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February 27, 2021 12:01 am
As a consequence for David's great sin, scandal and heartbreak followed him for the rest of his days. Still, David knew that God was gracious even in the midst of discipline. Today, R.C. Sproul looks at David's contrite heart of repentance and faith.
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Today on Renewing Your Mind. Here in this story God as a punishment for David as a punishment for Bathsheba intervenes in their law and takes the life of their baby at the height of his powers kingdom of Israel, fill in the great soon committed adultery with trying to cover it up by orchestrating her husband's death. It was an awful time.
David would pay a steep price for his sin, violence and turmoil would mark the rest of his reign as king and as we just heard he would even lose the trial but Bathsheba would therefore there would be forgiveness and restoration but not before a painful, comforting David is all part. The man, those were the words that wrong in his ears after God sent the prophet Nathan to him to confront him with his sin. We remember that Nathan did that by means of a thinly disguised parable, the parable of the greedy rich man who took for his own. The single prize possession of the poor Shepherd and David reacted in fury against this crime until Nathan said you are the man. And remember that when David heard these words, his response was immediately, I have sinned against the Lord and so God spoke to David through the lips of Nathan and he told him David, I have given you the kingdom. I have given you your home.
I've given you your wives, and now I am going to cause scandal and heartbreak to follow you the rest of your days and among the words of judgment that were pronounced upon David was prophecy that the child of this illicit union with Bathsheba would surely die. Now the events that take place immediately after this encounter with Nathan are recorded for us at the end of chapter 12 second Samuel, where we read in verse 15.
Then Nathan departed to his house and the Lord struck the child that Uriah's wife boarded David and it became ill let me just comment about one of the points that we draw from this. I once heard a television talk show with a famous television preacher who was interviewing a guest who had gone through unbelievable tragedy. The loss of two children or so on to evil, and diseases and this woman was very broken about it and was wondering how God could be involved in the tremendous suffering that she had to endure and the host of the program leaned across to her and said please don't think that God was involved in this God is never involved in disease. God is never involved in death. That is the province of Satan and I wanted to scream when I heard that.
I know that the minister was trying to comfort that woman and not let her become hostile or bitter to God because of the trying circumstances that she had endured. But the idea that God is not involved in suffering, God is not involved in death. If I believe that I would give up the night because the greatest comfort that we have in times of suffering and in times of death, is to know that even then in the very shadow of death, God is there God is sovereignly involved and to say that God never sends illness is to ignore the clear teaching of Scripture. It was God who afflicted Miriam with her leprosy as an act of judgment upon her, but we have to be careful.
The book of Job in its entirety in chapter 9 of the book of John worn us from ever assuming that there is a one-to-one relationship between our pain-and-suffering and diseases, and our sin. We cannot jump to the conclusion because a person contracts a certain fatal disease that they are guilty of a certain particular sin. The Bible prohibits that, but we must never go to the other extreme, and think that God never uses illness or disease or death as a punishment here in this story God as a punishment for David and as a punishment for Bathsheba intervenes in their law and takes the life of their baby's is not a judgment on the baby. The baby spared this veil of tears and presumably is brought directly and immediately into the gates of heaven, but God is mentioned as the act door in this drama the Lord struck the child that Uriah's wife bore to David and it became ill.
Now listen to verse 16. Very strange. David therefore pleaded with God for the child and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. David had already heard the prophecy of Nathan that the child would surely die, but he's not willing to accept that and so he goes into a prolonged fast and wrestles with God with all of his might. In pleading before God is tears are on his pillow, begging God to spare the life of the baby.
We don't know what he said but you can imagine what he said God the baby didn't do anything.
I'm the guilty one. If you want to take my life take my life, but spare this child, he bags God day and night on his face. Fasting before the will. Verse 17 says so the elders of his house arose and went to him to raise him up from the ground, but he would not nor did he eat food with them.
Then on the seventh day it came to pass that the child died know what does that tell us, tells us that this wrestling match of prayer and fasting went on for a solid week. There was no respite in David's regime.
At this point he didn't take time off for food and his friends and his court were all consumed with worry and care about David. Yes, they were concerned about the baby but they thought maybe David wasn't going to survive this ordeal because he wouldn't eat the wooden drink. He wouldn't talk to anybody he shot himself up alone as he prayed and prayed and prayed he looked like a man who was about to lose his mind and that after seven days. The baby's son now. The people in the court are scared to death to tell David the thing that that he would do so feared would befall him had happened and so no one wants to bring the message to him, but David is perceptive and we read in verse 18.
The servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said. Indeed, while the child was alive. We spoke to him and he would not eat our voice.
How can we tell them that the child is dead he may do some harm. David's perceptive and listened what it says in verse 19 when David saw that his servants were whispering. David perceived that the child was dead that interesting. He saw the mother had altogether accepts that whispering to another, and David looks at then he said, they can only be whispering about one thing they're afraid to say they're afraid to tell me what I know what it means the baby has died. Know what follows is rather unexpected in the text. Therefore David said to his servants is the child dead and they said he is dead, so would you expect you would expect some primeval cry or scream to be now uttered by David as he runs his garments and steps out of the night and wails into the darkness over the death of his child weed. We read in verse 20. So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes and went into the house of the Lord, and worshiped. Now we see the man who was a man after God's own heart, who after he goes through this terrible fall into corruption.
This dreadful sin against his family and against the house of Uriah once he comes to his senses once he comes to repentance and he pleads with God.
Day after day after day and God's answer to David's own Gethsemane is no what you do when God says no what most people do.
When God says no to your deepest desire to your most ardent prayers to your most passionate supplication when you do. Many of us unfortunately become bitter and angry and hostile towards God. We harbor resentment in her very soul set God.
Could you do this to me. To allow this to happen.
When David saw clearly the answer God the baby died time for prayer and fasting was over, he had made his entreaty and express the deepest desires of his soul before God and God said now and it was over. So David got up, washed his face put on his close minded his head with oil, and he went and worshiped God with no illusions as David knew who God's, and he knew that God had every right to take his child, and so far from that of being a blight on the character of God in David's eyes. David saw the justice out. He saw the righteousness of it and he saw the holiness of the God whose decision lay behind this action and he did what was the most appropriate thing a human being can ever do in such circumstances, he went out and he worshiped God who was in charge.
Then he went to his own house and when he requested they set food before and he ate and then his servants said to him, what is this that you you fasted and wept for the child while he was alive when the child the high you arose and ate food think it they didn't understand it the same question that came with the Jesus in the New Testament. Why did the disciples of John fast and your disciples are out making Marion having face and going to party and Jesus said when the bridegroom is absent. That's when you fast, but when the bridegroom appears it's time for a banquet time for celebration. These people several we should be morning and praying and weeping and fasting after the baby die. Instead, David reverses it, they won't eat it only practicably fast before the baby.after the baby dies assist right put that behind us.
The Lord gives the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord is time now for the fast to be over, and he said to them, while the child was alive, I fasted and wept for. I said who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me that the child may live. Now he's dead. Why should I fast can I bring them back again. I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. Don't you understand why I was fasting that you understand why I devoted myself day and night for the past week praying for this child because the child was still as long as the child was still alive. I still held out some hope that God peradventure may be gracious but it wasn't so. The saving essay God because he wasn't gracious was therefore unjust. The David understood the character of God. He understood God's justice and he also understood God's mercy, and he understood that God's mercy was always in every time a matter of divine prerogative.
I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy. I will have mercy on whom I choose.
And when I choose David, you know me well enough to know that you don't know me well enough to know that I'm always gracious or that I never gracious. You knew I threatened you with the death of your child and you knew it was just if I took your child's life and you prayed seven days to me asking for grace.
They after day you were wearing me down.
You were likely important widow. The Jesus speaks of in the New Testament, pleading with me hour after hour, day after day hoping that in this case I would set aside my justice for you, which I have the prerogative to do.
But I said no this is not the occasion for that kind of grace. David said don't you people understand God not silver if I pray and fast now executive. Bring the baby back now I will go to him but he can't come to me how the hair is a tremendous message in those words.
Just as Job what he went through the abysmal pain and torture and suffering of his life made that heroic comment saying I know that my go well.
My Redeemer lives, and that I will see him standing on that day. There is very little information in the Old Testament about life after the gray about the resurrection of the saints so little and so sparse is that data in the Old Testament that some skeptics have said that the whole idea of heaven is entirely an invention of the New Testament that can't be found at all in the Old Testament, but there are vignettes, hints moments here and there in the Old Testament that serve as something of a foundation for the future. Expanded revelation of the New Testament about life after death. And this is one. David takes comfort in his hope that he will see this child again, wherever that child is gone. David will go and there will be a time of reunion where the other side of God's judgment will become visible, and so here we see not simply David, the sinner were David, the musician or David. The warrior or David, the poet or David the shepherd, or David, the king we see David the theologian who understands the nature of grace while the child was alive, I fasted and wept for. I said who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me. What does that say to this insidious theology. This permeating the world today: name it and claim it. I'm sure there's a preacher there, so David you have to disfigure your facial haptic fast. You don't have to go throws wailing and praying entreaty just claim it may not claim if you have enough faith.
Baby wouldn't die there is nonsense.
I cannot claim in advance God's grace I can never presume upon God's grace, there's always the sense one cents, at least in which grace must be amazing to me.
Not amazing in the sense that God is never gracious. We know that he is a gracious God, but he's not always gracious and I could not presume upon but this saccharine view of grace that abounds in the Christian church today is repugnant to the God of Scripture who always reserves the right to have mercy upon whom he will have mercy, and then David comforted Bathsheba his wife and went into her and lay with her at this time within the bonds of marriage and so she bore a son and he called his name Solomon now the Lord loved him. The spectacular God here. He took away the child of the illicit and then heaped mercy and grace upon the wounds of the contrite David and Bathsheba and caves in the sun, who would become the wisest man in his who would become the crown prince of Israel who would become the successor of David, and who would carry David's dynasty in to the next generation Job said, the Lord gives and the Lord taketh away. Perhaps David could say the Lord taketh away and the Lord blessed be the name of the what a wonderful reminder that if you're a Christian. If you were a follower of Christ. God loves you so much that he will not let you get away with your sin. He brings conviction, but he also provides forgiveness and restoration. David's repentance was our focus today and I'm glad you joined us for Renewing Your Mind on the Saturday I'm Lee Webb. I hope you'll stay with this RC will return in just a moment with a final comment about God's grace even in difficult times were wrapping up doctors Pro series on the life of David today. Over the past several Saturdays.
We have followed David's rise and fall in the important lessons he learned along the way.
David of course is a key figure of the Old Testament, but it's important to note that the New Testament looks back on David's accomplishments that New Testament Old Testament connection is water resource offers all about when you contact us today with a donation of any amount. We will send you doctors Pro series dusted glory examines every book of the Bible in 57 messages and helps us see the narrative of the entire Bible. This is a special edition set which provides an extra disc containing the study guide for the series so request us to glory. When you go to Renewing Your Mind.org you can also call us with your gift at 800-435-4343 and just a reminder this is the final day were making this offer available so we hope to hear from you soon again. Our phone number 800-435-4343. Your donations help make Renewing Your Mind. Possible, but also the many other outreaches of legionnaire ministries, including 24 hour Christian Internet radio we call it rough that features trustworthy preaching and teaching from a reformed perspective Bible reading from the old and new Testaments along with music and dramatic audio theater for family entertainment and audiobooks for the growing Christian listen anytime it rough that.FM or on the go with the three ref net app in our core and they are thought for today I remind you again of the meaning of that phrase corn day, it means before the face of God being in the presence of God and the idea is that as Christians every moment of our lives are lived before the face of God. Everything that we do is quorum Dale and we see it here in the life of David when he prostrated himself before the face of God and does not presume upon God's grace.
Beloved one of the hardest things for Christian ever to learn is that lesson not to be presumptuous in the presence of God. We magnify God, we bless God we extol him for the incredible measure of grace that he is given to us who of us could ever measure the amount of grace, that we have received.
It has been so abundant, it is so bountiful. It is so plenteous, but somehow for us as fallen creatures were never satisfied with the grace of God. We can always conceive of ways in the places and circumstances we might've been more gracious and given us a little more. Let's not make that mistake David didn't David recognized the graciousness of grace.
Next week we will dive into another of the critical series great men and women of the Bible first character will highlight Moses, so I hope you'll join us next Saturday. Here on Renewing Your Mind