Yeah, that was good, wasn't it? Us. Well, let's jump right into Chapter 11. "Now it came to pass 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.
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. 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?'
Then David sent messengers and took her. And she came to him and lay with him for she was cleansed from her impurity, and she returned to her house. And the woman conceived, so she sent and told David and said, 'I am with child.'"
We have already seen in 10 chapters David's triumphs. Triumph after triumph. First king in Hebron, one tribe only was loyal to him. Then he became king over all of Israel. Then he took Jerusalem, made Mount Zion his capitol. Then his kingdom expanded northward into Syria, eastward over Transjordan all the way to the River Euphrates, in some cases.
We have already met some of David's associates in this book that are associated with his triumphs. We met Abner, who really gave him the kingdom from Saul's household. We have met and continue to see Joab, the commander of his army.
We've met his brother Asahel, who was murdered. Abishai, another brother of Joab's, who fights with him. We met Ishbosheth and his nephew Mephibosheth. That's your homework, is to say that phrase 10 times.
And now we meet David again seemingly. It seems like he's a different guy altogether. We say, is this the same David? The one who as a boy was a tender shepherd and wrote love songs to God, gave Israel its greatest hymnal?
Who stood fearless as a young lad before Goliath, and in the name of God fearlessly stood against that enemy, only here to be slain by his own lusts? Yes, it is unfortunately the same David, a man of great strength, but also as we see here, a man, in many ways, of great weakness.
Chapters 11 and 12-- and probably we'll make it through 11, because of the nature of the chapter-- it's a story not of David's triumph, but of David's transgressions. And I say S, transgressions. It wasn't just that he fell and sinned with Bathsheba. There was a series of sins, one heaped upon another.
Because as we all know by experience, one sin seems to lead to another sin. Especially when you're trying to cover it up, it seems like we can justify anything and it's to no end that we're capable of doing so.
So we go from David's triumphs to David's transgressions. Then the rest of the book tells the rest of the story, David's troubles because of his transgressions. Just how his life-- well, he's king. He continues to be the leader, but life is never the same, even after God forgives him and after he repents.
There are consequences that in David's case, in some of these areas, last a lifetime. So tonight in Chapter 11, we get the story of David committing sin. David covering sin, and David confessing his sin, if we get that far in the story.
Something that we have noticed but we highlight tonight about the Bible, God's word never glosses over God's workers. The Bible is an honest account, is it not? It gives us the true portrait of the individual, warts and all, flaws and all, failures and all.
And so we read about Abraham, the father of faith, who at one period of his life becomes faithless, has to lie about his wife and tell a king down in Egypt, it's my sister. Now we look at that and go, wait a minute, Abe. Where's your great faith, buddy boy? Why, in the New Testament, they're going to hail you as the man of faith, the example of faith. You don't look like you've got much faith in this episode.
You're right. He didn't. He didn't trust God in that episode. Or we look at Moses. He's called the meekest man in all the Earth. And how do we know that? Because Moses said he was.
The meekest man in all the Earth. And yet this humble, meek, sweet leader of Israel, right before the Promised Land, beats upon a rock with his stick. Must I smite this rock to give you water? Because of that, God wouldn't let him into the Promised Land. You know how it goes. You know the story. Because he misrepresented the character of God. God did not have that attitude toward the people, but Moses represented God as having that attitude.
Jeremiah, so mad that God let him preach to a nation and see no results, and then to boot, get put in a miry pit, a dungeon that he finally said, I quit. I don't want to be a prophet anymore. I am now a non-prophet organization.
I quit. I'm not going to speak anymore in the name of the Lord. We look at Elijah, man of great miracles and boldness, courage, afraid of a woman, Jezebel. In fact, depressed, he says, (DEPRESSED VOICE), OK, it's over. I'm going to die right here right now. Take my life, Lord.
So all of these great men and women of the Bible who are noteworthy and exemplary had their moments, failed, needed second chances. And sometimes third and fourth and fifth and sixth, and 34th and 35th and 36th. So the Bible gives an accurate account.
Yet what is interesting is if you look at guys like Abraham through the lens of the New Testament, their flaws aren't really mentioned. If you look at Moses through the lens of the New Testament, like Hebrews 11, flaws aren't mentioned. Why?
Because you see, the Old Testament writes about who they really were as seen through men's eyes. The New Testament tells us who they are as seen through God's eyes.
But there's a new element introduced in the New Testament. We know what it is. It's called grace. And because of what the blood of Jesus Christ can do in cleansing, in changing, in redeeming, in atoning, we have that beautiful portrait. Though the Old Testament tells us what they were really like through man's eyes, we see what God sees because of the atoning work of His son, Jesus Christ.
Tonight in this chapter, there are seasons, seasons of David's life. It begins by saying it's the springtime in Jerusalem. It's the springtime when the kings go to war. And so kind of picking up on that, I want to give you the seasons of David's life.
It was springtime in David's city, but it was a hot summertime in David's thought life. It was one of those late spring evenings where-- there's no air conditioning in Jerusalem a few thousand years ago. He was hot. He couldn't sleep.
He walks outside to get a fresh breeze, no doubt. And he went from springtime in David's city-- and by the way, in David's life, because he is just really growing as king, really blossoming-- to the hot summertime of David's thought life to fall time in David's character to wintertime in David's soul.
Now let me tell you something about sin. Number one, it's expensive, and you'll see it. It costs a lot. And it's the gift that keeps on giving. Oh, you can sin and it will pay you for years to come, dividends that can destroy many lives. It's very expensive.
And number two, there, seems to be a pattern with temptation. The pattern is it promises so much and delivers so little. Satan dresses it up in the nicest wrapping paper, the best package, the most glistening bows. And then you unwrap it and you go--
--for me? And then you get into it, and you're never satisfied with it. And the more you get into it, the worse it gets, and the less satisfied you are with life. Or as has been well said, the more you do as you please, the less you are pleased with what you do. When you live life for self to be satisfied, you end up burned out, man.
But here's something about temptation. It's sort of like a springtime offer. Come and get warmed by this temptation, this sin. It'll feel so good, and you'll be so satisfied.
You know, sort of like television commercials. Buy this toothpaste. Your whole love life will change. Buy these blue jeans. You'll be the most popular person on campus. All lies. And it promises such warmth, but you end up so distant, so alienated, so isolated, so cold inwardly. And that's where David ends up in this chapter.
Bottom line, here's the bottom line, and there always is a bottom line. It's the story of a king who's out of fellowship with the king. And whether you are a king or an accountant, a secretary or a pastor, giving God's word, teaching other people, or a Sunday school teacher, if you're out of fellowship with God, you're dangerous. You're dangerous, especially if you are a representative of God. And there's something in the way. And you're out of fellowship with God, you can be a dangerous individual.
Now something to keep in mind about David, he's not a sexual pervert. He's not a young man running on male hormones. He's about 50 years old. He's in his middle age, and life is just getting good for him. You see, it's the springtime, it says in Verse 1. It came to pass, as it always does, in the spring of the year.
I love Jerusalem. People ask me, when are you going back? We want to go. I mean, people are ready to sign up, even though there could be a war in the Middle East. And honestly, I wish I were in Jerusalem now. This is a great time of the year to be there. I love the spring in Jerusalem.
It was spring in Jerusalem. It was the springtime of the year, but it was also springtime in David's career. He had made his mark. He was blossoming as a leader, you might say. Blossoming. He was a musician. He had been a warrior. Now he's a king. He's expanded the territory. People love him. And he is a mature individual.
Now here's the point. You never reach a plateau where you're immune from temptation. You never get to a point-- well, when I'm this age, I won't be tempted sexually anymore. Or if I get into that career, say, the ministry, if I get into the ministry, then I'll come to a place, this place with God. I'll be so close, so tight. It'll be so good that I'll never fall to those kind of problems.
You know, listen carefully. I believe, because I've watched it over and over again, I believe it is easier to lose your first love with Christ in the ministry than anywhere else. You say, how is that possible? I mean, you read the Bible all day long. You sing all day long, don't you?
Here's why. It's like a mechanic. It's like a guy who loves cars. I love cars, he says. I want to work on them. I love tinkering with them. Boy, life would be great if what is my hobby could become my occupation.
But soon it becomes his occupation. He hangs the sign up. He gets the license. He has the garage. People come to him. People make demands on him. Fix my car. How come it's not done? You said it'd be done at 4:00. It's 6:00. How come you charged me that much? And then he looks at his schedule every day, and he's got work piled up, and no longer is it a joy or a hobby. It's a duty.
And I have watched people in their relationships with God in the ministry begin to deal with the outside of holy things. One person-- it's a great phrase. "There is nothing so deadening," he said, "as those who deal with the outside of holy things." That's a great description, isn't it?
You still go through the motions. You're still dealing with it. You know how to put the sermon together. You know how to do the public prayer, say the right thing. But what's your heart like with God? How's your relationship this way?
It was springtime in David's career, but that's only on the outward. He had a blossoming career. But he also had a budding problem. Lust. Women, right? This isn't new, is it?
Don't think suddenly, David's 50 years old, and he looks at a woman and goes, I'm going to sin. Never happened to me before. I've never been tempted in this area before. I can't believe it's happening. It must be my genetics. No, no, no. This is a pattern with David.
And just in case you may have forgotten, just go back a couple of chapters to Chapter 5. Verse 12. "So David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people, Israel's sake."
And David took more concubines and wives-- plural-- from Jerusalem after he had come from Hebron. So he's already got a few, but he wants more, and he gets more. Also, more sons and daughters were born to David. These are the names of those who were born, and there's a list.
Now some of you are historically intuitive, and you know history. and you're thinking, oh, but Skip. The reason David had all these wives is because it was typical of ancient monarchs to form alliances with other countries by taking women from those countries and marrying them, thus establishing a good, healthy relationship with other neighbors.
Well, that's OK if you're not an Israelite. Because Deuteronomy 17 says, And the king shall not multiply wives unto himself." David sinned against God. It was never God's intention for a person to have more than one wife at a time. This guy had a lot. And his son Solomon went nuts. He had 700 wives.
I can't think of a-- that's a fate worse than death.
Just like having 700 husbands or 700 anything.
Plus he had 300 other concubines and princesses. 1,000 women. Now listen carefully. As David's harem-- and that's really what it was-- grew, his lust grew. Wait a minute, Skip. I don't understand. Wouldn't it make sense that as he gets more women in his life, his lust would be diminished, because he would be more satisfied?
That's just the point. You never are. You never are. Once you go down that path, it is a path that never fulfills, never produces. Oh, it promises, but never produces. The more he got, the more he wanted. And so he got more, but his lust continued to grow. It wasn't quenched. It was fueled.
So back to our story. He's in Jerusalem. It's the spring of the year. Something else to notice. It's the time when the kings go to battle. I know that's an odd phrase, isn't it? (CASUAL VOICE), Well, it's springtime, honey. It's fighting time.
That's right. There's baseball season, football season. They had war season. And it's not as unusual as you think, because the war talk that we've been having on the media and the news and around the world is that if there's going to be an attack, we're going to wait for the spring.
Back then, it was very important to wait for the spring, because there's a thing called the early rain and the latter rain. Or as they say in Hebrew, the yoreh and the malqosh. The yoreh is the early rain, the winter rains. The end rainy season, the malqosh, the latter rain, ends around April, beginning of May. Right after the beginning of May, the ground dries up.
And because you're driving chariots on dirt, you want to make sure that there's no rain. It's just bad stuff to fight in rainy, wet weather. So they wait to the springtime of the year. That's the best time to go out. If you're going to subdue a kingdom and expand your borders, you do it in the spring.
So typically, springtime would be the time David would go out to war. But notice this. "David sent Joab and his servants with him and all of Israel, and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem." David is around 50 years of age. He's older. He'd fought since he was a kid. And no doubt he's thinking, you know what?
I'm stiffer than I used to be. I'm the king. I don't have to-- let the young bucks do this. This is their job. They're good at it. They love it. I'm going to stay home.
Listen. We would think, David, I understand. You've had a long, blossoming career. It's time to relax a little bit. You don't have to go out to battle. Yeah, he does. He really does. Better to be on the battlefield with your buddies than in bed with Bathsheba. And if he had been out on the battlefield with his buddy Joab, Abishai, and the rest, he wouldn't have been in bed with Bathsheba.
At the risk of sounding too much like your grandmother, let me say that idleness is the devil's playground. It's when you put it in cruise control, when you say, I'm just going to hang out and relax, you let your guard down spiritually. You were used to fighting the Lord's battles, but now things are getting just cushy and easy for you.
In two weeks, I'm going to India. And we're going to India. We're going to minister in India. It's hot. It's muggy. There's no air conditioning in India. It's tough to do it. If anybody's been there, you know what it's like. And then flying home through United Arab Emirates, Dubai, and then back home. So it's, I know, odd timing to do that.
But I want to go, especially as I get older, and especially as the ministry becomes more successful. It's important to go out to battle and not lose touch with the third world, with the missionary experience, with the people out on the field. We can become a little too cushy, a little too soft. David did. Everybody went out, but David remained in Jerusalem. He was idle.
"Then it happened one evening, David arose from his bed and walked out on the roof of the king's house. And from the roof, he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful to behold."
Now let me tell you what's happening in terms of seasons. We go from springtime in David's life to a hot summertime in David's thought life. It's Picture a May evening in the Middle East. It's warm. He's tossing and turning. The people are out to battle. He's been wondering about how it's going. He gets up, and he walks out the balcony and he stretches. And there's a woman taking a bath.
Now you're wondering, what on Earth is a naked woman doing out at night in Jerusalem so the guy can see him? Answer. The topography of Jerusalem is such that the hill is bent or the city is built on a bent slope, on a terrace. David being the king and on the top of the hill literally would be looking down at all the houses below him. So I've done this. Not seen a woman bathing--
--in Jerusalem, but--
Words of gold or words of-- well, at least spoken are like apples of gold and settings of silver, and that was just a bad picture I painted for you.
But I stood on the terraced hillsides of the City of David where the houses are still built like this, and you get the idea. It would be very easy for David to see into the courtyard, the rooftop, and this woman, probably late at night thinking, nobody's up, nobody's out, and there's just maybe candlelight or firelight, is out taking a bath. That's where it was done. Now yes, she could have been more discreet, and she wasn't. But David went out and he saw.
But there's two words I want you to notice. "He saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold." Two different words suggesting two entirely different things. The first, "saw," suggests a glance. Now every man can relate to this. He couldn't help it. "He saw." She walked into his sight. He flipped the channel, and there she was. But the word "behold" does not suggest a glance, but a gaze.
Now David had a choice. He could have thought, not good, and done this. He could have walked right back into the house, but he didn't. Nobody's around. Nobody's looking. Well, sort of.
And so he looked, and he went from a glance to a gaze. You can't help the glance. You can help the gaze. Because one leads to another, and that inflamed him with lust. Because what he saw, what he gazed at, he wanted. And it says, then he "took her" later on in this chapter, just a few verses down.
"From the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold. 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?'"
It was said well before our study, men, be careful with your eyes. Why? Because Jesus said, "Whoever looks at a woman to lust after her in his heart has already," at that moment of seizing and mentally undressing, "is already an adulterer in his heart." That's the first step. That's what leads down the path, just like hatred to murder, et cetera. And that's why Job said, "I have made a covenant with my eyes. Why then should I gaze upon a young woman?"
When a man looks at a beautiful form of a woman, because of the way God wired him, all sorts of chemical reactions take place in the brain, chemical electrical stimulations. He is visually wired. It's the way God made you.
You need to know the way God made you, because you have control of the circuit breaker, the switch. Now you can sit there and go, (EXCITED VOICE) I can't help it. I'm wired this way.
OK. Go gush! And it's over. I've heard guys give the lamest excuses. (ENTHUSIASTIC VOICE) Well, she's a beautiful creation of God. I mean, look at her. I mean, God knew what he was doing when he made that woman. And all I'm doing, in honor of my creator, is appreciating His creation.
Oh, really? Do you look at trees the same way?
I don't think so. You don't have the same electrical chemical stimulation when you look at those things, but you're wired this way. But you have control, and I have control of the switch, the circuit breaker. The circuit breaker for David, about face, go inside, go back to bed, buddy boy.
But he didn't. He imagined. And that's the fantasy part of it. Even though Dr. Ruth says, (GERMAN ACCENT) Fantasy is not bad. It's OK. It's natural. She doesn't know what she's talking about. Tune her out.
It matters a great deal. In fact, because it wasn't a well-lit area and there was probably a light fire or a candlelight, probably David didn't see a lot more than what David did see, and a lot of what was in the imagination of his own mind. He played with it, fantasized with it.
I've read some things on this, and some suggest that you can't lay the blame completely on David. After all, Bathsheba was out there, outside. So if somebody did wake up-- and she can't suppose everybody would be in bed at that time. And maybe she was even having a bad relationship with her hubby, Uriah. And maybe she did this to entice David, knowing that David is restless when he's not at war.
It could be. And if that's the case, let me make an application. Women, you can help us out a little bit here. Especially as it's coming to the springtime literally here and the summertime here, dress in such a way as to not encourage the electrical chemical stimulations. I'm not saying wear a burka.
But I am saying, dress modestly. Help us out a little bit here. Don't dress provocatively so that men notice you and then walk around going, I don't know what they're looking at.
Arthur W. Pink said, "If lustful looking is so grievous as sin, then those who dress and expose themselves with the desire to be looked at and lusted after are not less, but perhaps more guilty." In this matter, it is not only too often the case that men sin, but women tempt them to do so.
How great then must be the guilt of the great majority of modern misses who deliberately seek to arouse the sexual passions of young men. So gals, be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Think about that when you get dressed.
Now that's not to take David off the hook here, because you know what? David is the one who has the blame laid squarely at his feet by Nathan. Not her. David had the power. He was the king. He made the move. Verse 3. Boy, we're not going fast, are we?
David "saw," David "beheld," David "sent" and "inquired." Notice the steps downward from fantasy to action. Someone said, oh, oh, this is God's grace. Listen to this. This is God's grace. Listen to the response. Somebody said something to him. Said, isn't this somebody's daughter? And isn't this somebody's wife?
I think that was God's warning to him. God's warning him, David, that's not just a woman. That's somebody's daughter you're messing with. That somebody's wife you're toying with in your brain.
That's a good thing to remember. It's a good thing if you're dating, if you're younger and you're dating somebody. The girl you're dating, young man, is somebody's daughter. The girl you're dating, young man, will eventually be somebody's wife. Treat her like you want your wife in the future to have been treated.
David heard that, but he paid no attention to the relationship, the warning. God was trying to warn him. "David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him and lay with him, for she was cleansed from her impurity." This is a biblical legal thing which is ironic to me.
She's OK from her impurity biblically, but she's going to sleep with the king. "And she returned to her house. And the woman conceived, so she sent and told David and said, 'I am with child.'"
I want to speak very bluntly with you, candidly. Can I? You're used to that. The night that David spent with Bathsheba must have been exciting, enjoyable, wondrous. Ah, forbidden fruit. Nobody's around. This is the middle of the night. This is great. I don't think he had a frown on his face when he was sleeping in bed with her. I think he was exhilarated and excited.
Listen, sin is a blast. Wait a minute. You're a preacher. You can't say that. Yes, I can. The Bible says so. Don't you think if sin was a bummer, nobody would do it.
The fact that it is exciting is why people do it. There's the catch again. The lure is out. Oh, this is going to be satisfying. This will warm you. No, it'll make you so isolated and cold and awkward and miserable.
Because you see, there's a scripture that talks about Moses who made a decision to suffer affliction with the people of God, Hebrews 11, rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season or the temporary, fleeting pleasures of sin. Sin is pleasurable, but just for a time. Just for a minute. Just for a season.
When I used to take drugs, oh, man. It was great. The buzz was outstanding. Until you woke up the next day or until it wore off, or you got a bad acid trip. Or you got arrested. And you felt alienated and isolated, miserable.
And sin is expensive. Why? He lost his integrity as a leader. He lost his fidelity as a husband. He lost his honesty and standing as a dad. He ruined everything. But it was fun! But his whole life will be marred by that momentary passing pleasure. And now she's pregnant. "I'm with child."
Ah, David thinks quickly. He's a thinker. So he goes, oh, well, she's the wife of Uriah the Hittite. He's out at battle with Joab Spring him on home. Now here's his mine. Here's his warped mind. One sin leads to another. Now the rest of the chapter is the cover-up.
David think, I know what I'll do. This guy's road weary, battle weary. I'm going to bring him home as if to ask him, how's the battle going? How's my buddy Joab? I've just called you home so you can be my ambassador. And while you're home, why don't you go home. Here's a food basket. Go sleep with your wife. Go enjoy the pleasures of marriage.
In fact, in Verse 8, "David said to Uriah, 'Go down to your house and wash your feet.'" You go, that's sort of an odd thing to say. "Go wash your feet." You think, that's what a mom would say to her son. "Go wash your feet."
But you have to understand the biblical context. People would wash their feet at night before they went to bed. He's saying, go home. Clean up. Enjoy sexual pleasures with your wife. That's what the idiom means. But Uriah, Verse 9, slept at the door of the king's house with the servants of his Lord and didn't go down to the house.
David was told about this. Didn't set well with him. And he asked him about it. Look at verse 11. "Uriah said to David--" just put yourself in David sandals. Here you are listening to this. "'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.'"
Do you hear what he's saying? David? No, no, no. Picture yourself as David. You didn't go to battle. You're at home in the palace. He's saying, David, what right do I have to stay in this beautiful palace when my troops are out in the field? Ooh, arrow to his heart. Because that's where David should have been, out on the battlefield, not lazing around a palace.
David heard it. He pushed away the conviction, as we often do when God points His finger at us through all sorts of warning signs. I see it all through the chapter. David said to Uriah, wait here today also, and tomorrow, I'll let you depart. So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next.
Now when David called him, he ate and drank before him, and he made him drunk. OK, here is the man after God's own heart. Looking, lusting, committing adultery. A cover-up plan of lies and deception. Now he's getting the guy loaded.
And at evening, he went out to lie in his bed with the servants of his Lord, but he didn't go down to his house. Then in the morning, it was so that David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. Let me sum it up.
Joab, hope everything's well in the battle. You're doing a good job, buddy boy. Hey, listen. When you go to war against this city, place this Uriah the Hittite guy who is holding the very letter and put him up in the heat of the battle, and make sure that he's in a place with the infantry that he's close enough for the enemy to get at so that if he dies in the battle, well, he dies. But make sure that he's up there at a place where it would be easier for him to get killed.
So he goes from lust to adultery to deception to getting the guy loaded to conspiring murder. One sin is leading to another. There's no end to this deception.
So we go from springtime in David's life to the hot summertime of David's thought life, to fall time in David's character. Now to the wintertime in David's soul. He's feeling now, as you'll see, pushed away and isolated because look down. Verse 24. Let me fill in the blanks.
Uriah the Hittite gets killed. It's what David wanted. Whew, he thought. Her husband's dead. She's pregnant. This is great. He's dead now. So nobody can say anything. Nobody knows. I've covered it up.
Joab sends back to David a letter. Tell David that we incurred many casualties in this battle. It's not been a good scene here. But knowing David, he's going to get upset and say, why didn't you do this? Why didn't you do that? So when he does that, just drop this line. Oh, and by the way, Uriah the Hittite is dead also. He'll know what it means.
Guy goes back, not knowing what's been transpiring. Verse 24, "The archers shot from the wall at your servants." This is from the messenger now to David's ears. "And some of the king's servants are dead, and your servant, Uriah the Hittite, is dead also." Maybe this messenger thought David was going to put his head in his hands and go--
--Uriah, my friend. But listen to it. "David said to the messenger, 'Thus you shall say to Joab, do not let this thing displease you, for this sword devours one as well as another.'" Oh, Mr. Philosophy.
Acting so aloof and indifferent. Not remorseful at all for what he's done. "Strengthen your attack against the city and overthrow it, and so encourage him."
When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah, her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. David didn't. She did, of course. And when her mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son. Oh, you know, life is just going on peachy keen.
But look at the last verse, the last sentence, the last line. "But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord." Let those words sink in. David was out on the rooftop, looking out. Nobody was there, he thought. Except, well, one. And he doesn't get away with it. This thing displeased the Lord. He's out of fellowship with God. He's not in communication with God. It's the cold wintertime of David's soul.
In Proverbs, Chapter 5, the 21st verse, "Whoever covers his sin," Solomon said, will not prosper. "But whoever confesses it and forsakes it will find mercy."
Now David does not do that at first. In fact, David doesn't do it until he's busted. And sometimes I pray that God will bust people. because it's at that point of being busted that their heart seems to just melt and break, and the confession is so good once it's out and dealt with. They try to cover it up, thinking, I don't want anybody to know.
But once somebody does know and they're busted and they confess their sin, it's such a relief. And we'll see next week what a relief it becomes to this guy. It's a relief. And so I do pray, Lord, in your creative way, go get him. Bust him. I pray that when somebody speeds by me.
Do you ever pray that? Oh, come on. You do. You're doing the speed limit, sort of. And--
They go, like, 85, and they're zooming in and out and people are pulling over, and he almost hit the guy in the white van, and they go on. And you think, where are the police when you need them? Lord, please send one in Jesus' name to pull him over. Throw him in jail for life even.
That's human nature, but God, of course, is merciful, as he is here, but definite and persistent and goes after David, as we'll see in the next chapter. Sin is expensive. That's where we started. That's where we end. It's expensive for David. It ruins David's fellowship with God, it ruins David's family.
It's expensive for his family, because his wives, his children are going to find out. It's expensive for Bathsheba. She loses her husband. It's expensive for Uriah. He loses his life. It's expensive for the army and Joab. He loses his men. It's never contained, is it? Oh, but it was so fun. For a moment. For you. For her. But there are repercussions, as are seen in his life.
There was a guy and his wife in a shopping mall. They were shopping, walking from store to store. And a curvaceous young woman walks in the man's path. He could have just gone like this, the other way. But instead, he follows her and sizes her up, and looks and looks, and his wife's standing there. And when it was all over, his wife said, was it all worth the trouble you're now in?
Is it all worth the trouble we're in with God? The fellowship we break with Him? You'll discover something about this king. When he comes right down to it and he realizes how bad his sin was and that he's hurt a lot of people, he also understands that he has hurt the heart of God. And he says in Psalm 51, "Against thee and thee only have I sinned and done this in your sight."
Well, get this. As a setup for next week, a year passes between this chapter and the next. He goes for a year in misery, holding on, covering up, thinking, it'll pass. I'll sweep it under the rug.
When he finally confesses-- and we'll show you what happens when he does-- it's like a dam that has been broken and the waters flood through the waters of mercy, forgiveness, and relief for David when it's finally out in the open and it's dealt with. A year passes between this chapter and Chapter 12. And next week for communion, we'll get into this chapter. I originally thought we'd do two tonight, but you know me.
As we close, let me just tell you how it works. Because God loves you, and because the Holy Spirit lives within you in a holy kind of a jealousy-- our God is a jealous God, the Bible says. That's a good attribute when you're in love.
Whenever your life wanders, God gives you warnings, like he did with David. Red flags go up in your conscience at first, if you have a tender one. If you're good at lying and deceiving and being hypocritical, you may not be sensitive to those signs at first. So God will get a little more creative, more pronounced to get your attention.
If you ignore those warning signs, then God has to get rough. Case in point, Jonah. OK, Jonah. You want to play hardball? I've got a lot of sea creatures who will obey me, even if you won't. And Jonah, if you want to play this game and you want to keep going and keep lying, soon you're going to be so down in the mouth--
--so sick to your stomach and the sea creature's stomach. But I'll get your attention, because Jonah, I love you, and I have a plan for you yet. So what game do you want to play? It's like your dashboard in your car. You all have one, but you may not look at it very often. There's a thing on there called a speedometer--
--and some of your cars have little odometers and temperature gauges. And sometimes lights go on. This last week, a light went on in my dashboard. It's a service engine. Now the car's six years old, so I said, OK. I'll service the engine. I could have done one of two things. Number one, paid attention to the light, service the engine. Or number two, I could carry a hammer with me in the car. And if that ornery little light dares come on--
Busted. And you know what? The light won't be on anymore. I could drive down the road and not be bothered by that light. We can do that with our consciences. We can do that with the spirit of God. And if we do, God is both patient-- he waited a year-- but persistent. He sent a prophet.
And your sin will find you out, because God loves you. Say, God loves me? That's God's love? Oh, yeah. God loves you the way you are. But listen. God loves you too much to leave you the way you are. That's love.
God wants all of you. So will you surrender tonight? Will you say, Lord, I'm laying this down, this part of my life, that area that you've been trying to get a hold of my attention on. The lights on the dashboard have been flashing. I surrender. Or you go, no. OK. Smash the light. God has whales--
Prophets. And next week, I want to tell you a story how God used somebody in my life who I thought knew nothing about what I was secretly doing at one time to expose me in a way that God could really heal my life. That's next week. Let's pray. Heavenly Father--
--hard to imagine that we're dealing with that guy you said was a man after your own heart. We're shocked and were comforted.
We're comforted, Lord, because he was a man, a king, a leader, a worship warrior. And yet he failed. And you pursued him, as David even wrote. "Goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life." Thank you, Lord, that you are the ultimate "Hound of Heaven." And you pursue us, because in our surrender, we find freedom. In our abandonment to you, we find solace.
Some of us tonight, Lord, are in a prison of self-will. Even as David built that beautiful house with its beautiful walls and it became not a castle, but a prison of lust and alienation from people and from you.
And so Lord, may we tonight be free to confess before you, and if need be, brothers and sisters our sin. In fact, you said to confess our faults one to another, that we might be healed. Some of us can't be healed, Lord, unless in accountability we share with somebody the very problem and issue we're dealing with.
Oh, they need to be friends. They need to hold confidence. But we need to do that. Could be our wife or our husband. But Lord, help us, your church, to live in the light and to walk in the light.
And finally, Father, in this moment as we're talking about a king out of fellowship with you, the king, it could be that tonight in this very room are people who are out of fellowship with God. Truth be told, they've never really had fellowship with God. They have been religious. They have been moral and upright. They have held values and made choices that are good ones.
But Lord, all along you want them to be born again. You want their heart. You want to set them free from the prison of themselves and give them new life. Extend your mercy. Whatever our sin is or sins are, the real issue is, Lord, have we had our sins forgiven by Christ? Have we brought our life under the blood of Jesus Christ? Have we have repented? Have we come to you? Or are we guilty of the ultimate sin of rejecting Christ?
Father, I would pray, if somebody is here tonight who needs to just get saved, come to you, be born again, that they would receive the gift of eternal life tonight, whether they're watching by television or hearing by radio or here in this room. And as we're praying, before we close with this last song and you're dismissed, if you're gathered here tonight, I want you to search your heart, every one of us, do you know Jesus personally? Do you know Him? Do you walk with Him and love Him and obey Him? Are you dealing with the outsides of holy things, or is it real?
If it's not, if you would be honest enough to admit tonight, I'm not born again, I'm not sure that if I were to die I'd go to Heaven, you can be sure. But you must receive the gift. God holds it out to you. It's called eternal life. It's through His son Jesus. But you've got to receive it. And the only way to receive it is to receive Jesus.
And here's the deal. You need to be willing to repent. Turn from your sin and turn to Him, aligning yourself with Him, and he'll give you the power to obey Him. If you want that, if you want to do that, I want you to raise your hand up as we're praying for you.