Today, a warning from Chuck Swindoll. When you reach a certain level in life and the world, it seems, is looking up to you, it's so easy at that point to lose your self-awareness, to lose the reality of your compromise. Hypocrisy takes over and replaces what was once integrity and responsibility.
Hypocrisy can take the place of integrity so easily. David's trajectory to prominence was impressive. Once a shepherd boy, he rose to leader of Israel and was regaled as a noble king. But David, the Bible shows us, wasn't perfect, and one of his lowest moments included a stunning betrayal of trust. David took another man's wife and then arranged to have the husband killed.
Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll not only recounts the true story, but more importantly, shows us the lessons we can learn from David's failure and recovery. Let's resume the message Chuck titled, The Integrity of a Loyal Husband. Minded by lust, forgetting that he has other women already, his wives in the palace, he wants another one. Forgetting who he is and forgetting the respect the nation has for him, adultery is committed and she quickly is on her way. I think David thought little of it by now, his guilt has blinded him to even a concern about what has happened until he gets word from her that changes everything.
I am pregnant. He thinks of one thing, I've got to get Uriah in bed with his wife, whatever it takes. Verse 8, David told Uriah, go on home and relax. David even sent a gift to Uriah after he left. He spends the night in the palace entrance of all things, this top elite soldier rolls up a garment and makes it his pillow and sleeps on the floor right there in the palace. The next morning, verse 10, when David heard that Uriah had not gone home, he summoned him, well I would imagine, and he asked, what's the matter? Oh, why didn't you go home last night after being away for so long? I love Uriah's reply.
I love it. Listen to the integrity. He is speaking to the king of Israel. I could not do that. The ark, the armies, the armies of Israel and Judah are living in tents, Joab, and your men are camping in the open fields. How could I go home to wine and dine and sleep with my wife?
I swear I would never do such a thing. It's as if David shrugs and says, all right, stick around another day and we'll have dinner together tonight and then you can go back tomorrow. So Uriah stayed, we read, stayed that day at Jerusalem and the next day David invited him to dinner and got him drunk. Hello, can David go?
If he can't convince him while he's sober, maybe he will yield when he's inebriated. And even then we read, Uriah doesn't go home again another night in the palace entrance. We read in verse 14, the next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and gave it to Uriah, his death warrant. He knew that Uriah would never, ever open that letter. That letter was safe in Uriah's pouch.
It's exactly where it went. Joab reads the instructions in the letter. He's telling me to have him killed. I am convinced in my heart, he understood the command, he'll do it. He folds it up, puts it in his pouch and sees it as checkmate blackmail when he needs it. He's got David just where he wants him.
Whatever is going on, this is wrong. This is instruction to take him out. So Joab does exactly that. He assigned him to the point most threatened where the enemy's strongest men were fighting. And when the enemy soldiers came out of the city to fight, Uriah the Hittite was killed. Notice, notice, along with several other Israeli soldiers. So he's not only killed Uriah, he's killed other soldiers.
I'm sure Joab covered that so that it wouldn't look like what it was. It would look like just a skirmish and they got the raw end of the deal and they lost Uriah. Watch, back in Jerusalem, the messenger went to Jerusalem and gave the complete report to David.
The enemy came out against us, the open fields, and said, you know, he said, and as we chased them back to the city gate, the archers on the wall shot arrows at us. Some of the king's men were killed, including Uriah the Hittite. Why did he want him killed? Well, for sure, the pregnancy would become known and he would have to face Uriah because Bathsheba would quite likely yield the name.
He thought this would remove part of the accusation or the possibility of such. Well, says David, listen to the hypocrite, well then, tell Joab not to be discouraged. The sword devours one today and this one today and that one tomorrow. Okay, fight on harder. Hail to Israel. Shame on you, David. What a pathetic example of a leader. When the period of mourning was over after Bathsheba learned of her husband's death, David brought her into the palace, watch closely, and verse 27, she became one of his wives. He already has several. Now he's got another one. If you want to know how David felt deep within for the next number of months, read Psalm 32 and a portion of Psalm 51.
He's miserable beyond words. They have the baby and seven days the baby dies. Not only this, the sword never departed from David's house. His life looks like a rooftop from the fields of Jesse's sheep all the way to Bathsheba. From Bathsheba all the way to the end, it comes down on him.
Why? The last statement, the Lord was displeased with what David had done. The Hebrew reads, it was evil in the eyes of the Lord.
I prefer that. His eyes, he saw it all, he heard it all. Why would the Lord preserve 27 verses of a chapter out of his word for this story? David at his worst, Uriah at his most vulnerable, Joab at his most treacherous.
The whole thing is just, it is a study in carnality. Now, you know me too well, we won't just close the Bible and have prayer. There are lessons here. Lessons we learn from Uriah, from David, from Joab, and the Lord himself. First, how magnificently a man of integrity and loyalty like Uriah can live his life.
How magnificently a man of integrity like Uriah can live his life. I think I speak today to some with that kind of integrity and I salute every one of you. If I knew you, I would honor you and call you by name.
You are needed more than you ever would realize in this day and age in which we live. You will not take a bribe. You will not do wrong, even if it means your job. You will not cooperate, even though you respect the one who is urging you to cooperate something that will require compromise.
You won't do it. We honor you today. You're in the camp of Uriah who died with honor.
Though deceived terribly by the man he trusted the most in the nation. How magnificently a man of integrity like Uriah can live his life. You can do it, even though you're surrounded by most who don't. You can do it. Stay at it. And if you begin now, good for you.
Stay at it from here on. Second, how hypocritically a man like David, a man of importance and authority, can hide his sins. Part of the problem is his authority and importance. When you reach a certain level in life and the world, it seems, is looking up to you, it is so easy at that point to lose your self-awareness, to lose the reality of your compromise.
Hypocrisy takes over and replaces what was once integrity and responsibility. I mean, we can't imagine David, the giant killer, David, the one who preserves Saul's life. David, the one who backs away when Abigail says, you don't want murder on your record. Thanks, Abigail, for the warning and doesn't follow through in the murder of Nabal.
Let's not have murder on my record. This is the same man. You see, your mind plays tricks on you when you become the king. He's now there. He is the resident in the palace.
He calls the shots. Hypocrisy can take the place of integrity so easily. I don't know where you are in your life. I don't know what promotions you've recently had. I'm sure they were well deserved, but I warn you, be careful about that climb up. I heard the comment that the mother ape said to her, little ape, don't climb too high on the pole, the higher you climb, the more they'll see your rump. Be careful up there. Be careful. Careful. They respect you. They believe you. Your aunt didn't even question his command.
I just can't go home. They never, never had a fleeting thought of why he would ask him to do that. David was so trusted by this warrior. Now, here's the third. The first was how magnificently a man of integrity and loyalty can live his life. The second, how hypocritically a man of importance and authority can hide his sins. Third, how treacherously a man under the authority of another like Joab can assist in the wrongdoing of his leader. Joab is a treacherous man. He knew that was wrong. He knew it was wrong to kill one of their heroes. If there's ever a time to question the command, now's the time. I can't have it on my conscience to see that Uriah's killed. David, we've got to talk this over. Not Joab.
Nope. I'll use this someday. It'll really come in handy. If you are serving as an assistant, as a second in command or further, be careful about blindly following the leader.
Who knows what you were given that role to caution the leader or to counsel the leader or warn the leader. Now the fourth applies to all of us. How completely our God, who knows and sees and hears everything about us, holds each one of us accountable. We are a grace-believing people.
I would love to think that those who know of the ministry of Stonebriar Community Church will soon, in describing us, include the word grace. We believe it with our whole heart. We preach it.
We embrace it. But never to the point of ignoring the holiness of our God and forgetting we are accountable to him. Who sees us, knows us, hears us, holds us accountable. Listen to the key verse. Hebrews 4 verse 13.
Just listen. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes. And he is the one to whom we are accountable. If you missed the verse, that's your next memory verse.
Hebrews 4 verse 13. He sees and knows and hears it all, and to him we are accountable. Every one of us.
From the highest to the lowest, if you want to rank people that way. From the known to the unknown. From the respected to the gutter drunk. We're all accountable.
That will hold us close to our Heavenly Father. And remind us obedience is always appropriate. Disobedience, never. Doing right, always best. Doing wrong, never.
Oh, David. Let no one say when he is tempted. I am tempted by God, for God cannot be tempted with evil. Neither tempts he any man. But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. When lust conceives, it brings forth sin, and sin, when it is finished, gives birth to death.
One of my mentors, Ray Stedman, used to describe that as a death-like existence. From this point, until he confesses to Nathan, David lives a death-like existence. He is phony to the core. And he knows it. Finally, by the grace of God, he was willing to admit, I am the man. And he bowed in humble confession. Let's all bow together.
Will you do that, please? This soul-searching message, I realize, for all of us. Do you know the Lord as your Master, as your God and Savior? Are you living for him?
Or are you faking it? Have you begun to develop a hypocritical lifestyle? Covering up for something that should have been dealt with some time ago?
Stop. Today's the day to deal with it. You don't answer to me, you answer to the one who sees and knows and hears at all.
He's the one to whom we are all accountable. As a child of his, come to him and you will find his arms open and his willingness to forgive. Oh, no, there may be consequences. But you'll be forgiven. There may be a price to pay for the cover-up, as there was with David's life, but you'll be forgiven. And you'll know again the joy of sins forgiven and a fresh new beginning. If you've never met the Lord, you have no hope of changing. Your life will rocket along pretty much like it has all this time. And you'll just tell yourself you're going to do better.
With every new year, you'll make another resolution and you will break it before the month is out. What you need is a Savior, Christ. When you get him, you then get the power you need to withstand, choose to do right and to carry it out.
Trust him now. Please, turn to him. Let us help you if you need help with that as you come to the Lord as a sinner. Just come like you are. Take him.
Accept him as your own. Father, thank you for searching me and forcing me to go through all of this, all this time of study and delivery. So search me, O God, and know my heart.
See if there'll be any way of pain in me and lead me to deal with it if it's there. And the same for those who hear me. Be pleased with our lives, Father, in a day in which so few are trustworthy. Use today as the beginning point for all of us to walk with you in integrity. In the name of Christ, I pray.
Everyone says, Amen. You're listening to Insight for Living and the Bible teaching of Chuck Swindoll. He's been talking about the integrity of a loyal husband. And to learn more about today's topic, please visit us online at insightworld.org. Now, during the teaching Chuck shared with us, it's become quite evident that forces of evil are presenting all kinds of insidious temptations. And those who truly want to become people of integrity need to take heed. In that spirit, let me recommend a book Chuck has written that will be helpful to you. It's called Joseph, a Man of Integrity and Forgiveness. Chuck believes that if we fail to execute a plan, the great saboteur, the devil, will undermine our integrity. This book will equip you with tools to maintain a life of integrity. Again, the title is Joseph, a Man of Integrity and Forgiveness. And it's available for purchase by going to insight.org slash offer.
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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-22 01:24:02 / 2023-06-22 01:31:55 / 8