2 Samuel 1-24 - The Bible from 30,000 Feet - Skip Heitzig - Flight 2SAM1
The Bible From 30,000 Feet-- Soaring Through the Scripture From Genesis to Revelation.
Let's have a word of prayer. Father, we thank you for a time where we can gather together in the middle of our week. We can push thoughts aside. We have prepared our hearts to seek You. We have told You that we need You and that we love You through our worship.
Lord, our worship doesn't end. It continues. It continues as we hear Your voice like the young prophet Samuel, who said, "Speak, Lord, Your servant hears."
Speak to us that we might hear Your voice. Maybe it's a clear word of encouragement because some of us, Lord, have been discouraged by the events of the past few weeks. For others, Lord, it might be a word of admonition or instruction for others.
Still for some of us, Lord, it might be a firm rebuke, like a neon flashing sign, a warning sign perhaps in David's own life, for he wasn't perfect. Whatever it is, Lord, though we know many of these stories, I pray that beyond the stories we would hear You calling us to, as we just sang, know You deeper and better as Your children. For we ask in Jesus' name, Amen.
I want to give you three words to begin tonight with-- triumphs, transgressions, troubles. Can you say those words with me?
Triumphs, transgressions, troubles.
Now, if you add one other word to those three words, and that is the word David's, now you have the entire outline of the book of 2 Samuel. David's triumphs, David's transgressions, David's troubles-- that is the message outline of this book. Chapters 1 through 10, all about David's triumphs, the expansion of the kingdom.
Beginning in chapter 11 on into chapter 12, we have David's transgressions. We know about those. Most of us have read the stories before.
Chapters 13 to the end of the book, chapter 24, are what happens after that, David's troubles. David's triumphs, transgressions, and troubles. That's the book of 2 Samuel. We can pray and go home now. No, we'll go a little bit deeper.
David's importance in biblical history cannot be underestimated. There are 62 chapters in the Bible devoted to David, or 1,118 verses ascribed to that single person. He is mentioned more often than any person except one. And that one person is whom? Jesus Christ. David is mentioned second to that.
So 62 chapters in the Bible devoted to one person. By way of comparison, Abraham is written about in 14 chapters, Joseph written about in 14 chapters, Jacob 11 chapters, Elijah the prophet less than 10 chapters. So we cannot underestimate the importance of David who was a shepherd and became a King.
His importance can be reflected in some of these phrases. Let me read them to you. City of David, star of David, lineage of David, seed of David, house of David, tabernacle of David, offspring of David, and root of David.
Now, I know we're in 2 Samuel. But if you don't mind, turn in your Bibles to begin in the book of Psalms. If you don't want to turn there, I've already done that for you. I'll read it to you.
But in Psalm 78, beginning in verse 67, it's a psalm not written by David. You'll see why that is important. It's written by Asaph.
In Psalm 67 of Psalm 78, he said, "Moreover, he rejected the tent of Joseph and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim, but chose that as the Lord chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion, which he loved. And he built his sanctuary like the heights, like the earth, which he established forever. He also chose David, his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds, from following the ewes that had young. He brought him to shepherd Jacob his people and Israel his inheritance. So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands."
David was once a shepherd in a field. He then became a servant to the King. He then became the sovereign to the very nation itself, the King of Israel, Israel's second King.
Now, you know David's story. When David begins coming on the scene, he's overlooked because his father didn't even think he was important enough to add to the lineup of his sons from which the prophet Samuel could pick the next king. He said, bring all your boys in here. He brought them all in except one. And that was David, left him out in the sheep fields. So he was an overlooked runt to begin with.
But God set His affection on him. And he is called twice in scripture a man after God's own heart. That's how most of us know him from that simple phrase mentioned only twice. David, a man after God's own heart.
I don't want you to think by that phrase that that means perfect. He was not Superman. It wasn't kryptonite that could put him down. He was just a regular old guy with lots of flaws which are highlighted in this book. A man after God's own heart-- one translation simply says a man to fulfill God's purposes. That's what he was.
Well, as we open up to 2 Samuel chapter 1, to get our bearings-- and by the way, this is again 30,000 feet. So we're just going to be hovering over, noticing some things. I'm expecting you to glance down. I'll have you look at a verse here and a verse there. And we'll work our way through the book.
The story ended in 1 Samuel where King Saul, Israel's first King, had fallen in a battle on Mount Gilboa, slain by the enemy, not only Saul, but Saul's sons-- not all of them, but three of them on Mount Gilboa. A messenger goes all the way to the Camp of David to give David the news to announce that King Saul had died. When David hears the news, even though he had been hunted by Saul for over a decade, far from David going yippee, ding dong, the witch is dead, in chapter 1 verse 17, "then David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan, his son."
Now, this marks the greatness of David. Not seeking revenge, not rejoicing to see Saul dead even though Saul hated him and hunted him and tried to kill him over and over again, but he wept over the very one that had rejected him. Does that prefigure anybody that you know of? The greater son of David, Jesus will weep over the very city that seeks to crucify him many years later.
Jesus said-- it's one of the hardest things Jesus ever said, by the way. Love your enemies. That looks good on paper. But revenge is a lot more fun. And it's hard to love people when they are so unlovely toward us.
And wouldn't you probably agree that that is the mark of maturity? You know that you're really growing in Christ when you can love your enemies. David loved Saul.
Verse 25, he says, "How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle." Speaking of his friend Jonathan, "Jonathan was slain in your high places," speaking of Mount Gilboa. Now, back in 1 Samuel chapter 18, there's a great little phrase that says Jonathan and David-- their soul was knit together. They were in unison. They were closely bound to each other as close friends.
Verse 26, he continues, "I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan. You have been very pleasant to me. Your love to me was wonderful, surpassing the love of women."
Now, I've heard this verse misused by a number of different people, a number of different groups, trying to twist it to make it mean a number of things that had no idea that somebody would even think it could mean. But what does he mean when he says that your love is like that which surpasses women? Well, keep in mind that David was married to Jonathan's sister, a girl by the name of Michal. Do you remember that? It was not a great relationship, first of all.
First of all, he won her in a contest. So you know things aren't really great at home. And they never were. She never really-- her soul never really knit to David's. She was always aloof and standoffish and spurned David's love later on.
So Saul had a plan to use his daughter Michal, the sister of Jonathan, to ensnare David. So for David to say that your love to me was wonderful, surpassing the love of women, in that context, you get it. But I want to make note of something beyond that superficial. David was a success in his career, his professional life. He was an abject failure at home.
Where David failed was his family. And you can be the king of a nation but fail in your family. And the woe and misery that will fall after that is incalculable. It's not worth it. David probably would be the first to say that.
So the Bible, including this book-- and this book highlights David first and foremost-- shows you good and bad altogether, doesn't hide a thing. By the way, David had eight wives. Can I just say, one's enough. And one husband is enough. Amen, women?
Right? You've got to put up with just one. That's a lifetime.
Eight wives-- let me rephrase that. David had eight wives that we know about, the ones that are recorded in the Bible. He had many women. And his son Solomon will take that to the nth degree later on.
Well, we get back to the story. And God instructs David to go to the Judean city of Hebron, a beautiful town. We don't take groups there anymore because it's quite dangerous nowadays. But back then it was beautiful. And it was one of the central areas in Judah.
So he goes there because there he is going to be coronated the King not of the nation right now, but the King of Judah. So in chapter 2 verse 4, "Then the men of Judah came. And there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, the men of Jabesh Gilead were the ones who buried Saul."
David has three annointings. You say, what? Wait a minute. I've read the Bible. He only has two.
No, read the fine print. First was a private coronation. That was that day he was almost overlooked by his father, when Samuel went to the house of Jesse and finally David came in. And there Samuel poured that horn of oil over David and anointed him as the next king.
It's not until now that he gets his first public coronation. So this is the second one. One was a private one. This is the first public one. He will have a third. And that will be ordained and crowned the king over all of Israel.
So he's in Hebron, the southern kingdom. Remember, that's down south of Judah. They recognized him as the king. But it's not a done deal yet.
Saul died. And three of his sons died with him. But not all of his sons died. And there is one who is left by the name of Ish-bosheth, Ish-bosheth He is still alive. And a guy by the name of Abner-- I'll get to him in a moment-- crowns him as king over the 11 tribes.
Now, there are a couple of people in this book we're not going to spend a lot of time on. But I'll mention them because they're important. One is named Joab. The other is named Abner. And you'll see them in conflict throughout this book.
Joab was the commander in chief of David's army. Abner was the commander in chief of Saul's army. And because Saul is dead, doesn't want to lose his job or his position, so he takes somebody from the house of Saul, that is Ish-bosheth, and said you're the next king.
Now a conflict begins, a 70-year conflict, the first civil war in Israel between David in the south and Ish-bosheth, son of Saul, in the north. In chapter 3 verse 1, now there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. But here's a key revelation. David grew stronger and stronger. And the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.
So now Abner, commander in chief of Saul and Ish-bosheth-- Abner sees the handwriting on the wall, so to speak. He knows that this isn't going to work out, that all of Israel is not going to stand behind Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul. So he wants to negotiate with David a peaceful handover of the kingdom to him.
So now after seven years, after David has been seven years King in Judah, David manages to unite the nation north and south. And he is made King over all, chapter 5 verse 1. "Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and spoke, saying, indeed, we are your bone and your flesh. Also in time past, when Saul was King over us, you were the one who led Israel out and brought them in. And the Lord said to you, you shall shepherd my people Israel and be ruler over Israel."
So now the word is out. Now it's public knowledge that at one time Samuel the prophet went to the house of Jesse and chose David, a man after God's own heart, to lead the people, to shepherd the people. Now everybody knows that. They say that to him in Hebron.
"Therefore," verse 3, "all the elders of Israel came to the King at Hebron. And King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord. And they anointed David king over Israel."
David was 30 years old when he began to reign. And he reigned for 40 years. Are you kidding me? 30 years old and he's ruling a nation? I mean, for some of us, that sounds absurd.
The youngest president in American history was Roosevelt, 42 years of age when he became president. The second was John Fitzgerald Kennedy. He was 43. 30 years old in charge of a nation. That's just a matter of perspective.
And he reigned, it says, for 40 years. Now, what David does next is secure a capital. He's been in Hebron. He does not want Hebron to be the capital. He wants Jerusalem to be the capital.
And come to find out, that is what God wanted as well. God always promised that He was going to have a special place. And He would make that place the banner place to issue forth His great name from. That is the city of Jerusalem.
Here's the problem. At this point, Jerusalem isn't called Jerusalem. It's called Jebus, J-E-B-U-S.
It's called Jebus because it's overrun by a group called Jebusites. It's a Jebusite stronghold. Jebusites were one of the Canaanite tribes leftover from the old days. It's an area that Joshua never took when they came in and conquered the land.
It happens to be strategically located. It's strategically located for a couple of reasons. Number one, it's got-- it's on a hill. And it's got valleys down below it and hills on the other side of it. So there's hills and valleys, which makes it natural for fortification.
If you're up on a hill, you put a wall around it. If an enemy comes, he has to go down the hill, through the valley, up your hill. And by that time, you're shooting down at him. You have a strategic vantage point.
This is why the Bible will often refer to Jerusalem as a metaphor of strength. One of my favorite psalms, Psalm 125, it's a song that we sometimes sing when we're in Israel. If you come, I'll teach you the tune.
"Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion." That's the central hill where the temple will later on be built and the city was originally built upon. "Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people from this time forth, even forever more."
So because it had this very unique location, a stronghold easily defensible, number one. Number two, ancient cities to be of any viable use, to be of any value had to have a water source. Jerusalem happened-- happens to have great water source. At the time it was called the Gihon Spring. If you come with us to Israel, I can take you to the Gihon Spring. It is still flowing and producing water.
So this water spout, this Gihon Spring was used. And one of the kings later on named Hezekiah is going to build a tunnel to bring the water from outside the wall to the inside of the wall. And it goes from the Gihon Spring, this tunnel-- you can walk the entire length of the tunnel that Hezekiah built in the Old Testament. And it will drop you off into what you know-- you know it from you reading your Bible-- a pool called the Pool of Siloam where Jesus healed a man. So the water was brought in in ancient times.
In verse 6, "And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who spoke to David, saying, 'You shall not come in here. But the blind and the lame will repel you,'" thinking David cannot come in here. Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion that is the City of David.
There are a couple of scriptural texts that speak of David overtaking Jerusalem. One is 1 Samuel. Another-- or 2 Samuel. The other is in 1 Chronicles.
But here's the deal. Because of the natural fortification-- so let's just picture I'm in the City of David. I'm in Jebus. I'm in Jerusalem. I've got walls up here.
You're down in the valley. You've got to come up the hill. It does not take much effort for me to keep my city safe from your attack. All I gotta do is throw a stone down at you, roll a rock, throw oil at you, right, because I'm up here.
In fact, I don't even need to be there. I can get blind people and land people. And somebody just says, OK. And they throw a rock down.
This is how prideful the Jebusites were. We are such a natural fortification, nobody can touch us. So David says to his men, listen, whoever can figure out a way into the city up the water shaft will be my Commander in Chief. Joab scurried up the water shaft and made entrance into the city and opened the gate for the rest of the crew.
Now here's what's fascinating-- to me it is. This water shaft is like a well, right, out of solid rock that went at one time way, way, way, way down and tapped into not the Gihon Spring directly, but a little reservoir next to it. We could visit that today. And you can look up and see the very water shaft, still intact today, that Joab got up into the city that you're reading about right now in 2 Samuel.
Because it's been preserved thousands of years-- it's in solid bedrock-- archaeologists a few years back discovered it, FYI. I'm probably plugging Israel maybe more than I should. But in chapter 6 we have a case of doing the right thing, but doing the right thing the wrong way. It's something that the Lord wanted done. But when you get a bunch of pragmatists involved in a holy work and they don't read the print that God revealed of how things are to be done, you can have this problem.
Here's the problem. The Ark of the Covenant has not been in the Tabernacle for 40 years. The Philistines back in 1 Samuel had captured the Ark of the Covenant-- you know that holy box. They captured it.
And for 40 years, it has been living out in the countryside in somebody's backyard, a guy by the name of Obed-Edom in Kiriath-Jearim. That's the town he lived in. 40 years it sat back there.
David wants to bring it to Jerusalem. Verse 3. "So they set the Ark of God on a new cart." That makes sense. Put it on a cart with wheels. Bring it up to Jerusalem-- it's several miles away-- "and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill.
And Uzzah and Ahio"-- not the state of Ohio, but Ahio-- "the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart, the Ark of God. And Ahio went before the Ark." Verse 5, David brings all these musicians out there. They play music before the Lord, all kinds of instruments.
Now, there's a problem. Stop right there. They set it on a cart.
Now, they probably remembered the Philistines, who also put the Ark of God on a cart to send it back to the Israelites after they captured it. Nothing happened to them in transport back then. So they're thinking, put it on a cart. It's a good idea.
Verse 6. "And when they came to Nachon's threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the Ark of God and took hold of it for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah. And God struck him there for his error. And he died there by the Ark of God."
Now, all the poor dude did was put out his hand to steady the Ark so it wouldn't fall down and break to pieces. It's practical. It could get busted up.
Here's the problem. The Ark isn't just another box. It's not a toy box. It's not a storage-- you don't take it home and store blankets in it. It's something very holy. And God prescribed how the thing was to be moved.
There were four ringlets at the bottom. Two poles went through it. Had to be carried on one's shoulders. Not only that, a very specific tribe could only touch it, the tribe of Levi. Not only that, a very specific family from the tribe of Levi, the Kohathites, were the only ones who could take the Ark, lift it up, and transport it, walking it by foot from place to place.
What's going on here? Well, I think it's as simple as David being goal oriented. If the goal is to get it from point A to point B and we're walking nine miles uphill, pragmatics would say put the thing on a cart. Stick it in Joe's Ford pickup and make it to Jerusalem. It's easy.
I'm making a point. And I'm going to ask you a question. Is sincerity enough? Is being sincere all that is necessary for God to be pleased with an individual? Because they were sincere in what they did.
They wanted to get it from point A to point B. David's heart was to get it to Jerusalem. But it would seem like, as we read the account, that being sincere isn't all that matters to God.
God made a revelation, said do it this way. They said, well, let's change it up a little bit. Let's make it easier rather than do what is right.
So their philosophy is the end justifies the means. God told me here's the goal. It's up to me to figure out how to get the goal met. Somebody else had the same idea-- Abraham and Sarah.
She couldn't get pregnant. So she thought, Abe, forget this whole thing. I'm an old woman. You're an old man. Ain't going to happen. Take Hagar, have a baby. We'll call that the fulfillment.
So a right thing done the wrong way is still wrong, no matter how sincere a person may be. Well, three months later, the Ark finally makes it up to Jerusalem. No one dies. They're very slow.
They walk a few steps. They sing a few songs. They sacrifice some animals. They can make a few more steps, rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat all the way up to Jerusalem, took a long time. But they did it the way God prescribed.
Chapter 7 brings us to one of the most important chapters in all the Bible. In fact, I'll say this. The message of the Bible from this point on rests upon this chapter.
The rest of the Bible will not make sense to you. Predictions will not make sense to you. Eschatology will not make sense to you. The ministry of Jesus Christ will not make sense to you unless you know this chapter, because as you open up the New Testament, the first words in the New Testament are, "This is the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of Abraham, the Son of David." And that language and that concept of Jesus as the greater son of David comes from this chapter.
Mary, when she was a teenager, understood this chapter. The angel Gabriel said, "You're going to have a son. You're going to call his name Jesus. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David."
She didn't go, huh? She got it. She understood her Old Testament. She understood the promise of the covenant made in 2 Samuel 7.
It was predicted. Isaiah chapter 9, "Unto us a child is born. Unto us a Son is given. His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government, there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom to order it and establish it from this time forth, even forever more. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this."
That promise is based upon this covenant made in chapter 7. Well, as we get into it, David says, I know what I'm going to do. I'm going to build got a big old house. He lives in a tent, the Tabernacle. I live in a beautiful palace. I'm going to make God a cool house.
God says, David, I never asked for a cool house. Simple is fine with me. I'm OK with that. I don't mind camping out. You're obsessed with this thing of building me a house. I never asked for it.
In fact, God turns it around, verse 10 in chapter 7. "Moreover, I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more, nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore as previously. Since that time, I commanded judges to be over my people Israel and have caused you to rest from all your enemies."
Also, the Lord tells you that He will make you a house. Now we're dealing figuratively. Don't think that the Lord's going to be out there with hammers and nails and actually pounding an edifice for David. He means it figuratively. I'm going to build you a kingdom, a house.
Verse 12, "When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you who will come from your body. And I will establish his kingdom. And he shall build a house for my name. I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever."
First of all, notice what I just read, the I wills. I will, I will, I will, I will. God is making a covenant with David. It's an unconditional covenant. This is what I'm going to do.
This covenant first means David is going to have a son, Solomon, who's going to build a temple. This covenant also means, second, that the throne of David will be established forever-- not Solomon this time, because that never happened. Solomon sinned, and it was an if-then proposition. If you do this, then I'll do that for your son. If he blows it, then I'll do this. But here is an unconditional covenant.
What do we see here? We see God blending two things. And I don't want you to skip over this. This is important for understanding all of scripture. God often blends a near fulfillment and a far fulfillment into one.
He has in mind two different things-- something that will happen immediately with Solomon, something that will happen eventually, not with Solomon, but with one of David's offspring, the greater son of David. So David's dynasty physically-- Solomon and the rest-- that whole dynastic succession will be interrupted in 586 BC by the Babylonian captivity. In fact, it will come to an end. In fact, God will curse the line of David and Solomon when Jeconiah, a King that's so wicked that God says he will have no descendants on the throne anymore after this-- the line of David through Solomon, the royal line, was cursed in the book of Jeremiah.
But it's going to be restored not by Solomon, but by the greater Son of David, Jesus Christ. How? He's going to come first and conquer the sin of the world when He dies. And He's, second, going to come again and conquer the world and rule and reign with those that He conquered sin for.
This is why, FYI, there are two genealogies-- one in Matthew, one in Luke. We believe Matthew's genealogy follows the record of David's genealogical record down to Joseph, whereas Luke follows David's genealogical record down to Mary. And there's two different branches.
One, Joseph's, is the one that is cursed. It goes through Solomon, Jeconiah-- the King that is cursed-- all the way down to Joseph. Mary traces all the way back to David, but not through Solomon, but through another son of David by the name of Nathan-- not the prophet Nathan, the son of David Nathan. Two different genealogical records.
Why is that important? Because now Jesus has the legal right because of Joseph-- Joseph wasn't Jesus' real father, right? It was His stepfather. He raised Jesus. Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit, virgin born.
But Joseph has the genealogy back to the legal right to the throne. But God cursed that line. So God got around his curse. And there's only one way to get around that curse-- have the child born of a virgin and let his mother's genealogy go all the way back to David as well, but not through the cursed bloodline of Jeconiah up to Solomon, back to David, but this one through Nathan to David.
So God curses the bloodline, gets around His curse by giving Jesus a virgin birth. Problem is solved. So those are the first 10 chapters. First 10 chapters-- those are David's triumphs.
He unifies a nation. He secures a capital. He's never once defeated in battle. He expands the nation from 6,000 square miles to 60,000 square miles.
There is prosperity everywhere. There's a chicken in every pot. There's a car in every garage, or in this case a camel in every garage.
But David peaks out after 20 years. He peaks. And he starts sliding back down.
Now we have a study in contrast. All those triumphs, now we have introduced David's transgressions. Chapter 11 verse 1, the most vulnerable moment in his life. Can I tell you when that is for you as well? When you are most prosperous, when you are in greatest ease, when everything's going just the way you think it always should go-- I want it to just go so smoothly-- you are most vulnerable at times of prosperity and popularity.
Chapter 11 verse 1, "It happened in the spring of the year at the time when kings go to battle"-- that's an interesting statement-- --"that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel. And they destroyed the people of Amman and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem."
It's April, maybe beginning of May. The rains have ceased, the latter rains in Israel. And when that happens, its fighting season.
It's like baseball season. Mud's dry. Let's go kill somebody. That's when kings go out to battle.
David had been a warrior. He was a busy warrior. He was a successful warrior. But now he's older. And he's thinking, oh man, that's a young man's game, fighting.
I'm going to kick back and enjoy the palace. I've worked hard. I've earned it.
So he stays back from the battlefield. But if David would have been in the battlefield with his troops, he wouldn't have been in the bed with Bathsheba. Now he's enjoying the leisure a little too much. Now he can get diverted and distracted.
At the risk of sounding like your grandmother, beware of idleness. Remember your grandma used to say that? Idle minds are the devil's workshop. She's right, just as David the King.
Verse 2. "Then it happened one evening"-- that's all it takes, one evening-- --"that 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. And the woman was very beautiful to behold."
Jerusalem is built on hills. Kings are where on the hill? Top of the hill, king of the hill.
So he's on top. And if you were standing in the City of David, I could show you. There's no place to look but downward. It slopes out from you. And you could see every house that would be built below you.
David was looking down, looking down at the terrorist homes below him. And he saw something. In fact, I want you to notice how it is written in verse 2. "He saw a woman that was beautiful to behold."
So look at the two words "he saw" and the word "behold." One suggests a glance-- he saw. Beautiful to behold means a gaze.
You and I cannot help the first look. It's not your fault if you're somewhere and somebody walks into your site like with David. But it's the double take that'll kill you. It's the what-- what? Now I'm not just seeing. I'm beholding.
St. Augustine defined sin's progression by saying, "A thought, a form, a fascination, a fall." He was fascinated by what he saw. Verse 3, "David sent and inquired about the woman." And somebody said, like reading his thoughts-- like, dude, I know what you're thinking-- "Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" This is somebody's daughter and somebody's wife. Remember that.
David sent messengers and took her. "She came to him. And he lay with her, 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."
Just a one-night stand. And she says, I'm pregnant. Now David enters into his cover-up scheme. He sends for her husband, the heroic Uriah the Hittite, brings him off the field to the house and treats him really nicely and says go home with your wife, hang out with your wife, go to bed with your wife, hoping that will just cover up everything that has happened.
He won't do it. He goes, how can I go to the palace when my men are on the battlefield? Ooh, that must have struck an arrow in David's heart.
So David says, well, you won't listen to that, you got so filled with integrity, have a beer, have a little wine, have a little more wine, gets the guy drunk thinking in his drunken stupor he's going to go home and sleep with his wife. Didn't fall for it. Doesn't bite. Still, even soused, Uriah the Hittite says, I can't do it. I relate to my compadres on the battlefield.
So David it gives him a note and says give this to your commanding officer, Joab. The note was Uriah's death warrant. He didn't know he was carrying in his hand the very instruction to put him in the front of the battlefield in the heat of the battle and eventually get killed.
I want you to see the underpinning truth that one sin always leads to another. Left unchecked, it always leads to another. In this story, we have lust that leads to adultery, adultery that leads to deception, deception that leads to entrapment, and entrapment that leads to murder.
It's spring in the city. It's summer in David's thought life. He's burning with lust. That leads to a fall of sinful actions and the winter of his discontent. Things go south quickly after this.
Chapter 12, David sits on it. Uriah's dead. David doesn't mention he's done anything for a whole year. He gets by with it. I'm sure he felt miserable inside. In fact, I know he did.
Psalm 32, David wrote, "When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable. I groaned all day." He felt that way for a year.
So God is patient with him. Since he won't come to God, God's going to come to him. God's going to make a house call in the form of a prophet by the name of Nathan.
Nathan the prophet utters a parable to him in verses 2 through 4 of chapter 12. And there's a few people in the story. There's a rich man. There's a poor man. And there's a little lamb. The rich man is emblematic of David, the poor man emblematic of Uriah, and the little ewe lamb emblematic of Bathsheba.
So said, here's a story, David. There was this guy. He had a whole bunch of sheep. There was a poor guy who only had one little ewe lamb, little female lamb that he took care of, became like a family pet.
Rich man had a friend coming in from out of town, wanted to cook him a nice lamb kebab dinner. Instead of taking one of his own flocks, he stole the poor man's lamb, roasted him up, and gave him to his friend. David was livid when he heard this story. He thought it was a true story.
Now, here's a question. Why didn't Nathan come in and go, I know what you did, you scoundrel, you creep. You slept with Bathsheba. You stole a-- you committed adultery with another man's wife. Why the indirect approach?
The indirect approach is for this reason. David is blind to his own sin. And so his sin is seen on somebody else. And he can spot it right away. We're like that.
We are often blind to our own failures. But boy, we see it in somebody else. And we get all mad about it, hot and bothered David was that way. Took a good look at himself. He was mad.
Verse 5 of chapter 12, "David's anger was greatly aroused against the man. And he said to Nathan, 'As the Lord lives, the man who has done this shall surely die.'" Whoa! Dude, you kill a guy for killing a lamb? What are you, Lambo? What's up?
The law of Moses required only one thing if somebody steals a lamb. You know what it was? Restitution, a fourfold restitution.
David pulls-- he goes to DEFCON 5. Kill him. Death to him. "And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb because he did this thing and because he had no pity." Boy, his sin looks bad on somebody else.
Then Nathan said to David, you are the man. Took guts. Somebody once said secret sin on earth is open scandal in heaven. It's all displayed before God. And God revealed it to Nathan.
Beginning in chapter 12 and 13 and the rest of the book, at the end of chapter 12, on into 13 to chapter 24 is that third word, troubles-- David's troubles. I'll sum a couple things up. In chapter 12, David's son dies. Bathsheba is pregnant, has the child. The child dies. That's trouble number one.
Trouble number two is in chapter 13. David's daughter by the name of Tamar gets raped by Amnon, the half-brother of Absalom. This is a wacky family. Verse 21, "But when the King-- when King David heard of these things"-- heard about what? That his daughter had been raped by a brother, by a stepbrother?
"When King David heard of all these things, he was very angry." I don't know. That's just a little too understated for me, isn't it? That's it? Yeah, I'm kind of mad about that. That's all you got?
Your daughter's been raped? Yeah, I'm mad. I'm very angry. OK, thank you for the very.
"And Absalom spoke to his brother Amnon, neither good or bad, for Absalom hated Amnon because he had forced his sister Tamar." Now here's what I want to get at. David didn't do a thing. Oh, he got emotional. But he did nothing. Why?
Well, he probably thought, I have no moral high ground to stand on. I committed sexual sin myself. How am I going to rebuke somebody for doing this? I did it to somebody else's wife. So he probably felt he did not have moral authority to speak about sexual sin.
Let me say something about that. Some of us may be in a very similar category-- a background we committed adultery or had an abortion or sex out of marriage. And Satan will come. And he'll say, you have no right to speak on this subject to anybody ever, especially your children.
Actually, you do, because right is right and wrong is wrong. In fact, it can be more powerful as you tell your children, let me tell you what happened to me. Let me tell you the sorrow that I have experienced and the fallout because of certain choices that I've made. And because of that, let my life be the parable, the living example of what not to do. If you could get yourself that humble, it could be that powerful to a son or a daughter who would listen.
Well, now a plot develops. Absalom plans to kill Amnon. And so verse 23, "It came to pass after two full years that Absalom had sheep shearers in Baalhazor, which is near Ephraim. So Absalom invited all the King's sons."
Now just let me help you understand that sheep shearing for shepherds-- it's like Super Bowl weekend. For shepherds, it's Super Bowl. It's shearing time. And bring out the Budweisers for this. This was their Super Bowl.
So long and short of it, he kills Amnon, his half-brother, and becomes a refugee. He runs away. Verse 39, "King David longed to go to Absalom, for he had been comforted concerning Amnon because he was dead."
So all this happened. David's life is falling apart. His family life is in an uproar. But he wants to be with Absalom. Time has passed. And enough time has passed that he wants some kind of a reconciliation.
So he brings Absalom-- after a couple of years, brings him back to Jerusalem. But for two years, while he is in Jerusalem, David won't see him. Now, how frustrating would that be? Come back home, but I won't see you for two years.
This causes bitterness to grow in his son's heart, animosity to grow in his son's heart. And his son commits an act of treason. In chapter 15, it says Absalom, verse 6, stole the hearts of the men of Israel. He stands out by the gates. He says all the right things to get people to love him and not David, because David's hidden away in his palace and he's so aloof.
So for five horrible chapters, Absalom after an act of treason rules and sends his father David into exile. David is now deposed off the throne, out of the kingdom. Absalom, his son, is in charge until finally Joab-- who's Joab? Commander of whose army? David's army-- kills Absalom, his son.
I just want that to sink in. Think of what David, so far, the troubles he has seen, his tragedies-- the death of a baby, rape of his daughter Tamar, murder of his son Amnon, rebellion of his son Absalom, and now the murder of Absalom, his son. One trouble, one blow after another.
Chapter 18 verse 33, the King was deeply moved after he hears that his son is dead. The King was deeply moved. He's emotionally torn up. He's distraught, deeply moved.
And notice, as he went up to the chamber over the gate-- gee, I wonder if that's perhaps not the same room where it all started with Bathsheba, where from that perch he could look down at the commanding view over the city. And he wept. "And as he went, he said thus, oh my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom. If only I had died in your place, oh Absalom, my son, my son."
You know what this pain is? They never reconciled. All of that treason, all of that exile, finally saying, OK, you can come back, not seeing him for two years-- they never got together and were able to talk to each other and extend forgiveness, a hug, an embrace, something. And now Absalom is dead.
You know how many emergency rooms I've stood in and seen families in exactly the same situation? There has been unforgiveness. There has been foul words that have been shared. There's never been a reconciliation. Both parties are dug in, prideful, won't talk to the other, don't want anything to do with them.
Then there's a death. Too late. The bitterness that follows, the fallout that ruins life afterwards-- it's not worth it. FB Meyer, one of the greatest authors of biographies in scripture, said, "This is the bitterest of all, to know that suffering need not have been, that it has resulted from indiscretion and inconsistency, that it's the harvest of one's own sowing, that the vultures which feeds on the vitals is a nesting of one's own rearing. Ah me, this is pain."
Are you nurturing any vultures? Are you raising them and they're pecking away at your life because of pride and unforgiveness? And if you project 100 years from now, it won't matter how successful your business was. It won't matter in 100 years what a cool house you lived in. But it will matter what you did with your children. It will matter how you handled that relationship.
You will never die with a regret, man, I wish I had a bigger house. I've never seen anybody do that. Wish I had a better bank account. Wish my car was cooler. But I've seen a lot of regret over relationships unresolved. Not worth it.
We now come to the final days of David. Next couple chapters after 18, things get sorted out. He kind of gets back on track after all that misery. But I want to take you now to chapter 23, the final days of David and among his final words.
Chapter 23 verse 1, now these are the last words of David. "Thus says David, the son of Jesse, thus says the man raised up on high, the anointed of God of Jacob and the sweet Psalmist of Israel." One sentence, a biographical sketch of David, how God took a kid and turned him into a King.
Verse 5, "Although my house is not so with God"-- in other words, David is saying, even though I haven't lived a perfect life and I'm aware of that-- "yet He has made with me an everlasting covenant ordered in all things insecure, for this is all my salvation and all my desire. Will He not make it increase?" It's part of a psalm that he writes.
The last chapter illustrates how that imperfect life that God chose and made a covenant with-- what happens to it? A final error, a final trouble. David takes a census in chapter 24, not unusual. Kings did it all the time.
You know why they did it? They wanted to see how many people could be in their army, number one, number two for taxation reasons. Chapter 2 of Luke, Caesar Augustus takes a registration census because he wants to get Rome funded. So he takes a census. That was not unusual.
But with David, it was different. This is God's King. This is a man after God's heart. And David does it for the motivation of pride so he can gloat over size.
In 1 Chronicles, we are told that Satan incited David to do it. In our text of 2 Samuel, it indicates the Lord was a part of it. How does that work? Is it a conflict? Not at all.
In fact, it's a perfect illustration of sovereignty. Satan tempted or incited David. God sovereignly allowed it to happen and then restored and redeemed it in David's situation.
Well, chapter 24 verse 10, "And David's heart condemned him after he had numbered the people." So David said to the Lord, "I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now I pray, O Lord, take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done very foolishly." Good on you, David. And you're right. It was foolish.
He owned it. He confessed it. Verse 25, "And David built there an altar to the Lord and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord heeded the prayers for the land," because even though God forgave David, there was a consequence of death.
Keep that in mind. God will forgive you all day long. Doesn't mean the consequence goes away. It's like when you cut yourself, you can-- that wound can heal. But the scar will remain. So there was a consequence.
But verse 25, "David built an altar to the Lord, offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord heeded the prayers for the land. And the plague was withdrawn from Israel."
In the four minutes we have remaining, let me give you a 1, 2, 3. What do you do with sin? It's a refresher course. Most of us know this.
Number one, admit it. Admit it. The Bible talks about confessing your sin, right? "If you confess your sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us of all unrighteousness."
So admit your sin. Take responsibility for it. Own it. Don't blame shift, which is as old as the hills and twice as dusty.
What did Adam say when he sinned? It's the woman you gave me. He blamed two people-- the woman, but more than that, You gave her to me. It's Your fault. It was Your idea. It's the woman You gave me.
Solomon, who will come the son of David, says, maybe thinking back to his own father's life, maybe his own life, "He who conceals his sins does not prosper. But whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy." That takes us to our second thing. Admit it.
Number two, leave it. Leave it. That's repentance. Turn from it. Make a clean break from it.
When I was a kid growing up in the Catholic church, I sinned all week long because I could go to confession at the end of the week. That gave me a clean slate to sin the next week and go to confession at the end of the week. I'd just sort of keep doing it. No, admit it then leave it. Leave it.
By God's grace and God's power, make a clean break. Go in the opposite direction. So admit it, leave it, and number three, replace it. Replace it.
The book of Romans talks all about that. Don't be overcome by evil. Overcome evil with good. Develop new activities, new habits, new disciplines. Add those things to your life so that you're so consumed with doing those things, you don't have time in the spring of the year to kick back, let the other people do it while you get distracted in your thought life. Admit it, leave it, replace it.
Father, we are people. And as people, we blow it. When we look at David, we could say, well, that's a male thing. No, it's a human thing. There's not a person here who is not dealt with temptation, even sexual temptation, from a member of the other sex or even the same sex where we get tempted.
And Father, that's the fallen humanity. It's the humanity that you came to redeem. It's the humanity You understand. And so we are moved when we find out that God became flesh and dwelt among us. And we beheld His glory even as He beheld our sin.
But he didn't just behold it. He did something about it. He came to wash it away, to forgive sin.
Lord, I pray for anybody who might be here tonight invited by a friend, even with somebody who's come maybe for weeks or months or even years. But there has never been a personal turning. Maybe there's been an admission, but there hasn't been a turning, a repentance, a leaving the past, making a clean break and giving Jesus charge as Lord of that life.
And so Father, I pray that if somebody is here broken by sin, broken by their past failures, not yet have turned to Christ or maybe somebody had some experience with You years ago, but turned away and is not today following Jesus Christ, not living in obedience to Christ, they need to come back home. I pray, Lord, that you would touch the heart even as you touched David's heart when he said, I have sinned gravely. And he made a monument right there to the Lord, I pray that there will be a monument made, a testimony made tonight in this place as people give their lives to you.
With your head bowed, if you've not given your life to Jesus or if you strayed away from Him and you need to come back to Him, if you are willing to do that and be forgiven by Him, to be refreshed and restored and God to pour joy into your life and love into your life along with forgiveness for your past-- if you want that, I want you to raise your hand up in the air. Just raise it up in the air and hold it up for a moment so I can acknowledge. Just raise it up. You're saying pray for me. God bless you in the back, right in the middle, in the back to my right, a couple of you, a couple of you right over here to my right, in the back on the left, on the left here, toward the front here, right there in the middle.
Father, thank You for all of these hands that have gone up and some I can't even see. But Lord, you see. You know. And You love.
And oh, it is your joy to restore. How You love to forgive. You get so excited when somebody says, I'm going to come to you broken with my sin, because you know that there can be a solution for that person. That person can be restored in a fullness of life. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus' name, amen.
Would you stand to your feet? As we sing this final song, those of you who raised your hands, in this family setting, I'm going to ask you to do one final thing and that is get up from where you're standing. Some of you were in the back. Some of you were in the middle of a row. Doesn't matter. People will make way for you. We're used to this.
You get up as we sing this final song. And you come, in effect making a monument of I'm leaving the past. I'm stepping into the future. I want to be forgiven.
After you come, I'm going to lead you in a prayer. It'll just take a few moments. As we sing, right now you come. And I'll meet you right here. I'll lead you in that prayer.
(SINGING) --is washing over me.
Come on up.
(SINGING) Your face is all I see. You are my everything. Jesus Christ, you are my one desire. Lord, hear my only cry to know you all my life.
Your love's so deep. It's washing over me. Your face is all I see. You are my everything. Jesus Christ, you are my one desire. Lord, hear my only cry to know you all my life.
I'm going to wait just another moment. Wait just another moment. Jesus called people publicly.
And there's something that happens, I believe-- no, I don't believe. I know. I've seen it. I've experienced it.
When you are willing to make a public decision to put Jesus first, it just makes every other time that you make a public stand for Jesus a whole lot easier. And I think it settles something in your own heart when you're willing to make a clean break from your past and say yes to Christ in the present and for the future. So really quickly, anybody else, if you haven't come yet, you're seeing those who have walked forward, you're thinking-- and you're right-- you need to be a part of this. Yes, you do.
If you're not certain about where you're going when you die, you need to be a part of this. It's why you were put on Earth, to be forgiven by God and to live the life God has for you. Anyone else, really quickly?
(SINGING) Your face is all I see. You are my everything.
Good choice. Good thinking.
(SINGING) Jesus Christ, you are my one desire. Lord hear my only cry to know you all my life. Your love so deep is washing over me. Lord, I see, you are my everything.
Jesus Christ, you are my one desire. Lord hear my only cry
There's a lot of you here.
[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]
For some of you, that might sound really weird. It's like, we're in church. I'm standing up front. Everybody's clapping, shouting. And I kind of feel, like, broken up inside even. So why are they clapping?
The Bible says when one person does what you're doing, turns to Christ-- when one sinner, the Bible says, comes to Christ, that all the angels in Heaven rejoice. They rejoice.
[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]
So I think if they're happy about it-- if there's a party in Heaven, why not join the party right now on Earth? That's why we're so excited. So real simple.
I'm going to lead you in a prayer. I'm going to ask you to say this prayer out loud after me, say these words from your heart, mean them as you say them. You say them to God. That's all prayer is, talking to God. And you're asking Jesus to come in and take control, OK?
Let's pray. After me, say this. Lord, I give you my life. I know that I'm a sinner. Forgive me.
I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe He came from Heaven to Earth, that He died on a cross, that He shed His blood for me, and that He rose again. I turn from my sin. I leave my past. I turn to Jesus as my Savior.
Help me to follow Him as my Lord. It's in Jesus' name I pray, amen. Let's rejoice!
We hope you enjoyed this message from Skip Heitzig of Calvary Church. For more resources, visit CalvaryNM.church. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from The Bible From 30,000 Feet.