Summary: Going through the storm of temptation does not need to result in the ship-wreck of our faith or the sinking of our relationship with God. Even in the storm of temptation there is a storm breaker.
The Storm of Temptation
Let me briefly outline an event in Biblical history.
1 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
David the King is not out fighting … he is at home aimlessly pacing his rooftop porch.
Below him in the palace are at least nine wives.
But from his porch he sees a beautiful woman bathing on her rooftop and sends a servant to find her identity.
3 ‘She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.’
The servant has much greater integrity than David.
My King – here is the report of my visit. Her name is Bathsheba … the wife. Do you get the hint my King? She belongs to someone else. Maybe if you have specific needs you should go and visit one or your NINE wives ... or a concubine.
That should have been the end of it. But just in case the servant also adds the name of the husband and the father – Bathsheba the wife of Uriah the Hittite and daughter of Eliam.
That is very significant.
In 2 Samuel 23 we are given a description of David’s mightiest warriors. The Three and The Thirty. The “Thirty” were men who have been devoted and loyal to David from before the time he had become king. They were experts in combat – eventually to become the personal bodyguard of King David. Trustworthy. Doing anything for David. Look who is in the list of “The Thirty”.
2 Samuel 23:34, 39
34 Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite
39 and Uriah the Hittite
Bathsheba ... is the wife of your good mate, and the daughter of another good mate.
David come to your senses.
But David doesn’t. A child is conceived. A cover-up which ultimately leads to the death of Uriah is put in place. God sends Nathan the prophet to confront David. The child dies.
If you are not familiar with the fuller story read 2 Samuel 11-12.
So that is the event.
Now let’s turn to Psalm 51 (read including the superscript)
Do you see why having the background is so important.
This Psalm is God’s Word following David’s storm of temptation … and how that storm was broken.
Storm Breaker – God Wants Us In A Place of Restoration
Even as he is in the process of making a confession David expresses an expected outcome.
An outcome that will move him from where he is now
- in the place of
- and carrying all the emotions and feelings of
sin, transgression and iniquity.
To an outcome that David is absolutely confident will occur.
You cleanse from sin (2)
You desired faithfulness even in the womb (6)
You will let me hear joy (8)
You will create a pure heart (10)
Lord renew, restore, revive. As I sit here Lord in the depths I cry out to You knowing that You do not want me to be in this place.
“As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.
God does not want us to be sitting in the space of guilt, shame, fear, separation, crushed, unwilling, impurity, uncleanness, judgement, cast-out, spiritually empty.
Think about the way God-in-the-flesh … Immanuel … Jesus.
Think about the way He left sinners
The Samaritan woman at the well
The woman caught in adultery
Mary Magdalene who had seven demons
Peter who denied him
Saul who was persecuting his followers
Even of this who were calling for death and on the road to crucifixion … “Father forgive them because they do not know what they are doing.”
The road to breaking the storm of temptation comes by recognising that God wants us in a place of restoration.
But it takes more than that.
Storm Breaker – Our Confession is Grounded in God’s Character
Knowing that God wants restoration gives secure hope.
Knowing that God wants restoration despite the fact that all our sin, iniquity and transgressions are directed against God … well that gives us security because of God’s character.
Think about David.
He was not being a responsible King.
He was not committed to his current wives.
He was not honouring his close friends.
He commits adultery. He murders.
He has abused his position of power.
He has abused Bathsheba.
The book of Samuel says But the thing David had done displeased the Lord (2 Samuel 11:27)
Indeed David realises exactly what he has done …