Summary: An examination of how we should seek forgiveness when we fail to live godly lives.
Title: When The Godly Fall
Series: Living Godly Lives (Sermon # 4)
Text: Psalm 51
Date Preached: June 29, 2008
COPYRIGHT © Joe La Rue, 2008
A. For the past three weeks, we have been talking about living godly lives. We began the series three weeks ago with the general proposition that we should do this—that it is good for us to live godly lives, that this is the right thing for us to do. Two weeks ago we talked about being godly, even when no one is watching—even when no one would ever know whether we do the right thing. Last week we talked about being godly when everyone is watching—when our actions are on display, and the godly choice is the unpopular one, and doing the godly thing may subject us to ridicule or worse. We have looked at scripture in this series that encourages us to train ourselves to be godly, and to let our light shine so that the world can see our good works. This morning, let’s turn our attention to consider one more aspect of godliness. Let’s talk about what happens when the godly fall, when God’s people fail to be and act godly. None of us set out to fail; and yet, we all do. Every one of us sins, and each time we sin we are failing to live a godly life in that moment.
1. Now, sometimes these failures are relatively private. We say something to someone that we shouldn’t, or we act in a way that we shouldn’t, and few people are aware of it, if anyone is at all. These are private failures, private sins.
2. But sometimes our failures are public ones, ones which everybody sees, and everybody knows about. There’s no hiding these sins. They are in the public eye.
3. Either way, whether our sins are known by no one, or by everyone, they are known by God. The Psalmist said to God, “My wrongs are not hidden from You.” (Psalm 69:5, NASB). And God Himself says, “My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity concealed from My eyes.” (Jer 16:17, NASB). The Bible is plain: God sees all our sins, even if no one else does. So, whether our sin is public or private, God always sees. He always knows.
B. David found this out. You remember David—he was the king of Israel. He was an ancestor of Jesus. He was specially chosen by God to lead the people. And, just like us, he fell. In one horrible moment, he failed to be the man God wanted him to be. And he found out that God always knows. Even when we deceive ourselves into thinking that no one could possibly know, God does.
1. You remember that God had given David the Kingdom of Israel, and had also given him success, power, and wealth. In addition, God had given David a number of beautiful women as wives. However, just like us sometimes, David wasn’t satisfied with all that God had given him. He wanted more.
2. One time, while David’s army was off fighting a war, and David was restless at home, he happened to look out from the palace and he saw a beautiful young woman named Bathsheba bathing in the house next to the palace. He looked at her, and he wanted her. He must have thought, “I’m the king! I can have anything I want!”—including her. So David sent a messenger and ordered her to come to his palace. She came—she had no choice—and David slept with her. Now, the Bible says that you should not have relations with someone who is not your spouse. That was true in David’s time, just as it is true today. But David didn’t care. He was attracted to her; he wanted her; so, he slept with her. And lo and behold, Bathsheba got pregnant.
3. When she told David, David knew he had a problem. You see, Bathsheba was married. Not only had David committed the sin of having sex with someone he was not married to, he had also committed the sin of adultery—he had slept with another man’s wife. And this man was one of his soldiers. He was currently off in the war, risking his life for the man who had just slept with his wife.
4. David knew that this would not look good, so David thought, “I’ve got to keep this sin private. No one can ever know.” So David hatched a plan. He sent for Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, and ordered him to come home from the war to report on the army’s progress. Uriah got home and reported, and then David ordered him to go home to his wife. David thought that the people would then think that Uriah was the father of Bathsheba’s baby. Only, there was a problem: Uriah didn’t go home that night. Rather, he slept at the door of the palace. When David questioned him about it the next morning, Uriah protested that and it would be wrong for him to go to his house to enjoy the comforts of home so long as the King’s army was in the field fighting a war. So he refused. David tried again the next night, and the next, but Uriah continued to refuse to go home to his wife.