The sin of adultery has become more and more commonplace in the openly sexual society that dominates our culture. Marriages are consistently torn apart and broken due to the sin of one spouse violating the bounds of a covenant created between two people as well as breaking the commands of God and as a shepherd, I am commanded to preach the whole counsel of our Father. It is never easy to deal with subjects like adultery because for those who have never had to suffer through it or have never participated themselves, it can seem to be “just another” teaching, however, to those affected, it can appear to be re-opening wounds or tension filled as sheep may wonder if you are singling them out for past indiscretions. For every tough message of repentance, we must illuminate that it is side-by-side with hope.
This past week at Thrive, I spoke on this subject with both clarity, power and forgiveness using the example of King David’s sin with Bathsheba, his subsequent death sentence on Uriah and the repentance shown by David when his sin was uncovered through the warnings of Nathan the Prophet (2 Samuel 11:1-5, 2 Samuel 12:1-7). Here are the 10 takeaways I wanted each person to know when they left the house Sunday from this last message in our “God of 2nd Chances” series:
1. Temptation and sin will happen when you are in a place you should not be.
According to (2 Samuel 11:1), the Kings were supposed to be out at battle yet King David stayed at his house, Instead of fighting for what was right and leading as he should, David started drifting into the thought pattern that not being in the right place in his life where he needed to be was of no concern and it ended up getting him into trouble.
2. Flesh will always say “Feed Me More”.
Adultery doesn’t start in a bed, it starts by multiplying in the mind and heart first. David had a LOOK that started as a SURPISE, but it turned into LUST and SENSUALITY that became a LONGING for SATISFACTION. His self-pleasure became the most important decision in his life and nothing else mattered in the moment.
3. You will go to extreme measures to get what you want if flesh is involved.
David, upon hearing the news that Bathsheba was pregnant with his baby, sent for Uriah (Bathsheba’s husband who was out fighting) and tried to get him to go home to sleep with his wife to cover the sin. When Uriah refused, David tried to get him drunk and sent him home but Uriah refused to leave the steps of the King’s house. When he discovered Uriah would not go home, he ordered Uriah back to battle with a letter to his superiors that instructed them to send Uriah into the worst part of the battle, basically sealing his fate. When you are consumed by lust and greed and sin, the farthest levels of a wicked mind can be tapped into as you try to rationalize how the ends can justify the means.
4. Adultery is an assault on the honor of a spouse.
David used the honor of Uriah, a mighty warrior who was in battle for David, against him and he was so loyal that he carried a letter effectively sealing his fate to the commander of the armies and never opened it. His loyalty and trust was fully in King David and the whole time, David was assaulting his honor by sleeping with Bathsheba.
5. God will always expose what he has promised to uncover.
While David might have thought he would get away with his sin and no one in Israel would know, God had prepared a prophet to expose and uncover his darkest deed. (Numbers 32:23) is an example of God stating that he will expose the sins of his people but thankfully we have an advocate in Jesus that if we practice (1 John 1:9) we can be forgiven.
6. Hard truth is more important than prayer.
Nathan did not approach David and tell him he was praying for him or that he was concerned and would be praying. He actually approached David with one motive…a command to repentance. His message was bold, truthful and pointed. We need more people to not be afraid and hide behind the guise of “prayer” for our friends who are in sin, but we need boldness to love them enough to teach and preach repentance (Proverbs 27:5).
7. Remorse and repentance are not the same thing.
You can feel sorry for something that you did but at the same time rationalize/justify why you did it. This is remorse, not repentance. Repentance is forsaking everything to follow Jesus. Repentance is not “stopping the sin” but it actually entails turning from the thoughts, the patterns, the life you led to take you to that dark place and instead, following Jesus with all your heart, soul and mind.
8. God’s plan for you is greater than a moment of ecstasy.
Think of how eternity matters vs. the earthly affairs and you will realize that the moment of pleasure you seek in this short, tiny life does absolutely nothing good for eternity. It is so easy to get caught up in seeking our pleasure, our happiness in an earthly state when we are to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness first. This does not deprive us in this life, it actually let’s God use us for His purposes by submitting our will to Him and enhances our life. The plans God has for you are so unique and amazing (Jeremiah 29:11) yet we sometimes are willing to throw it all away in an earthly pursuit of an orgasm. God has MUCH BETTER PLANS for your life!
9. God’s Kingdom is greater than your sin.
The mercy and grace of an amazing God still says “In spite of…..I still love you.” Isn’t this mind-blowing? God still uses people and gives 2, 3, 4 and even more chances for us to repent and be used for the Kingdom of God. The same king who slept with Bathsheba will have his throne established for the Lord to sit on and rule. Your failure is not final…God has a plan for good for your life and he will still use you to enhance and minister to the body and Kingdom of Christ.
10. Forgiven people forgive people.
King David had been driven from his throne in Jerusalem by his own son and was traveling with his mighty men and a man named Shimei started casting stones at David and venting his rage toward him and cursing at him (2 Samuel 16:5-14). David’s mighty men asked permission to go kill him and David refused and basically said “Let him be”. After Absalom was defeated and King David crossed the Jordan river heading back to the throne, suddenly a man came before David and fell down on the ground begging his forgiveness. Abishai, David’s right hand man, recognized him as Shimei and spoke to David that he should be killed for what he had done in the past. However, David, a man who had begged forgiveness at one point himself and understood the mercy God had granted him, refused to let Shimei be killed and spared his life. (2 Samuel 19:16-23)
When we start to realize that God has forgiven us no matter our sins and mistakes, it allows us to see those who have chosen to participate in any sin/sins through a different lens. If God, through his grace and mercy has forgiven us even when he took the shame and guilt and punishment, how can we hold judgment and condemnation toward anyone else? God has called us to forgive and when I see how God has forgiven me, I am willing to fully forgive anyone else of their sins!