Go back and take another look at this verse.
And to David was born Solomon by Bathsheba, who had been the wife of Uriah. Let's get the elephant in the room, out in the open, right in front of everybody. Why? Because God doesn't think it's all that tragic?
No. Here's the point. In theology, look closely, it's a declaration of the good news, of the gospel, of the coming. Messiah, that Jesus isn't just a king, just any king, he is the king of grace. Most people are aware of the account of David and Bathsheba. It's an infamous story of adultery, conspiracy and murder. But there's more to the story that many don't consider.
In fact, within the genealogy of Jesus, written in the first chapter of Matthew's gospel, both David and Bathsheba are listed as ancestors of the king of kings. By naming this couple here, the Bible reveals their repentance, God's forgiveness, and ultimately the marvelous grace of Jesus available to us all. That's why Stephen called the message you're about to hear, marvelous grace.
Matthew's gospel is where we've been studying this month. While you're turning, as I studied, I recalled in my study how years ago my son was clearing brush along a fence that led down to the back of our property that adjoined a 30-acre pasture. We have for 19 years enjoyed that view.
There have been cows and calves and horses, and I've brought you illustrations every so often. Well, it's going away. They are building homes on that property.
And it isn't my property, so I can't claim unfairness, but I am putting signs up. My son was pulling away at all of that debris. And the next day we left for a family vacation, just three or four days. And into the second day, his hands were swelling, his arms. He had gotten into poison ivy.
And two days into our vacation, he was so miserable and so itching and swelling that we cut it short and came back to get some serious medicine. Couldn't help but think there are poisonous weeds that will wrap around us that can harm our hearts and our bodies, certainly our spirits. Can they suddenly hide out in inviting meadows what looks like green pastures? What I want to do in our study today is focus on the lives of two people who basically jumped over the fence into infidelity and landed in a pile of trouble. What I want to do is eventually get to the point where we discover the grace of God at work in their lives, because I think that's the theme of this text. Now for Israel, this is going to be an event. It will create one of the darkest stains in the history of the nation. But for Jesus, I think it happens to be one of the greatest opportunities to show us why he was born in that manger 2,000 years ago. Why?
We'll get there. When the Bible's open, you'll notice that Matthew doesn't just mention a couple of names. He opens Pandora's memory box. Look at verse six. Jesse was the father of David, the king. David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba, who had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon was the father of Rehoboam. Stop for a moment. I mean, if you're writing out the genealogy of Jesus, why would you insert that?
That would be one of those muddy parts you'd want to clean up. You'd want to polish the halo of David for the nation and for his legacy. Why the need to insert this rather unusual commentary into a legal document when it really is unnecessary? We have covered, as illustrations, some of the research individuals have done and they have found in their family tree events and individuals they'd rather not remember.
I came across another one similar and yet different. This wealthy socialite hired a well-known author to research her genealogy and publish her family history. And as he began to plow into her family history, he soon discovered that one of her relatives had been convicted of murder and was put to death in the electric chair. He came to her and he said, look, I'm an honest author. I've got to include this man's name in your genealogy. She begged him to leave the man out of the family tree, but he persisted. She finally said, look, if you're going to include him in my family tree, at least write it, whatever you write, in a way where people won't necessarily know what happened. And he agreed. When his draft was ready for print, the woman rushed to that particular page where he wrote of her ancestor and following the entry of his name, it read, at one point in his captivating life, he occupied the chair of applied electricity.
He was so attached to his position that he died in the harness. Now that's how you do it. That's how you clean it up. I mean, shouldn't Matthew be cleaning this stuff up? Why bring the embarrassing part of Israel's history line of the Messiah to the forefront? Look, let me tell you, among other things, God is not interested in polishing anybody's halo. And as I've said before in this study, Jesus isn't interested in praising his ancestors.
He's interested in dying for them, pardoning them, those who will come by faith to the plan and atoning work of God pointing toward the coming Messiah. Go back and take another look at this verse. God is bound and determined to reveal this.
And to David was born Solomon by Bathsheba, who had been the wife of Uriah. Let's get the elephant in the room out in the open. Just bring it right out here, right in front of everybody. Why? Because God doesn't think it's all that tragic?
No. In fact, his son is going to die in judgment for that sin and all of yours and mine too. Here's the point. The genealogy look closely is a declaration of the good news of the gospel of the coming Messiah that Jesus isn't just a king, just any king. He is the king of grace. He was born to put a face to grace and redemption. So the Spirit of God through Matthew evidently wants the narrative recalled to the memory of those who study the genealogy and the line of Jesus, the Messiah.
We don't have a lot of time. You don't even need to turn, but I'm going to go back in memory and my notes and recall for you just enough to review it. Some of you are older in the faith. Most of you know the basic narrative. But most don't take into account when they think of David and Bathsheba is the fact that David, like kings after him, had already bit into the bait.
They had already bought into the myth of greener grass. The truth is David's been nibbling around this for decades. If you go back into the life of David 20 years before he ever met Bathsheba and completely skips over any ritual of marriage, he's been tampering with the God-ordained monogamous relationship God desired in marriage.
Just track him for 20 years. First, he'd married Michael, the daughter of King Saul. When David fled, Saul in his vindictiveness gave her away. Later, David will get her back, but he marries Abigail and then Ahinoam. Then when he moves to Hebron, he adds four more wives for good measure. When he finally begins his official reign in the capital city of Jerusalem, he will add even more wives, but then eventually, he's just going to skip all that stuff and not worry about any kind of marital commitment at all, why it's a facade anyway, and he's just going to add concubines to his growing harem. I mean, that's what kings did, that is not what God desired. So for 20 years, David has been setting the stage, he's been pursuing idols, he's bought into the myth, and it will finally show itself in this description of lust and abuse of power and a conspiracy to murder. This isn't just David's problem, is it? This genealogy at this point provides from the Spirit of God a warning to all of us.
In fact, in his commentary on David's sin with Bathsheba, one author spells out the warning as he writes, you need to know that lust will never give up. It will never run out of ideas. Bolt your front door and it will rattle the back windows. It will crawl into the living room through that television screen.
It will wink at you from a magazine or your cell phone screen. You are never, ever completely safe. You know, beloved, I think one of the reasons why forbidden pastures seem so green, so basic to our human nature, is because we tend to surround ourselves as our culture is so welcome in doing with the commercials. This is the life. This is what people do. This is acceptable. This is legal.
This is the commercial without any sight of the consequence. And while you're at it, let's rename everything, shall we? It'll make it more appealing. Let's call it an alternative lifestyle. Let's call forbidden sexual practice a rite of passage. In fact, let's rip out of the dictionary the word safe. And let's attach it to premarital and extramarital sexual activity so that a generation along with everybody else can grow up to believe the myth that somehow it's safe. Just keep the commercials coming. Keep the movie themes coming where we cheer on infidelity.
Don't stop to consider the consequences. I say that to tell you that David has been pulling that fence down for 20 years. You see, when he spots Bathsheba, he's 50.
He's 50 years of age. And if I go back to that narrative, I can remind you that when he asks who it is, the messenger comes back and lays it out. She's a married woman and she's married to Uriah.
Now, that should have sent out bells and whistles. She's married, but she's married to one of your mighty men, one of your faithful, a handful of men that began serving you and fighting with you, going all the way back to the cave of Adullam. And David effectively says, so what?
Get her. And then in the very briefest of terms and passages, we're told that she arrives, they commit adultery, and then he sends her home as if nothing has ever happened. Now, most of you know all of that. And I think Matthew wants to remind us and warn us. But I think Matthew has another idea in mind as well. So let's kind of go backstage into what becomes one of the most remarkable testimonies of repentance and forgiveness and the future that is often overlooked. Most of you know, if you're old enough in the faith, that David repented. In fact, his genuine confession and repentance that will come later turns into a song. And he writes that song we know is Psalm 51, and every one of us has we've grown in the faith after we have sinned, have run to that Psalm, and we have quoted those lyrics of confession along with them. It is a precious passage of healing and hope. We're also given evidence that's not nearly as well known, that Bathsheba will repent and pursue God.
Instead of their marital relationship becoming strained, they conceive again. And Bathsheba ends up delivering an heir to the throne of David. So what that means is that Bathsheba then participates in the Davidic line and joins the family tree of Jesus, not only by lineage but by faith, as I'm going to point out. You'd have to go back on your own time and look up the texts that deal with the early days, and that's in 2 Samuel, where we're told that Bathsheba gave birth to his son and he, David, named him Solomon. Now, Solomon actually had several names, and they're all telling and revealing in the Old Testament and, in fact, all the way into the church today. Christians often name their children with names that are highly significant, hoping that they will grow up to adopt whatever the character or the definition of that word might mean.
David certainly was one of those. He named his son Solomon. It's from the Hebrew family of words that gives us shalom. It means peace. So David is communicating that it's his prayer and his hope that Solomon will take the throne and reign in a kingdom unlike his that had been filled with war and bloodshed, that Solomon will have a kingdom of peace, which he, for the most part, does.
The Lord chimes in. This isn't as well known, and he also gives Solomon a name. He has it delivered by the prophet Nathan, and Nathan delivers the message that the Lord loved Solomon and, through Nathan, named him Jedediah for the Lord's sake. Jedediah means loved by the Lord. Isn't that a great name?
And Nathan, who delivered the prophetic message, many believe, who study the Old Testament, that Nathan will become a tutor for young Solomon and teach him along with his parents. Can you imagine growing up, hearing that you've been given? I guess what we could call a middle name by God with such special meaning, loved by the Lord. You think, man, I wish I had a special middle name like that. In fact, a few weeks ago, about four weeks now, my four-year-old grandson and I were talking about the significance of his name and his middle name, primarily named after one of the early martyrs in the Reformation.
I mean, just has this depth of meaning, and we were concentrated on that discussion. He was just all tuned in, and then he said, Papa, what's your middle name? I said, Dwayne. What's so funny?
Every hour has thought that's... So he said, really? And he goes, Dwayne, Dwayne. And he starts laughing just like you did, laughing and laughing, until I locked him in the garage.
And after that, he settled down. But my mother gave me that middle name for a reason. I don't know what it was, but she gave it to me. As far as I can tell, it started with the letter D, and that went with the middle names of my other brothers, Dale and Dean and Dwayne. D was a special letter. In fact, it was prophetic.
It became my favorite grade in school. She should have given me a name that started with A. You think, man, if I only had what Solomon had, this name, I would have much fewer anxious thoughts.
I wouldn't be riddled with the doubts that come. I mean, imagine God saying, I'm going to give you a name that I love you. Oh, haven't we been given wonderful names like saint, friend, son, children, bride, Christian?
How good is that? Solomon has another name that's even lesser known. It appears in the Book of Proverbs. It's the name Lemuel. It's not a name, really.
It's a nickname. It means unto God, unto God. And I would agree with Old Testament scholars who believe that Lemuel was a personal name of dedication, not given by David and not provided by the Lord, but given to him by his mother who dedicated him unto the Lord. This was a profound testimony, by the way, in the life of Bathsheba. Here she is dedicating Solomon to God, and she doesn't want Solomon to forget it.
In fact, he'll grow up knowing that name, and he will eventually use that name as sort of a byline as an author. By the way, what would Solomon's attitude toward Bathsheba be as he grows? Resentment? Would he come to want her out of his life?
No. Even though we have no written testimony of Bathsheba, there is a deepening respect for her. If you're left wondering what happened to her for those 25 years, because she disappears. After the birth of Solomon, she doesn't show up until he takes the throne.
She defends that covenant right for him. But you're left wondering, whatever happened to Bathsheba all those years? And if you're tempted to think, well, who cares? And for good reason. I mean, this is a stain from the past life of David. It's worth forgetting.
Well, hey, think again. Let me allow Solomon to write out his view of her, because now as a middle-aged man perhaps, a little younger, here's what he writes. Here, my son, your father's instruction, and do not forsake your mother's teaching. Who's your mother, Solomon? Bathsheba.
She was worth listening to. In fact, he says, indeed, their teaching is a graceful wreath to your head and ornaments about your neck. If sinners entice you, do not consent. Imagine learning that from your mother. Hey, Solomon, let me tell you, if sinners entice you, say, no.
Imagine the depth of character behind that warning from his mother, Bathsheba. There's a paraphrase, I want to read you, of another text in chapter six of Proverbs where he says this, friend, follow your father's good advice. Don't wander off from your mother's teachings.
Wrap yourself in them from head to foot. Wherever you walk, they will guide you. Whenever you rest, they will guard you.
When you wake up, they will tell you what's next. Good teaching is a light. Moral discipline is the path to life. Moral discipline is a path to life.
Take it from your father. Oh, Solomon, listen to your mother. See, beloved Bathsheba is a changed woman giving this kind of advice, a mature woman worth listening to. And during those silent years, she has emerged as one who not only dedicated her son unto God but her own life. In fact, I think the final and most impressive testimony is that Solomon will use her name for him, that special nickname, and he will use that to open that chapter in Proverbs that describes a woman of virtue. Here's how that chapter opens. The words of King Lemuel, this is the weight of truth which his mother taught him.
You've got to be kidding. No, Proverbs 31 was taught to Solomon by Bathsheba. She'll never write a book, but she'll be alluded to, in fact, discovering who she became. Solomon takes this text in Matthew chapter 1 and turns it from being a stain to a declaration of grace.
Let me make quickly two or three observations from our study today. Number one, this applies from the life of what we've seen in David and Bathsheba. Failure does not erase the potential of becoming a godly influence later in life.
Failure does not erase the potential of becoming a godly influence later in life. Listen, imagine who's telling Solomon these words recorded in Proverbs chapter 31 verse 10. Solomon, an excellent wife who can find, for her worth is far above Ruby's, get this, the heart of her husband trusts in her. Did you know that Bathsheba taught that truth to Solomon as a young man, probably with tears in her eyes? She will never live beyond the memory of that. She no doubt lived with the pain of knowing that her infidelity, indirectly related, impacted this conspiracy which led to his murder. Silence as if bound in that truth is the admission, I was involved in that deception, I was involved in that conspiracy of silence, I was involved, I was anything but trustworthy. Solomon, take it from me, integrity is priceless.
There are a lot of things you can pursue out there, but let me tell you one that is, it costs more than all the Ruby's in the world. She becomes a godly influence later in life. Secondly, it's possible for an ungodly person to repent and grow into a wise counselor. Listen as she teaches Solomon this truth, strength and dignity are her clothing and she smiles at the future.
That's an interesting phrase. She smiles at the future, apart from repentance and restoration to her true and living God, Bathsheba would have no reason to smile about anything because the myth eventually was replaced with reality. Why is she smiling? She has every right to grow bitter, frankly.
I think after 25 years you should find a shriveled soul of a woman. She could have spent the rest of her life blaming David for abusing his power and his position as king and everybody around her would have said, you're right, how do you ever say no to a king? She could have excused her own sin on his invitation. She could have blamed God for the way her life turned out, the death of her husband, the death of her firstborn son and on and on, but somewhere in those silent 25 years or so in her marriage to David, she takes responsibility for her own sin after dedicating Solomon to God and she's committed to now raising him to follow after the name she has given him.
He belonged to God, he belonged to him. So no doubt every so often she will quietly weep over her past as we all will. She can tell Solomon, here's how you smile at the future. I'm glad you were able to hear Stephen's message today and I hope you were encouraged by it.
Stephen called it marvelous grace. There's one more message to go in this series entitled, His Family Tree. If you're new to Wisdom for the Heart, welcome. I'm glad you're here. You can learn more about us if you visit our website, which is wisdomonline.org.
The full length version of each of these sermons that you hear on the radio are posted online at wisdomonline.org. Get there today, then join us back here next time as we bring you more Wisdom for the Heart. We'll see you next time. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-22 00:29:42 / 2022-12-22 00:39:05 / 9