Summary: David’s Sin with Bathsheba – He was Willing to Face Sin (2 Samuel 11:1-27).

David’s Sin with Bathsheba – He was Willing to Face Sin (2 Samuel 11:1-27).

Explanation: David committed adultery with Bathsheba and she gets pregnant. To cover it up, he pulled her husband out of battle, gave him a months leave, got him drunk and sent him home, hoping that they would do what husbands and wives do after a long period of separation. But that didn’t work. Eventually, David had him killed by sending him into the most dangerous situation while in battle and then abandoning him in the fight. When the smoke finally cleared, two people were dead and two families destroyed. After learning of Uriah’s death, David sends for Bathsheba and marries her. Not long afterwards, he buried their newborn child. David then covered the whole affair (adultery and murder) for at least a year. In a most dramatic moment the prophet Nathan pointed a long bony finger at the king and said, "You are the man!" {2 Sam 12:7 RSV}. David knew then that his sin was uncovered. His tender heart was moved. Nathan the prophet confronted David over his sin in the entire Bathsheba episode. David could have killed Nathan and still covered his sin. But instead, he dealt with his pride, lust, and passions. It was not David’s sin but his response to his sin that marked David as a man after God’s own heart.

Observation: At some point in your life, all of you will face an experience that God will use to surface sinfulness within you. Your response to that experience will determine your integrity. Will you stand as an entire unit, an integer to face the fact that your behavior did not match your belief? Or, will you fractionalize or compartmentalize or cover the stumble and act like it didn’t happen. You see, people who pursue excellence in integrity do mess up, but they come clean and that makes all the difference with God.

Illustration: I came across an article that presents some of the greatest challenges to living ethically and with integrity (Leadership, Winter, 2003). First, manipulation. Some people want something so badly that they manipulate to get it. Second, spin. I heard someone say recently, “Liars figure and figures lie.” You can take raw data and make it say anything that you want it to say. But is that misleading? Third, inappropriate behavior. It’s easy to get tangle up in our relationships. Fourth, self-promotion. Do you always have to take the credit or can you pass it on to whom credit is due? You see manipulation, spin, inappropriate behavior, and self-promotion don’t involve outright lying. But the issue at stake is integrity. Are you what you say you are? Are you authentic? Are you trying to deceive and cover up? Some people have no right to know some things? Authenticity is not raw nakedness where everything is exposed. But when it comes to your basic conduct and character, are you trustworthy or evasive? David was trustworthy and authentic. He never covered up. That’s why he led the nation of Israel into their golden age because the people could trust him, even though he was imperfect.

Application: I am standing before you today and I am calling you to integrity. The first thing that I am emphasizing is this regard is a willingness to face sin. It is this attitude that I want to encourage you to have right now because I am going to identify a corporate sin. I’m taking my sermon now and making an application to all of us. Perhaps, one of the greatest problems that plague SCC is gossip. If you have assured someone that you would not tell anyone what they have shared with you, and you go home and share it with your spouse, you’ve just betrayed their trust. Confidentially passing on to another what was told to you in confidence is betrayal. SCC must strive for Excellence in our Integrity.

Illustration: I read a story that Leadership magazine entitled “Gossip Worse than Sticks and Stones”. They quoted out of the publication called Today’s Christian Woman. Here’s what happened. “While at a restaurant after lunch, my friend Michell and her coworker, Sharon, stopped in the restroom to fix their makeup before returning to their jobs. Their small talk turned to the subject of a woman who drove them crazy. Michelle launched into a two-minute diatribe about their coworker Beth. As Michelle prepared to divulge more, a stall door opened. Out walked Beth, red-faced and angry. Michelle and Beth stared at each other in embarrassed panic. Michelle knew she couldn’t take her words back… Beth fled out the door. That afternoon, Beth didn’t return to work. The next day Michelle heard…that Beth had resigned. While other staff members cheered what seemed to be good news, Michelle felt miserable. She wished she had talked to Beth instead of talking about Beth.” And, now, here’s the way that the author of this story summarizes: “Although that situation happened five years ago, Michelle’s never forgotten it. She tried to reach Beth several times by phone, then wrote her a letter of apology. Beth never responded. Michelle says she learned her lesson about loose lips the hard way. What’s worse is that Michelle’s a Christian, and Beth, to her knowledge, isn’t.” I’m calling you to live above this kind of thing. Integrity demands it.

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