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Dying With Regrets Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
September 28, 2022 1:00 am

Dying With Regrets Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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September 28, 2022 1:00 am

Our lives may be chaotic but there’s still time to pursue a legacy that honors God. On his deathbed, David’s country and his family were in turmoil—of his own making. In this message, we listen to David’s blessing based on God and His promises. Are we ready to die in peace, satisfied in God? 

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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. The race of life began well for King David, but ended without a clear victory. At the end of life, David had many regrets.

We can learn from them how to minimize our regrets. Today, a last look at a great king and how he died. 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. Today, we are ending a ten-part series on growing through conflict, a journey through the life of King David of Israel. Pastor Lutzer, as you come to conclude your last message, Dying with Regrets, we go into the king's chamber to watch him die.

Well, Dave, you're absolutely right. When David died, he left behind him a very divided kingdom. Eventually, after the time of Solomon, as a matter of fact, it will be split in two, he left behind him a ruined family. And you know, even though strictly speaking, Solomon should not have been born because he was a child of Bathsheba, her second child with David. Yet the Lord loved Solomon and also made him to be a great king. How did David die? Well, through faith in God, through the forgiveness of his sins and the recognition that ultimately God would be his judge.

And that's the way you and I die as well. We have nothing to offer God except mercy and grace that has come to us from him that we receive. I've written a book entitled Growing Through Conflict. It actually takes us through the life of David to help us understand his failures and his successes and what that has to teach us. And for a gift of any amount, that book can be yours.

I'll be giving you contact info at the end of this message so you listen carefully. 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 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 Sheba 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. 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 who 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 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 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. Second 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 Psalmist of Israel. 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. Centuries later, there's a baby born in Bethlehem. And that baby grows up, becomes a man, begins to interact with Pharisees who totally misunderstood his mission and who he was. They didn't understand it. And that man, whom we call the Lord Jesus Christ, that man says that he is not only the son of David, but also David's Lord.

Think that through. Christ is interacting with the Pharisees. And this is what the Bible says in the book of Matthew. Now, while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question saying, what do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?

Wow. That was an easy question. They said the son of David. He said to them, how then does David in the spirit call him Lord is saying the Lord is said to my Lord is sit at my right hand until I make thine enemies at footstool beneath thy feet. Jesus says, if David then calls him Lord, how is he his son?

They should have been able to figure that out. The answer is that he's the son of David because of David's genealogy. But he is also the son of God Lord, therefore he is both David's son and David's Lord. But the text says, and no one was able to answer him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on ask him another question.

They never understood it. But you notice how centuries later, David's God keeps the promises and David's commitment and the covenant that God made is being fulfilled. David's going to be out of the picture, but God is there.

We die, but God remains. So David died believing in his God, believing that there was sunshine even after the rain. Book of Revelation says in chapter 22 verse 16, Jesus said, I am the root and the offspring of David. Second, I believe that David died in peace because he was satisfied. He was satisfied with his God. And that's really the secret of David's life. Bad decisions, sins, pride, immorality, all of that marked him weakness in relationship to his family. In fact, if you have your Bible open to first Kings, you'll notice here it says in verse six of chapter one regarding Adonijah and his father had never crossed him at any time by asking, why have you done so? And he also was very handsome and he was born after Absalom, it says. But notice, notice it says there in verse six, his father had never crossed him at any time by asking, why have you done so?

This kid got away with everything. David, David, David. David had this thing going on with God.

He really did. Listen. Oh God, thou art my God. I shall seek thee earnestly. My soul thirsts for thee.

My flesh yearns for thee in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Thus I have beheld thee in the sanctuary to see thy power and thy glory because thy loving kindness is better than life. My lips will praise thee. So I will bless thee as long as I live. I will lift up my hands in thy name.

My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness and my mouth offers praise with joyful lips. Why all that depth of knowledge about God? It almost seems as if everything that David knew about God, David experienced. And this just didn't happen.

This just didn't happen, you know. What happened is that David went through terrible, terrible times. And just as you know that you cannot take a flower and get from it its scent if you want to make perfume, it must be crushed.

It is crushed flowers that smell most beautifully. In the very same way, God crushed David so that we could have the Psalms. God worked in David's life through all of the ups and downs, through all of his sins and failures. And as a result of that, David could now die in peace.

Die in peace. There's no great eulogy at his funeral that we know of. It's interesting that Saul dies and David goes on almost a full chapter talking about how wonderful Saul was, rotten king that he was. Jonathan dies and David gives a very long eulogy as well. But David dies and there's not much to be said because everything seems to have kind of petered out. And so he dies and he goes to be with his fathers, the Bible said. David lived a life that did not end simply by having a meaningless trip in a limousine.

He still died with his God. Today we now tiptoe into David's room because he's ready to die and we can talk to him because today at least David can speak. We say to him, David, tell us what's life all about? And he says to us, the Lord is my shepherd.

I shall not want. We say, well, David, look, you're being a little unrealistic here. That's really nice poetry, but what do you do when King Saul hounds you for 10 years throwing spears at you, chasing you like a partridge in the desert? What do you do then, David? He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.

He leadeth me beside the still waters. Say, oh David, David, David, get realistic. Don't live in denial, David.

What do you do when you commit adultery and then you commit murder to cover your sin? What do you do then, David? He restoreth my soul.

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. David, let's get real. What do you say when Absalom, your favorite son, dies? What do you say when Bathsheba, that son dies? And what do you say when Absalom violates your wives and your concubines in the sight of Israel and humiliates you, David?

What do you say then? And by the way, what do you do when Amnon is killed by his brother? David goes on to simply say, yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me. David, the kingdom is coming apart.

People can't wait for you to die because they want to get their fingers in your pie, so to speak. David, don't you understand how bad things really are? Your wives are laughing behind your back. Your family's in disarray. And David says, thou preparest a table before me.

In the presence of mine enemies, my cup runneth over. We say, David, one more time. Just look.

Just look. You're going to be gone. People might forget about you. The mistakes are going to be preached. David, there are going to be preachers 3,000 years from now who are going to be standing up preaching on your sins.

There are people who will know nothing about you except that you were an adulterer. That's it, David. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Well, David, I think you should write that down.

I really do. I think you should write it so that multitudes in Chicago and Atlanta and New York and around the world will get some hope. That people will know that at the end of the day, David, when everything was said and done, when all of the reports were in and the obituaries were written and the analyses were made, at the end of the day, David, your life began just as it opened. The curtain slammed shut. All that there was left was you and your God. That's all.

That's all that was there. And so I say to you today and to me, do we understand that God is the center of David's life and should be the center of ours as well? Do we understand that when all these things are said and done, and by the way, when everything is said and done, usually much more is said and done, if you've ever noticed.

Do we understand that at the end of all that, behind the clouds, behind the clouds, there is sunshine. You don't have to die with your kingdom intact as long as you believe that God's kingdom is intact. And God just keeps going on and going on and blessing and directing and using despite human failure.

And so, as I mentioned a moment ago, it's all over. What shall we call David's epitaph? What could we say about it? I think that there is nothing better than taking the words of God directly from Psalm 89 when he says, David, my servant, those three words, David, my servant. Now I have to ask you, can a shepherd boy from Bethlehem possibly expect any more than that?

Let us pray. Our Father, we thank you for a life that has been lived. We thank you for David's mistakes, not that we glory in his sins, but we rejoice in the lessons that we learn from him. Thank you for the Psalms that he wrote.

Thank you, Father, for the battles that he won. Thank you that today Jerusalem is known as the city of David. Thank you that Jesus was not embarrassed to call David his father. Thank you that he could say that he is, Christ is, the root and the offspring of David. Thank you, Father, that for all of our sins and failures, if we love you supremely and believe in you and keep pursuing you, that at the end of the day, we die like David with our God. Grant that we pray in Jesus' name.

Amen. Well, this is Pastor Lutzer. If the Lord doesn't come, not a one of us is going to get out of this life alive.

The fact is that all of us are going to die at some point. We are all born with an expiration date, and it's so important for us to know that ultimately the question is whether or not we have put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. When you look at the life of David, you discover that there were many failures. Perhaps the greatest was his relationship with Bathsheba and all of the consequences that followed. But at the same time, he is the man who gave us most of the Psalms as he spilled out his heart to the Lord. I've written a book entitled Growing Through Conflict, and when you look at the life of David, you can see that he had tremendous conflict.

For example, 10 years of his life, he was running from King Saul. And yet, in the midst of it, we see God's faithfulness. This book is written to encourage you. It's a book that I hope that you will share with your friends. It's entitled Growing Through Conflict, and for a gift of any amount, it can be yours. Here's what you do. Go to or call us at 1-888-218-9337.

Growing Through Conflict. This is the last day we're making this resource available. Right now, go to or call us at 1-888-218-9337. It's time again for another chance for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Pastor Lutzer, I can hardly read today's letter. The writer is in such personal pain, but your answer might help her and many others in her predicament. Her name is Carlene, and she writes to us from Indiana.

I listened to your message on the tears of Christ and felt such heaviness for my own sins that I had to write. My own life right now is miserable. My husband left me almost five years ago after twenty-five years of marriage. He did not leave me for another person.

He just had many unresolved problems from abuse and damaged emotions before our marriage. I never dreamed that divorce would be in my vocabulary. It has ruined everything I ever dreamed of having. I have shed so many tears of sorrow, remorse, and grief until I feel there is no more to cry. I don't want to live anymore. I want forgiveness, and then I want God to take me home. Is there any hope for a lonely, helpless, worthless, broken-hearted wife and mother? I know God hears and God sees and God is not pleased with me. I need healing from a broken, hurting, never-should-have-happened marriage.

Well, my dear sister, I hope that I can help you today because obviously you are very despondent and you wonder where to turn. Could I remind you of the promises of God that he will never leave you nor forsake you? Could I remind you of the fact that God sometimes uses even the bitter experience of divorce to help us to get on with the business of sanctification, namely Christ-likeness?

Could I remind you that you are absolutely wrong when you say that you are worthless? In God's sight, you have been purchased at high cost. You are listening to lies that come from Satan and that come from yourself in your despair. You are not listening to what God says about you. Please keep all of these things in mind. What you need to do is to grasp the promises of God.

Let me give you a suggestion. It would be wonderful if you were to read five Psalms a day because in the Psalms, David goes into the depths of despair, but you'll notice that he always comes out with praise. You'll get to a Psalm like Psalm 32. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. My sister, let me tell you, you don't have to weep in order to receive God's forgiveness. Weeping is good oftentimes. It shows that we do have remorse for our sins, but it's not our tears.

It's not even our remorse that forgives us. It's all God's grace. Receive it, rejoice as to who you are in Jesus, and let God continue to do his work in your life, making you like Jesus, full of faith, full of the Holy Spirit, and filled with the fruits of the Spirit. God bless you. Our hearts go out to Carlene and to all who have a similar situation. Thank you, Dr. Lutzer. If you'd like to hear your question answered, go to our website at and click on Ask Pastor Lutzer, or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, 614. Pastor Erwin Lutzer concluding Dying with Regrets, the last message in a series on Growing Through Conflict, a study in the life of David. Next time on Running to Win, join us for a discussion about Pastor Lutzer's latest book, No Reason to Hide, Standing for Christ in a Collapsing Culture. Also, a word about your opportunity to receive your own copy as our thank you for supporting Running to Win. This is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-01 16:27:52 / 2023-01-01 16:36:31 / 9

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