Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

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30 Alone with God in the Solution

2 Samuel 12:14-25

“However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die.” 15 So Nathan went to his house. Then the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s widow bore to David, so that he was very sick. 16 David therefore inquired of God for the child; and David fasted and went and lay all night on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him in order to raise him up from the ground, but he was unwilling and would not eat food with them. 18 Then it happened on the seventh day that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while  the child was still alive, we spoke to him and he did not listen to our voice. How then can we tell him that the child is dead, since he might do himself harm!” 19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead; so David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.” 20 So David arose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he came into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he came to his own house, and when he requested, they set food before him and he ate. 21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” 22 He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows, the LORD may be gracious to me, that the child may live.’ 23 “But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” 24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her; and she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon. Now the LORD loved him 25 and sent word through Nathan the prophet, and he named him Jedidiah for the LORD’S sake.

David has committed adultery and then murder in an attempt to cover up his sin, God has sent Nathan the Prophet to confront and convict David. David had confessed and repented and many of us want the story to end with 2 Samuel 12:13:

13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die.”

We like stories were it all works out and we can have our perfect ending, in reality what we really want is our sin forgiven without consequence. However, in the real world we can be forgiven for breaking down the door but we still have to deal with the gaping hole we created in the house. There are always consequences to our actions, and like it or not, we have to coexist with those consequences, David did.

  • The first consequence was the death of David’s newborn son, which may seem to be an unfair punishment of an innocent child. There are many views on this, including that the child would have lived a painful and disgraceful life, as an illegitimate son, and his death as an infant was merciful. Others look at the ramifications of this illegitimate child becoming king. Still others see the example of atonement, an innocent life being given to redeem the life of the guilty. Me, I don’t know, but this death underscores an important truth; our sin doesn’t just affect us, it also infects those around us. The long-reaching effect of a moment of sinful self-indulgence can be far reaching and deadly. In that moment of temptation we rarely think about others and in moments of rebellion we make life long decisions for more than just ourselves.
  • The second consequence was the judgment proclaimed in verses 11-12 came to pass, David’s sin affected more than one of his sons. Nathan told David that what he tried to keep as a secret would be made public. 2 Samuel 16:20-22 records Absalom’s rebellion as he publicly takes his father’s wives, and David’s public disgrace and humiliation. Talk about a broken family; see, “What happens in Vegas, does not stay in Vegas!”
  • The third consequence affected Bathsheba, she had to live with humiliation and disgrace in the midst of the king’s other wives and in their society, the loss of a son was a sign of God’s judgment upon them that was a matter of deep, scarring disgrace.

Yet the good news is that the story does not end with the consequences of sin but the grace of God. Where there is sin, there are consequences, but where there is grace, there is a cure, restoration and healing:

24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her; and she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon. Now the LORD loved him 25 and sent word through Nathan the prophet, and he named him Jedidiah for the LORD’S sake.

Scripture does not record Bathsheba’s journey of healing as it does David’s, but don’t miss the hand of God in their relationship. What are the chances that that a marriage born out of adultery and death could even survive, much less prosper. God demonstrated His grace in the sanctification of a relationship that had once brought the condemnation of death. This is not a “healed but always crippled” relationship, but a “healed and whole relationship,” which may have been born in death, but after God’s healing, births life. The life of Solomon, a child of wisdom, who succeeded his father as King, and his name appears in the direct bloodline of Christ in the New Testament genealogies. I for one am tired of the “once an alcoholic always an alcoholic” syndrome in the church, are there consequences yes, but then there is God’s healing. God can bring beauty from ashes; it’s not your past bloodline that defines you, it’s the blood of Christ. The restored and sanctified marriage of David and Bathsheba bears the handy work of God and his blessing, not David’s work harder self-effort. Don’t miss the grace of God in who He sends to deliver God’s blessing, it is the same prophet, Nathan, who earlier was chosen to bring the condemnation of sin! The message: God had a special name for this special child: Jedidiah which means “beloved of God.”

God brings condemnation but He always offers grace and healing, this is the recurring theme throughout the Bible culminating in the offering of His only Son, Jesus. God wants to have an intimate relationship with you and He has gone out of His way to invite you into that relationship. The whole point of God’s charge against David was not to punish him, but to restore him, yet too often we don’t accept God’s plan.

David wasn’t the first man to fall into sin and he won’t be the last, there have been both kings and commoners fall, but the ground at the foot of the cross is level for all. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, or where you’ve been, God’s healing and restoring grace is available to all. Like David, you will have to be honest with God, and with yourself. Are you ready to take the first step toward seeing your life rebuilt? Then you, like David, need to:

  • Stop trying to hide your sin behind cheap excuses and lies
  • Get real and confess your sin and repent
  • Be willing to deal with and accept the consequences of your sin
  • Accept God’s forgiveness

Are you ready for a fresh start? Is it time to get alone with God and allow Him to restored and rebuild your life?

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29 Alone with God in the Shame

2 Samuel 12:1-13

12:1 Then the LORD sent Nathan to David. And he came to him and said, “There were two men in one city, the one rich and the other poor. 2 “The rich man had a great many flocks and herds. 3 “But the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb Which he bought and nourished; And it grew up together with him and his children. It would eat of his  bread and drink of his cup and lie in his bosom, And was like a daughter to him. 4 “Now a traveler came to the rich man, And he was unwilling to take from his own flock or his own herd, To prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him; Rather he  took the poor man’s ewe lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” 5 Then David’s anger burned greatly against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the LORD lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die. 6 “He must make restitution for the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing and had no compassion.” 7 Nathan then said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘It is I who anointed you king over Israel and it is I who delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 ‘I also gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your care, and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added to you many more things like these! 9 ‘Why have you despised the word of the LORD by doing evil in His sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the sons of Ammon. 10 ‘Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 “Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes and give them to your companion, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. 12 ‘Indeed you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and under the sun.’” 13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin.

David had sinned, he thought he had built an effective cover-up plan to hide his sin, he had only overlooked one small detail you can’t hide your heart from God. God is going to deal with David’s heart of hidden sin first by confronting David with the Truth. It is always the Truth that sets us free and people that are hiding need to be set free.

  • Confront

The truth is that God is going to confront us when we sin and try to cover it up. He confronted Adam and Eve as they hid in their sin, He confronted their son Cain when he killed Abel, and He confronted Ananias and Sapphira in their deceit. Why does God confront our sin? Because He loves us. God confronts David by sending Nathan to speak His truth, notice Nathan is obedient and responds to God’s call. There are many things that God calls us to do that are not easy or fun and for Nathan, this is one of those calls. This is a step of Faith, confronting the King doesn’t always go well, but Nathan knows who he works for, who his King is, and he responds in faith verses fear or feeling. What is motivating you to respond to God? Fear, how you feel about what He has called you to do or Faith? David’s first reaction to this is:


David’s anger over Nathan’s story is a very telling reaction, David still had a moral compass, even though he had ignored it in his own situation, and that moral compass screamed for justice. David, as king, had authority to pronounce judgment on such criminals, and that’s exactly what he did, not realizing that he was pronouncing his own judgment, the death penalty. Don’t be surprised when people who are confronted with the truth often respond in anger. God now moves from confront to:

  • Convict

It was then, in verse 7, that Nathan “dropped the bomb.” David was reminded, as I often need to be, that God knows what is going on. Nathan, who hadn’t been a party to any of this incident, recited back to David EXACTLY what he had done, in painful detail.  To convict is to declare someone guilty, David is now backed into the uncomfortable corner of conviction. David’s reaction to this is:


It’s important to understand the dynamic of this situation. Nathan literally risked his life bringing this accusation before the king. The king was the sole power-broker of government; he could have told one of the guards to kill Nathan on the spot. He could have denied his sin, and argued with Nathan, ultimately with God. He could have defied them and continued in his denial. The choice was David’s to make. Nathan understood the risk, yet also understood that obedience to God, even to the point of death, is better than a long life of rebellion and disobedience. When we sin we need to be convicted but we also need to remember there are:

  • Consequences

God is not only the one who convicts but He is also the one who pronounces judgment. David earlier had declared that justice in this situation would be the death sentence. David’s response to God is:


verse 13 “Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And it’s in David’s third response, confession that we see the:


David had to come face-to-face with himself, and it’s at this moment that he confesses. There is no blame-shifting or “but” phrases, no excuses, no spin, no double-talk, David saw his situation clearly. With his admission of guilt, it would have been fully justified if God had carried out the sentence pronounced upon him by his own judgment and struck him dead on the spot. It is in this moment when he expected to that he experiences God’s mercy and grace:

And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die.” (2 Samuel 12:13b)

This was an important defining moment in David’s life, instead of death God showed His grace by forgiving David, and allowing him to live. For the rest of his days when David opened his eyes in the morning, he knew that he was alive for one reason and one reason only, the sheer grace of God. God’s mercy and grace is the turning point that will change the direction of your life and deepened your relationship with God. Psalm 51 is David’s prayer of repentance, it illustrates that David’s repentance was not just a “sorry, I’ll try to do better” but a deep, heartfelt plea to God for forgiveness, healing and restoration. Genuine repentance always brings forgiveness, restoration and healing but it only comes through confrontation, conviction and confession. There is something in every one of us that wants to short circuit the process and skip the confrontation, conviction and confession and arrive at the forgiveness, restoration and healing. Yet if we, like David, ever want to fully recover from our fall into sin, we must experience the confrontation, conviction and confession. Are you willing to allow God to convict you? It’s much easier to do as David did, and see sin worse in others than you do in yourself. It’s amazing at how angry you can get at someone else’s wickedness, but how patient and forgiving you can be with yours. But God is merciful, He will send a Nathan to help us face up to our own wickedness, then we must decide: will we keep living in denial, or will we confess as David did? Is it time to get alone with God?