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Riding Out the Storm, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
July 25, 2022 7:05 am

Riding Out the Storm, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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July 25, 2022 7:05 am

David: A Man of Passion and Destiny

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Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll describes how to deal with the consequences of poor choices. You know what you have to guard when you face the consequences of the whirlwind? You have to guard bitterness. You have to guard against blaming God. How could you do that to me, Lord?

I've served you these many years. Look at what you've taken from me. There's none of that in David's life. How should we handle the aftermath of our poor choices when we've truly blown it? How do we cope with the consequences that follow, including the heavy guilt and shame?

Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll continues a message introduced on Friday's program. We're looking at 2 Samuel chapter 12. In this passage, King David was dealing with the realities of his own rebellion.

Here's the lesson. Even though God forgives our sin, we can't escape the terrible consequences it causes. Chuck Swindoll titled today's message, Riding Out the Storm. There are two kinds of suffering in the midst of the whirlwind. The kind of suffering that we deserve because we were the ones that disobeyed.

And second, the kind of suffering we don't deserve but we get in the backwash of someone else's transgression. Hosea said, they sow the wind, they reap the whirlwind. Paul writes, they sow to the flesh and they reap the harvest of corruption. The same truth is found in Proverbs chapter 6 verse 27. Now this is an extremely direct section of scripture. Proverbs 6 pictures the scene of the man in the street who is met by the harlot. And she makes her move toward him and she entices him through fleshly temptations. And the man is drawn unto her, or at least he would be, and Solomon's counsel is, be careful because in the pleasure of the moment there is a painful price you have to pay.

And the lesson comes in verse 27 of Proverbs 6. Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned? The implied answer, of course, is no. Can a man walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?

Implied, no. So is the one who goes into his neighbor's wife, whoever touches her will not go unpunished. If he sows the seed of carnality and lust, he will reap the harvest of a whirlwind, which is called in verse 29, not going unpunished.

If you go in to one who is not your mate, you will not go unpunished. Now the best illustration in all scripture is David. Before we turn to it, let me give you the principle again.

I want to state it in words and then I want to illustrate it in the life of David. We reap what we sow, forgiveness notwithstanding. When you sow to the flesh and you confess that to the Lord God, you lay your life before Him, He in grace forgives you. But in the forgiveness there is not the immediate erasing of the consequences. You see, the other side of the principle is this. The pain of the harvest eclipses the pleasure of the sowing or of the planting.

The pain that comes in the whirlwind is so much greater than the pleasure at the time of planting, you will wish to goodness you had never done it. Now let me show you how he acknowledged the sowing in verses 13 and 14. David said to Nathan, 2 Samuel 12, 13, I have sinned against the Lord. I have sinned. He acknowledges the sowing and he declared it before God and Nathan heard him. Nathan said to David, the Lord has taken away your sin. You shall not die. Now there is the promise of grace.

Why does he mention that? Because under the law, when you committed adultery, you were to be stoned. When you murdered someone, you were to be killed.

An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life. And grace came to David's rescue and Nathan said, David, you won't die. Verse 14 begins, however, there's a whirlwind.

Because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die. Now I find in David's response four helpful guidelines for us to follow today. When we go through the whirlwind, either because we have caused it or we are in the backwash of someone else who caused it.

For all I know, someone hearing my words at this very moment is in the midst of the whirlwind. And you wonder, how can I make it? What should I do? What is the best response?

Well, I offer you four guidelines. Number one, pray. Verse 15, Nathan went to his house. Then the Lord struck the child that Uriah's widow bore to David so that he was very sick. David therefore inquired of God for the child and David fasted and went and lay all night on the ground. Now we don't know much about that kind of protracted occasion of prayer and fasting. We don't handle a sin as they once did. It's almost with a sort of a glib response. We say, well, Lord, I've done this and I've done that and I agree with you that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses me from all sin. That's it.

Thank you. And we go right on. But I don't find David doing that. When the whirlwind begins to start, when he feels that old hot breath of judgment coming upon him, he fell before God and he lay on the ground all night. And he fasted. And he waited on the Lord. He sought his mind. As a matter of fact, the scripture says he inquired for the child.

What does that mean? Drop down to verse 22. He explains himself to his to the friends later, but we'll take a look at it right now. He said, while the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. For I said, Who knows?

Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me that the child may live. What does it mean when he inquired of God?

It means that he said, Lord, I call upon you and upon your grace. I ask you if it be possible for you to alter your plan. I plead with you. Give me my child. I beg of you. I ask that of you because that is the desire of my heart. I've heard what you have said.

I will accept what you send. But I ask, I inquire of you, would it be possible that you could give me this child? He prayed. I want to point out one more thing that happened during the time of prayer. David did not leave his house. He didn't go to the place of worship.

We know that because down in verse 20, when he washes and changes his clothes, then he comes to the house of the Lord and worships, but he hasn't been there. You know what I learned from that? This. I learned that when I go through the whirlwind, I should be rather quiet. I should not dangle and display and announce everything I'm going through.

At no other time in my life do I need a very close personal friend than in the whirlwind. We Christians tend to tell everything, just dump it all out, rather indiscreetly, when really it isn't everyone's business. When the elders came in verse 17 and found David in this condition, they stood beside him in order to raise him up from the ground, but he was unwilling and would not eat food with them.

They stood there. Come on, David. Come on, get on your feet. No, I don't want to do that.

Leave me alone. When we go through these periods of deep distress, it is wise, in fact it is biblical, to stay virtually alone, to surround ourselves not in the public eye, but with the Lord's presence and seek his mind during this repose. Please hear that principle and please remember that. There is nothing wrong with being alone for soul searching times. Proverbs says, out of the heart proceed all the things of a man.

In fact, it describes the condition of the heart in saying that we are to keep it with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life. Some things are too precious to share. They're too deep. They're too profound.

God gave them to us and in the soul searching of our lives, we are to stay fairly quiet and let him say all that he wants to say. So first he prayed and second, notice that David faced the consequences realistically. He is an amazingly mature person. Look at his response, verse 18. He faces the consequences realistically. Then it happened on the seventh day.

By the way, don't let that go by unnoticed. Seven days he was in prayer, fasting, and virtually alone. On the seventh day, it happened that the child died and the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead. For they said, behold, while the child was still alive, we spoke to him and he did not listen to our voice. How then can we tell him that the child is dead since he might do himself harm? They were afraid of a suicide, frankly. They looked upon his soul searching time as a deep depression and they said, when we lay this final weight on him, he'll harm himself.

How can we tell him? Look at this realistic response on David's part. When David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived the child was dead.

Now mark this. David said to his servants, is the child dead? And they said, he is dead. So David arose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes. And he came into the house of the Lord and worshipped.

Look at that. David, who's been seven days on the ground, waiting on God, inquiring of God, placing himself at God's disposal, abandoning himself, throwing down the rod, letting God do with it as he pleased, now heard the words, the child is dead. He got up, took a shower, changed his clothes, went to the house of God, and that's when he worshipped. You know what I think of when I read that? I think of Job. The Lord is given, the Lord is taken away.

Blessed be the name of the Lord, and he worshipped the Lord there. You know what you have to guard when you face the consequences of the whirlwind? You have to guard bitterness. You have to guard against blaming God. How could you do that to me, Lord? I've served you these many years, and this thing that's happened, look at what you've taken from me. There's none of that in David's life.

Very realistically, he turned and he worshipped the Lord there. Now, let me quickly add something here. Not everybody is a David. I wish I had the maturity of that man. I don't.

Some of you may. But very few of us, when we reap the full consequences of sin, can take it on the chin quite that strongly. We sometimes need someone near us, and that's when a good understanding mate or intimate friend can minister to us. I've gotten a lot of help recently in reading the work entitled How to Help a Friend by Dr. Paul Welter. Dr. Welter is a professor of counseling and educational psychology at a college in Nebraska, and I've been especially pleased to uncover what I would call the various levels of difficulty we go through. And if Welter is right, we go through times that are somewhere between the two extremes of mild and severe difficulties. He describes the levels in five different terms from the mild to the severe. First, there is a problem, and then there is a predicament, and third, there is a crisis, and fourth, there is panic, and fifth, there is shock. The problem, a predicament, a crisis, panic, and shock.

Think of it as a spectrum. And what is interesting to me in uncovering this is that when an individual is in shock, it could look as though everything is mild and fine when really he is in a deep trauma. In the chapter entitled Shock, the Dazed Walk, he tells the story of two brothers, Arnold and Yuji. Arnold is emotionally very close to his older brother Yuji. One morning they get up early to pick peas, and Arnold takes an old rifle along in case they see any ducks. As they go through a fence, the rifle catches on the fence, discharges, and Yuji is shot and killed. Instead of running home, Arnold goes ahead and picks the peas and then returns home after an hour or two. When all the details are known, the one incomprehensible fact that confronts the parents and the neighbors is the lapse of time that occurred between the time of Yuji's death and Arnold's reporting the accident.

Arnold is taken to the sheriff's office and interrogated with the implication being that he shot Yuji on purpose. Arnold is unable to answer the question because he cannot understand why he didn't run home the moment the accident occurred. Of all the persons who gather around Arnold in the hours after the accident, not one realizes that he is in a state of shock. Many persons go into a state of shock for a while after an accident, a near accident, or the death of a loved one. A two-car accident occurred last week in my own state, says this author.

Two survivors of the accident were found a half hour later wandering along the road in a dazed condition. In disasters, many people will act for a time as though they were numbed. They may stand or sit in the midst of utter chaos as though they are completely alone in the world. Now, I'm not trying to be a poor man psychiatrist this evening.

I don't qualify. But I do want to say that it is extremely important for you as a friend to be near to help a friend who is in crisis. Whether it is of his own making or someone else's, we need one another in the body of Christ. And please do not misread this dazed condition as though an individual is strong and stable in the Lord.

Sometimes you really need to step in of your own initiative and help that person see how important your friendship is at this time. Now, David faced it realistically on his own, and we stand in amazement. I do.

The child is dead. He heard the news. He got up, cleaned himself, and went to the place to worship. It was as if God did this, God did that. I accept it realistically, and I will go on from here. That, friends, is an incredibly mature response.

Now, where have we been? First of all, David prayed. Secondly, he faced the consequences realistically. Third, we are to claim the truths of Scripture. Wherever you want to get into the Word of God, you want to do it when crisis happens. You cannot let your emotions be your guide, or you will do something rash or foolish. David settled his case with God, and he rested in the truth of God's Word.

Let me show you. See verse 21? His servants couldn't understand him. And so they said, What is this thing that you have done? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.

His response? While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me that the child may live.

By the way, that's what you do during the first period of the consequence. You don't deny. You keep thinking, maybe there's hope. Maybe it won't happen. Maybe the Lord will give me great grace and will not bring this disaster as I see it appearing.

Maybe he will let me have the child, or let me have this situation. Verse 23, But now, now look at the truth he claims. He has died. He faces it. He accepts it. He does not deny it.

He says, This has happened. Question, why should I fast? How many people continue to fast after death, thinking, maybe somehow I can get them back? Or they begin to make plans to contact a medium so they can somehow communicate with the dead. It's an unbiblical route to take.

How many take it? The child of God, when he faces the fact concerning death, says, It's permanent. I cannot bring the person back. I will not deny it. And in the comfort and counsel of God's word, I will rely on him to get me through this crisis.

And look at how David puts it. It's a great verse, by the way. It's one of the few passages that help us know about the destiny of children that die. 23, Can I bring him back again?

Implied, No. I can't bring the dead child back. I shall go to him, but he will not return to me. I cannot bring him back, but I can go to him.

Now, the fourth principle is refuse to give up. Go on. David comforted his wife Bathsheba. So they went through a period of grief. And then it says he went on living. He went into her.

He lay with her. She gave birth to a son. They called it sons named Solomon. Now the Lord loved him and sent word through Nathan the prophet, and he named him Jedediah for the Lord's sake.

David, in riding out the storm, gives us some beautiful guidelines. He prayed. He faced the consequences realistically. He turned it all over to the Lord completely as he claimed the scriptural truth concerning death. And then he refused to give up.

He moved on. It's possible that, like David, you're in the middle of a storm right now, and you're doing your best to ride it out. If so, I'll strongly recommend you join us next time when we conclude this study in 2 Samuel 12. Chuck Swindoll will offer four practical points of application to guide you. This is Insight for Living, and the title of Chuck's message is Riding Out the Storm.

To learn more about this ministry, we invite you to visit us online at insightworld.org. Chuck sends a letter every month to his listening family, and perhaps you received the one he wrote for July. I'm reading now from a paragraph that addresses today's subject. Chuck said, When riding out the storm of sin's consequences, it's tempting to give up, to try to handle it in our own strength, or to let ourselves wallow in the dumps. And then Chuck added these encouraging words, God is a redeemer.

He renews, but in his own way and according to his own timing. Well, if you're riding out the storm, our prayer at Insight for Living is that you learn to embrace God's plan for recovery. And it's an honor to provide a variety of resources to help you take your next steps. Please take advantage of tools like the free mobile app so you can listen to Insight for Living whenever and wherever it's convenient. And you can easily access the free study notes for each of Chuck's sermons as well. It's called Searching the Scriptures.

If you're ready for a deep dive on David's story, Chuck wrote a full-length biography on David called David, A Man of Passion and Destiny. You'll find all these resources at insight.org. Or if you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. A reminder that your generosity and prayers empower us to help others connect with Jesus and stay connected to him.

And that's especially needed when riding out the storm. You can give a donation today online at insight.org slash donate. Travelers who want to take a tour to Israel have lots of choices, but few measure up to the thoughtful journey prepared by Insight for Living Ministries. With a proper mix of historical information and biblical context, we provide ample opportunities to pause and let the wonder in.

Our goal is to create special moments when you deepen your love for the Bible and draw closer to your Lord. Experience an unforgettable 12-day tour to Israel with Chuck Swindoll and Insight for Living Ministries, March 5th through the 16th, 2023. To help you grasp the significance of each site, you'll be accompanied by handpicked Israeli guides, and we choose the best, along with seminary-trained pastors and professors to enhance your spiritual journey. No organization I know of offers this level of exceptional, in-depth instruction and personal care for Holy Land travelers. To learn more, call 1-888-447-0444.

Just imagine walking along sacred sites and watching the Bible come to life. Make your reservation by calling 1-888-447-0444, or go to insight.org slash events. Insight for Living Ministries Tour to Israel is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. I'm Bill Meyer. Join us again when Chuck Swindoll continues his message titled, Riding Out the Storm, Tuesday on Insight for Living. The preceding message, Riding Out the Storm, was copyrighted in 1978, 1988, 1997, and 2009, and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2009 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-20 03:53:20 / 2023-03-20 04:02:40 / 9

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