Series: The Survival Guide to Being Human
Sun am 13 November 2016 – Justus Swart
2 Sam. 7:11-16; (Matt. 1:1-16); 2 Sam. 11:1-5, 14-27; 2 Sam. 12:1-19, 24; (Ps. 5:1-17)
We have been trying to understand an infinite God; a God who is above all things outside creation and in creation. Try as we may we will never break into infinity until we actually pass on into the next plain of existence. We all happily sing and talk about the sovereignty of God who is all-powerful, but when we look at life we tend to see some chaos and wonder how it all fits into place. This all knowing God decided to entrust to us the plan of working with Him, the ultimate duty of redeeming the world. And any plan that relies on human co-operation is going to be risky. Yet it is exactly the kind of plan you would expect from a God who is sovereign. Only a sovereign God can have a risky plan and have it all work out at the end. That is what sovereignty means.
In Part 6 of this series we will be taking a look at what can be described as the dark days of David and the significant prophesy by the prophet Nathan over David’s life (2 Sam. 7:11-16). David is made an integral part of God’s plan for Israel and became the royal bloodline from which Jesus was born (Matthew 1:1-16).
The thing David had done displeased the Lord (2 Sam. 11:1-27). David had eight wives in total and of that eight, five are named. Of those five, three are mentioned in more detail. The first one was Michal, Saul’s daughter, the second was Abigail originally Nabel’s wife. She was known to be prudent, very wise and very measured. Then we have Bathsheba, David planned for her husband Uriah to be killed. Out of these three women, who do you think is best suited or the most qualified to carry out God’s plan in establishing the house of David?
Tip 18 – Do not entertain temptation: (2 Sam. 11:2-5). This story shows us what happens to people who think they can be more than human. No-one can rise above their humanness; everyone has a weakness and a breaking point. When we think we have enough strength to entertain this kind of temptation we think we are more than human. David kept pushing the boundaries. David knew that God had a plan yet he was tempted. Instead of coming clean and owning up to the mistake and saying sorry, he plotted the murder of an innocent man (2 Sam. 11:6-25). His vision was clouded with passion and power and no one around him would stop him. After Uriah died, David was incredibly far from what God originally planned for him and God was displeased with him. It all started with a seemingly innocent look which gripped David so forcefully that he could not let go. He entertained it until he was in a tailspin. This story is a good warning to all of us. This is not limited to just sexual temptation although it certainly includes that. It could be power, influence, money, or skipping from duties that you have. We are lulled by this seductive voice saying, “I can push just a little bit further” and the next thing you cannot find your way back. David was only human and could not resist this temptation. The question we should ask ourselves is: what has your heart’s attention? Where is your heart focused when it comes to fulfilling the plan of God for your life? Are you running after temptations? Are you looking over this horizon and at that other option, flirting with ideas when what you really should be focusing on what God has originally promised to you?
Tip 19 – Community cures blind spots: (2 Sam. 12:1-10). David answered Nathan burning with righteous indignation. Nathan had to say, “I am talking about you”. There is no point in judging David for his reaction as we do this every single day. We construct a version of reality based on how we perceive ourselves, “I am the hero of my story, I cannot possibly be wrong”. His understanding of what was going on around him was based on the fact that he was God’s golden boy. He could not imagine that he could do anything wrong. He heard the story and thought, “Not me, I killed Goliath, I overcame Saul, I am king of Israel”. When he heard the story it never occurred to him that he had crossed the line. This is how far he had gone in his pride. This literally happens every Sunday. We hear stories in the Bible and fail to connect our own lives to what we are hearing. The aim of placing ourselves within the story being told is lost. Every Sunday we are challenged to assess ourselves to take a step in the right direction. Assess yourself, check yourself out. Where is your heart and where are you going? Blind spots are part of our make-up. Not everyone can see himself every single moment for exactly what he is. We all need a Nathan from time to time to tell us we are on the wrong path. We all need someone to help us overcome the blind spots in our lives. None of us are above needing this. When you have entertained temptation for too long in a certain area then you really need somebody strong enough in your life to confront you and bring you back to reality. You need someone who can tell you that if you are going to continue on this road you will end up with a mess on your hands. You need someone to remind you that you are not a golden goose and that if you push yourself too far in certain areas you will crack. The key here is that what David did was wrong in the Lord’s eyes even though in his own eyes he thought he was fine.
Tip 20 – Bearing the Consequences: (2 Sam. 12:11). We sometimes do something we should not have done and turn to God quickly asking for mercy. We hope for some divine intervention that will come suddenly and that God who is all powerful can spare us the consequences. This is not the case in the story of David. Christians are called to a journey where we make choices and have to bear the consequences of those choices. Not as punishment but as a signal to the world that our God is greater than the consequences that come from our choices. Even though we go through the valley after our bad choices, we proclaim that He is still greater. If God were to take all the wrong things away and let it disappear whenever we run to Him, He would be a fairy and He would not be God. You have to decide if you want God or if you want the god you made up in your head that just saves everything when you mess up. You and I are not called to bypass the painful consequences of our bad choices. We are called to be a demonstration of how God has strengthened us so we can face and overcome them. What went on in David’s heart after Nathan had talked to him? (Ps. 51:1-17). This is an incredible insight into the revelation of who God is. David bore the consequences of what he had done and he turned to God in worship. The Bible says after his son had died he went to the temple and he worshipped God. He turned his heart towards God and not away from God and asked for strength to see him through. God comes into the picture after all of this and demonstrates His sovereignty. Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon (2 Sam. 12:24). Solomon was the great, great, great grandfather of Jesus. Earlier we asked the question, “Which of the wives do you think God would use to perpetuate this royal bloodline of David?” Michal would have been a good choice as she was already in the royal bloodline being the daughter of King Saul. Abigail would have been good for she carried herself as a queen, she was very prudent. Instead God used Bathsheba to be the great, great, great, great grandmother of Jesus. That is sovereignty. When God takes your lowest moments and turns them into something that has always been a part of His plan.
When one reads the opening books of Matthew seeing the list of the genealogy of David leading up to Jesus; when it comes to mentioning Bathsheba it says, “David the father of Solomon whose mother had been Uriah’s wife”. They did not even want to name her in the Bible but God used it as a demonstration. One of the most hectic stories in David’s life turned into the most amazing testimony of how good God is. This must have been a surprise to everyone that from Bathsheba the house of Israel was made strong. From Bathsheba, ‘the mistake’, came the Messiah who would change the world. God redeemed the story of David by changing his test into a testimony. That is what grace looks like. God says, “My plan will stand”. God had a plan and it started long before you were born and it will not be derailed when you make a mistake. Turn to face God, come back to the house of worship and ask God for mercy and see His sovereign plan take shape in your life.