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Dying With Regrets Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
September 27, 2022 1:00 am

Dying With Regrets Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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September 27, 2022 1:00 am

When we look back on our lives, we often have painful regrets. King David did on his deathbed. In this message from 2 Samuel 23, we look at three clouds that hovered over David: clouds of disloyalty, judgment, and family breakup. Let’s attend to his dying days as we prepare for eternity. 

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. When you're young, the whole world seems to be at your doorstep. But take heed, one day your world will be reduced to a deathbed.

There you may have regrets. King David did, and from his example, we can learn how to avoid them. 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 a 10-part series on growing through conflict, a journey through the life of King David. Pastor Lutzer, today you'll bring the last message in the series, one you're calling, Dying with Regrets. I can't help but think that as David was dying, he was thinking back over his past. Over the time when he was a shepherd boy and the Lord was his shepherd, we're of course acquainted with the 23rd Psalm, but also considering the mess that he left behind. He had a number of different wives. All of us know about his sin. We also know that eventually after his death, the kingdom was split.

All of this, and yet I have no doubt that David entrusted himself to God and arrived in heaven safely. What a life of grace in the midst of all of the conflicts and the sins of life. Have you been blessed as a result of the ministry of Running to Win and specifically this series, Growing Through Conflict?

Maybe you've been able to listen to some of the messages, but not all of them. Would you like to have them in permanent form? We're making this resource available to you for a gift of any amount. Here's what you do. Go to rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337.

Of course, I'll be giving you this information also at the end of this message. So what epitaph would you like to have on your tombstone? Jacob said, few and evil have been the days of my life. Maybe that's the way his life could be characterized, though that's rather negative. Saul was very accurate. I think he wrote his own epitaph when he said, I have played the fool.

That was a good way to summarize his life. Abraham was called a friend of God. What about David? Before I answer that question, and I will at the end of this message, I want us first of all to attend his dying days. What we'd like to do is to go into David's room and watch a king die, watch a king die. If you have your Bibles, it says in 1 Kings chapter 2 verse 10, 1 Kings chapter 2 verse 10, then David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David.

We'll see in a moment that there was no eulogy that we know of that was pronounced because David died under some clouds. If we were there in the room, we would soon see that even though the king seemed to be in tranquility, everything around him was not. Things were in disarray. And what I'd like us to do in these moments as we have come to really the concluding message on the life of David is for us to look at three clouds that seemed to hover around him as the time came for him to die. All was not well. All was not well.

First of all, you have the first cloud and that is of disloyalty, disloyalty. Now for that, we have to go back to 2 Samuel chapters 19 to 22, 2 Samuel 19 to 22. And once again, I simply have to assume that you have been reading the text because I do not have time to read these chapters nor to summarize everything in them. But to remind you, we left David last time off the Jordan River. Absalom was dead, his favorite son, and then of course he came back I should say and he entered into the palace and was crying, oh Absalom my son, my son, would God that I had died for thee Absalom my son.

And so David's going to be restored now that the civil war is over, but it's not as neat as we'd like it to be. For example, he decides to demote Joab, the commander of his military forces, and he puts Amasa in his stead. Amasa had actually sided with Absalom and David does this as a good show of faith to unify the kingdom, to unify the Absalom forces. Joab doesn't like it and so he murders Amasa. There's another man called Sheba, a worthless man, who says I am the inheritor of Absalom's fortunes and Absalom's following and he blows the trumpet and says crown me king. Well Joab was now the military man again having murdered Amasa. He runs after Sheba and Sheba goes into a city and Joab wants to destroy the whole city and a very wise woman says don't do that and Joab says I won't do it if you give me the head of Sheba. She said it's a deal so they handed the head of Sheba to Joab over the wall.

Gruesome stories, gruesome stories, but here's the point that I don't want you to miss. David has been king for 40 years, 33 in Jerusalem, seven in Hebron and he surrounded himself by a bunch of people who were not very loyal to him and the kingdom was crumbling. People were clamoring for power and they were wondering who was going to take over after David was dead and it was not nice. Spent all of his life unifying the kingdom.

Now it's beginning to crumble. In fact did you know that one of his advisors by the name of Ahithophel that we referred to last time, did you know that he turns out to be a type of Judas? Because David said regarding Ahithophel that my own familiar friend with whom I ate bread is lifted up his heel against me and Jesus quotes that as referring to Judas. So here's David who's got these people around him and sometimes good leaders do not always surround themselves by good advisors. Can you imagine how much it hurt? How much does disloyalty hurt you?

Especially those who profess to be your friend but when the going got difficult they broke and they left. Well that's what David is putting up with here as he's dying. The first cloud that hovered over his bed was disloyalty. His kingdom was coming unraveled.

There's a second cloud and that is the cloud of judgment, the cloud of judgment. For this I do want you to turn to 2 Samuel chapter 24. This is where David numbered the people. It says in 2 Samuel 24 verse 1 now again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel and it incited David against them to say go number Israel and Judah. A very difficult passage to interpret.

God is angry at the nation and he wants to have some pretext, I shouldn't say pretext but some good reason, some good reason to judge them. So he incites David to number the people to really fall into the sin of pride if you will. Now some people who don't like the Bible, they say you know this is an example of a clear biblical contradiction. The Bible simply does not add up. Now you know we're going to begin a series of messages on the Bible but what they would say is here's an unresolved and unresolvable contradiction. Why? Because in 1 Chronicles chapter 22 verse 1, you know that 1 and 2 Chronicles essentially cover the same history as 1 and 2 Samuel and Kings and so in the parallel account in 1 Chronicles chapter 21 verse 1 it says Satan stood up and incited David to number the people.

Well who did it? God or the devil? Now I know that there's a contradiction in the text but it is not a theological contradiction at all therefore it is not really a contradiction.

Why? Because the devil is God's devil as we learned in a series of messages on Satan. The devil really is God's devil and therefore God willed that this happen and he used Satan to incite David. That happens all the time in Scripture.

Where did Job's trials come from? God or the devil? Depends on how you look at it. God is the ultimate cause in the sense that he allows Satan to do it but Satan is the immediate cause. Satan does the dirty work. God does not sin but God allows it and because God allows it sometimes the action or the initiation of the action is attributed to God.

But here's the point. David numbers the people in rebellion. God allowed Satan to tempt David and so he does this and apparently it was a very prideful thing to do because he wanted to show off how strong he was. Even Joab had some qualms about it and lo and behold David does it and look at what it says in verse 10. Now David's heart troubled him after he numbered the people so David said to the Lord I have sinned greatly in what I have done but now O Lord God please take away the iniquity of thy servant for I have acted foolishly. David committed here he says a great sin, great sin. And God says David one of three things are going to happen to you and you can kind of choose.

The first is to have seven years of famine, to have three months of military defeats, or to have three days of a plague. How do you like that for a choice? David said God I'm not going to make this decision you make the call. He said I'd rather fall into the hands of God than the hands of men. By the way have you ever felt that way? Have you noticed that God is sometimes kinder than some people? Wouldn't you rather fall into the hands of God on occasion rather than the hands of men? David said God you make the decision and God says okay I will and God sends pestilence and 70,000 people die.

70,000. And they had families and friends and uncles and cousins and word got out I'm sure that it was because of the sin of David that this happened. David sees the avenging angel come there to Jerusalem and he offers up a sacrifice. He buys the threshing floor and he offers a sacrifice. And you know what that area is today?

That's the temple mound where the temple stands because that is known as Mount Moriah where Abraham offered Isaac or was willing to offer Isaac to God and that is also called in the scripture the place of Arona the Jebusite from whom David purchased the threshing floor and it is there that the scripture says Solomon built his temple. So the plague has stayed but this must have been a sword through David's heart. Sword through his heart. Because of him his great sin by the way great sin of immorality yes but also now a great sin of pride and God hates both.

God hates both. That's a second cloud that surrounded David just before he died but there was a third and it was the most difficult I'm sure for the king to deal with and that is the family breakup. The family breakup. If the first cloud was a political cloud and the second was a national cloud the third was a very personal cloud and for that now we look at 1 Kings chapter 1 where David now is dying. He's dying. And you'll notice that David had another son whose name was Adonijah verse 5. He was the son of another one of David's wives. David had many wives. He had at least 14 or 15 children and he can't wait for his father to die.

His dad is dying too slowly. So he says to himself I am going to proclaim myself king. Something like Napoleon who evidently in Notre Dame in Paris the pope was going to put a crown on his head. He snatched it from the pope and he crowned himself. He did wanted people to know that he was not beholden to the papacy.

And here you have Adonijah who says yoo-hoo I'm here. I'm going to be the king. So he gets some followers and they have a big party and he goes and he anoints himself as a king and David doesn't like it but Shiva and David have a talk about it and they decide that the kingship should be passed on to Solomon about whom the Bible says the Lord loved Solomon. And so they make arrangements for Solomon to be proclaimed king. Adonijah goes into the temple and stays there and Solomon said if you behave yourself I won't kill you. Now remember this is his half brother but after David died Adonijah began to stir up some rebellion and Solomon had him killed. At the risk of repetition let me review for those of you have been a part of this series.

Isn't this ever a mess? First of all you have incest in David's family, Amnon involved with his sister Tamar, then you have murder, Absalom murders Amnon, then Absalom gets killed by Joab and now Adonijah that makes four by the way. The prophet had said to David that the that the sword shall never depart from your house and David had said regarding the man who stole the sheep he shall pay fourfold if you include the son that died from Bathsheba. That's four sons dead, sword never departing from David's house. And so here David is dying now and the the man can't even really die without difficulty because what he has around him are all of these family problems.

What a mess, what a mess. Where are David's wives? Well Bathsheba is with him but the others aren't even listed. They are probably laughing behind his back, they are thinking to themselves here's the great king and he had all of us as wives, his family's in disarray, the kingdom doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

People are mad at him because of the judgment of God with 70,000 people dead. So that's the context in which we now go into the king's chamber to watch him die. What can we say about these clouds that hovered over David?

Well I think David would say you know what there's some sunshine too because if you get behind the clouds the sun is still shining. I believe that David died well because first of all he died believing in his God. He died believing in his God. Now if you take your Bible and turn to 2 Samuel that means you just go back a few pages. Notice in chapter 23 we have the last words of David. Now he said many things on his deathbed.

He even gave some judgments on his deathbed but I'd prefer to look at 2 Samuel chapter 23. Now these are the last words of David. David the son of Jesse declares and the man who was raised on high declares the anointed of the God of Jacob and the sweet soul of Israel. I guess David is talking about himself here and I'm sure it's done in humility and what he's saying is right but it's very interesting. He says the spirit of the Lord spake by me and his word was on my tongue the God of Israel said the rock of Israel spoke to me he who rules over men righteously who rules in the fear of God is as the light of the morning when the sun arises a morning without clouds when the tender grass springs out of the earth those sunshine after rain.

Imagine that. Well David certainly did not always rule righteously but he's looking at the way in which God views him. In the preceding verses where he talks about his trust in God he says God so am I in thy sight. God had declared David righteous and now when the time came for David to die God was not beholding evil in David because David had been forgiven for all of his great sins. And so David dies now and he's trusting in God. He says like the sunshine after the rain the clouds dissipate I can die in peace. Yes my friend today when David died his family was in disarray his kingdom was in disarray and following his death there would be a great deal of chaos in the land and yet he dies a forgiven man. He's ushered into the presence of the God whom he loved. God receives him why because of mercy and grace. What lessons his life teaches us. We're making available the series of messages entitled growing through conflict.

We're doing that because some of you perhaps have not had the opportunity to listen to all of these messages. Maybe you want them in permanent form so that you can share them with your family and with others. For a gift of any amount they can be yours here's what you do go to rtwoffer.com. That's rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. I believe that there is a reason why it is that David received so many chapters in God's word. Lessons that warn us but lessons also that give us hope. So you may want these messages so that you can use them for your own personal profit spiritually speaking and you can be encouraged in your walk with God. Right now you can go to rtwoffer.com or as I have mentioned in fact you can call right now 1-888-218-9337.

That's 1-888-218-9337. It's time once again for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Some of the words of Jesus are very serious and might cause us to think we might not be saved at all. Pat has written asking this, my question concerns the blasphemy of the Holy Ghost. Can a Christian ever commit such a sin where there is no more forgiveness resulting in a loss of salvation? Is this the sin unto death? Pat I want you to know that as a pastor I frequently have had to answer this question because I've had letters written to me or people whom I've met who have thought that they have committed the unpardonable sin.

So I'm really glad that you brought this to our attention because I think there are many people out there with this question on their minds. I think that the unpardonable sin was really a sin committed by the nation Israel. Jesus committed himself to the nation, he did miracles, and yet they accused him of doing these miracles by the power of the devil and not the power of the Holy Spirit. So it seems to me that the nation committed an unpardonable sin in this sense that Jesus said that if you blaspheme like this against the Holy Spirit, you'll never be forgiven. But you and I as Christians, we have a very different relationship to the Holy Spirit. If you've received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you are indwelt by the Spirit, you are sealed by the Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God comes to live within us, and that Spirit guarantees that indeed we will be saved. Now the bottom line, I think that there is such a thing as the blaspheming of the Holy Spirit, the unpardonable sin if you want to use that terminology, but it is really committed by unsaved people. Israel by and large turned away from Jesus, and so they were lost, they never did receive Jesus Christ as the Messiah as a whole.

There were individuals of course who did, but as a whole the nation rejected him. In the very same way, there are people today who reject the gospel and they do it so many times that their consciences are so dulled that in effect they have committed an unpardonable sin because they can't be forgiven because they refuse to believe. Now to be clear, someone like you who I assume has received Jesus Christ as Savior, the very fact that you are worried about whether or not you have committed the unpardonable sin is a good sign that you haven't. It shows the work of the Holy Spirit of God within your heart, and therefore you can be brought back into fellowship with God regardless of the sin that you committed. One time I received a letter from someone who said that one Saturday evening he blasphemed the Holy Spirit directly, and he wondered whether or not he could be forgiven for something that was so terrible, so blasphemous.

Even in that context I told him that the answer was yes. If he desired forgiveness, even this terrible sin could be forgiven. So anybody who's listening out there, if you have a desire to be saved, first of all as an unsaved person, or you're a Christian, and you've committed some sin that you're worried about, God can forgive you, God can receive you.

Follow your desire to pursue God. He's there with you. Hope that this was clear.

Thanks so much for writing. God bless you. Some wise counsel from Dr. Erwin Lutzer for Pat and for all of us. If you'd like to hear your question answered, go to our website at rtwoffer.com and click on Ask Pastor Lutzer, or call us at 1-888-218-9337.

That's 1-888-218-9337. You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60614. Running to Win is all about helping you find God's roadmap for your race of life. Erwin Lutzer has brought part one of Dying with Regrets, the last message in his series Growing Through Conflict, a study in the life of King David. Next time, Pastor Lutzer concludes our series in the life of David. This is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-03 07:39:34 / 2023-01-03 07:48:14 / 9

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