Summary: This is the second sermon in a series of seven on Brokenness. This is a study of King David.
Proverbs 25:11 says, "Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances."
A Hard Heart or a Broken Heart – Your Choice
Jesus said that people in the days of Moses were permitted to divorce because of the “hardness of men’s hearts”. Divorce is not caused by adultery, abuse, or people simply “growing apart”.
Friendships are not destroyed by gossip, thoughtlessness, or a slanderous word.
The relationships in families between father and son; mother and daughter; brother and sister are not ruined by fights and squabbles.
The relationship between a man and his God; a woman and her God is not broken because of his/her sin.
There is separation and loneliness because we withdraw from his presence and he sets us apart from him when we will not turn toward him.
It all comes down to one issue. It is simply the hardness of the heart.
The opposite of love is not hate: it is apathy.
Hardness is the decision to not care about another anymore. It is the decision to be apathetic toward someone. There is a gritting of teeth and the setting of the jaw – a determination to not love; not trust; not give; not take; not play; not work; not touch that person any more.
There are some who have hardened their hearts against God.
If there is ever going to be reconciliation with God – there must be a breaking of the hardened heart.
And how does that happen?
It happens when God knocks at the door of our heart. Sometimes when you hammer on something hard it breaks and shatters. And sometimes it just gets harder.
The choice is yours.
This morning I want to look at David’s heart with you.
David’s Heart sas soft and tender toward God in his youth. In the fields with the harp – singing songs of praise and worship as he watched his father’s flocks.
Eventually he became a man of God. He took on the giant called Goliath. He spent years hiding from a jealous king. He became the king and united all of Israel in the service of God. And then he sinned.
Oh – it was not the first sin in his life. But this sin he covered, he hid, he “managed”.
I won’t rehearse the details of the scandalous story that is the backdrop of chapter 12.
Most people know them anyway. Suffice it to say that King David has committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of one of his most valiant soldiers. (The stories in the news today about adultery in the military and rank-and-privileged cover up are nothing new.) When it was discovered that she was pregnant, rather than confess his wrong, he tried to cover it up. In the process he ordered the murder of Uriah, the woman’s husband.
After the days of mourning were completed, he moved Bathsheba to the palace to make the cover-up complete except for one thing that is mentioned in the last verse of 2 Samuel 11: "But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord." It is so certain that you can take it to the bank that whenever you read words like that in the Bible, you haven’t heard the end of a story. Such is the case here.
Nearly one year transpired between the events of chapter 11 and those of chapter 12 - a year in which David lived a sham - the life of a hypocrite.
And what was soft and pliable became tough and hard. He lied, he murdered, he hid the truth.
Could David ever become a man of God again? Would David ever be tender toward God again?
Yes but only because – God knocked at the door of his heart and wanted to come back into his life.
At the right time; the right person; with the right words, hammered his hardened heart and it was shattered.
Then and only then can the broken heart be mended and what was hard can be soft again.
At the right time…
After David sinned almost a year passed. This was a time of pretence and hypocrisy. The root word of hypocrite is actor. A person who acts like all is well in their life.
It is a kind of “spiritual whistling in the dark”.
That is when someone walks in the dark shadows and is afraid but whistles to show that they are not fearful.
Hypocrisy is simply pretending. This was not an easy time. A Pretender is someone who pretends to be something he is not. Like the TV show only it’s not as easy to pull off as on TV.
It warps the soul. After the breaking, David writes about what was really going on in his heart. The guilt and the shame and the pain.