Mike Gerhardt, 09-15-19, David's Passion, Confrontation. Read 2 Samuel 12:1-7. Last week we looked at David's sin with Bathsheba and Uriah, sending him to his death. David wanted more and he took it for himself.
Most know what it is like when money gets tight. Yet compared to the world, we are wealthier, we are healthier and have more leisure time than most people. Yet we desire more. Mother Teresa in a Time magazine article spoke against capitalistic materialism. The more you have the more you are occupied with it. The less you have, the more free you are. Poverty for us is freedom. It is a joyful freedom.
David was a great servant of God who ruled about 3000 years ago. 62 chapters are devoted to his biography, 59 references in the newer testament, more than any other. Known as a man after God's own heart, blessed by God as king yet he wanted more which ended in an affair and the death of several soldiers including Uriah one of David’s mighty men. After the events of chapter 11, some might surmise David was free and clear to enjoy his new wife and new baby. Personally, I believe he was miserable as any who live with a lie or guarded secret. We may think we would never do what David did. Yet remember what Jesus informed the crowd In Matthew 5 that if you look upon a woman with lust you have committed adultery in your heart and if you are angry with someone to wish they were dead you have committed murder in your heart. 1 Corinthians 10:12 tells us if you think you are standing firm be careful that you don't fall. We need to learn from David's sin. David's temptation is our temptation. Our consequences and grief will be just as bitter as his. You may think, no problem, if we sin, we just ask for divine forgiveness. After all: To err is human; to forgive divine. This is often quoted but it is as sound theology as to err is human…to purr feline, to do nothing benign, to moo bovine, to soothe calamine, to prance equine, to woo sublime. Sin is part of the human experience, but forgiveness is NOT to be taken for granted. David sinned. But what about Bathsheba? Ray Brown in Skillful Hands a book on David's life wrote: When we read this terrible story we instinctively think of the offense of David's sin, but this attractive woman cannot be entirely excused. Bathsheba was careless and foolish, lacking in the usual Hebrew modesty or she certainly would not have washed in a place where she knew she could be seen.
May we also learn from Bathsheba's experience. I would hope all of us would want to work in cooperation with righteousness in the battle against the sensuality that permeates our society. Give considerable thought to your actions, your dress, your looks, your conduct around members of the opposite sex. Ask yourself, am I dressing to allure others, am I looking to appeal to worldly standards, or am I dressing to honor the Lord?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer from his book Temptation wrote in our members there is a slumbering inclination toward desire, which is both sudden and fierce… it makes no difference whether it is a sexual desire or ambition or vanity or desire for revenge or love of fame and power or greed for money. At this moment God is quite unreal to us. God loses all reality and only the desire is real. Satan does not here fill us with hatred of God, but with forgetfulness of God.
Read 2 Samuel 12:7-10 and 12:11-13. We can learn from Nathan's story and how to confront those who sin.
Chuck Swindol, on David, leads us to effective confrontation and genuine repentance. We need four things to be effective in confrontation: Absolute truth - no hearsay, no single source, may have to investigate; right timing - ask God for wisdom, do it privately, wait for the right moment; wise wording - a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold, think through what to say, plan each word; fearless courage - pray for it, speak truth in love, truth sets people free. Self-realization is the best cure for sin. A defensive response is normal but not godly. Listen to the accusation and fight the urge to respond with excuses or reasons for your action. Genuine repentance is God's desire. It is an open unguarded admission without excuses, without blaming others. It is a desire to make a complete break from sin with a spirit of brokenness claiming God's forgiveness. Nathan told David you will not die but there will be consequences. Sins are forgivable when confessed and forsaken, but some sins carry painful consequences. In David's case, his new son dies before being named (in eastern cultures, a baby wasn't publicly named until their first birthday, the child could have been as old as 11 months). His three sons experience violent deaths. In Absalom's rebellion, he slept with David's wives in the sight of all Israel (2 Samuel 16:22).
Confession one to another is best for a passion for God and brings healing. The problem is we love to confess the sins of others more than our sins. Augustine said the confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works. Confessing your sins is no substitute as forsaking them. No excuses just confess. Psalm 32:1-4 Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven; whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night, your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Psalm 51 For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. …Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways so that sinners will turn back to you.
Confrontation is no longer an acceptable social practice unless you're a reporter or politician. The confrontation we hear about is usually destructive. It is one candidate trying to smear the other in public debate; it's the microphone stuck into someone's face after an accusation, just to get a headline; It is one denomination or pastor calling another liberal, fundamental, radical or whatever sounds most derogatory or belittling. Now there is such a thing as godly confrontation which only happens in the context of love and for the good of the one being confronted. Try it in relationship with lots of love and prayer.