David–Losing His Song.doc
David: The Consequence Years David Lost His Song What does God think of Your Life?
2nd Samuel 11:27b
All that really matters in life may be reduced to one simple reality–what does God think of what you are doing or have done.
As we open in our Bibles to the last sentence of 2nd Samuel 11:27, and read those words—that is exactly the perspective God presents of David’s life at that moment.
All that mattered at that moment and for eternity–is what God thought of what David had done. And David did not please the Lord!
2 Samuel 11:27b “…But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.” NKJV
Think about the moments, hours, days, and weeks that followed this statement. The ornate halls of Jerusalem’s royal palace became strangely silent those days. It seemed as if David had lost his voice.
David, the most written about person in God’s Word, has changed.
He has slowly withdrawn from what had most characterized him for all the years since his boyhood on the hills of Judah. David’s song had stopped.
In days past, sweet songs of God’s power were often heard coming from the throne room of this victorious warrior.
The shepherd boy become king had carried his stringed instrument, a harp or lyre, into the daily life of leading God’s people. This man, who was a living and talking expression of God’s heart, was always refreshing those he touched with his praises to the Lord.
It was a daily treat, for the myriads of aides and clerks and military attaches to hear their king rapturously sing great hymns of worship.
Down the halls had flowed rivers of praise to the Lord–passing the conquered treasures taken from fallen kingdoms, over the storehouses of consecrated gold and silver heaped for the future temple to God. These songs poured out of David’s mouth from a heart filled with the goodness of God. Each song (or Psalm) sent from God to David was such a treasure from heaven.
Did you know that God carved the life of David into the bedrock of His Word? Most amazingly, the Lord recorded many of the Psalms directly from the daily life of David. There are Psalms that flow from the most wonderful and the most wrenching hours of David’s life. Our lives can find great encouragement in these Psalms out of the hard times in the life of David.
These Psalms have been preserved for three thousand years. Pillaging armies have swept across the Middle East like hordes of locust, fires have burned for weeks behind them, blood has flowed like rivers, earthquakes have leveled cities and towns, floods and storms without number have raced down the hillsides.
But God has preserved His songs. Not one has been lost. We have them this morning; and David’s life makes up nearly half the Book of Psalms that most of us hold a copy of in the middle of our Bibles.
Let’s look at a few of them, as a reminder of what was going up and down the halls of Jerusalem’s royal palace for so long–that now was extinct from David’s life.
David had for years been singing songs like Psalm 8, written after he had slain Goliath:
Psalm 8: “O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Who has set thy glory above the heavens?”
Those words of humility and victory once rolled down from the throne room of David. Look at Psalm 9.
Psalm 9: “I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvelous works.”
David used to praise God with all his heart–but he wasn’t now.
As we turn to Psalm 18, we find the Psalm about when David returned at the head of his armies. In the superscription, it says:
“For the choir director, a Psalm of David, a servant of the Lord who spoke to the Lord the words of this Psalm in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hands of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul, and he said: “I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The Lord is my Rock, my fortress, my Deliverer, my God, my Rock in Whom I take refuge”
Only he didn’t just say that, as the leader of God’s people he sang that.
And with a heart of abandon, a heart welling up and overflowing with praise, a heart unashamed of coming into God’s presence–David led all who were around him into God’s presence. David’s life just overflowed with God and people were so blessed just to see him, just to hear him, just to feel the warmth and the glow. Look at Psalm 21.
Psalm 21: “The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!”
And so he did and for year after year after year the invincible armies of Israel extended the borders of Israel to the very limits.
But things changed. No more was Psalm 21 heard in the palace; neither was that old favorite from David’s youth, as we turn to Psalm 23…
Psalm 23: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want”
Yes something was missing, something was greatly wanting in David’s life! No more was David heard to sing of following his Shepherd. Turn to Psalm 25.
Psalm 25: “Unto Thee oh Lord do I lift up my soul; O my God I trust in Thee.”
No, David’s soul was cast down, trampled, empty, defiled and infected with guilt and sin. Turn to Psalm 27.
Psalm 27: “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear”
David was no longer walking in the light; no longer was he enjoying the joy of his salvation. No longer did he know the fearlessness that the righteous have. The righteous are as bold as a lion (Proverbs 28:1) but wicked people run even when nobody is chasing them.
What David had done displeased the Lord—and all that really matters in life is what God thinks of you. David fell silent. He had lost his song. No more did the daily business of the Kingdom of Israel flow to the songs of heaven. No more did the good shepherd’s peace and joy touch each worker, aide and courier. The palace was slowly becoming a wasteland. David was quiet, pensive and moody. His face was dark, no longer aglow with the joy of the Lord. His words that used to seem like honey were now more like his sword at his belt – sharp, cutting and bringing death to those around him. Gone was God from his daily work. Extinct were the life giving expressions of joyful delight that nourished the government of God’s people. What a blessing those songs had been. But David was hiding his sin. Look at Proverbs 28:13. God said that if we hide our sin instead of confessing and forsaking it (which is repentance) God will resist us. David needed to repent. That was the only solution for his dreadful condition.
Would you just pause with me for a moment and turn your attention from David and look at your own heart? To help focus on what God wants from each of us, please quietly bow your head and answer these questions silently in your heart.
Have you lost your song like David? Did you used to be closer to the Lord?
Are you holding onto some sin that displeases the Lord?
Is your heart growing restless and cold?
If so, the only remedy is to confess and forsake the sin that has caused God’s displeasure right now. Don’t wait like David did and suffer the consequences that inevitably came.
Proverbs 28:13 He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. NKJV
We are in the midst of a journey through the Scriptures, mining the treasures God has recorded from the life of David. The lessons David learned are by God’s Spirit also intended for us!
We have come to the saddest era of David’s life—the months and years of consequences that followed his sin with Bathsheba.
Beware of allowing any unguarded moments in your life, thinking that you are safe from sin’s reach; it is at that moment the ravenous devourer himself is crouching and preparing to spring. That is what David discovered, only it was too late!
We continue this morning a careful look at the three final eras of David’s life. They need to be studied and heeded by all of us. First we saw last time in 2nd Samuel 11 that– 1. Unguarded Moments lead to SIN—David, Uriah and Bathsheba. We examined the saddest chapter of David’s life, the darkest and the one we all wince at— his sin with Bathsheba. In 2nd Samuel 11 we saw David’s horrible and disobedient choices that prompted David’s worst days of his recorded life.
Why not turn there and be sure you have traced these warning signs into the pages of your Bibles. Just a few days ago, as we were driven around the Golan Heights in Israel, the guide kept pointing out bright red triangular signs that marked out old but deadly, mine fields left over from the Syrian military.
The pages of Scripture record an even more deadly mine field that David unwisely stepped into. Ignoring the warning signs—David paid dearly for that walk.
David the giant killer, was killed by the giant of lust; he took six dreadful steps downward. He was enticed, baited, hooked and reeled in by lust. Then lust destroyed David’s life and testimony.
We are warned as we watch how this occurred; note his downward steps.
1. David desensitized his conscience by incomplete obedience (II Sam 5:13). 2. David relaxed his grip on personal purity (II Sam 11:1). 3. David fixated his heart on physical desires (II Sam 11:2). 4. David rationalized his mind about wrong decisions (II Sam 11:3). 5. David plunged his life into lustful sin (II Sam 11:4). 6. David destroyed his testimony by the sin of a moment of stolen pleasure. Death, deceit, murder, immorality, spiritual oppression, poverty and famine of the soul are only a few offspring of this act of momentary pleasure.
Those unguarded moments led to what I call The Inevitable Consequences. Remember the consequence engine we studied last October in the Christ our Refuge series?
And those inevitable consequences lead to the PAIN of—David’s chastisement, Absalom’s rebellion, and Shimei’s slander. There are 11 chapters that record the years of painful consequences from of David’s sin (II Samuel 12-21, 24).
This morning we will start several weeks examining truths that God has for us from this tragic part of David’s life that I call the—
The Consequence Years
There are lessons to be learned from David that are very difficult but so necessary. For any and all of us today ring Paul’s words across the twisted wreckage of so many lives that litter the highway of the redeemed. To avoid the mine field that David blundered into we need to heed Paul’s warning. Please turn to the clearest warning in Scripture.
1 Corinthians 10:12-14 therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. NKJV
David’s years of consequences, so painful, all lead back to one simple reality—David forgot something. This morning we need to learn from asking and answering this question—what did David forget?
DAVID FORGOT TO LOOK FOR GOD
Listen to David’s own testimony, he wrote it down, but on that fateful evening—he forgot to look for the God who is always faithfully there when we need Him!
PSALM 139:7-11 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” Even the night shall be light about me; NKJV
This side of the Cross the truth is even plainer to us. Look back again at Paul’s warning; after v.12 he gives the wonderful promise of v. 13:
I Corinthians 10:12b-13 “…Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” NKJV
Don’t let an old familiar verse escape without holding on to this truth. I Corinthians 10:13 is a call to all of us who know and love the Lord to Look for God in times of temptation. Whenever we are tempted–He’s always there!
The apostle Paul gives us extreme hope in this one short verse of Scripture. Let me just amplify this verse to help you capture what God is saying—
No temptation will ever overtake us or spring upon us except the ones that God has already prepared us for in His Word. There are no new strains of sin viruses that have escaped God’s notice. And what ever old temptation we get attacked by we can be sure that God is faithfully on guard. God Himself has promised us that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to take. Our God knows our limits and always stands right by us protecting us and holding open the way of escape so that we do not succumb to the snare of the Devil. God is always there, He is close enough to grab hold of His Hand that will pull us out.
The longer you meditate on this verse, the bigger the shadow looming over it becomes.
It is God who towers over this passage: God is there all the time.
When Peter was walking on the water, looked away from Jesus, and started to sink— how close was Christ? You know the story. As soon as Peter said ‘Lord save me” Jesus stretched out His hand and rescued Peter. God is always near, always close enough to hear and respond to that cry for help!
He tells us He is faithful. When we think we are alone, we are not alone.
God has already measured and limited the attack of the world, our flesh and the devil upon us.
He has already provided an escape route if we will only look for it and take it. If it were just us facing temptation, we would be hopelessly defeated. But God knows that we are helpless and so He is always there with us.
All the time. All the way. Every time. And He has the best way of escape clearly marked for us. What a Mighty God we serve!
We all have heard the touching story a father once told of his son’s first serious conflict at school. But it bears repeating.
Once his son was being picked on by two or three bullies. They punched the youngster a time or two, pushed him over when he was riding his bike home from school, and generally made life miserable for the lad. They told him they would meet him the next morning and beat him up.
That evening the dad really worked with the boy at home. He showed him how to defend himself, passed along a few helpful techniques, and even gave him some tips on how he might try to win them over as friends. The next morning the lad and dad prayed together knowing that the inevitable was sure to happen. With a reassuring embrace and a firm handshake, the father smiled confidently and said, “You can do it, Son. I know you’ll make out all right.”
Choking back the tears, the boy got on his bike and began the lonely, long ride to school. What the boy did not know was that every block he rode he was under the watchful eye of his dad…who drove his car a safe distance from his son, out of sight but ever ready to speed up and assist if the scene became too threatening. The boy thought he was alone, but he wasn’t at all. The father was there all the time.
In even greater measure, the God of the Universe is near.
He is with us though often unseen. He has gone ahead. He has been tempted in every way like us and triumphed. He has joined us in every temptation and makes the way of victory marked and open for us.
Look for God! He is always faithful!
Where should we look for God? We should look for Him when we face all of the various temptations that are never new, but always so unexpected and powerful. Think of the blessing of the following testimonies.
Abraham looked for God and found Him when he was on the Mountain of Despair. Abraham saw all that ever mattered to him being lost, and though he could not understand—he trusted God. Abraham looked and found God Faithful. When we do the same we also find like Abraham did that God Supplies all my needs. Genesis 22:1-14.
Joseph looked for God when he unexpectedly found himself in the Den of Passion. Accosted, blatantly faced with strong physical temptation Joseph cried out to the God he could not see but knew was there! When we do the same we also find like Joseph that God Sees and rescues me. Genesis 39:1-9
David looked for God when he was all alone and so weak in the Cave of Fear. Hunted, alone, depressed and surrounded by bad attitudes David found the only place he could look was up. When we do the same we also find like David that God Supports me. Psalm 142; 56
Jeremiah looked for God when he was in the gloom of failure. Rejected by his own people, single and never married, seemingly a failure in all he did Jeremiah trusted the Lord. When we do the same we also find like Jeremiah that God is shaping me. Jeremiah 16.1-13
Daniel looked for God when he was in the Spotlight of Pride. Every eye was on him as he stepped forward to answer the king’s question he pointed the praise to God. When we do the same we also find like Daniel that God wants to use me. Daniel 2:24-28
Peter looked for God when he was sinking in the fury of the storm. The instant that Peter cried out ‘Lord save me’ Christ’s hand was lifting him to safety. When we do the same we also find like Peter that God saves me. Matthew 14:24-31
Paul looked for God when he was in the grip of pain. Paul found that all of his weaknesses and inabilities were the sources of Christ’s strength made perfect through him. When we do the same we also find like Paul that God’s grace is sufficient for me. II Corinthians 12:7-10
Don’t forget to look for God. What else did David forget?
DAVID FORGOT TO USE THE WORD
David knew so much of God’s Word, much of it he had written down for God. But gripped by his lust David suffered spiritual amnesia. The only hope we have for purity and obedience through temptation is to quote Scripture like Jesus! Remember what Christ’s method was in Matthew 4:1-11? Jesus used the Word to combat the Devil. He planned and prepared.
If the Word of God is hidden in our hearts:
We will say with the Psalmist (119:9-11) How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! 11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You! (NKJV)
We will say with Paul in Galatians 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. NKJV
We will say with John (1 John 5:18) We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. NKJV Don’t forget to use God’s Word! What else did David forget?
DAVID FORGOT TO RUN FROM LUST
Always remember Paul’s clear command for what we are to do when facing lust in any of its various forms. The command for us is found at that easy to find address in God’s Word 2 Timothy 222. Look there and be sure this verse is somehow noted for future need in your Bible.
II Tim. 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. NKJV
Sensuality is easily the biggest obstacle to godliness today and is wreaking havoc in the Church.
Godliness and sensuality are mutually exclusive, and those in the grasp of sensuality can never rise to godliness. As we saw in David’s unguarded moments, a mind controlled by lust has an infinite capacity for rationalization.
Listen to this piercing insight that the New Testament scholar Leon Morris has written: “The man who carries on an act of impurity is not simply breaking a human code, not even sinning against the God who at some time in the past gave him the gift of the Spirit. He is sinning against the God who is present at that moment, against One who continually gives the Spirit. The impure act is an act of despite against God’s good gift at the very moment it is being proffered…. This sin is seen in its true light only when it is seen as a preference for impurity rather than a Spirit who is holy.”1
IF DAVID HAD ONLY CONSIDERED THE CONSEQUENCES
If David had only considered the consequences of his immorality. He forgot to think about God who also is a part of all we do and say and think. God has another perspective for us to consider. David took the wife (completer) of Uriah to be his completer. That is a dangerous thing to do. To complete your life with anything but what God has designed and planned for you is to make an idol out of something God has made—and that always brings God’s displeasure.
2 Samuel 12:9 Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. NKJV
Who is completing you? Physically and emotionally it MUST be your wife if you are married—not another woman, not your work, not your hobbies, not a habit, not videos, pictures, chats, or work.
The sword shall not depart.
2 Samuel 12:10 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.’ NKJV
The pain, the cutting that would tear his family would relentlessly be the consequence of his sin!
If David had only known what his sin would do to Bathsheba as she watched their child die; as she was reminded every day about the horrible death her husband suffered as he fell under a rain of arrows and lay their in agony dying; as she looked into the faces of her friends and saw behind their smiles the disbelief that she would ever do such a thing.
If David had only known what his sin would do as Uriah’s lifeless body was brought back by a military detachment who carried him the 44 miles from Amman to Jerusalem. Bathsheba watched his body was washed, anointed and wrapped for burial in the family tomb, seeing the arrow’s deadly marks that spoke of the agony of his final hours helpless as his life ebbed in anguish from his body. She would have thought that he was thinking of her as he died…thinking he died nobly. But instead he was murdered in the deceit of adultery’s sinful grip!
If David had known what his sin would do to Ahithophel, Bathsheba’s grandfather as he advised those who sought to kill David and overthrow his kingdom.
If David had only known what his sin would do to Absalom, Amnon, and Tamar as the lives of his own children were ravaged by lust, murder and death.
David gave up his credibility with his sons and daughters, (“Why listen to a man who betrayed Mom and us?”)
• Ammon raped Tamar—but didn’t dad kind of do that? • Absalom killed Amnon—but didn’t dad kill Uriah?
• Adoniajah took the throne without asking—but didn’t dad do something like that?
• Joab betrayed David and took the side of his enemy—but didn’t David do that?
These are only some of the consequences. If only we would rehearse in advance the ugly and overwhelming consequences of immorality, we would be far more prone to avoid it. May we live each day in the love and fear of God.
And on and on we could go. Sin has consequences and they are painful!
Don’t forget—to look for God, to use His Word, and to run from lust!
God is close.
Cry out to Him.
He will rescue you every time!
1 R. Kent Hughes, The Disciplines of a Godly Man, pp.