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A Great King and A Great Fall: Part Five

Rev. 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.