~by Randy Bushey
David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works (Romans 4:6).
In our look at the life of David, the fateful events of 2 Samuel 11 have been identified as the seminal turning point in the great king’s life.
David’s “tipping point”.
David’s sexual encounter with Bathsheba and the subsequent murder of her husband Uriah forever clouded the dimensions of his life in prominent ways. He experienced ongoing personal unrest and uncertainty, together with frequent threats to his monarchy.
Within his family repeated cycles of dysfunction, violence, and immense heartache result from his children.
And this occurred within a protracted era of political and domestic upheaval within Israel.
But it all begins to unravel in 2 Samuel 11.
Consequently, we discussed 3 takeaways – or life-applications – for us from David’s dark chapter:
1) we observed that David was disappointingly human. The man who was world class in many ways – as a warrior, a poet and musician, as an administrator and king – was also passionate, obsessive, impulsive, and undisciplined.
David is described in both the Old and New Testaments as a man after God’s heart.
And yet he was deplorably human.
But as we consider his failings – forever recorded in the Scriptural account – we are reminded of our own hearts.
We too are weak, hypocritical, inconsistent, sinful.
We too thrive best in environments that exemplify high grace and low judgment.
And the irony of the Gospel is this: the more we become like Christ in the process of Holy Spirit-empowered sanctification, the more we are acutely aware of our own sinful hearts.
2) we were reminded that sinful habits erode God’s restraining grace.
This episode in David’s life – and the consequences that dogged him for the rest of his days – evidence this basic principle that should be a blinding flash of the obvious: sin blocks God’s grace.
Breaching God’s law restrains, diminishes, and thwarts His goodness in our lives.
And sin that is habitual, intentional, and ongoing – like sexual sin so common in our culture – moves us outside the sphere of God’s greatest grace.
We live in a day where our culture says that sex outside of heterosexual marriage is no big deal. In fact, many in the 21st century church proclaim messages and condone behaviour that is careless, undisciplined, self-absorbed – and unbiblical.
But when believers knowingly sin, demonstrating a cavalier attitude that expects – even demands – God’s grace, His goodness is devalued. Writing before WWII, German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer labelled it as “cheap grace”.
The corrective is obvious – and it was missing in David’s life in 2 Samuel 11: the man or woman wanting God’s greatest blessing must erect moral “fences”; these are behavioural structures and disciplines relating to the consumption of entertainment, the handling of social situations, the temptations of business travel, and pre-thinking and practicing self-control with the use of alcohol.
3) was DAVID a sinner or saint? During the Protestant Reformation 500 years ago, Martin Luther coined this Latin phrase: simul iustus et peccator. Translation: at the same time, just and sinner.
Luther expressed an eternal biblical truth. We who are justified by Almighty God because of our faith in the Person and work of His Son are at that point declared righteous.
However, we continue to struggle with sin. The power of sin is broken in our lives, but the presence of sin continues until we are in His presence forever.
Until then, the Holy Spirit changes our attitude toward evil – despising its effect in our lives and relationships.
Committed Christ-followers seek to create for themselves an environment where sin is recognized for what it is – that which damages our souls.
That’s where a faith community is essential, vital and indispensable for spiritual health. The New Testament assumes every believer is part of a local church, thereby experiencing life-enhancing Bible teaching, prayer, worship and fellowship accountability (Acts 2:42).
In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord Jesus provided this diagnostic observation: For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21).
And David’s heart beat for God’s righteousness, the currency of the Kingdom of Heaven.
That’s why David so highly valued God’ undeserved grace, evidenced in the New Testament when Paul quotes from David’s Psalm 32: Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him (Romans 4:6-8).
~ graphic by Richard Simpson, freeimages.com