you're thinking, wow, that was really encouraging. I learned that my children are more likely to get divorced and because my parents were divorced, I'm more likely to get divorce.

Or maybe you're the son or daughter of a single mom and you're thinking, wow, well, I guess I'm headed for the same behavior or my dad was an alcoholic and his grandfather was an alcoholic and alcoholism runs in my blood and addictions in my blood and so that means that I'm just destined to repeat the same behavior. Friend, can I tell you the promise now? The promise is in 2 Corinthians 5.17, we are told if any man, if any woman is in Christ, they are an altogether new creation.

Old things have passed away, all things have become new. Listen, when you put your faith in Christ, those generational curses, the alcoholism that supposedly runs in your blood, the bad behavior you observed, it has no hold on you because he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. The promise today is that you do not have to be defined by your sin. You do not have to be defined by your past. You were not defined by what kind of family you came from, you can have a new beginning.

You can have a new beginning. Look back with me for a moment at the words from the woman from Tekoa as she was confronting King David about Absalom. She said this in 2 Samuel 14. She said, we all die sometime. Water spilled on the ground can't be gathered up again, but God does not take away life.

He works out ways to get the exile back. That's the promise. That's the promise we've sinned. We've done things we wish we could hit the reset button on, right?

You ever do something and you're like, oh man, I wish I could hit unsend on that email. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself, don't go down that path. Don't associate with those people. Don't try that experience. Don't indulge in that.

Don't do it. We all have things in our life we wish we could hit the reset button on. Things we wish we could take back, but we can't. She said that water spilled on the ground can't be gathered up again. Kind of a first century version, or rather not even first century, an ancient version of no use crying over spilled milk, right?

Nothing you can do about it. But God made a way when there was no way. God does not take away life.

He works out ways to get the exile back. And that is exactly what Jesus came to do. The good news is that you no longer have to be defined by your sin.

You no longer have to be defined by your mistakes. Yes, you will reap what you sow, but God will forgive you. And when you live your life for God and you own what your sins were and you repent and you ask for forgiveness from those you've hurt, God can even restore those relationships. And so if you haven't been a good father or you've been a neglectful mother or you've been a rebellious son or a daughter, listen, repent, call out to God, recognize your behavior for what it is.

It is sin and you can give your life to God. Isaiah 43 tells us, the Lord says, remember not the former things nor the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs forth.

Do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. And so today, if you have not yet, put your faith in Jesus. Put your faith in Jesus. Be a new creation. Let him renew you from the inside out and make you this new person that has no longer identified with their sins but has now identified with Christ. He gives you his righteousness so you can stand before God.

He can restore those relationships. He can do that for you today. But if you have already put your faith in Christ, my exhortation to you is to live your life in a way that you would want your children and grandchildren and friends and families and relatives and coworkers to see and to also walk in and to follow in your footsteps. Amen?

Let's pray. Lord, we ask that you would help us to do that, to follow you, Jesus. Those are the footsteps we all want to walk in. We want to walk in your footsteps, Jesus. You commanded us to love. You commanded us to forgive. You commanded us to follow you. We want to be your disciples.

And so, Lord, whether we grew up in a great, loving, flourishing Christian home that taught us the essentials of the faith or whether we grew up in a dysfunctional home, Lord, what matters most is the decision we make when it comes to our relationship with you. You have given us life and life more abundantly. You have given us your Holy Spirit. You have given us forgiveness, and all we have to do is receive it.

All we have to do is walk in it. We're thankful for the gift of salvation. We're thankful for the blood that you shed.

You paid dearly for it with your own blood. And so, Lord, we ask that you would help us to walk in that newness of life as your children. And while our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed, we're praying here today, there may be some who haven't yet put their faith in Jesus.

They haven't asked Christ to be their Lord and Savior. I would say to you, what are you waiting for? What more do you need to know than you can be a new creation and you can have the things that God wants you to have, that He can bless you. He can help you be the parent that you always wanted to be. He can help you to be the father and the mother and the grandparent and the worker and all those things that He has called you to be through the power of His Holy Spirit. But most importantly, He brings or He gives us a way to bring the exile back, and that's us. We were exiled from our relationship with the Lord.

It was severed, and the only thing that we can do now is put our faith in Christ and He can restore that relationship and He can forgive us and He can even restore with a locust of heat in the way. And so if you'd like to put your faith in Jesus today, I would just invite you, pray this prayer wherever you are. If you're watching in Riverside or you're here in the sanctuary at OC or you're watching online, just pray this prayer. Pray it out loud after me.

Say these words. Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner, but I know that you are the Savior who died on the cross for my sin. And I turn from my sin now and I turn to you from this moment forward. I make you my Savior. I make you my Lord.

I want you to choose for me. So help me to walk with you. It's in your name I pray, Jesus. Amen.

Amen. Hey everybody, thanks for listening to this podcast. To learn more about Harvest Ministries, follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to harvest.org. And to find out how to know God personally, go to harvest.org and click on Know God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-04 23:21:26 / 2023-03-04 23:42:08 / 21

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