King David was a sinner who repented.  We can find God’s forgiveness when we repent.  It is not being perfect it is about being willing to admit you were wrong and accept responsibility.

2 Samuel 11

Once there was 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.

First, we are tempted to sin and choose to do so.

Second, our sin affects others.

Third, there are consequences to our sinful choices.

We see all these things at work in this week’s Bible reading.

David is King and reigning in Jerusalem all is going well. Nations around Israel were defeated and afraid.  Nothing could bring him down – God was on his side.  King David was gracious – even giving Saul’s land back to Saul’s grandson.

2 Samuel 9:9  Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. 10  You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.”

David was truly a man after God’s own heart.

But you know what is said – Pride comes before the fall (Proverbs 16:18).

David had it all but he even wanted more – he thought that he could take whatever he wanted.

We know what is about to happen but let’s see where King David went wrong.

First I will contend it was his attitude.  He didn’t go to war with his troops and he was napping in the afternoon.

He had become complacent as King and negligent in his worship of God.  This left him vulnerable to temptation maybe even seeking to sin because he had become bored with his seven wives (2 Samuel 3:2 plus Michal).

I say this because you don’t do what David did if you are seeking the Lord.  He smashed through walls of protection to sin, even when we was warned, even when he had to create new plans.

It is one thing to sin it is another thing to premeditate your sin and when there are road blocks to keep you from sin you drive through them so you can sin.  That is what King David did.  Sometimes that is what we do.

2 Samuel 11:1  In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the whole Israelite army. …But David remained in Jerusalem.

That was his first mistake.

His second mistake was gazing at Bathsheba.

2 Samuel 11:2  One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful,

He was not wrong in walking around on the palace roof during the late afternoon.  His mistake was seeing the woman bathing and looking long enough to know she was beautiful.  David could have seen what was happening and turned his head and went back inside.  But he lusted.

Many scholars say Bathsheba should have known better than to be bathing on her roof during the daylight in view of the palace.  Did Bathsheba have impure motives or did she just have a lapse in judgment.

Two points

Ladies, dress modestly.

Don’t have your motives questioned by what you wear or how you present yourself to others.

Men, keep your eyes on your own wife.  If you are not married keep your eyes to yourself.  In our sexualized society that is getting harder so be like Job and make a covenant.

Job 31:1  “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.

Remember what Jesus said,

Matthew 5:27  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28  But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

David knew better and had even written:

Psalm 34:12  Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, 13  keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. 14  Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. 15  The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry; 16  the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

This is why I believe David had backslidden in his relationship with God.  He was not growing and trusting the Lord like he once did.  That is why he cared more about his pleasure than being obedient to God.

King David had already committed adultery in his heart – that is sinful enough and hurtful enough but he pushed forward to sin more.

David’s third mistake was sending for Bathsheba

David should have gone inside and repented instead he went inside and found a servant to go get her.

2 Samuel 11:3  David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4  Then David sent messengers to get her.

The servant tried to warn David

She is a married woman and her husband is one of your Mighty Men (2 Samuel 23:39).

King David didn’t care – He wanted what he wanted.  He did not care that it was a sin against God, against his faithful soldier, against his family and against Bathsheba.

2 Samuel 11:4  Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home. 5  The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”

David’s fourth mistake was the cover up.

The cover up always seems to be worse than the original crime.

What we find out is that Uriah is a man of integrity, he is faithful to God and his king.

David tried to get him to go home and be with his wife but he wouldn’t.

2 Samuel 11:10  When David was told, “Uriah did not go home,” he asked him, “Haven’t you just come from a distance? Why didn’t you go home?” 11  Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my master Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open fields. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and lie with my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!”

David’s first plan failed

Plan 2 – get Uriah drunk so he will go home – even drunk Uriah was more righteous than David.

Did David get angry or was he under conviction?  It didn’t matter he was intent to cover up his sin so he came up with a third plan.  Another sin to cover up the first sin.

It seems that David was trying to protect his reputation among the people.  King David could have taken Bathsheba as a wife, most would not have given it a second thought.

Plan 3 –

2 Samuel 11:14  In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15  In it he wrote, “Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”

Uriah was an honest man and didn’t not suspect anything – because he was faithful to his King he delivered his own death note.

David was relieved when he heard the news that Uriah and others were dead in the battle.

2 Samuel 11:25  David told the messenger, “Say this to Joab: ‘Don’t let this upset you; the sword devours one as well as another.’

David’s glibness in the face of his own men dying is a tragic commentary to the hardness of David’s heart.

2 Samuel 11:17  When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.

Now that Uriah was dead and he married the grieving widow Bathsheba the cover up was complete.

But King David had become no better than King Saul – Great leaders who fell into sin.

There is one difference and that is the difference that makes David a man after God’s own heart.

David was willing to repent when he was confronted with his sin.

 

The Prophet Nathan came to King David and told him a story of a man who took something that was not his.

Was Nathan scared to go to King David like Ananias (Acts 9:10) was afraid to speak to Saul the persecutor of Christians?

Would you be afraid to confront someone in sin?  I am glad God has not sent me like He sent Nathan.

2 Samuel 12:1  The LORD sent Nathan to David.

Oops! The Lord sends us also (Matthew 18:15; Jude 1:22,23; James 5:19,20)

Galatians 6:1  Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2  Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

When you confront someone in gentleness about their sin they may not respond like King David – but we pray they do.  David wrote Psalm 51 after Nathan confronted him.  If you want to learn how to repent study Psalm 51.

Psalm 51:1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2  Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. 3  For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4  Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.

When we sin do we understand that we are sinning against God?

Sinning is slapping God in the face – saying, “I don’t care what you think.”

Do you understand that your sin affects many other people?

Don’t be like David – repent quickly – God will forgive (1 John 1:8, 9).

God’s forgiveness doesn’t remove the consequences of your sin.

Your guilt before God is removed but the suffering caused by sin to yourself and others remain.

 

When David recognized his sin and accepted responsibility for his sin he cried out to God.  David relied on God’s great love to wash away his sin.

As a Christian when we recognize and accept responsibility for our sin we can rely on God’s loving faithfulness also.

1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

If you have never cried out to God for forgiveness then follow what Peter said to the first people to realize they had sinned against God.

Acts 2:38  Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Will you repent of your sin?  Will you come and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and receive God the Holy Spirit?

Come as we sing – Have Thine Own Way, Lord