A Great King and A Great Fall: Part FiveRev. Michael Calvert, Ph.D., November 17, 2019
Part of the Great Events in the History of Redemption series.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
Many years ago, as I was first getting into Reformed Theology, I was listening to The White Horse Inn, a Christian (and theologically Reformed) radio show originating from Los Angeles, and hosted by Dr. Michael Horton.
On this particular episode, Dr. Horton and his co-hosts we interviewing the late Dr. Robert Schuller, and they were discussing his controversial views on the Gospel and Scripture. During what proved to be a very lively, sometimes fiery, and thoroughly entertaining discussion, Dr. Schuller made this interesting statement: “Just because it’s in the Bible, doesn’t mean you have to preach it.”
What prompted that comment was their discussion of hell. Dr. Horton and his co-hosts were, of course, arguing that this unpleasant subject, clearly taught in the Bible, is yet a critical part of the Gospel that must be proclaimed in order to be faithful to Christ. Dr. Schuller, on the other hand, argued that the preacher is not at all obligated to preach on subjects that are so negative and difficult, even if they are found in the Word of God.
I’ve recalled that episode many times this week as I have prepared for Sunday’s message from God’s Word.
In 2 Samuel 12:10-25, we find a collision between two seemingly disparate and irreconcilable facts. First, Nathan announces to David that, as a consequence of his sins, “ the sword will never depart from your house” (12:10). And then, the prophet declares that the king’s gross transgressions have been fully forgiven by the Lord: “ The Lord also has put away you sin” (12:13). There will be both mercy and consequences, forgiveness and painful costs.
Most troublesome of all is the fact that the death of the son born to David and Bathsheba is among the consequences that the king must now bear: “ the child who is born to you shall die . . . . And the Lord afflicted the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David” (12:14-15).
These are terribly hard words, indeed! Do we really have to preach them?
Well, you know the obvious answer. Even this is God’s Word that must be proclaimed. And there is a message here for each of us as we examine the perplexing intersection of mercy and justice, of the forgiveness of sins and the consequences of choices.
As we continue to probe the details of David’s fall and restoration, we will discover even in this admittedly difficult passage the sanctifying grace of God, that has its unshakable foundation resting upon His unfailing love for all who belong to Him!
Please read 2 Samuel 12:10-25, and pray with and for me as we prepare to come before our Savior this Lord’s Day.
2 Samuel 12:10-25
10Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. 11Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. 12For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. 13And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. 14Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. 15And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. 16David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. 17And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them. 18And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead? 19But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. 20Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat. 21Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. 22And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? 23But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. 24And David comforted Bath-sheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him. 25And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD. (KJV)