Elon, North Carolina
Last week, we looked at David’s great sin. We looked at the fall of a great man in II Samuel 11. That chapter and the one after it are two chapters that every Christian should study. They are very important chapters on temptation and sin. They are very practical.
David’s great sin began with his eyes. He saw something from the roof of his palace. He saw a woman bathing, a beautiful woman bathing, a beautiful naked woman bathing. Men receive sexual gratification through their eyes. Women are different kinds of creatures. Men are visually stimulated.
This one look led to adultery and premeditated murder. It all began with a look. The LOOK led to THOUGHTS. Thoughts led to DESIRES. Desires led to SIN. Sin led to a CRIME. Crime led to a COVER-UP.
Today, we want to What does this story say to us today? We are going to look at ten lies about sin. These are ten common things that people believe about sin that are wrong. You may believe some of these lies. We are going to look at each one and see why it is a lie from Scripture.
Lie # 1 – Sin is normal and natural
That is the first lie. Many believe that sin is completely normal. Sex is a natural drive, like eating and drinking. Hunger and thirst are natural physical appetites. Sex is a natural drive created by God. Therefore, some argue that any type of sexual expression at any time with anyone in any way is normal.
The first lie is that sexual immorality is normal. Pre-marital sex is normal. Most do it. Adultery is normal. Homosexuality is normal. It is part of nature. Haven’t you heard about all of those gay penguins?
There is only one problem. When David committed adultery and murder, the prophet Nathan said that what he did was evil. Society may approve of immorality. God says that it is wicked.
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. (II Samuel 12:9 NIV)
Sex is created by God. The sex drive is normal. It is a natural God-given desire but sex like anything else can be abused and perverted. The One who created sex also created laws to regulate it.
One of the things the Bible prohibits is sex outside of marriage. It also prohibits any sex that is not between a man and a woman. We live in a world in which immorality is socially acceptable that we do not see some of these things as wicked. We do not see them as God sees them.
Lie # 2 – God is pleased no matter how I live
This lie is called antinomianism. That was a heresy in the early church. It said that we can live any way we want. It is a common myth. God accepts no matter how we live. He accepts all people. He accepts all religions. He accepts all lifestyles. It’s not true.
We see that in II Samuel 11. David commits sins. His plan works. He gets what he wants. He marries Bathsheba. He takes her as his own and brings her to the palace but notice how the chapter ends. The last words of the chapter say, “BUT the thing David had done DISPLEASED the Lord” (II Samuel 11:27 NIV).
David was pleased. He was very happy. He got what he wanted. He was pleased but God was not pleased. What pleases man and what pleases God are two different things, because God’s thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).
What do we have to do to please God? Fear God and keep his commandments. David’s son Solomon said that this is the “whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
The LORD is pleased with those who fear Him (Psalm 147:11 BSB)
whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. (I John 3:22 ESV)
David did NOT please God in II Samuel 11. He did NOT keep God commandments. He broke them. In fact, he broke six of the ten commandments. He broke commandments one, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.
He BROKE them. He DESPISED them. Nathan says three times that David despised what God said (II Samuel 12:9, 10, 14). David got too powerful. He was the king. He thought he could do anything. He thought he was above any rules or laws. He despised anything that held him back from what he wanted to do.
Many do this today. They know what God says about something but refuse to do it. In fact, they have CONTEMPT for what the Bible says. They despise the Bible. That is why many disobey it. It is outdated. It is old-fashioned. It is unscientific.
Society has absolute contempt for what God says and what the Bible says about creation, about marriage, about gender, about sexuality, about abortion. Do we fear God and keep His commandments, or do we break them? Do we love the Word of God or do we despise it, like David did?
Lie # 3 – Sin makes you happy
That is why many women have affairs. They say, “God wants to make me happy. This will make me happy.” That is the myth. Deliberately disobeying God, and living outside His revealed will, never makes anyone happy.
David pursued Bathsheba. He saw her. He wanted her. He coveted her. He took her. He married her. He got to keep her. On the outside, he was happy. On the inside he was miserable.
He had a guilty conscience. He couldn’t worship God. This went on for a whole year. Can you image how depressed and irritable he must have been during that time?
Sin separates us from God. David was living in sin. He killed man. He killed a good man. He betrayed a friend. He was living in unconfessed sin. He was out of fellowship with God.
Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.2 Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. 3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. (Psalm 32:1-4 NIV)
Many think that if you disobey the Bible and do what you want to do, you will be happy. You will be fulfilled. Sin does have pleasures. In is pleasurable. It is fun. If preachers tell you that it is not, they are lying.
The Bible talks about “the pleasure of sin” (Hebrews 11:25) but it says that the pleasures of sin are ONLY “for a season”. They do not last. Proverbs 20:17 says, “Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel” (ESV).
Lie # 4 – I can get away with sin
That is the fourth lie. It is the lie that you can get away with your sin. You can hide it. David tries that. He engaged in the most famous cover-up in history, but it did not work. It all came out in the end.
You may be sure that your sin will find you out. (Numbers 32:23 NIV)
You don’t have to read the Bible to know this. All you have to do is to read the newspaper or watch a few episodes of Forensic Files. People always think that they can commit the perfect crime and never get caught.
They think they can hide their crime from people. They think they can destroy all of the evidence and leave no trace of what they did but their sin always finds them out. It catches up to them, because of modern technology and DNA evidence.
There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed or hidden that will not be made known. (Luke 12:2 NIV)
Do we do what David did? Do we try to hide our sins? What does the Bible teach?
Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (Proverbs 28:13 NIV)
Lie # 5 – I could never fall into deep sin
David did not just commit a little sin. He committed a big sin. He did not commit it before he was saved. He committed it after he was saved. He did not commit it when he was a young man. He committed them when he was an older man.
If King David could fall, a real man of God, a man after God’s heart, a great man of faith, a man who could slay giants in his life, then we can fall. David is the last man we would expect to do this. Are we overconfident like Peter was?
Many think that they could never fall into deep sin. This is the lie of overconfidence. Peter was guilty of it and he was an apostle.
Jesus predicts that ALL of the Apostles would fall away on account of Jesus (Matthew 26:31-34). It is a very specific prediction. He even tells when it will happen. That very night it would happen.
Peter said, “Everyone else will but I won’t.” He meant well but his mistake was trying to correct Jesus. It never goes well when you try to tell Jesus that He is wrong. Jesus said, “Not only will you disown me, but you will do it three times.” Jesus knew Peter’s heart better than he did.
Therefore, let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. (I Corinthians 10:12 ESV)
Lie #6 – Sinful desires are not wrong if you don’t act on them
We had a professor at a university in Virginia this last week that said this very thing. He said that you can have desires for children and not be a sex offender.
Most would say that it is okay to have lustful thoughts about someone as long as you don’t act on them. That is the definition of “safe sex”. You don’t have to worry about STDs. You don’t have to worry about getting anyone pregnant.
What is wrong with this approach? One, it contradicts what Jesus plainly taught. He taught the exact opposite.
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has ALREADY committed ADULTERY with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28 NIV)
Jesus did NOT say that it is wrong to appreciate beauty. He did not say that attraction to the opposite sex is wrong. He did NOT even say that all sexual lust is wrong. God was the one who created the sex drive. What He condemned is thinking about, desiring, lusting after someone who is not your spouse. The world says it is innocent and harmless. Jesus says it is adultery. It is mental adultery.
Two, one sin often leads to another. Sin is a slippery slope. It is progressive. That is what we see in these chapters. The sins get worse. David’s sin began with adultery but ended in murder, not just the murder of Uriah but the murder of other soldiers who also died on that day (II Samuel 11:24). Sin produces more sin. Have we bought into this lie?
Lie # 7 – There is nothing you can do to prevent sin.
This is the next lie. You can’t do anything to prevent sin. It just happens. That lie is completely refuted by this chapter. We see that in the first verse of the chapter. In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army…But David remained in Jerusalem. (II Samuel 11:1 NIV)
It was the time when the kings went off the battle. David was a king. He should have gone out to battle. Other kings went out. He should have been out leading his troops. Instead, he stayed home.
Now leaders do not always do this today. When we have a war, the President does not go on the battlefield even though he is the Commander-in-Chief of the army, according to the Constitution. In that day, kings did go out to battle.
David stayed home. He was not where he was supposed to be. That made him vulnerable to temptation. If he went off to battle, he would never have seen Bathsheba. He never would have sinned. He could have prevented sin by being in the will of God and by being where he was supposed to be.
All of us have a weakness in some area of our life. We have sins we struggle with. What steps are we taking to avoid sinning? Are we taking any? Jesus said, “If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away… And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. (Matthew 5:29-30 NIV).
On the other hand, you can be right where you are supposed to be and still be tempted. Jesus was led by the Spirit in the wilderness where He was tempted by the Devil (Matthew 4:1). He was in the right place. He was in the will of God. He was filled with the Spirit and He was still tempted.
David did not go roof with some binoculars looking for naked women. Now, He was not a Peeping Tom. He just happened to see one. It all happened accidentally. All it took was one look and he was destroyed, and it was an accidental look.
How do you avoid sin in that situation? David should have done what Job did. Job made a covenant with his eyes (Job 31:1). What does that mean? How do we make a covenant with our eyes? How do we do that?
There are certain things that we do not let out eyes see. It means we have to avoid looking at certain things (pornography). It also means if you see something that you shouldn’t see, you turn away. You don’t keep looking. David apparently did not do that.
Lie # 8 – I do not need help when I fall into sin
When we sin, we deceive ourselves. When we sin, we think we can deal with it ourselves. David tries that and nothing happened. He commits major sin, multiple major sins, and he does not repent. Time went by and he still did not repent.
He does not repent on his own. God has to send someone to confront him. Sometimes the ONLY way people will repent of for other people to talk to them about their sin. The Bible was NOT just given for teaching, for doctrine. It was also given to REPROVING and CORRECTING people (II Timothy 3:16). Some people need to be rebuked. Sometimes, God has to use us to lovingly confront someone else who is in sin.
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. (Galatians 6:1 ESV)
Have you ever had to confront someone who was living in sin? We don’t do it too much today. Most of us do not like to confront people. They usually do not respond too well.
God sent someone to confront David. God sent was Nathan. Nathan was someone David knew, someone David respected. He had been with David when he was a fugitive (I Samuel 22:5). He was David’s friend, but he was also a real prophet. Nathan’s job was to rebuke the king. He was sent by God to confront his boss.
Notice HOW he did it. What he does is brilliant. Nathan used wisdom. He used tact. Nathan did NOT walk in the door and say, “You filthy sinner, Repent or Perish.” He did NOT hit him over the head with his sin. He did not point a finger at David. He did NOT castigate him for committing deep sexual sin in the royal palace.
Instead, He tells a story. The story is called a parable. Jesus did not invent parables. There are some in the OT. This story was about animals. David was an animal lover. He loved animals. He used to be a shepherd. He tells the shepherd David a sheep story. This story was about a poor man with a pet lamb that he loved.
It is about how a man who was filthy rich and had plenty of animals stole this poor man’s only animal and killed it for a guest. This story hit a nerve. It made David angry at the man who did this. He said that the man should die. Nathan says, “YOU are the man. You are the one who did this.”
David had no idea that this rebuke was coming. He wasn’t expecting it. Nathan traps him with a harmless little parable. He let David decide what the punishment should be for this crime.
Nathan shows us how to deliver a rebuke to someone. He shows us how to speak the truth in love. He has the perfect balance. He is NOT all negative and he is NOT all positive.
He tells him that God HAS forgiven him of his sin. He tells him that he will NOT die. Both adultery and murder were capital crimes in the OT. He also tells David to his face that he is GUILTY. He tells him that what he did was EVIL. He tells him that he will suffer COSEQUENCES of his life for the rest of his life for what he has done. David response with genuine repentance.
Lie # 9 – I could never be forgiven for what I have done
That is the lie. What is the truth? Sin is forgivable, not just little sins but big sins. Any sin can be forgiven. You can commit adultery and be forgiven. You can commit homosexuality and be forgiven. You can commit cold-blooded murder and be forgiven. No sin is too big to be forgiven.
Every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven (Matthew 12:31 NIV)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from ALL unrighteousness. (I John 1:9 NIV)
Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool (Isaiah 1:18 NIV).
“The Lord has put away your sin” (II Samuel 12:13 NIV). David said that the Lord forgave the guilt of my sin (Psalm 32:5 NIV).
There is just one catch. In order to be forgiven, there has to be genuine repentance. We do have to confess our sins.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9 NIV)
Five Signs of a False Confession
Genuine repentance is more than just saying, “I am sorry.” Or “I have sinned.” Many people say, “I am sorry” and do not really repent.
King Saul said, “I have sinned.” He said it twice ((I Samuel 15:24, 30) but did not mean it. What are some signs of a false confession?
1) Your confession is FALSE if you say it for the wrong reason.
Politicians say the words, “I have sinned” all the time when they are caught. They say it for the wrong reason.
2) Your confession is FALSE if you say it and do not really mean it.
Many say, “I have sinned” but do not really mean it. They are just a bunch of words.
3) Your confession is FALSE if you say it and do not take full responsibility for your sins.
Many say the words “I have sinned” but do not take FULL responsibility. They make excuses or blame others for what they have done.
4) Your confession is FALSE if you say it and try to cover up what you have done.
If you try to cover up, hide or minimize what you have done (I did it but it is not a big deal”), you have not genuinely confessed your sin.
5) Your confession is FALSE if you say it and do not make any change in your life.
You have to confess and forsake your sins (Proverbs 28:13). When the Scribes and Pharisees came to be baptized by John the Baptist, he called them “a brood of vipers”. He said, “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8 NIV).
Lie # 10 – I can sin and not suffer any consequences of my sin
That is the ninth lie. An old pastor from Chicago used to say, “Choose to sin. Choose to suffer.” If you sin, you can be forgiven but forgiveness does NOT remove the consequences of sin. You can commit murder and be forgiven but you may spend fifty years behind bars as a consequence. You could lose your marriage or your health.
David faced consequences for his sin. We see four consequences in this chapter.
CONSEQUENCE ONE: An unwanted pregnancy. David only had sex with Bathsheba only one time, and she got pregnant and gave birth. That sounds like a good thing comes out of a bad situation.
CONSEQUENCE TWO: Death of an infant. Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are NOT going to die. 14 BUT because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.” (II Samuel 12:13-14 NIV)
It got sick and died. After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. (II Samuel 11:15 NIV). This verse is a problem for some preachers. How many times have you been told by preachers that God wants everybody healthy, and He never makes anyone sick?
This passage says point blank that the Lord struck the child, and he became ill. This baby died and it was David’s fault. He knew it. How did David respond once the child died?
Was he mad at God? Was he angry and bitter the rest of his life? No. He accepted God’s justice. He went into the house of the Lord and worshipped God. He returned to his house and ate and comforted his wife (II Samuel 12:20, 24).
CONSEQUENCE THREE: Sexual assault in David’s own family. David committed sexual sins with another man’s wife and now sexual sin will take place with David’s wives and his own kids. “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. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’” (II Samuel 12:11-12 NIV).
CONSEQUENCE FOUR: Violence and murder in David’s own family. 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.’ (II Samuel 12:10 NIV).
Three of his kids will die violent deaths (Amnon, Absalom, Adonijah). They all die by the sword. One of them was his firstborn son who he will lose. Children raped each other, killed each other and tried to take over David’s throne. David’s sin affected the rest of his family. It did not just affect him. It affected some of his other wives. It affected his kids. Sin has consequences.
Why Did God kill David’s Infant Son for David’s Sin?
Critics raise this objection. It does not seem right. It seems wrong. God says, “Parents are not to be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their parents; each will die for their own sin” (Deuteronomy 24:16 NIV).
How can God tell us not to do this and then He does it? Isn’t this a contradiction? Why did God murder King David’s innocent child? How do you answer them? There are a couple of problems with the question.
First, God is NOT killing an innocent child. Babies are not born innocent. They are not born drinking whiskey and smoking a cigar, but they are all born in sin (cf. Romans 5:12-19).
Second, it is not murder if God takes a human life. He is the Creator. He can do that at any time. He has the perfect right to do that. He gives life and He can take it at any time.
Isn’t that punishing the child? Not really. It is rewarding the child. The baby boy went immediately to Heaven. The child got an upgrade. He had a much better life than living on earth in David’s messed up family, as we will see from the next chapter.
But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” (II Samuel 12:23 NIV).
This brings us to a passage that is very important to help people who are grieving the loss of a loved one, especially the loss of a child. This passage teaches three important truths that every Christian should know.
1) This passage teaches that there is life after death. David clearly believed in life after death. There is no doubt about it.
2) This passage teaches that infants who die go to heaven. David’s baby boy went there. It is not a stretch to assume other babies go there as well.
3) This passage teaches that there will be a reunion of believers and infant children who have died in the afterlife. David says, “I will go to him.”
That should be a comfort to every mother who has lost a child to a miscarriage. It also helps answer the question of whether aborted babies go to heaven. The passage is not dealing with abortion, but we can infer from this passage that they do go to heaven after they die.