Sermons

Hiding Giants

Jun 26, 2022

Hiding Giants

Passage: 2 Samuel 11:1-5

Preacher: Steve Hatter

Series: Stand Alone Sermons

Detail

I’ll be preaching from the Book of Second Samuel, Chapter 11, verses 1–5, so please open your Bibles to that Old Testament narrative.

 

I’m calling this message “Hiding Giants” and hopefully you’ll see exactly why as we examine the text.

 

Let’s Pray for our time ahead!  ….Heavenly Father, I pray that our message time would be fruitful as we open your perfect Word. I pray this would be your message to those assembled, and by the power of your Spirit, hearts would be open to receiving Holy Scripture. Lord this message is lifted up to you as an act of love, obedience, and worship, and I pray that I would neither add to, nor take anything away from your perfect truth for us…..in Jesus name, Amen

 

Introduction:

 

Even in my military retirement, I remain interested in what is going on in the Department of Defense, and in particular, the Air Force. I also have serving sons and many friends and acquaintances still professionally pursuing military matters in our nation, so I subscribe to a couple of newsletters that come to my email from time to time…

 

Recently, an article popped up in my inbox entitled: “Air Force Demotes Former General as IG Report Reveals Details of Illicit Affair;

 

My heart sank as I read the headline, because I’ve seen this sort of thing happen more often than you would think over my many years of service, and it is always disturbing and sad….

 

When high-ranking leaders fall, it is always a profound tragedy, leaving a wide swath of devastation!

 

As I read the details of this particular case, it hit close to home…the demoted two-star general was a fighter pilot holding one of the top jobs in the Air Force as the Air Warfare Center commander…

 

As someone well familiar with how the US Air Force works, I would argue it is safe to say this leader was on the fast track to four stars, because of his giftedness as a leader, thinker, and pilot. His is resume’ reads like fiction….as an F-16 pilot he’s been combat tested. He has succeeded in large organization leadership……commanding squadrons, groups, and wings. He succeeded as a staff officer at the Pentagon and this success resulted in promotions and opportunities like the job he was just fired from.

 

What happened?  Without going into explicit details, this leader, this general, this hero…..succumbed to sexual temptation and began an affair with a subordinate female.

 

And when things were found out….as they always are….he lost his job, his reputation, his marriage, his future….and the damage is not isolated to him alone. The negative impact spreads far and wide….as is always true when a leader falls. You could say that the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth-order effects will be almost incalculable and will ripple for lifetimes..it is like a destructive detonation that sends shock waves out in ever-widening concentric circles…..

 

Numbers 32:23 warns all who will heed: “be sure, your sin will find you out.”

 

Well, our Scripture today tells of a great King that fell to sexual temptation thousands of years ago, so let’s look at our inspired text now:

 

Scripture: 2 Samuel 11:1–5, In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.

 

Well, here we see the beginnings of one of the most tragic stories recorded in all of Scripture—King David’s fall into adultery with another man’s wife.

 

This adultery of course, resulted in a scandalous pregnancy….then an attempted cover-up of the pregnancy…..which became a failed cover-up that led to a murder….which, rightly resulted in extreme and far-reaching negative consequences for David, and sadly, for all

Israel as well. 

 

Widespread damage that was not confined to the temporal….….David brought grief to his God in a manner we can only wonder about…..….The very last words of chapter 11 soberly sum the whole of the catastrophe with this: “But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.” Ponder that for a moment……The good and holy and all-powerful sovereign of the universe was impacted by David’s disobedient choices.

 

There are many profound lessons to learn from the entire saga, but this morning we want to limit our look to what can be discovered from verses 1-5.

 

  • We need to ask why was David not at the front, leading Israel as her King and General?

 

  • Why, as God’s anointed king—a man after God’s own heart, in fact, as David is described 1 Sam 13:14—did he blow right past clear boundaries and layers of accountability with his desire to taste of what was not his…..

 

  • We want to shout out loud ….What was he thinking? …..

 

But maybe the better question is this:  what was in David’s heart that led him down a path of destruction….and more importantly, is that malevolent propensity residing within our own hearts? Is such a malevolent propensity to destroy ourselves and others residing in every single human heart, and if so, how do we understand and respond as Christians?

 

A pastor by the name of Alan Carr framed the tragedy of David and Bathsheba, which the Scripture presents so heavy with the question “why?” in this way:

 

“When you think of the life of David, one of two events probably come to your mind.  You either remember the time young David slew Goliath; or you remember when David committed adultery with Bathsheba.  

 

Both events were monumental moments in the life of David.  In the first, David revealed the fact of his humility. 

 

In the second, David revealed the fact of his humanity.  

 

In the first, David proved that he was a man of faith.  

 

In the second, David proved that he was a man of flesh.

 

When David met a giant named Goliath, we are privileged to witness his greatest victory.  

 

When David met Bathsheba, we are forced to watch his greatest defeat. Why?”

 

Up until this moment, David had never lost a battle.  Every time he stepped onto a field of combat, David won the battle and walked off the field a victor. This was because God was ever with Him.

 

However, the text today tells of David willingly entering into a scenario absent God’s blessing and protection…..and unfortunately, the ground there turned out to be a high-stakes arena of combat….an arena where he came up against an overpowering enemy, and he was soundly defeated ….

 

He faced a different kind of Giant you might say …. Not a flesh-and-blood giant like Goliath, but rather A Giant of temptation that he had welcomed into, and even nourished, within his head and heart….. a giant that perhaps was far more powerfully destructive than thewarrior-giant Goliath could have ever have been.

 

So, this morning we’re going to talk about, again, quoting Pastor Carr…a Giant that slew David….. a Giant of his own making, so to say, that defeated him and brought tremendous negative consequences.

 

Proposition: And as we attempt to understand David and this wicked, powerful giant in his heart, I want to show you that there are four clear warnings for every believer to be found in this five-verse narrative.

 

And You should heed these warnings in your own Christian walk so that you can avoid the path of destruction that David suffered.

 

To get to these warnings, we’re going to look at four categories of David’s Choices…….David’s Dereliction, David’s Desire, David’s Decisions, and finally, David’s Dilemna …

 

So we’ll begin with David’s Dereliction

 

Verse 1 reads: “In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.”

 

This verse tells us that King David, General David, anointed-by-God David, Hero-of-Israel David, Protector-of-Israel David….was guilty of dereliction of duty.

He was supposed to be at the front! He was supposed to be leading his troops in battle, against the Ammonites….that was his calling, his mission, his responsibility before God…this is what God expected from him, along with all of his loyal subjects in Israel…

 

Who were the Ammonites that David should have been leading the charge to defeat?

 

  • They were descendants of Ben-ammi, who was the son of Lot (Abraham’s nephew)and Lot’s younger daughter (Genesis 19:38).
  • The capital of this Iron Age kingdom of Ammon was Rabbah, which is located at modern-day Amman, Jordan.
  • The Ammonites were enemies of Israel who worshipped a different god, which made them an enemy of Yahweh….They wished to destroy Israel and supplant Yahweh……..so David’s choice to stay home was profound. He was not just taking a well-earned R&R moment…..He was disobeying his Commander, God Almighty!

 

David’s sending of Joab to do his job…to lead Israel’s men to fight and die for the nation’s protection…was a failure at best, and a betrayal at worst.

 

So we have to ask, why did he choose to stay home?

 

Very likely there was pride at the root of his decision-making…..

 

David knew that God was with him, as we can read in 2 Sam 5:12: “12 And David knew that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.”  

 

David may have let that knowledge go to his head.  He may have forgotten the truth that God will only walk with those who are going His way…Amos 3:3 says:  “Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?”

 

This prophet’s wisdom tells us God’s protection and provision demand harmony with His purposes….Moreover, we should never take personal credit for what God is doing through us…David’s victories were God’s victories because God alone is the hero of every Bible story and truth!

 

One writer said it this way: “You see, when people are passing through hard times, they become very dependent upon the Lord.  There is no room for pride when you are depending on the Lord for everything you need.”  

 

“However, when successes come, when one’s dreams are fulfilled, when you have what you have worked for or long desired, it is easy to become lifted up in pride.”

 

And pride gives way to Arrogance – David enjoyed absolute success and victory over all the enemies of Israel.  Success is a heady thing!  

 

But, hear this…..a person is never more vulnerable than when they have enjoyed great success and adulation that come with that success.  People tend to develop a feeling of invincibility.

 

David probably had come to believe his own press, so to say…! Perhaps he pridefully reveled in his celebrity and it became his downfall as Proverbs 16:18 predicts it will: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

 

We all need people in our lives to be around to check our pride….trusted people who will tell us the truth about ourselves and help us stay humble before the Lord.

 

Were there Air Force Officers—whether subordinates or peers--around the man I mentioned in the introduction….people who probably saw the train wreck in motion and yet, stood silent?

 

We can only speculate, But I suggest Yes!

 

But even as the people around someone who is sinning look the other way, the accountability always begins with a decision by someone to sin….

 

David was guilty of neglecting his spiritual health……People who stay close to the Lord through prayer and reading and meditating upon His Word find the protection they need when temptation comes…..People striving to obey God experience clarity in choices to make…….David’s dereliction of duty put him in the wrong place at precisely the wrong time…..

 

So, here is Warning # 1 rooted in the idea of dereliction: Stay humble before the Lord, and in your humility, do your duty, lest you put yourself in a risky situation.

 

Let’s turn now to David’s Desire….His Lust

 

Look now at verse 2: “It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful.” 

 

One commentator said that “David was in bed when he should have been in battle”…and upon that foundational problem, we see a sleeping Giant awakened in David’s heart and mind. It’s the Giant of lust—sexual desire—something unholy that is triggered by him being in the wrong place, at the wrong time…and then he sees with his eyes an object of overwhelming desire.

 

It happened…..this English translation of the original Hebrew verb היה …..ha ii ya” …..which means to happen, or to occur, or to come to pass, is very accurate…..it’s a one-to-one correlation with little ambiguity, which I find fascinating because the words come with such a strong punch….it happened……draws you right in, doesn’t it? There is an ominous feel to the opening of verse two and for good reason!

 

It happened…We see lust awakened and it is a giant problem!

 

The reason the lust is giant is because it can be argued that David had habitually harbored and nourished lust in his heart ….and so he was very susceptible to the “it happened” moment….there is evidence lust was there and indeed growing for a long time.

 

To see this, we need to look back to 2 Samuel 5:10-13: which says:  “10 And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him.11 And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, also carpenters and masons who built David a house. 12 And David knew that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.

 

And then we read this in verse 13….

13 And David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron, and more sons and daughters were born to David.

 

We are told there that God had blessed David and had established his kingdom.  We are also told that David recognized the hand of divine providence at work in his life.  But, we are also given a distressing revelation as well……Verse 13 says “And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem.

            

What’s wrong with this?  After all, David is a mighty King.  

  • He is undefeated on the field of battle.  He has expanded the kingdom.  
  • He has built a great army and placed the right men in all the key positions.  
  • He has led the nation in growth militarily, financially, and spiritually.
  • Surely no one would care if David indulged his appetite for women by taking to himself many wives and concubines.

 

Well, God cared!  What David did was in direct contradiction to the Word of God in Deut. 17:14-17, which reads: 14 “When you come to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,’ 15 you may indeed set a king over you whom the Lord your God will choose. One from among your brothers you shall set as king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. 16 Only he must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again.’ 17 And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold..  

 

There it is: the king of Israel was forbidden to do three things:

 

  1. He was not to accumulate horses.
  2. He was not to accumulate wives.
  3. He was not to accumulate gold and silver.

 

David had honored God’s command regarding items number one and number three.  David had dispensed with the horses taken in battle, 2 Sam. 8:4.  He had also dedicated the gold and silver taken as spoil in battle to the Lord, 2 Sam. 8:7-12.  

 

But……but…….but……he had disregarded what God had commanded about accumulating wives.

 

Well, lest you are tempted to indict God Himself over David’s disobedience….that is, you want to say well….God allowed it, didn’t He???

 

Hear this: That God Allowed such disobedience in David’s life for so long is a picture of His grace, as well as a picture of His commitment to his covenantal promises. His overarching redemption plan for mankind cannot be frustrated because of His amazing grace!

 

God graciously worked through David’s obedience, and well as his disobedience keeping history right on track….His standards never change. His promises are always kept, and He will achieve His sovereign will regardless of what people do or don’t do…..

 

So, David had a giant in his heart, and naming it “Lust” is appropriate.  

 

It appears that David had strong sexual desires and sought to satisfy his urges by accumulating women.  

 

But, David, like many others, discovered soon enough that many sexual partners will not satisfy unholy sexual desires, they will only increase them. Every analysis out there regarding the effects of viewing pornography reinforces the increasing need for more and worse to satisfy…….

 

David had problems with a spiritual giant named “Lust.”  And we see it triggered as he looks with his eyes upon a woman bathing naked who was very beautiful.

 

And 1 John 2:16 explains the chemical reaction of triggered lust: “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.”

 

God’s questioning of Cain Genesis 4:7 is also instructive here…..God asked Cain about his heart and then warned him:  “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”

 

So here is Warning #2 rooted in David’s nourished lust: Examine your heart honestly and often…consider any areas of disobedience in your life and doctrine, lest you be overcome by lust or some other sleeping giant of sin hiding in your heart.

 

 

2 Corinthians 13:5 commands believers to: Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

 

 

Let’s turn now to David’s Decisions

 

With David’s lust awakened, what happens next? Look at verses 3 and 4:  “And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house.”

 

David’s choice to say yes to his lust sets in motion determined and compounding bad decision-making!

 

His lust inflamed from seeing the beautiful woman naked, he takes the next step toward fulfilling his desire….he sends his staff to find out who she is…

 

At this point, David could easily have stepped back from sin by stepping back inside of his house and choosing something else to focus on…..but instead, he stepped toward the giant.  He pursued his desire…he said yes to the temptation… He “sent and inquired about the woman.”

 

What comes back to him as an answer can seem to be just some detailed, but matter-of-fact information that helps us to understand the story better. The staff was successful and they let David know the woman has an identity.

 

But we need to examine this closer….and as we do, we should see that David’s response is chilling…..

 

We now see that the object of David’s lust is a person. She is a precious creation of God, made in His image. She has a name, Bathsheba. She is someone’s daughter. She is someone’s wife…..

 

The report from David’s messenger is quite interesting as well. The messenger asks David an awkward question with a sense of incredulity…. “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 

 

Most subordinates will not easily challenge power … Typically most people are afraid of their bosses, especially those of high fame and renown.

 

  • The larger the leader, the more resistant people tend to be when faced with the choice to be courageous and speak truth to power.
  • Their jobs can be at risk.
  • Their respect for the leader they pray will be honest and inspiring is put on the table….and most of us don’t want that.
  • Its unhealthy. It’s upsetting. It’s damaging to face such a thing as to doubt your leaders, much less hold that person with power over you accountable. So….people chose denial or passivity….

 

But here we have a messenger seemingly reporting as ordered, but also posing to David a challenge…“Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” I would have loved to have seen the servant’s body language and to have heard his voice inflection in this exchange with the king!

 

Such a question should have been flashing red warning lights to David. This is the intersection of road and railroad tracks when the warning lights flash, and the warning bells ring, and the crosshatch gates begin to swing down…

 

Why? Because Bathsheba’s father, Eliam, also known as Ammiel (1 Chron. 3:5), was someone David knew well…. He was ranked as one of the thirty-seven "mighty men of David" (2 Sam. 23:4) and would have thus been a frequent guest at the palace. So, David is about to betray a loyal servant and hero…a man who was key to David’s successes.

 

But worse, Uriah the Hittite, Bathsheba’s husband, was also a man David knew and respected, if not loved. It is hard to imagine a more noble and loyal character than that of Uriah. Much of his nobility can be seen later in the story, which is for another sermon…

 

Although a Hittite by nationality, he was obviously at least a second-generation Jew by religion for his name contains the i-a-h suffix for Jehovah and means the flame [or light] of Jehovah.

 

Like his father-in-law, he was one of David’s "mighty men" (2 Sam. 23:39), a list so exclusive that it does not even include the name of Joab, the general of David’s forces and Uriah’s commander in battle!

 

So here again, what David is about to do is no small betrayal! Uriah was a good and noble warrior who did not at all deserve what was coming his way through David’s bad decision-making.

 

But sadly, we see next that David just blows right through the warning lights, sounds, and barriers. Instead of being caught up short that this very beautiful woman is probably the last person he should pursue because of who she is…..

 

He makes a second terrible choice and sends for Bathsheba…. And then he continues down the path of devastation when she comes escorted to him, and they lie together in utter iniquity.

 

David consummates his lust. In so doing, he breaks God’s seventh commandment and commits adultery with Bathsheba. “So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house.” Instead of slaying the Giant Goliath this time, the giant of lust slays him….

 

Notice the detail added to the inspired text regarding why Bathsheba had been bathing in the first place…she was following the Levitical laws regarding uncleanness associated with a woman’s monthly cycle, which tells us two things:

  • first, Bathsheba, ironically, was law-keeping…before she was led by David into law-breaking;
  • and second, the timing of her law-keeping proves she was able to be impregnated in her adultery with David.

 

The Holy Spirit is just laying it all out here for us….nothing good can come of this adultery in terms of temporal outcomes. Only God Himself could….and as we know from all of Scripture, did….use this disastrous moment for good….but that too is for another sermon.

 

So, Bathsheba returned to her house….The text does not give us details as to what either she or David were thinking or said to one another after lying together, but I would assert they both probably felt shame….Very likely they probably both wanted to minimize it all, especially in terms of who knew what had happened…they were acting to keep things a secret….

 

“Then she returned to her house” means Bathsheba did not stay on there at David’s….there was a moment of consummated lust and then separation, which stands in stark contrast to God-blessed sexual union, which is reserved only for God-ordained marriage…

 

When a husband and wife come together as God intends, there is physical, emotional, and most importantly, spiritual union, not separation. The sacred two become on flesh reality is expressed in giving and not taking in the beauty of sexual desire and union…..which is a marvelously beautiful expression of the intent and goodness of God.

 

As I read and re-read these verses, I could not help but imagine a disastrous avalanche, or calamitous mudslide….there is an incredible momentum to David’s downward slide into horrendous law-breaking….it began simply enough….something gave way in David’s heart initiating the giving way of the snowpack, as it were, or the water-soaked mountainside. Once begun, the event becomes unstoppable until it is over, and then there is only massive ruin and destruction.

 

In the NT Epistle James, chapter 1, verses 14 - 15:  The same idea is expressed: “14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death”

 

So here is Warning #3 rooted in David’s decision-making: Sin always “snowballs” toward devastation unless you seek God’s power to break the chain of bad decision-making…..this likely means running to help, running to accountability! Uncovering what may be covered!

 

We turn now David’s Dilemma

 

Look at the last verse, verse 5, and then I’ll give you the last warning that emerges from the text…

….Verse 5: “ ‘And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.’ ”

 

Like “it happened,” “I am Pregnant” slaps the reader in the face….it is abrupt and comprehensive in its implications.

 

These are the only recorded words of Bathsheba in all of Scripture and they are laden with coming consequences…..

 

David is in big trouble. Bathsheba is in big trouble. Their actions have resulted in n outcome that puts them squarely on the horns of a dilemma. They cannot admit the adultery, nor can they undo the pregnancy.

 

 

……In Leviticus 20:10 and then again in Deuteronomy 22:22, God made plain to Israel that the penalty for adultery was to be death….and both David and Bathsheba would have been well aware of this potential!

 

What follows in the remainder of chapter 11 of 2 Sam, and into the first part of chapter 12, are the painful details of David dealing with his dilemma, and it is a harrowing, sad tale.

 

But now we want to focus for a minute on the pregnancy….Bathsheba’s pregnancy….We know that God is the author of life and therefore, conception in a woman’s womb belongs exclusively to Him.

 

  • God is also Omniscient—he knows all things;
  • He is omnipresent, which means He, As Spirit, is everywhere in all of His creation, all the time;
  • and finally, God is omnipotent, which means He can do anything He wants. There is no limit to His power in time and space.

 

So, God began a life in Bathsheba’s womb that day…He  ordained that David’s seed and Bathsheba’s egg should miraculously come together making a life that He would use mightily.

 

It would be a short life, but a vitally important life that He would use mightily in and through all of David’s yet-to-come deception and sin!

 

And He did this because of His grace. His grace that brings glory to Himself and critical instruction to all of His people through David’s story.

 

It should go without saying that Aborting the child that God Himself had miraculously given life to, and was knitting together in Bathsheba’s womb, was not even a consideration…..

 

However………….However………in Our wholly immoral culture today, many, many people believe that “undoing the pregnancy” is the simple, morally acceptable, or even righteous path…..

 

that “undoing a pregnancy” is even a constitutional right when sinful sex—which means any sex outside of marriage—results in victims and consequences.  

 

For believers, There is no debate to be had……our Christian God abhors the very idea of compounding the original sin by further sinning in the form of the taking of innocent life while still in the womb.  This is the taking of a life that only God can create, and which therefore belongs to Him!

 

 Abortion is wrong. Period.

 

Looking just a bit into the rest of the story, we know that the pregnancy becomes key to David committing murder. We also know that the baby resulting from the pregnancy dies as an infant. And the two deaths really only scratch at the surface of the temporal damage….David will even eventually lose his kingdom to another flesh-and-blood son of his as part of the far-reaching fallout.

 

So, here is warning #4 rooted in David’s dilemna: Remember God’s attributes always—his far higher ways--and let such knowledge inform your thinking in the dilemmas of life. Repent early and often lest you forget God knows everything.

 

As we come to the end of our time, I want to stress something very important to see that I hinted at a moment ago…..Notice how in the consequences of David’s sin, we can also observe God’s higher purposes…..His good and holy work within the wreckage of our sin choices to ever advance His perfect, overarching grace plans.

 

It is just extraordinary how God sovereignly uses the details of this ugly narrative of David’s adultery to advance His awesome plan of salvation in the person of Jesus Christ.  

 

The prophet Isaiah captures perfectly this idea of God working purposefully and for good, in ways we cannot fathom in verse 55:9:

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

 

And the great patriarch of Israel, Joseph, attests to God working goods in all things, even iniquity when he comforted his brothers who had tried to murder him in their jealously of him as recorded  in Genesis 50:20: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”

 

This story is much more a picture of God triumphing than it is of David falling. God is always the hero in every Bible story and storylines shock and amaze with unexpected endings and/or to be continueds”!

 

His higher ways and goodness in the story of David Bathsheba is marvelously evident in the fact that the Davidic Covenant – God’s promise to David and Israel that the Messiah (Jesus Christ) would come from the lineage of David and the tribe of Judah and would establish a kingdom that would endure forever—was advanced through this man and woman.

 

As God, the ever-dependable and good promise-keeper worked providentially in and through the entire story of David and Bathsheba, a second son is later born to them who was to be King Solomon who proved another key figure is the bloodline of Christ and the historic preparations for his coming.

 

We all have malevolent giants in our hearts. Our sin nature remains even in, and after, our conversion.

 

Your giant may not be sexual lust, but nonetheless, the potential for you to fall like David to some other personal temptation giant is a real and present danger…. as James 1:13–14 says: “13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.”

 

Now, in light of all we have covered, I want to take just a few minutes to talk honestly about a deadly threat almost every one of you carried in here with you this morning…..and that deadly threat is your internet-accessible phone or computer…..

 

If you have one of these, you are but a short search and a few swipes away from sin and calamity and ruin.

 

Here are a few stunning stats about the threat of internet pornography:

 

According to ConquerSeries, a ministry dedicated to helping Christians run from pornography, here 15 claims they make regarding the impact of pornography on culture at large and within the Church …..

 

  1. Over 40 million Americans are regular visitors to porn sites. The average visit lasts 6 minutes and 29 seconds
  2. There are around 42 million porn sites, which totals around 370 million pages of porn
  3. The porn industry’s annual revenue is MORE than the NFL, NBA, and MLB combined. It is also more than the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, and NBC.
  4. 47% of families in the United States reported that pornography is a problem in their home.
  5. Pornography use increases the marital infidelity rate by more than 300%.
  6. Eleven is the average age that a child is first exposed to porn, and 94% of children will see porn by the age of 14.
  7. 56% of American divorces involve one party having an “obsessive interest” in pornographic websites.
  8. 70% of Christian youth pastors report that they have had at least one teen come to them for help in dealing with pornography in the past 12 months.
  9. 68% of church going men and over 50% of pastors view porn on a regular basis. Of young Christian adults 18-24 years old, 76% actively search for porn.
  10. 59% of pastors said that married men seek their help for porn use.
  11. 33% of women aged 25-and-under search for porn at least once per month.
  12. Only 13% of self-identified Christian women say they never watch porn – 87% of Christian women have watched porn.
  13. 55% of married men and 25% of married women say they watch porn at least once a month.
  14. 57% of pastors say porn addiction is the most damaging issue in their congregation. And 69% say porn has adversely impacted the church.
  15. Only 7% of pastors say their church has a program to help people struggling with pornography.

 

Whether these statistics are perfectly accurate, I can’t say, but I’m guessing they’re accurate enough for all of us to agree this morning that we have a terrible problem –both inside and outside the church—and it is sapping the health and strength of the people we love and desire to minister to and their families. We are fallen and our sin nature is shockingly real and challenging, even in our regenerate state..so we all need to hear and heed each and every biblical warning!

 

I’ve given you four good and practical warnings this morning—

 

  • Stay humble and do your God-given duty
  • Continually examine yourself
  • Sin always snowballs unless you break the bad decision chain
  • Keep the highest view of God—he knows everything so there is no place to hide from him, and there is also no way out of sin but through him

 

But in the event you find yourself busted and desperate as David did, also know that God is gracious and will forgive and restore a truly repentant sinner who falls in faith before Him with a broken and contrite heart. He will honor repentance that must be, as Charles Hadden Spurgeon liked to say, crediting a man named John Angell James, “your repentance must be as notorious as your sin.”

The glory of God in the saving work of Christ is reflected in notorious’ repentance. Think of David as conviction comes upon you…..Think of Zachaeus. Think of Peter. Think of Nicodemus. Think of Lydia. And think of the Philippian jailer.

 

These saints are recorded in the annals of Holy Scripture by their acts of ‘notorious’ repentance. Their acts of repentance are a demonstration of the powerful and effectual work of the Holy Spirit

 

I read Psalm 51 earlier and I want to point you back there as we close….. Just As David did as he wrote these inspired words, You can seek and receive forgiveness….you can plead with God to create in you a clean heart, and for Him to renew a right spirit within you. Be David and repent and confess as he did …your eternity may very well depend on it….

 

But also know that God will answer that sincere prayer….perhaps not at all in terms of what your life circumstances are now or what you want them to be—we cannot put conditions on our repentance before God….but surely He will answer you just as you need in terms of your eternal security with Him!

 

Let’s pray ...We turn now to……..

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