The Trials of a King
The explanation lies in their response after they were confronted. Saul rationalizes, and David confesses. What a blessing it is to know we are redeemed today. Released from the penalty of our sin by the payment Christ made with His own blood.
Redemption is exactly what we will see today, as we enter the 12th lesson in this chronological study of the bible.
If you would, join me in 2 Samuel 11 today. Pew Bible #___
I read a story this week of a little boy who lived in the country. They had to use an outhouse for a facility and the little boy absolutely hated the outhouse because it was always hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and it stunk all the time. So the little boy decided that, because the outhouse was on the bank by a creek, he would push the outhouse into the water. After a spring rain when the creek was fully swollen, the boy knew it was time to push the outhouse into the creek. He got a big stick and he pushed and the outhouse toppled into the creek and floated away. Later that night his dad told him that they were going to make a trip out to the woodshed. The little boy knew that meant a spanking. He asked his father why and the father said, "Because someone pushed the outhouse into the creek today, and I think it was you. Wasn't it, son?" The boy answered, "Yes, it was, Dad." Then the little boy thought and said, "Today, Dad, I read in school that when George Washington cut down the cherry tree, he didn't get into trouble because he told the truth." The father responded, "Well, yes, son, but George Washington's father wasn't in that cherry tree.”
Most of us have never toppled an outhouse, but all of us can identify with the little boy in three ways.
First, we have something inside us that wants to do wrong.
Second, our lack of goodness affects others.
Third, there are always consequences to our choices.
We see all these things at work in The Story. We discover that David has it all. Everything he does turns to gold. He defeats enemies time and again, shows kindness to Mephibosheth, and expands his kingdom.
The world is at peace and David is at rest in his palace.
Then we learn in 2 Samuel 11 that David lets down his guard and makes tragic choices that cause a pivotal shift in David’s life, family and kingdom.
I. David commits sins and tries to cover them up. 2 Samuel 11
A. David commits adultery with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, and she gets pregnant.
1 And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem. 2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. 3 And David sent and inquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? 4 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house. 5 And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.
B. David tries to get Uriah to sleep with Bathsheba so everyone will think the baby is Uriah’s, and Uriah, a man of integrity, refuses.
10 And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from thy journey? why then didst thou not go down unto thine house? 11 And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing.
David takes it a step further the next night and gets Uriah drunk in hopes that his cover-up plan will work, but it doesn’t. Instead:
C. David arranges to have Uriah killed in battle and then David marries Bathsheba.
14 And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die. 16 And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were. 17 And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also.
26 When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. 27 And when her mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son.
David thinks everything is back to normal. His sins are covered up. But God loves David too much to let things appear normal.
And the other reality is seen in the latter part of vs. 27 - But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.
(Literally - it was evil in the eyes of the Lord…)
Because of God’s Holiness and love:
II. David’s sins are exposed by God through Nathan the prophet. 2 Samuel 12
A. Nathan, a prophet, hears from God and speaks what God tells him.
1 And the Lord sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. 2 The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: 3 But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. 4 And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him. 5 And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: 6 And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.
B. Nathan exposes David’s horrible scandals.
7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; 8 And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. 9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.
God knew all the details. He saw it all, and David was not going to get away with it...
12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
What happened to David?
We understand looking at Chapter 11 that he wasn’t where he should have been. He didn’t properly respond to the temptation that was before him.
But how do you go from being lazy (not being where kings were supposed to be), to being a murderous adulterer?
I will tell you this morning, he got there naturally. You see, David did not commit anything that you and I are not susceptible to commit.
David sinned. From our perspective, David sinned big!
But where is the issue?
The issue was firmly rooted in his heart.
Every temptation to sin is rooted in questioning the reliability of God.
The reliability of Who He Is, and what He says is questioned...
Take the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden for instance...
“Did God really say?”
“He knows that you will become like gods.”
I’m fully confident that David knew God - in fact the Bible says that David was a man after God’s own heart.
But he was tempted to question Who God really was, and what God really said about the whole thing.
And instead of trusting God and living in gratitude for what David had, he chose to question and react to the fleshly conclusion that God somehow, someway would either look the other way or forgive him.
So he fulfilled the desires of his flesh and went down the ravine of ravenous choices until he found himself with a new wife and a baby and a mound of guilt!
C. David, unlike his predecessor Saul, does not make excuses, but fully confesses his sins.
From our perspective, David’s sins seem much more heinous than Saul’s, but the explanation lies in their response after they were confronted. Saul rationalized, and David confesses.
1 Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. 4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge. 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. 6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. 9 Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
David was repentant. He was sorrowful. But there is a difference between godly sorrow and wordly sorrow...
10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
Not all sorrow is genuine.
Godly sorrow is sorrowful about what our sin has done to someone else (God)
Worldly sorrow is sorrowful about what our sin has done to us
Don’t confuse the sorrow of a broken relationship as godly sorrow. It often is our loss that we are grieving, not what we did to the other person. We sorrow how they respond to our sin not how they feel in response to our sin.
So David experiences godly sorrow. He repents, and as we see in the remainder of David’s life, he is restored to a right relationship with God.
However, there are still consequences that he will have to live with the rest of his life...
III. The consequences of David’s sins in his personal life and kingdom. 2 Samuel 12
A. The consequences in his personal life.
1. The baby dies (yet later Solomon is born). (12)
2. David’s daughter is raped (by a brother). (13)
3. Absalom rebels from David. (15)
B. The consequences in his kingdom.
1. David flees in exile when Absalom rebels and takes the throne. (15)
2. Absalom dies and David’s other son provokes the next major rebellion. (18-19)
3. Within all this turmoil, David bears the consequences with dignity and David’s relationship with the God of grace is restored.
As a final act before his death, David gathers the people to collaborate in gathering materials for a temple to God. In response to the people’s free-will offerings, David responds:
10 Therefore David blessed the Lord before all the assembly; and David said: “Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. 11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, And You are exalted as head over all. 12 Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all. 13 “Now therefore, our God, We thank You And praise Your glorious name.
We can learn from some of the individuals in this passage:
Uriah - Who exhibited integrity when even his leader excused him
Nathan - Who confronted a friend who made a harmful decision
David - Who when confronted, repented and turned to God for restoration
When we sin, and we all will, we must…
--admit our sins honestly to God
--live with the consequences with dignity
--experience the forgiving, restoring grace of God
The way we respond in times of failure can also give others a real-time picture of God. God is gracious, forgiving, and restoring.
Have you pushed over any proverbial outhouses lately? If so, own up to your failures and respond like David - turning to God, first, and to those you’ve wronged in genuine repentance.