Failure and Forgiveness
2 Samuel 11-12
March 9, 2003
A. In last week’s lesson from the death of Uzzah we found that God’s work must be done God’s way. It is not God’s job to make sure our own enterprises survive.
B. Shortly after David learns that lesson and brings the Ark of the Covenant up to Jerusalem, he decided to build a permanent house for the Ark which represented the presence of God. Here he learned another lesson that not all great ambitions are God’s ambitions. The rest of the first section of 2 Samuel is about David’s battles.
C. The second section of this book is centered around David’s failure/forgiveness and the resulting impact upon his family and the nation.
D. How is it that a man after God’s own heart could become an adulterer and a murderer?
I. David’s Sin
A. The setting of sin
1. David was setup for this sin in several ways:
a. David’s wife Abigail was a new widow - 1 Sam. 25
b. David had taken other wives and concubines after he became king: it was a symbol of his wealth and power
2. David was at home: the Bible makes a point to tell us that David was in the wrong place. He should have been out with the troops but he had sent his servants to do a king’s job
3. Bathsheba: she was going through a Jewish ritual cleansing in view of the king’s roof.
4. Gal. 5:16: “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
5. Success over sin is not the size of the temptation but the walk of the believer. e.g. Joseph’s tempt. was certainly more intense…
6. David’s lusts were not satisfied by multiple wives. He got to where it wasn’t so much wanting another women. He got to where he wanted any woman he chose.
B. The steps to sin
1. David was seeing himself as being invulnerable; at home instead of with the troops; he had become a powerful king
2. David saw… the seeing wasn’t the sin. Jesus said that if you look on a woman and lust after her, you are already committing adultery in your heart.
3. David sent and inquired… This is an interesting step. Once the imagination starts, there comes the lie that says, “If you just find out a bit about them the desire will go away.” Then it is, “If you just talk to him/her, the desire will go away.” Next it is, “If you just tell the person what you are feeling, it will go away.” But, none of these things give relief but causes greater internal pressure.
4. Uriah, according to 2 Samuel 23:8, 39, was one of David’s men of valor.
5. Then David “took her” (he saw, he inquired, he took)
6. How could he have done this? He felt at that moment exempt from the law of God.
C. The cover-up of sin
1. David’s sin was bad enough. The cover-up ended up in death, twisted justice in David’s own court and sin within his own household.
a. Bathsheba’s message to David let him know that something had to be done because the law required the death of both the man and the woman.
b. Think for a moment about another lie Satan uses in times of affairs and temptation for affairs, “If your spouse would die, you’d be free.” That is the spirit of murder.
2. Pro. 28:13 “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
3. The upright behavior of Uriah stands in stark contrast to the devious behavior and schemes of David. David even sent a message by Uriah’s own hand knowing he could trust Uriah to not read the letter to Joab which was his own death sentence.
4. Covered sin has a way of expressing itself. Such things cause real psychological damage. Psalm 32:1-5 “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer. I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.”
II. David’s Sin Exposed
A. Nathan’s confrontation
a. We have no idea of how long it took for God to speak to Nathan and for Nathan to come to David, but we believe it had been awhile because of Ps. 32 and because this chapter makes it clear that the baby conceived by the adultery had been born.
b. Nathan’s parable of a poor man with one ewe lamb and the rich man with vast herds. Provoked the anger of covered sin.
c. God’s judgment, “Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.” (2 Sam. 12:10)
B. David’s confession
a. “Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.”
b. “Man after God’s heart” (1 Sam. 13:14) – he repents
III. David’s Sin Judged
A. You reap what you sow
a. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men , especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Gal. 6:7-10
b. Sow to the wind, reap a whirl wind…
c. e.g. Sowing wild oats & then praying for a crop failure
B. Secret sin will be exposed
a. Ecc. 12:14 “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
C. Sin will be judged
a. Forgiveness didn’t remove justice nor did it remove all the years of sowing an ungodly lifestyle within his family.
IV. David’s Sin Forgiven
A. Forgiveness restored relationship
c. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of all our sins.”
B. Forgiveness didn’t release him from judgment here
a. An entire family and a nation are affected by David’s sin.
b. Ammon committed insest; Absolom killed Ammon and later attempts to take over the kingdom and finally Solomon took his father’s sin of multiple wives to a whole new level.
c. Forgiveness does release us from judgment before God