Summary: Too often we treat our sins the way David treated his: we sweep them under the rug and try to forget about them. But the Lord confronts us with sin, in order to show us his awesome power to forgive!
II Samuel 11:26-12:10,13-15
I don’t know about you, but this has never happened to me, that I come home at the end of a day, take a seat on the couch, kick my feet up onto the coffee table and remark, “you know, I really felt like a king today!” You probably also have a difficult time identifying your life with that of a king. I mean, when was the last time someone asked you how your day was and you said, “it was just royal,” or “I had such a majestic day, I felt like a monarch. Everyone couldn’t stop bowing before me, it was a little embarrassing.” Again, compare our normal, everyday lives to the powerful, stately, luxuriant life of a king, and it is hard to identify with that a kingly kind of a life.
But in one respect, I really feel like a king. One particular king, King David. In a spiritual sense, I feel like this king more often than I would care to admit. You see, sometimes kings have a tendency to act as though they are above the laws, and that’s exactly what King David did. And that’s exactly what I do sometimes. And if you are honest with yourself, you will also find plenty of times during the course of a normal day when you act like this king, King David, in regard to the times you feel that you are above God’s laws (we call those times “sins”). So we ask this morning, Do you every feel like a King? 1. Are you ever in denial of your sin? 2. Are you ever crushed by your sins? 3. And you are forever freed from your sin!
I’m surprised that we have yet to see Hollywood come out with the movie entitled, “David and Bathsheba – A Romantic Thriller.” I mean, this story has all the makings of a steamy suspense story. You have a king. A beautiful woman married to someone else. An illicit affair. The cover-up. The plotting. The abuse of power. The treachery. The murder. The sly wedding. The scandal. And while the world might look at this and say that David and Bathsheba is a story that really gets our hearts racing and our excitement up, the Bible impresses on us the darker side of David and Bathsheba. And what we really see is not the exhilarating tale of a secret affair, but instead we witness the ugly effects of one little sin spinning lives out of control.
It began innocently enough. David probably didn’t intend to commit a grievous sin that evening. But he let his wandering eye stop at a sight he had no business looking at, the wife of one of his neighbor’s bathing. And that one little sin set in motion a series of events that would eventually leave two people dead, and a royal family forever stained with strife. But what happened to David is what happens to often when people tell a lie. Lies have a snowball effect, don’t they? You only intend to tell one lie, (Oh, I’m late getting home because I had to stop at the gas station because I was out of gas) but then you need another to cover that one up (well yes, I filled up just yesterday, but I did a lot of driving around in the last 2 days), and the can of worms gets opened so quickly when we start lying that we start getting defensive (well, I can’t remember all the places I was in the last 2 days that caused me to use up all that gas, so can you just give it a rest?). In David’s case, one sin led to another. After the affair, news came that it had led to a pregnancy. David had to move quickly to cover this up. To he tried to get Uriah the husband to come home, so everyone would assume this was a normal pregnancy. But Uriah wouldn’t go home. So David compounds his sin by getting Uriah drunk, figuring that when he was in high spirits, he’d go home to his wife. Nope. So now David gets desperate. He writes a letter to the commanding general, effectively giving Uriah his death sentence. And as a nice devious touch, David has Uriah himself deliver this letter. And after Uriah is quickly killed, David chivalrously marries the widow Bathsheba to comfort her in her loss.
What went wrong here? Sin after sin after sin after sin. A failure to check sin when it was small. And a denial of sin after it had gotten out of control. And before we tar and feather King David for this, look at your life and ask if you ever feel like David in regard to your sin. Have you ever found yourself saying, “well I don’t think it’s very Christian for so-and-so to do such-and-such.” You don’t feel as bad about your own sins, do you, when you can find someone who is worse than you. “Oh boy, what’s the world coming to when our own city hosts an event called ‘Gay Days’” you might lament because if you can find someone living in open sins, the secret sins in your heart don’t look nearly as bad. “Isn’t it terrible that in the name of religion, hate-filled terrorist behead innocent people,” you say as you think it’s perfectly OK that you, a Christian, carry around a hateful grudge against someone else. Because it’s easy for us to reason that a harmless little feeling of resentment against someone can’t be as bad as what a terrorist does.