Here is a sermon I wrote and preached at the local church I am a member of. I hope this gospel message is a blessing to you.
2 Sam 11-12
Text 2 Sam 12:1-13
In our text we find ourselves reading the story of King David and what had already taken place. The King had taken Bathsheba into his house, after he had seen her bathing herself. When David saw her, he lusted after her, used his power to have her brought to his house, committed adultery with her and then sent her home. We then find out the result of this one night affair when Bathsheba sends word to him that she is with child. David then sends for Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, to come home under false pretenses. He wants this man to actually go home and cover up his sin. When, through his own ignorance, Uriah refuses, David sends Uriah back to the battlefront, carrying his own death sentence in his hand. The orders are carried out and Uriah dies by the sword of the Amorites.
With the cover up complete, David brings the woman to his house to become his wife, in hopes of continuing the great cover up.
Nobody knows but David and Bathsheba…
And of course God.
This is where we will pick up on the story. God sends His prophet to David, with a particular message just for him. A parable of 2 men. This story is not unlike the stories and parables Christ told during His earthly ministry. I think of the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus, the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee going to the temple to pray, the Prodigal son. These stories and parables pointed out the spiritual deficiency and misunderstanding of those in the audience, like the parable of the two debtors that were both forgiven and who loved the one that had forgiven them more, that the Lord told in Simon the Pharisee’s house while the sinful woman anointed his feet, washed them with her tears and worshipped Him.
Nathan’s story shows us the poor man that had only one sheep, an ewe lamb that was special to him. A pet. It lived in the house with Him and his family just like a dog or cat that many of you here have. Pets are just like family members. You train them, feed them, pet them, and you let them sleep in your bed. This man’s little lamb was as one of his children. And to that, many of us here can relate.
The other man, the rich man, has an indiscriminate amount of livestock that are inconsequential in his life. They are just there. They are an investment a token of his wealth and stature. When the traveler comes to see him, it was the pleasure of the host to care for him, to feed him, have his feet washed. Hospitality was showered upon visitors. They would break bread, drink wine and eat meat together. But this rich man did not feed his guest out of his own abundance. He spared his own livestock, his own livelihood and reached into another man’s home and took not just a possession, but also a special part of the poor man’s family, a precious pet who was as one of his daughters.
David does not know it. This story is about him. He does not see himself being talked about. Verse 5 tells us that David’s wrath was greatly kindled against the man. Without knowing it, David is pronouncing exactly what his sentence should be under the Law. David committed adultery and murder. Both worthy of death under the law of God. But that is not all that he had done.
He not had just broken 2 commandments in this affair. But he had broken almost all of the commandments God had given to Israel on Mt. Sinai.
1st he coveted his neighbors wife. Then he committed adultery with her. Then he lied to both Joab and to Uriah. He had Uriah murdered and then he Stole Uriah’s wife. All these actions were shameful, and with them he dishonored his mother and father. Nathan tells us that by doing these things David despised God and we will see that by this he taught the enemies of the Lord to Blaspheme.
All in all we see that David did not love the Lord his God with all his heart and with all his might and he did not love his neighbor as himself.
David’s anger is stirred. “as the Lord liveth, the man that hath done these things shall surely die: And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he had no pity.”
What a hypocrite, right? We cannot wait for Nathan to pounce on him. How dare David make such bold statements concerning such a, in comparison, trivial event. It was just a little lamb, He conceived a child through adultery. He had a man murdered to try and hide his own sins.
Come on Nathan, put him in his place. TELL HIM.
In our minds, we imagine Nathan pointing a big bony finger in David’s face, triumphantly declaring THOU ART THE MAN. And we hear it so loud and clear as we, in our minds eye sit in the audience, in judgment over this wicked sinful man. But the bible is not clear on or with what emphasis he speaks it. He just says it, Thou are the man. It’s you David. I would like to change your perception of this if I could. Instead of imagining in your mind Nathan standing in boldness, proclaiming David’s guilt, picture a man brokenhearted at what his King had done. View him with tears in his eyes, or even the tears rolling down his face as he is about to proclaim. I do not wish to write this in the Bible, I cannot. But I do want you , myself, to look at other’s that are unrepentant of their sins with sorrow instead of triumph.
But what I failed to tell you about this story. What I didn’t tell you after we read both chapters, is that this story, is about you about me. I am that man. You are that Man. You are that Woman. Just as David declared what the rich man deserved, you also said in your heart, ”David deserves to die”. I know you did, because I did, too. But it is you and I also, that is worthy of death under the law. We are guilty.
You say “I am not like David…I am not a sinner like Him”. Really? Have you lied, or should I ask how many times have you lied? Have you ever taken something that did not belong to you? Or commit adultery in your heart, as Jesus describes to us? Have you ever hated someone so much that you spoke words to their harm, you looked at them in hate? That is murder according to the apostle John.
You may say, I have not done what David has done… But you haven’t loved your neighbor as yourself, have you. Something good happens to a co-worker, and you wished it happened to you. Did you shake their hand and congratulate them? Someone in school got a higher grade on a test, and you were jealous, and wanted it to be you. These are sins as worthy of judgment from God as the sins that David had committed.
Nathan tells David Thou art the man. God had made David king, and David in his actions despised God, and God would do to David what God does with all His children… He would bring down the loving hand of chastisement on David. This would not pay for David’s sin….It would be unpleasant, but as Hebrews 12 tells us, Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth and scourgeth every son whom he recieveth. Why chastisement and not wrath? Though to the human eye, we might not be able to tell the difference between the two, but the end purpose, the result that God is bringing about is different. The announcement of these soon to be and also future tragedies brings about the purpose in which God has sent them forth to do. To bring David to repentance. Paul tells us in the book of Romans that it is the ‘goodness of God that brings us to repentance”.
David announces to David that he had indeed sinned against the Lord. Let’s read Psalm 51 and see that in this Psalm, the Lord indeed has brought our fallen King to repentance.
(1) To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
(2) Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
(3) For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
(4) Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
(5) Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
(6) Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
(7) Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
(8) Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
(9) Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
(10) Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
(11) Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
(12) Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
(13) Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
(14) Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
(15) O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
(16) For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
(17) The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
(18) Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
(19) Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.
I have failed to point out the Scandal concerning King David. Now some of you may scratch your head and look back at chapter 11 and point. There is the scandal, right there in the previous chapter.
No, the scandal is the last half of verse 13 when Nathan says. The Lord also hath put away your sin.
What do you mean, The Lord hath put away your sin? Where did he put it, where did it go?
David in Psalm 32 wonderfully explains to us what Nathan has said.
(1) A Psalm of David, Maschil. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
(2) Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
(3) When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.
(4) For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.
(5) I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
(6) For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.
(7) Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
(8) I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
(9) Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
(10) Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.
(11) Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.
If it was not imputed to him , where did God put David’s sin?
(11) In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
(12) Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
(13) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
(14) Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Jesus Christ took our sin and gave us His righteousness. Our sin was imputed on him:
(21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
His righteousness is imputed to sinners:
(12) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
(13) (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
(14) Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
(15) But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
(16) And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
(17) For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
(18) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
(19) For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
(20) Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
(21) That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
The scandal is that people like me, like David, like you who have trusted in Christ alone will be part of the population that John saw in Revelation, a multitude that could not be numbered.
It is scandalous.