2 Samuel 12:13-25 – When All Is Stripped Away and It’s Just You Before God…

Posted: June 27, 2018 in 10-2 Samuel

2 Samuel 12:13-25
David Confesses His Guilt

A lot of us are naïve when we think about the moment we find salvation in the arms of Jesus Christ. Many of us think that at that moment, things will change for the better on every count. We think that all the negative stuff that we have been dealing with will automatically stop, the clouds will part, the sun will come out and angels will begin singing. However, that is not the reality of life. God will not change the past and the actions and reactions that have been set forth as a result of our poor decisions and sins. Even when we accept Christ as our Savior, He will allow the consequences of our past to play out. It is up to us to continue to have faith in Him as those consequences play themselves out. Also, just because we become a child of God through the saving grace of Jesus Christ, it does not automatically make us a mature Christian. We often continue to make mistakes of significance even after salvation as we mature in our walk with Jesus Christ. Salvation is not the end of the road. It is just the beginning of a journey to maturity in Jesus that takes an entire lifetime to process through.

I was no different. I thought that in December 2001 that my life would get better. My second marriage was falling apart because of my kids vs. your kids issues, because of past financial mistakes that I had made, and because of an affair that my second wife had. Man, if I could go back and re-live that part of my life, I would never have jumped right into another relationship after my first marriage blew up. But in those days, I measured myself by whether I had a woman in my life or not. That was the measure. So, keeping them happy was my god. But that’s hindsight. My past is my past and it is what it is. After salvation though my life actually got worse. The mistakes of my past including my second marriage all came crashing down. I ended up having to start over again for the second time. The my kids vs. your kids issue was the ultimate undoing of my second marriage and it boiled down to my second wife feeling as though I should not be supporting my oldest daughter (who lived with us from age 16 forward) while I felt as though that my child was in college so that extends the time by which you have to provide significant financial support to your child. As you can see, these conflicting and unresolved points of view were on a collision course. Instead of being a man and saying that this is my child and I am supporting her while she is in college, I hid my financial support of my child from my second wife. It all came to head in August 2004, and with all the stuff that had already happened in our marriage, our marriage did not survive.

Starting over again from scratch. My life got worse for a while. Living with my parents until I could see what the financial future held. Years of figuring things out about myself. Job change. State change. There were about 6 years there that my life was worse off in so many ways as all the previous trappings of my life were stripped away. Mistakes were continued to be made. It was a time where I learned who I was and had to reflect on it. The Lord stripped away all the things that I had previously counted as my world. Set me up alone in new places with new job. Nothing was the same. However, it was during those times that I learned so much about myself. Some of it was difficult to grasp. Some of it was freeing. I did not come out of this time of self-analysis and learning to depend on God for my value and dealing the results of my past that I was really ready to grow in my walk with Him. It was not until after I met Elena and we finally joined our lives together in Livermore, CA and met our spiritual parents in Christ, Luke and Felisha Brower (the pastor and his wife). It was under their care, they Elena and I started growing spiritually in Christ. However, if it were not for of our times of going through the spiritual valleys before we became husband and wife that we were ready to grow.

That was the thing that I thought of this morning as I read through 2 Samuel 12:13-25. David’s sins caught up with him in the death of his young child and it was a time of deep darkness for him where he really had to examine the errors of his life up to that point. He emerged a man who was more and more devoted to the Lord. Let us read the passage now:

13 Then David confessed 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. 14 Nevertheless, because you have shown utter contempt for the word of the Lord[a] by doing this, your child will die.”

15 After Nathan returned to his home, the Lord sent a deadly illness to the child of David and Uriah’s wife. 16 David begged God to spare the child. He went without food and lay all night on the bare ground. 17 The elders of his household pleaded with him to get up and eat with them, but he refused.

18 Then on the seventh day the child died. David’s advisers were afraid to tell him. “He wouldn’t listen to reason while the child was ill,” they said. “What drastic thing will he do when we tell him the child is dead?”

19 When David saw them whispering, he realized what had happened. “Is the child dead?” he asked.

“Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”

20 Then David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions,[b] and changed his clothes. He went to the Tabernacle and worshiped the Lord. After that, he returned to the palace and was served food and ate.

21 His advisers were amazed. “We don’t understand you,” they told him. “While the child was still living, you wept and refused to eat. But now that the child is dead, you have stopped your mourning and are eating again.”

22 David replied, “I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.”

24 Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and David[c] named him Solomon. The Lord loved the child 25 and sent word through Nathan the prophet that they should name him Jedidiah (which means “beloved of the Lord”), as the Lord had commanded.

In this passage, we see that David confessed and repented of his sin (see 2 Samuel 12:13), but God’s judgment was that his child would die. The consequences of David’s sin were irreversible. There are times when an apology is not going to reverse the course of events that our sin(s) have set in motion. When God forgives us and restores our relationship with Him, He does not eliminate the past. He does not eliminate the consequences of actions prior to our seeking forgiveness. All we can do as repentant sinners is to do our best to make things right with those that we have hurt and/or deal with the consequences of our actions in a godly manner. God can redeem our past but He does not automatically forfeit the negative consequences that we set in motion ourselves before our kneeling before Him seeking forgiveness.

Just as with David, there was a period of time after seeking forgiveness from the Lord for my past life and asking Jesus to become my Savior that my past life swept over me like a surfer who has fallen off his board. My sins and mistakes of the past had their own momentum and dashed me deep under water and crashed me against the rocks of the ocean floor. Just because we say yes to Jesus as our Savior does not mean that God suspends the laws of the universe. The universe is governed by actions and reactions. There are ripple effects of the choices that we make in life that do not simply stop and go away when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. It is all a part of the process of sanctification in the Lord. When we accept Christ as our Savior, he begins the chiseling process. It is like when we as parents let the consequences of our children’s actions play themselves out sometimes so that they will learn from their actions. Sometimes, we want to step in and stop the flow of events from washing over our kids but we hold back. They need the life lesson so that they will not repeat it. So it is with God, as the loving Father that He is, I am sure that He wants to step in and fix things for us but instead sometimes he lets things play out in our lives so that we will learn lessons about our sinful actions and their consequences (even after salvation).

For me, when I look back at the man that I was before salvation it sickens me that I could be that unholy and that rebellious against the Lord. Even after salvation, when I look back at the man I was 16 years ago, I feel shame as to what I thought being a Christ follower was. When I look back at 10 years ago, 5 years ago, the things that I thought I knew about being a Christ follower makes me sad as to how much less mature I was at those points than I am now. I am sure 5 years from now that the lessons learned in God’s chiseling process will cause me to look back at now and say, “man, Mark, how immature you were!” Even now 16 years in and I am serving God full-time, God is chiseling me into further and further humility before Him. In my new role, there is so much to learn that it is overwhelming sometimes. It has made me realize that I am starting over again. It has made me realize that I do not know it all. It has made me realize that I need God’s guidance and direction more now than ever. And maybe that’s the point. He wants me to be progressively more and more dependent on Him.

That’s the same thing that I see in David here is that he matures as a child of God through the hard knocks of the death of his child. He became so much more humble and teachable (not that he was not teachable and a lover of God before) as a result of this incident. David learns here that he always has to be diligent in his relationship with God. The moment we relax is when decay sets in and pride sets in and we are susceptible to sin. David learns that sometimes we get knocked down by our sins and mistakes and all that is important to us previously is stripped away. And then there it is. It is just us and God. Us in our human flesh and the mighty Creator. Just us and God. No pretenses. No crutches or trappings of this life to rely on. Just us and Him. Time to examine ourselves before the Perfect Sinless Creator of All Things. We see ourselves for what we really are and how much we need God. How much we need Him to forgive us and begin changing us. When all is stripped away, we are ready to be molded by God into the what He wants us to be.

Amen and Amen.

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