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David: A Man After God’s Own Heart – Sermon #17


2 Samuel 12:1-15


Intro:  2 Samuel 11 tells us about the darkest moment in the life of King David.  After being blessed by the Lord in many ways; after reaching the pinnacle of success; after leading his nation to peace, prosperity and power, David fell into deep, dark, despicable and disgusting sin.

      Now, we all know the story!  David succumbed to a giant named “Lust” that lived within in his heart.  He committed adultery with a married woman and got her pregnant; and then in an effort to cover up that sin, David had her husband put to death.  Chapter 11 closes with the sin of David hanging like a dark cloud over the life of the King and the nation.

      Now, we know that God did not punish David immediately for his sin.  But, this does not mean that God merely winked at what David did.  God had a plan to reach out to David, to reclaim his life and to restore him to fellowship with the Lord.  Our text today speaks about this plan. I would like to examine the steps God took to deal with the sin issue in David’s life.  What we learn here will help us when we are forced to deal with sin in our lives and in the lives of those around us.

      David found himself in a place in life that he never thought he would occupy.  There had been a time when David walked with God and sang praises to the Lord and the Lord God blessed David’s life in a marvelous fashion.  Now David looks at the remnants of his broken vows.  He sees the shattered dreams, ruined lives and wrecked futures lying all about him.  He has sinned and he knows it!  In the midst of this tragedy, God speaks to David.  God comes to him in his sin and exposes David for what he is.  God come to him and says, “Thou art the man!” I would like to take that statement as my title today. I want to look into this passage and consider the steps the Lord took to make these matters right.  Let’s think for a while on the thought “Thou Art The Man.



(Ill. Between 11:27 and 12:1 there is a gap of some twelve months.  During that time there is no mention of David’s sin by David, by God or by anyone else for that matter.  But, this does not mean that those twelve months were a peaceful time for the troubled king.  If I may, I would like to pull a couple of thoughts from the space between these two chapters.  You see, sometimes what is not said speaks just as loud as what is said!)

A.  It Was A Time Of Silence – For nearly a year, David kept his sin hidden within his heart.  There is no record of him telling anyone about.  Oh, he knew what he had done.  Bathsheba knew about the adultery, at least.  Can you imagine how their relationship suffered?  Every time David looked into her eyes, he saw the hurt and the betrayal reflected back at him.  Every time their eyes met guilt flashed back and forth between them. There was no joy, there was no peace, there was no anticipation over the birth of the baby; there was only pain and guilt, Psa. 51:3! Joab knew.  Some of the servants knew.  Worst of all David knew and he knew that God knew!


(Note: This is how it is for all of those who try to hide their sins in silence.  The Bible is clear about this matter, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper…Pro. 28:13.)


B.  It Was A Time Of Sorrow – It seems that this episode in David’s life prompted him to write at least two different Psalms.  One of these is Psalm 32 and the other is Psalm 51.  These Psalms were apparently written after David had confessed his sin, been forgiven by God and been restored to fellowship.  They tell us that the months following David’s sin with Bathsheba were not a carefree time of love, happiness and peace.  No, those days were days of suffering for David.  Look at what he says in Psalm 32:3-4 and Psalm 51:2-3. The Sweet Psalmist of Israel seems to have lost his song!  The moisture of Heaven in his soul has dried up. David is broken by the weight of his sins.  He had no joy, Psa. 51:12.  His entire life has grown unstable, Psa. 51:10.  He was suffering under the chastisement of the Lord and he knew it, Pro. 3:11-12.  The guilt must have been unbearable!


(Note: Thus it is for everyone who does not deal with their sins according to God’s Word.  When we sin against the Lord, we can be sure of His chastisement.  It may not come immediately, but it will come.  That is His promise, Rev. 3:19; Heb. 12:6-12.  Constant guilt, loss of joy and peace, the sense of God’s displeasure are all the regular companions of those who walk away from the Lord and who refuse to deal with their sins.  If we could learn to do it God’s way, Pro. 28:13; 1 John 1:9, it would save us so much sorrow and heartache.

      Ill. The “check engine light” in your car.  When it comes on, you can ignore it, you can break the light, or you can get the problem fixed.  If you ignore it or break the light, eventually, you will harm the engine.  If you fix it, everything goes back to normal.  The same is true with guilt.  It is the check engine light of the soul.  When it comes on, do not ignore it, but take the problem to Jesus and get it fixed.)



(Ill. We may wonder why the Lord waited to deal with David’s sin.  One answer may lie in the fact that David probably was not ready to be confronted when the sin was first committed.  He might have rebelled at that time, caught up as he was in his pleasure and the cover-up. God confronted David and He did so at the perfect time to secure the right response. 

      God will use the same tactics in your life and mine! We may feel like we are getting a pass for a time, but we need to be aware that God is working behind the scenes.  And, when the time is right, He will confront our sins and call us back to Him.  By the way, people never gat away with sin, Gal. 6:7; Num. 32:23.)

A.  v. 1-7a The Shock Of The ConfrontationIll. The context and the story Nathan told.  God sent Nathan the Prophet, a man David respected to confront his sin.  Nathan came in with a story about a rich man with many sheep who took the only lamb belonging to a poor neighbor to feed a man who was juts passing through.  Nathan emphasizes the fact that the poor man’s lamb was precious to him, and represented all that he had in this world, v. 3.

            When David hears this tale, he is livid! He demands that the rich man restore the poor man four-fold, and then he orders the rich man to be executed.  Isn’t it amazing that the man who excuses sin in his own life can be so harsh and so critical when dealing with sin in the lives of others?

            Then David hears words that he never thought he would hear.  Nathan looks at him and says “Thou art the man!  It’s you David!  You took the only thing Uriah had in this life and then you took his life.  You had it all, but you wanted more!  Thou are the man!” David has been exposed, he has been found out!  The sin that was so carefully hidden away is exposed for all to see! A traveler named “Lust” came to the palace one evening and David fed that stranger a beautiful woman named Bathsheba.  Now, there is a price to pay!


(Note: Never think for a minute that sin can be successfully hidden away forever.  God knows exactly where it is buried, Heb. 4:13, and when the time is right, he will place His finger right on the sore spot and He will press.  He will confront that hidden sin and expose it for what it is! That will be a shocking day in the life of the guilty party.  That is why it is so important for us to keep short accounts with God!)


(Note: For a long time I pictured Nathan pointing his finger like a laser at David’s nose as he furrowed his brow and lifted his voice to yell, “Thou art the man!  But, I am more inclined to think now that Nathan may have said those words with tears coursing down his cheeks. I think his heart was broken over having to confront his friend.

      By the way, there may come a day when you will have to confront a sin in someone’s life.  In the course of my ministry, I have had to do that.  If that day comes, do not do it in anger or in self-righteousness.  Do it in a spirit of love and with a broken heart; realizing that were it not for the grace of God it could be you who was being confronted, Gal. 6:1-2.)


B.  v. 7b-9  The Shame Of The Confrontation – Now David is reminded of all that the Lord has done for him.  God had chosen him, saved him, blessed him and elevated him to the throne of Israel.  God had given him more than he could have ever imagined and God would have given him so much more, if he had only wanted it, and this is how David repays the Lord for His grace and kindness.  What a stinging rebuke!  Surely it melted the heart of the King!


      (Note: The blessings of God and the grace of God that we have been given ought to serve as a shield against evil!  To think of all that He has done for us and then to consider how we treat Him. The Lord deserves far better than He receives from His children!


C.  v. 9a  The Sorrow Of The Confrontation – You can almost hear the sadness in the voice of Nathan as he asks that pitiful question in verse 9.  Why did you do this?  After the Lord has been so good to you!  How could you!?” It must have broken the heart of the Lord to see the man that He called “a man after God’s own heart” in this pitiful condition.


(Note: I would imagine that our sins hurt Him just as deeply.  Look at all He has done for us!  He loved us. He gave His Son to die for us.  He saved us when we should have been thrown in to Hell.  He has been good to us, meeting our needs, lifting our burdens, blessing us in ten thousand little ways.  And, we act like we owe Him nothing!  When sin comes our way, we forget who we are; we forget about the Lord; we lose ourselves in the pleasure of the moment.  I know it must break His heart! Ill. Some years ago Ray Boltz wrote a song called “Feel The Nails”.  The second verse of that song goes like this:


Verse 2: Seems I'm so good at breaking promises

and I treat His precious grace so carelessly

But each time He forgives, what if He relives

The agony He felt on that tree

Chorus:  Does He still feel the nails every time I fail?

Can He hear the crowd cry, Crucify again?

Am I causing Him pain, then I know I've got to change,

I just can't bare the thought of hurting Him.


      God help us to consider what our sins do to Him!  This thing is not about us, our pleasure or our happiness.  This life is about Him, first and foremost, Matt. 6:33.)


III.  v. 13                 THE CLEANSING OF DAVID’S SIN

A.  The Sin Is Confessed – When David hears the charges, suddenly his mind is clear.  For the first time in months he can see the situation just as it is and he makes a full and honest confession.

B.  The Sin Is Cleansed – As soon as David confesses He is told that his sins have been forgiven and that he will not be put to death as the Law demanded, Lev. 20:10.  Instead of justice, David has received mercy and grace.  He has been forgiven and he has been pardoned! The time of alienation from God is over!  He is restored! Here is what David said happened when he dealt with his sins, Psalm 32:1-5.


(Note: This is how God always operates.  When sin is confessed openly and honestly, it is forgiven by the Lord. David is told that God has “put away” his sin.  That phrase means “to take away, to pass over.”  God took David’s sins and took them away from him.  As far as David and God were concerned they were gone forever!

      That is a blessing and that is what happens when we come to Him for forgiveness.  When we deal with our sins in open and honest confession, God forgives them and removes their stain from our lives, 1 John 1:9; Pro. 28:13.  That is how sin is to be handled, and when it is, forgiveness and restoration are always the result!)



(Ill. The fact that sin was forgiven and cleansed away did not mean that there would not be some fallout from what had taken place.  The next few verses teach us the truth that David paid dearly for his sins!)

A.  v. 10-11  There Were Permanent Consequences – Because David had seen to it that Uriah had been killed with violence; violence would never depart from David’s family.  What a tragic price David paid for his sin!  He would later lose three of his own sons in a violent manner, Amnon, 2 Sam. 13:28-29;  Absalom, 2 Sam. 18:14-15; and Adonijah, 1 Kings 2:24-25. The sin David committed affected him and his family for years to come.  He would see his wives treated with the same contempt he had shown for Bathsheba.  His own son, Absalom, would go in to his father’s wives in public view, 2 Sam. 16:21-22! As we will see later, his sin paralyzed David when it came to dealing with sin in the lives of his children.  The knowledge of his own sins caused him to do nothing about the sins of his sons.  We will explore that more thoroughly next time.  In the final analysis, David paid a high price for a night of sin!  Of course, that is what God says will come to pass, Gal. 6:7.  The sin may have been forgiven, but the events that were started in motion had to play themselves out.


(Note: No one sins in a vacuum.  You might think that what you do affects no one but yourself.  You are dead wrong!  When you sin, your sin and the ripples it causes touch everyone around you.  When you sin it touches your family, your church, your work, your school, your community, your friends, everything!  God will forgive the sin when it is repented of and confessed, but that which was started in motion will play itself out in your life and in the lives of those touched by it. 

      That is a sobering thought!  Before you take that final step and go off into sin, think about how your sin is going to affect those around you. What will your family think?  What will your church think?  What will be the outcome?  What damage will this do to the cause of Jesus?  If you will stop and think, you will not commit that sin!)


B.  v. 12  There Were Public Consequences – What David had done in secret, the Lord would do in the open.  Everyone would know what David had done and he would pay the price in full view of the world.


(Note: This is one of the great tragedies of sin in our lives.  It has the power to expose us. It may be hidden for a while, but eventually, the truth will come out and the sin and the sinner will be exposed.  Think of what this could mean for your life and your family.  Think of what this could mean for any ministry for the Lord you might hope to have.  Protect yourself and stay away from sin.  In the end, it will always tell on you, Num. 32:23.)


C.  v. 14b-15  There Were Painful Consequences – As part of David’s punishment, God allowed the baby born of David’s adulterous affair to become sick and die.  Can you imagine having to go home and tell the child’s mother that her baby was going to die? Could you imagine going home and watching the child die?  Well, David prayed for the baby, 12:16-19, but the child died just as God had said he would.  David paid a terrible price for his sin!


(Note:  We may sow our wild oats and pray for crop failure, but I cannot stress too strongly the truth that we always reap what we sow, Gal. 6:7.  There is a high price on sin, are you willing to pay it? Are you willing to see it paid by your family, or by others you know and love? God help us to see how horrible sin is!)


D.  v. 14a  There Were Profound Consequences – Of all the horrible things that came out of David’s sin with Bathsheba, perhaps the worst is the fact that it dishonored the name of the Lord among the unbelievers who were watching.  If God allowed David to get away with this sin, then those who did not know the Lord would conclude that God was soft on sin and unfair in His judgment of sin.  In other words, they would say things about the Lord that were untrue and be guilty of blasphemy.  In fact, David’s sin boils down to a personal rejection of God, His Law and His way.  David was guilty of blasphemy on a personal level. God would not stand for that.  David must be judged!


(Note:  One of the worst outcomes when any believer sins is the ammunition it gives to unbelievers.  When a believer openly sins, God’s reputation is tarnished and His name is blasphemed.  Our first thought ought to always be for God to be glorified, 1 Cor. 10:31.  When we sin, we are seeking to glorify self!  In other words, we put ourselves in the place of God.  That is treason; that is blasphemy; and that is opening the door for the judgment of God to fall in our lives.  Our lives are to draw men to Jesus, Matt. 5:16; and not push them farther away.  When we are guilty of low living that hinders the cause of Christ and that brings dishonor to the name of the Lord, we can expect nothing less than His chastisement!)


Conc:  Once there was a little boy who had a bad habit of lying.  He just couldn't seem to stop telling lies.  Fed up, his father said to him, "I have to teach you that you are not to lie.  Every time you tell a lie I'm going to tell you to take a nail to the post in the backyard and drive a nail in that post."  It wasn't long until the post was just about full of nails.  The little boy's heart was touched and he said, "Oh, Daddy, I see what you're talking about.  I'm so sorry I've been lying.  What can I do?"  The father said, "Son, ask God to forgive you of your lies and then start telling the truth.  Son, every time you tell the truth, I'll pull a nail out."  The little boy started telling the truth and nails started coming out.  It wasn't long until all the nails were out.  The father came out and the little boy was sitting at the post crying.  He said, "Son, don't be crying.  It's so wonderful.  All the nails are out of the post."  He said, "I know daddy, but the scars, the nail prints, are still there."

      God will forgive your sins, but the scars will always be there. If there is anything to take to heart from this sermon that is it!  Sin is horrible, it destroys everything and everyone it touches; but sin can be forgiven. Thank God!  What we need to know is that when we commit sin, we are starting a process that may continue for years and that may touch many people before it ends.  Is that really a chance you want to take?

      There may come a time when you will hear God say to you, “Thou Art The Man!” That time may be today! If there are issues in your life that need to be dealt with today, now is the time to bring them to Him.  If you have never trusted Jesus as you Savior, you are in the greatest trouble of all.  Come to Jesus now and be saved.  

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