Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.
Life is full of choices that determine our destinies. Knowingly sinning will inevitably lead to destruction as it did for David. A king's lust led to murder and to a child's death. Today, more of the high price of sexual immorality as we review the story of David and Bathsheba.
From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. We're in 2 Samuel 11 learning about passions in conflict. Pastor Lutzer, David thought he'd covered his tracks well, except for one thing. Yes, of course, David tried to cover his sin, as many people do, and he was able to get by supposedly, but later on he's going to confess there was one thing he could not get away from. God knew.
That's why I think the Bible says in the book of Proverbs, he who covers his sin shall not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes his sin shall receive mercy. And eventually David did receive mercy because of God's faithfulness in forgiveness. I've written a book entitled Growing Through Conflict, Lessons from the Life of David. We make these resources available believing that they will be a great blessing and a help to you. For a gift of any amount, this book can be yours.
Go to rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. And now let us listen as we learn from David the high cost of sinning. David is livid with anger. Remember, he struggled with a temper. He says in verse 5, his anger burned against the man and he said to Nathan, as the Lord lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die.
Wow, stiff penalty for stealing the lamb, I'd say. And Nathan says two words to David in Hebrew, ata haish, you the man, application. And David saw the point. You know what's remarkable is to think that sin so blinds the mind and the heart and the perception that David wanted Nathan to give a more difficult time to a man who had stolen a lamb than to David who had stolen a wife.
It's amazing. And killed her husband in order to cover it up. You talk about some good psychological information here regarding human nature. We will do anything to make ourselves look good. When we're involved in secret sin, we will lie and the reason that we lie is because we've committed a greater sin. Telling a lie is a lesser one. We will do anything that we possibly can to cover it up.
You come armed with all possibilities and a pack of lies to be told at the right moment to make ourselves look good. That's the way we are and that's the way David was. Nathan said, David, it's you, by the way. And then he goes on to say, thus says the Lord God of Israel, it is I who have anointed you king over Israel. It is I who delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your care. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah.
And if that had been too little, I would have added to you many more things like these. Why have you despised the word of the Lord by doing evil in a sight? You've struck down Uriah the Hittite with a sword. None of this business is saying, well, I didn't do it.
You know, people die in battle, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. No, you did it. And you have taken her to be your wife and have killed him with a sword of the sons of Ammon. You're guilty, David. The blood is on your hands.
Don't, don't try to get out of it. Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house because you have despised me and you have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. Thus says the Lord, behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household. I will even take your wives before your eyes and give them to your companion, and he shall lie with your wives in broad daylight.
You did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel under the sun. David, to his credit, said, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan says, well, the Lord has taken away your sin, but because this, by this deed, you have given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall die.
End of sermon, end of response. The invitation was given, and David said, I've sinned. The sword will never depart from your family, David. Four sons will die. This one, Amnon, also Adonijah, and of course, Absalom.
Four times. It's as if his prediction that the man with the lamb should pay fourfold, the man who had done this deed, the rich man. It's as if God is saying, David, you're the one that's going to pay fourfold. Your wives are going to be publicly humiliated, and of course, his own son Absalom did that. And in the next message, we're going to show what a terrible father David was and how he was totally morally paralyzed, unable to give his father guidance because of this incident, because they could say, Dad, who are you to talk?
Who are you to talk? God says this is what's going to happen. What I'd like to do in the time that I still have, which I shall take whether I have it or not, is to give you four lessons that grow out of this passage of scripture, four lessons which you and I need burned upon our hearts.
Let me give you the first one, and I think number four is probably the most important, but all of them are important in their implications. Number one, anyone can commit sexual sin. Anyone.
David did it. Missionaries can do it. Pastors can do it.
Sunday school teachers, old people, young people. We are all vulnerable. We're all vulnerable. We are all part of fallen humanity.
We all have those explosive desires which can explode. And therefore, he that thinketh, he standeth, take heed, lest he fall. When we've had some rather high profile ministers and televangelists years ago involved in sexual immorality, sometimes in discussion I heard things that just pierced my heart as people would say, well, how could he do that? Well, how could he do it? He too is a human being. We are all creatures of deception. We are all subject to the wiles of the devil and our desires.
Anyone can do it. That's why the Bible says, keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life. Because you see, it is from the heart, Jesus said, that precede evil thoughts, adultery, vacation, thefts, covetousness.
And it is also true that the more we play with that particular aspect of our personality and lives, the more possible it is for that match to be thrown into the can of kerosene. So anyone, anyone can take heed, take heed. Secondly, in sexual sin, we are the losers if we're involved in that. But God is also, God is also the loser. Oh, you know, we have to reread this passage.
Do you see, first of all, that God is personally the loser because it grieves him so much? Look at what he said to David in verse 8. I gave you masters, I gave you wives into your care. I gave you the house of Israel in Judah.
And if that had not been enough, I'd have even given you more, David. You sinned against a lot of blessing. And sexual sin is often committed with a fist in God's face against incredible blessing.
Good churches, good Sunday school teachers, good homes, good instruction. And God says, I take this personally, and even if this whole tragedy had not been exposed, the fact is that he is grieved. He is grieved. We grieve the Spirit, you see.
But also, God suffers not only personally, but oftentimes, not always, but oftentimes he suffers publicly. He said, David, you know, you've made me a scandal among the pagans, because news spreads. They didn't have the paparazzi in those days, but they had their own version of it, because somehow the pagans heard about David and his sin.
They had their own communication network. And so what happens is, David is a bad witness. And you know what the pagans are saying? They're saying, you know this guy, he's the king of Israel, he represents God. Just look at him.
He's doing the same thing we are. And it's interesting that God doesn't help David with a cover-up. You see, we all by nature like to cover our sin, and God likes to expose it.
And let me tell you why. It's because God is willing to ruin his own reputation among pagans to bring a man to repentance, if that's what it takes. And so while we're covering it up, we can't really expect God to help, because he's in the process of exposing. He's in the process of bringing about honesty. He's in the process of helping us deal with integrity regarding our failures and sins. He who covers his sin shall not prosper, but he that confesses or forsakes his sin and forsakes his sin, he shall receive mercy, you see. It would be very interesting, very interesting if I knew how many people there are who are listening to this message, either in this auditorium, on the radio, whatever, who are even as I speak right now involved in a sinful relationship.
Interesting. The fact is that even if it is secret, God, God is grieved. God is grieved. You lose, but so does God. So that's the second lesson that we learn from here. And by the way, I might say parenthetically, how good was David in his cover-up anyway?
I tell you, it was an amazing blunder. David is famous today because of this sin. People who don't know anything about David, they've never opened the Bible. They know, they know that David and Bathsheba are two names that go together.
They don't know anything else about them. Can't quote any of the Psalms he wrote, but they do know about Bathsheba. He's famous around the world, multiplied millions throughout all generations have known of David's sin.
Bad job of a cover-up, I'd say. A third lesson. Even forgiven sin has consequences. Even forgiven sin has consequences. You'll notice that the text says, I have sinned against the Lord, verse 13, and the Lord also, Nathan is speaking now, the Lord has taken away your sin. The Lord has taken away your sin.
And that doesn't mean now that the consequences no longer are there. I mean, the kids, the four sons are going to die. David is going to lose his moral authority in the family.
His wives are going to be laughing behind his back and whispering in anger over this adulterous relationship that he tried to cover. I mean, there's no way that you can gather that together, and you can't pray like the teenager did. Lord, I pray that this accident might not have happened.
The fact is, there it is. But he is forgiven. He is forgiven. You see, the reason that consequences, theologians sometimes refer to this, I believe, as the governmental consequences of sin. That is a natural response when you hit a series of dominoes and do not understand their interrelationships.
And suddenly you hit this series of dominoes and it goes in ways and places that you could never possibly have predicted. Those are the governmental consequences of sin. And the reason is because we always sow what we reap. I think David reaped more than he deserved, frankly, when you see the disaster that this caused. And you always reap in a different season than you sow. And that's the deception because you see you put the seeds in the ground, you come back the next day and say, hey, we took care of it. Yeah.
Looks that way, but come back in a month or two or in 20 years or so. David, a friend of mine who committed adultery with a woman whom he loved, said, he said, well, you know, David had to pay his consequences, but at least he had his Bathsheba. That's a quote. That's a quote. Yeah.
Mm-hmm. He had his Bathsheba, but pay, the cost was incredibly unbelievably high. And that man who told me that 10 years ago, he's paying his dues too. He's paying his dues too. I think he's rethought that remark for many times. So even forgiven sin has its consequences, but you know, of course, but I can't leave this message here because number four is simply this, that confession restores you to God. Confession restores you to God. It may not take care of all of the consequences, but there is such a thing as restoration. There is such a thing as honest acknowledgement and confession, which restores us to God. And now listen up those of you who have a sexual past and you still struggle over its guilt.
Listen carefully. There are many people who need to be told that there is such a thing as receiving the peace of God and the joy of God and the forgiveness of God, even if the consequences continue. See, many people are saying, well, you know, I want God to clean up all the consequences and then I can receive the joy of the Lord.
That may or may not ever happen. I hope to be very clear. Look at David. He spills out his heart in Psalm 51, which is a song I frequently have quoted from this pulpit, so I shall not do it today except possibly the first few verses when he says, Oh God, have mercy upon me according to thy loving kindness, according onto the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions, wash me freely from mine iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
But here's the point. He says, restore to me the joy of thy salvation. And David gets the joy back, even though the purity of Bathsheba can never be restored. And even though you're Uriah can never be brought back to life.
In other words, independently of those consequences, David says, I can be restored to joy, even though the consequences continue. I can be back with God. You can be back with God. And I need to emphasize the fact that there is such a thing as repenting and then receiving God's forgiveness.
Yesterday, I was on the telephone on two occasions with a friend of mine whose daughter has really seriously messed up, seriously, sexual immorality and some other things. And he said she has spent the entire summer in our basement crying and repenting. Well, I told him, you know, it's time that that lady accepted God's forgiveness and received his joy. You know, there's a time to repent, to be sure, but there's also a time to say, look, I've created a mess, the consequences of which are just going to keep going on.
Boom, boom, boom, boom. But I can't control those consequences. All that I can do is I can be restored to God and I can again receive the joy of my salvation. Psalm 32 is David's response to God's forgiveness. He says, how blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven and whose sin is covered. How blessed is the man onto whom the Lord impudeth not iniquity and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
See all that covering up. He says, when I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groanings all day long for day and night thy hand was heavy upon me. My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. He said, I was thinking about my sin all the time. No matter who came to see me, I always wondered whether or not he knew. I felt as if people's eyes could see right clean through me and they knew the truth.
Whether or not they did, that's the way David felt. But I acknowledged my sin to thee, my iniquity I did not hide. I came clean and thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin. And what does he say now? He says, thou art my hiding place. Thou didst compass me around with songs of deliverance. David says, my joy is back.
Family in disarray. But Sheba, his wife, Uriah, dead. But David says, my joy is back. He said, God's guidance is back. I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go. I will counsel you with my eye upon you. God is back, David says.
And then he says, love is back. He who trusts in the Lord, loving kindness shall surround him about. There is a time to repent, but there's also a time to receive that forgiveness, to forsake the sin and to be cleansed and to say, look, I have created a mess, but all that I can do is give the mess to God and be cleansed and forgiven and be restored.
And that's the message that David has for us today. There's the mess up, there's the cover up, but there's also the cleanup. And it's you being cleaned, the presence of a living God.
And the bottom line, if you're looking for one, is that I don't know what you have done. You know, pretty messy lives that you come across in this world. And if your life is like that, all that I can say is at least you're in the right place, because that's what the gospel and that's what the grace of God is all about. And that's the message that we preach to a broken world. So if you're broken, you've come to the right church and you've come to hear the right sermon, because God makes broken people whole.
But the bottom line is that there is more grace in God's heart than there is sin in your past. God says, David, I want to restore you. I want you to be able to sing again. I want you to be able to write some Psalms again.
I want you to be able to look into my eyes so that we might be able to have fellowship together so that we can walk together through the fields like we used to do when you were a shepherd boy. David, that's where I'm at and that's where you can be, despite the fact that you really, really messed up. The Psalm ends, Psalm 32, Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones, and shout for joy, all you who are upright of heart. Some of you have confessed your sins many, many times. You have no freedom because of the sense of condemnation. It's time that you accepted the joy of the Lord, the cleansing of the Lord, the guidance of the Lord, and the love of the Lord, because there is such a thing as forgiveness and restoration, even though the consequences can't be changed. And so that's the message. And so I ask you, what is it that God is saying to you today? If you've never been involved in sexual sin, stay away.
Stay away. If you have been, there is such a thing as secondary spiritual virginity, where God restores, restores people, makes them whole and pure again. That's the good news of the gospel. That's the good news of the gospel.
You know, this is Pastor Lutzer. I'm hurrying to the end of David's life, but I can't help but share with you some very good news. In the midst of David's sin, the destruction of his family, the disillusion of his kingdom, everything that happened as a result of his sin, still there was so much grace. Strictly speaking, David should have never married Bathsheba, but he does marry her, and the Bible says that they have a son by the name of Solomon, and the Lord says, I love him, and he becomes a great king. No matter where you are today, God's grace is able to reach you.
I've written a book entitled Growing Through Conflict, Lessons from the Life of David, because I want to see both the consequences of sin, but also the wonders of God's grace, and David's life spans all of the emotions, all of the failures, all of the successes, all of the disappointments, and the hope that you and I experience. Here's how you can get a copy. You can go to RTWOffer.com. That's RTWOffer.com, or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now, if you are like I am, sometimes you hear information and you don't have a pencil handy, so I'm giving you time so that you can write this down. You go to RTWOffer.com.
As you might guess, RTWOffer is all one word, RTWOffer.com, or you can pick up the phone right now and call 1-888-218-9337. Thanks in advance for helping us. It is because of people like you, through your prayers, through your contributions, that we are helping people make it all the way to the finish line. You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60614. Erwin Lutzer concluding Passions in Conflict, the eighth message in a series on growing through conflict, a study in the life of King David. Next time we learn more of the consequences of David's great sin as we see a son in conflict. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-16 13:06:36 / 2023-01-16 13:15:34 / 9