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NEHCC Sermon - 5-18-08 - Stop Before It Starts

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Sermon – Stop Before It Starts

Scripture –     2 Sam 11:1-17


    2 Sam 11:1-17

11 It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. 2 Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king's house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold. 3 So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, "Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" 4 Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house. 5 And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, "I am with child." 6 Then David sent to Joab, saying, "Send me Uriah the Hittite." And Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 When Uriah had come to him, David asked how Joab was doing, and how the people were doing, and how the war prospered. 8 And David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house and wash your feet." So Uriah departed from the king's house, and a gift of food from the king followed him. 9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10 So when they told David, saying, "Uriah did not go down to his house," David said to Uriah, "Did you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?" 11 And Uriah said to David,"The ark and Israel and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields. Shall I then go to my house to eat and drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing." 12 Then David said to Uriah, "Wait here today also, and tomorrow I will let you depart." So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 Now when David called him, he ate and drank before him; and he made him drunk. And at evening he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house. 14 In the morning it happened that David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, "Set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him, that he may be struck down and die." 16 So it was, while Joab besieged the city, that he assigned Uriah to a place where he knew there were valiant men. 17 Then the men of the city came out and fought with Joab. And some of the people of the servants of David fell; and Uriah the Hittite died also. NKJV


I want us to pick back up with our study in the life of David for there is so much for us to learn from the preserved records. When the name of David is mentioned in relation to the scriptures there are two very familiar stories that come to the minds of people, even to those that are not Christians. The story of David and Goliath is perhaps the most famous one but right behind it is the story of David and Bathsheba. The two stories are contrasts in David’s life. The first he is viewed as a courageous young hero and the second he is viewed as a not so good person. David is in his mid fifties.


Although David was a man after God’s own heart, (a favorite of God) God did not cover-up his sin.  David had sinned before this, for no man is without sin, but this sin or the consequences of this sin will haunt David for the rest of his life.


For such an honored man, a special man, I don’t think we should run over this lightly.  There are some things we do in life, good or bad that becomes a life changing event for good or bad. The drug addict now cured would love to have his/health back. The criminal now saved would love to undo his/her crime.


David sent his army, led by Joab, to destroy the people of Ammon and lay siege to Rabbah. David did not go with them.  It was customary that the king led his army into battle, but against Ammon David did not for the second time. Often when we are not minding our own business we fall into trouble by minding someone else’s. One evening he got out of bed and walked on his roof and saw a woman bathing. 


She was very beautiful but also very married. At this point David should have turned away and asked a prayer for forgiveness for the thoughts he had. David must have had several good looks but should have stopped after the first one. It is the nature of man to desire, gaze, and appreciate a good looking woman, but to linger upon any one of these can and often will lead to coveting that which we see.  I believe that there are very few things that will drive a man more that sex.  Just think back on all the chances you took that were related to sex. Man will steal and even kill because of it or the results of it.


V2          David’s first mistake was to look too long, his second was to inquire about her. For example, if he did not know she was alone and her husband was off to war he may not have pursued her.  Maybe he thought she was single so he had to ask but when he knew she was married that is when he really should have turned away and asked for forgiveness.


Of all the sins against man I believe that the sin of coveting is the worst; for all sins against man are birthed from this one

David’s commission of a coveting sin led to at least the breaking of four (4) more of the Ten Commandments (Ex 20:13-17)


V4          4 Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house.

David’s Sins:   

V 2         David coveted after another man’s wife

Ex 20:17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's."

Third and big mistake, he sent for her. We should avoid putting ourselves into a position where we can be tempted in such a way.  The sex drive is stronger than the will power of most men and if the woman is so inclined there is no escape.


 V4 B she was cleansed from her impurity It is possible that Bathsheba was washing herself of the impurity associated with her menstrual cycle.  The woman was impure during and at least a week after the cycle. (Lev 15:28-29)  With some women, this is the most fertile time of the month for them. I believe this was noted to point out that Bathsheba was not pregnant when she laid with David.


V 4 David stole (took that which was not his) (15 "You shall not steal.) David’s messengers “took” her. At the command of David his messengers took something that did not belong to David. That is stealing.

David took her …. Perhaps overcome with lust and perhaps he held less regard for her husband who was not an Israelite but a Hittite. The race of the husband provided no excuse or dispensation for David’s act of adultery.


In verse 4 David committed adultery (14 "You shall not commit adultery) we read that he “laid with her”. I believe that she was somewhat willing because she did not cry out. Then again, how does a subject cry out against the king?


V5            I expect that Bathsheba missed her next period, approx 30 days later, and determined she was pregnant.  The pleasure of sin will last only a little while but the bitterness lingers on and on.  Now David has a problem that will draw his attention away from his duties. 


David now had a problem in his life that he did not have before, one that could have been avoided. When I look back over my life, I can see where some of the biggest trouble and long-lasting trouble I got into was because of sin or at least doing something that I should not have been doing.

Proverbs warns us of such temporary pleasures.

Prov 9:17-18   17 "Stolen water is sweet,And bread eaten in secret is pleasant." 18 But he does not know that the dead are there,That her guests are in the depths of hell.* NKJV


The sin of adultery is a sin that I have no tolerance for. It can happen unsuspectingly when couples are separated, if the woman is not divorced and the husband is still alive, it is still adultery. There are far too may single woman for any man to take another man’s wife.

An adulterous relationship begins with a cover-up and continues until it is revealed.


V6            Now comes the attempted cover-up.  As soon as we recognize that a cover-up is necessary, the more necessary thing is repentance and seeking God's forgiveness. We have already gone too far and to stay on that road only leads to more trouble and often involving more people. All cover-ups must have at the foundation a lie. This is no exception.


David attempted to break another commandment.

David tried to bear false witness against Uriah ("You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.)

David recalled Uriah the husband of Bathsheba with intent on Uriah having sex with Bathsheba so that when the baby is born every one will think that the child is Uriah's.  That child would be a false witness to their marriage.  Uriah chose not to go to his wife out of loyalty to the troops who were still sleeping in the field.


This was a noble act but I think, (This is my thinking only) he should have gone to his wife because he had the opportunity that was given to him and his life was at risk and may never see his wife again. I believe that God put it into the heart of Uriah not to go in order to reveal David’s sin.


David tried this plan twice and it did not work. David’s heart and mind became focused on the cover-up while giving no thought to repentance.  Sin and guilt can turn us into someone that even we do not like. The sin of adultery is very destructive and the offended husband is hard to console.

Prov 6:32-35                 32             Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; he who does so destroys his own soul. 33 Wounds and dishonor he will get, and his reproach will not be wiped away. 34       For jealousy is a husband's fury; therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. 35 He will accept no recompense, nor will he be appeased though you give many gifts. (NKJ)


David now plots to murder Uriah ("You shall not murder.)

So David had Uriah put in front of the most dangerous battle and left him without support. This was done to cause the death of Uriah. In battle people are killed but this plan was to murder in order to cover up. David’s covetous now has produced murder.


Sin is like that. One sin will draw you deeper and deeper into more and more sins. We must learn to stop at the first one.

Sin begins with the thought, second the plan, and third the act.


V14          David brought Joab into this tragedy. Joab had murdered another in a deceitful way. David did not like what Joab did but now he is doing that and more. David has no finger to point at Joab.

Joab sent a messenger to tell David what had happened. Joab even covered himself for the actions that caused the death of his men if his battle tactics were questioned. 


So far look and what the sin of covetousness has caused A man after Gods own heart to sin, a wife of a soldier fighting for his country to sin, another man, Joab, to become part of a murder, the innocent loyal solider and husband to be killed and other men around him to disguise his murder.


Today death is often the result of an illicit or adulterous affair and an innocent life is often the one to die, the unborn baby. As with the story of David, the murder was done at the hands of another.


But, thanks to Jesus, even this very dark moment has light. There is no sin that Jesus has not died for.


The penalty for adultery was death; the penalty for murder was death.  Jesus paid that price for all those who believe in him and accept him as their savior.  When you think about how selfish and bad this and all of our sins are the more love we must have for Jesus who was sent by God and paid the penalty in our place.  The greater the sin, the greater the love.


Both David and Bathsheba continue with the front and later David took her as his wife.  Well, now they feel that they have handled the situation even though their conscious must be bothering them but no one would know except those involved.  BUT God knew and He was displeased. We may escape the eyes of man but the eyes of God sees all. We may escape the judgment of man but Gods judgment is never to be escaped from.

Heb 4:13              And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (NKJ)


There is no getting away with sin as we will see in the upcoming weeks.





Ex 20:1-17

20 And God spoke all these words, saying:


2 "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.


3 "You shall have no other gods before Me.


4 "You shall not make for yourself a carved image — any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;


5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,


6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.


7 "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.


8 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.


9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,


10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.


11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.


12 "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.


13 "You shall not murder.


14 "You shall not commit adultery.


15 "You shall not steal.


16 "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.


17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's." NKJV

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