Modeling Heart Repentance

King David- A Man After God’s Own Heart

Modeling Heart Repentance 

Sunday, February 21st, 2021

 

Welcome! How many are grateful for God’s grace each day in your life? I’m guessing if I could see you all, the majority, if not all, hands would go up to be filled with gratitude for God’s grace in our lives. Why because we know we mess up and sin daily. We need His grace daily in our lives. 

Let’s pray and give thanks for God’s grace this morning and invite His Spirit to move in us. 

 

How many love to admit when you have fallen short and sinned to God? 

I’m also guessing not nearly as many hands go up as far as loving to admit when we mess up and fall into sin. Why- because rarely do we enjoy admitting our shortcomings. That takes humility and a willingness to honestly look at ourselves through God’s eyes. We take the grace and thank Him for it, but how often do we truly ponder what we need His grace for each day and thank Him for helping you in your weakness? 

I’m not advising you to beat yourself up, because God doesn’t do that to us either. No one is condemned who is in Christ Jesus, Amen. However, to truly be grateful and understand the power of His grace poured out in our lives, we must acknowledge what it is that His grace covers. To truly walk in His grace with peace in our hearts, we must be willing to admit our wrongdoing and repent of it. That means we turn away from it. We don’t just say sorry God and then just keep doing that same behavior. We might fall into it again but we have to desire to truly turn from that behavior and rely on the power of Christ in us to break free from that which is causing us to sin. We have to honestly look at ourselves and desire to change, to truly let Christ live in and through us. 

Looking at ourselves honestly can be hard to do if we don’t desire to change can’t it? If we are caught up in a certain sin and we are enjoying the moment, we won’t be looking at ourselves honestly. We’ll be seeing the world through the lens of what we want and what we tell ourselves we deserve. Let’s pause there for a moment-if this is where we find ourselves- who do you think is leading us? Would this be the voice and will of God or the voice of the enemy? Would we be acting in the spirit or the flesh? 

It’s easy to point fingers and quickly see when someone else has fallen into living in the flesh and justifying their actions. What about when the tables are turned and someone starts pointing the finger at us? Can we see just as quickly when we have fallen into living in the flesh? Do we listen to their counsel? Do we repent to God and acknowledge our actions and attitudes fully, or do we justify and defend ourselves? 

 

It depends on the condition of our heart. 

 

Our God does not expect perfection in us. We can’t ever be perfect on our own. He sent His Son who is perfect in every way to fulfill the Law and to be our redeemer and righteousness. God knows in these bodies we are still flesh and will still sin. However, we must understand as we believe, we are no longer living for self, we have Christ in us, and we live and move and have our being in Him. 

 

When we choose to live for self, we will do then what pleases us (self) vs. what pleases God. No matter how solid of a Christian you think you are, you can fall into this mindset and heart attitude. When we do and are made aware of it, we must quickly and fully repent and ask God to fix our eyes on Jesus once more for that is where we will find the will of God and let the Spirit flow freely through us. 

 

We have been looking at the life and heart of King David in this series. God called David a man after His own heart. He did incredible things because the favor and grace of God was with him, but he was not perfect. We’ll talk about a time David fell hard and backslid from living for God to living for self. One sin turned into another sin and pretty soon he was so far down a path he never imagined he could ever be on. But his gaze was not on God. He was fixated on what he wanted and justifying all means he took to get what he wanted. He had a time where he was living as if he was above the law, above any consequence in his life. None of us are above God. 

 

The time I’m talking about is when King David saw the beautiful Bathsheba bathing on the rooftop of her home. It was a time when all the king’s men were off in battle and for some reason David remained back. It was night and he was wandering around the rooftop of his palace and his eyes saw Bathsheba. He liked what he saw and so he inquired about who she was. He was told that she was the wife of Uriah, who was one of his loyal soldiers. 

He should have just looked away as I’m sure his palace lent him views most others would not have. He should not have inquired as to who she was. He should not have sent for her to come to the palace to be with him, but he did. 

Do you hear the “He should not have”? How many times in our lives can we say this about ourselves? I shouldn’t have done this or that…because when we do it leads to the next “I shouldn’t have…”  His eyes looked with lust and he took what he wanted. He didn’t give thought to the consequence of his actions or who it might hurt. 

 

Shortly after that night in secret, Bathsheba finds out she’s pregnant. Their little one-night stand, that he ordered, could be found out. He had to do something to cover his tracks. So, he calls for Uriah to be sent home from battle in hopes Uriah would connect with his wife and they could just say it was his baby. Uriah being the faithful, loyal soldier and servant he was, never went home. He stayed at the palace entrance with the other servants. When questioned by the king as to why he didn’t go home, he said, “I would never do that my Lord. Go to my house and eat and drink and be with my wife when everyone else is still on the battlefield?  Never!”  Uriah probably figured it was a test or he was just that honorable of a man. 

Plan two, David decides to invite Uriah to dine with him and he intends to get him drunk, thinking then he might want to go see his wife. But Uriah remains ever faithful and still sleeps with the other servants in the entrance. Plan foiled again. Now David is more desperate. He sends word to his commanding officer to put Uriah out in front at the battle lines where the fighting is the worst and then withdraw support from him so he will be struck down and die. His commanding officer followed the king’s orders and Uriah died that day in battle. 

David coveted another man’s wife, committed adultery and then to cover it all up he committed murder-of someone incredibly loyal to him. After everything David had endured at the hand of King Saul, aren’t these behaviors and more so the spirit driving his behaviors, seeming very familiar to modeling how Saul was behaving towards David? 

Bathsheba mourns the loss of her husband. After the appropriate mourning time has passed David takes Bathsheba to be his wife and she eventually has a baby boy. David is delighted in his new son and was feeling like enough time has passed that maybe this entire scandal could just be behind them. They could move forward and be a happy family together. 

What David didn’t know was his world was about to be rocked and what started out as a very happy morning would quickly turn to grieving and heartfelt repentance. God had stirred the heart of His servant, the prophet Nathan. He showed Nathan everything David had done to despise the Word of the Lord and commit evil in His eyes. We must remember what we think we’re doing in secret, there is always One who sees. God always knows what we are doing and what is in our heart. 

God sent Nathan to confront the king and send him a message from God Himself. So Nathan worked up his moxy to bring such a bold message before the king of Israel and headed to the palace first thing in the morning banging on the gate to be let in. 

God gave Nathan a parable to share with the king about two men and how one man treated the other man. Jesus also teaches in parables to get our attention and help us to see what our mind might not otherwise see. This is what Nathan shares with the king in

 

 2 Samuel 12: 1-6  

“There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”

David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”

Nathan has David’s attention now and throws down the gauntlet laying King David’s own actions right before him. 

 

2 Samuel 12: 7-14 NIV

Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 

Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’ 

11 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”

13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

 Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die14 But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lordthe son born to you will die.”

David is completely blind sighted at what is happening and what has been said. But his heart is also pierced because he knows and can see so clearly how far he had fallen, how he had been living selfishly, how he had sinned against God whom he loved with all his heart. In an instant David was broken and shattered by what he did, and also by the cost of his actions to those he loved. 

And then to hear, you are forgiven. How could that be? 

  1. Forgiveness is a Gift from God

God is God and we are not. Forgiveness is a gift from our benevolent and gracious Father. But it comes after we truly offer a repentant heart. We don’t see descriptions of David’s acknowledgment of his sin, but we can assume based on God’s response that David was moved to tears, brought to his knees with conviction and confessing in his heart full remorse for all actions he had taken. God is moved by genuine repentance and has compassion on His people 

While we as people sometimes choose to harbor anger and hatred towards those who wrong us, that is not of God. God is about restoration and redemption. His great desire is to restore His children whenever they wander and fall away. God saw David’s repentant heart and was moved by it to fully forgive and restore David as His son. 

 Psalm 103:11-12 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.  

We can be confident that as we are made aware of our sin and confess it fully to God with genuine repentance in our heart, He is ready and faithful to forgive us. We can come with confidence before the throne of grace and pour out our hearts to God who will hear us and respond. 

 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

David was forgiven for his transgressions by our gracious Father and God Almighty. However, there were still natural laws of sowing and reaping in play. David had sunk to an all-time low and fell hard in his transgressions. 

 

2. Natural Laws of Sowing and Reaping    

His newborn son begotten in the way he was, would die. David would have to tell Bathsheba her baby boy would surely die because of what he did. David would have calamity and strife in his house because of what he did. He didn’t know how that would all play out, but it was certain it would come. 

David was in catastrophic sorrow. He wouldn’t eat or drink. He wouldn’t put himself together. He wouldn’t even lie in his own bed because he felt he wasn’t worthy of such comfort. He lied on the floor for days denying himself every comfort as he grieved what was coming for his son and their family.

We have to know what we think we’re doing in secret is always known by God and there will be consequences for choices. What we sow in our lives we will eventually reap. We can never pull a fast one over God. We may think we are getting away with something, but it will play out in our lives and sometimes what we reap can be very ugly.                                            

 Galatians 6: 7-8 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sowsWhoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Listen to this truth. Remember God puts before us all blessings and curses- life and death. This is what He’s talking about when He says, “Oh that you would choose life!” 

God desires to bless us abundantly just as He had abundantly blessed David and poured out mighty favor upon his life, but God will also let the laws of sowing and reaping play out in our lives. Pleasing our flesh will reap destruction. Pleasing the Spirit will reap eternal life. 

 2 Corinthians 9:6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

You can look at this truth in terms of how we sow into our faith. If we sow little into growing and strengthening our faith, we will reap little. If we sow generously into growing and building our faith, we will reap generously. You know both are true as you have put this to the test. If we sow little into learning and following the ways of God, we’ll reap little in His blessings. If sow generously into learning and following the ways of God, we’ll reap generously in His blessings poured out upon our lives. We will always reap what we sow in the spiritual and the natural world.  Let us sow generously to please the Spirit and let us reap eternal life! 

3.  A Broken and Contrite Heart 

In hearing Nathan’s words that ripped through his heart like arrows, David realized he had been living his life as a backslider. Have you been there friend? Has there been a time in your life when you could clearly see your lifestyle was not that of one following closely to God? David had not just violated one of the ten commandments-he violated three of them! What was baffling to David as he reflected and maybe you can relate, was how easily and almost naturally he had fallen into sin. One thought turned into one action, which turned into another action and created a domino effect of many individual choices leading to multiplying sin. Before he had been so focused on not being like Saul, and yet in this moment that is exactly who he was behaving like. 

 

Author Ron Bishop shared this poem in his book, “There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it hardly behooves any of us to talk about the rest of us.” Aren’t these true words? 

David was completely broken and he knew there was no justifying or defending what he did. All he could do was come clean and trust in the God he knew who is loving and merciful. David laid his heart on heaven’s mercy seat and God was moved to forgiveness. God saw the true heart of David. 

 

Psalm 51: 16-17 16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.

 

God affirms this truth as well.

Isaiah 57:15 15 For this is what the high and exalted One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.

 

God did judge for He is righteous and holy, and He also showed mercy and forgiveness.  God forgave and restored David fully to right standing with Him. God showed mercy towards Bathsheba and did not hold her accountable. God granted them another son; we know him as Solomon who would later be king. 

There was no doubt great sorrow and hardship for David and his household to work through, but we know David’s story didn’t end with this series of transgressions. He went on to do other great things in the name of the Lord and God remained ever faithful to him and his promise that one of his descendants would always sit on the throne.

         

Conclusion:  While we don’t want to model David’s transgressions, we should emulate his heart repentance. This is what God desires and what He is moved to respond to. Let us come before God with genuine repentance and let His forgiveness restore us from every transgression.  Let the truth always be told before our God and may we know the only way to ever overcome darkness in our lives is to bring it all into the light.

Let’s pray: Father God we thank You for Your grace that is poured out upon us daily. We thank You for Your incredible gift of forgiveness shown to all who confess their sins fully to You. We thank You Father that no matter how far we fall, as we turn towards You with genuine repentance in our heart, You are moved by that and forgive and restore us. Help us to come confidently before You always, for You already know what is in our hearts. We can’t hide anything from You. Let us bring the truth of where we are and what is happening in our hearts before You for purifying and to be made whole again. We thank You for Your servant David, who while he sinned, showed us the example you desire, a broken and contrite heart. This you cannot despise. This You are moved by. Help us follow David’s example of modeling repentance and come with confidence to Your throne of grace. We love You and we exalt Your great name O God. In Jesus’ name we pray and hope. Amen. 

 

Final Blessing: 2 Thessalonians 2: 16-17 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.                  

 

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