In this week's sermon, Pastor Gene talks about David and Bathsheba, as well as the importance of commitment.
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good morning good morning welcome if you're new here among us my name is gene i serve here at c3 church as your lead pastor and i wonder if there's anybody else here like me who has started a project but then failed to finish it do you have unfinished projects perhaps around the house maybe you made a commitment and then you got distracted and did something else for me this is my garage that's been going on for a while it seems every year i make a commitment when the weather cools down a little bit the winter make a commitment to cleaning out and organizing the garage then i get distracted so this has happened now for about 10 years pretty long time i moved down here from new york and everything is just as it was when we moved in the garage we don't have basements here so that's kind of why i guess and the attic is too hot i once heard a story about a young boy whose father had an issue with commitment it seemed like there were all these unfinished projects around the house all over the place half painted rooms even spilled out onto the lawn half mowed lawn half set up swing set half planted garden now i've noticed something neighbors notice right so oh my neighbor's a pastor he's perfect until my garage door opens right ah not so much neighbors notice and in this case there was a neighbor that noticed this father's lack of commitment lack of follow-through on things in particular this particular neighbor noticed it in the little boy he was an older man and he noticed one day the boy playing by himself he was playing catch by himself kind of a sad picture throwing the ball up running after it and catching himself right against a wall trying to bounce it catching it in the mid and sadly he noticed that there was an extra mitt on the ground clearly intended for the father you see the father would make commitments to his son but then not follow through all the time you get distracted so the old man decided to do something he asked this boy's father if he could take him to the circus kind of an old school thing but the old man explained you see i have a son but he's all grown up now i used to take him to the circus it brought me great joy to do that but you see my son he's all grown up and he doesn't have kids of his own he lacks commitment so i have no grandkids it's not the father he's like sure whatever he doesn't really care the boy is not really excited circus kind of an old school thing it's weird whatever just want to play video games but he goes and then he's pleasantly surprised he gets there under the big top it's like one of those three ring circuses he's sitting close the elephants are enormous he's never seen anything like this for real on the screen on his phone they're kind of small but here it's all real his eyes are opened to this whole new thing the trapeze artist death defying stunts all the stuff is going on it's crazy the clown car how do you fit that many clowns in a little car like that but most of all what was most impressive to this little boy was the lion tamer everybody loves the lion tamer the lion comes out and its head is huge if you've ever seen a lion in real life first thing i notice is that head is really big it looks like it can chomp me in half in one bite it was amazing the boy noticed it wasn't even on a chain that's crazy the lion tamer was so brave he grabbed his stool picked it up and started whipping at the lion sure enough he subdued it he was just amazed so the old man took this as an opportunity to teach him something like good teachers he asked a question he said what do you suppose the lion tamer's most powerful weapon was easy he only had one weapon it was the whip wrong the old man said it was a stool i said that's crazy the stool the lion could have just chomped that in half it didn't do anything well yes maybe if it had one leg boy was confused man explained let me tell you something about lions lions are very committed creatures once they lock on to a target that's it they commit to it and they do not give up until the job is done but the stool has four legs and this distracts the lion because the lion gets confused in his commitment and he doesn't know what to commit to and so in this confusion the lion backs down and the whip it's just for show it didn't do a thing you see distraction is a powerful tool that can cause confusion in our commitment today we find ourselves in the rest of the story i would like to first thank david from mission india he gave a very powerful message last week again not getting diverted or distracted from our purpose in christ talked about winning people to christ not the argument very very important the week before that we looked at the life of king david in particular he conquered jabus that becomes jerusalem later zion the city of david he wants to move the ark in but what he doesn't follow instructions the first time and it doesn't go well second time yes but we saw he did weird stuff causing people to ask the question why maybe so we looked at that why god why are you doing things this way we learned that sometimes it's not for us to know and that's called faith that's what faith is all about and faith means following instructions so today we'll be looking at a very famous account the account of david and bathsheba but first i explain this to you and i'll tell you again second samuel and first chronicles are running in parallel now and like the gospels if you're familiar with the new testament a little bit more there are certain things that the author is going to add decide to tell you about maybe they're not in one they are in the other and vice versa and this is what is happening here you can look at it this way first chronicles is kind of a technical perspective on these accounts on this timeline whereas samuel is a little bit more of a personal perspective you get that right from the very beginning of first chronicles one through nine massive genealogies there's really not a lot of storytelling there and you don't get to into like stories until chapter 10 doesn't happen there it begins with the death of saul so today we're going to look at first chronicle chronicles and then i'll insert these stories from second samuel putting them in for you chronologically this can be very confusing and i'm trying to unconfuse it for you first chronicles 17 which is second samuel vii ish the ark has been moved now and david wants to build a temple first chronicles 17 1 when david was settled in his palace he summoned nathan the prophet look david said i am living in a beautiful cedar palace and the ark of the lord's covenant is out there under a tent nathan replied to david do whatever you have in mind for god is with you but that same night god said to nathan go and tell my servant david this is what the lord has declared you are not the one to build a house for me to live live in i've never lived in a house from the day i brought the israelites out of egypt until this very day my home has always been in a tent moving from one place to another in a tabernacle yet no matter where i have gone with the israelites i have never once complained to israel's leaders the shepherds of my people i have never asked them why haven't you built me a beautiful cedar house so the lord goes on to i'll summarize this for you to tell david that one of his sons will build this temple for him we know it's solomon he's not quite yet he'll build the temple god says i'll be like a father to him i'll discipline him but i won't completely reject him like i did saul i'll be with him so we'll read about solomon later so david he prays to the lord and he concludes with this first chronicles 17 25 oh my god i've been bold enough to pray to you because you have revealed to your servant that you will build a house for him a dynasty of kings for your god o lord and you have promised these good things to your servant and now it has pleased you to bless the house of your servant so that it will continue forever before you for when you grant a blessing o lord it is an eternal blessing if we turn the page we get to first chronicles 18 which is second samuel eight ish minor differences here and there we see a series of military victories these are kind of important over a bunch of different people groups we see the philistines moab he's not very nice to them he executes a lot of people king hadidiser of the arameans ammon and amalek after first chronicles 18 before we get to 19 we find one of these other accounts not in there remember mephibosheth in second samuel 9 we see that david and it states he fulfills a promise to jonathan that he had made to jonathan saul's on their buddies but also to saul if you're looking very carefully at the accounts not to harm his family not only that but to do good to them to treat them with kindness second samuel 9 1 one day david asked is anyone in saul's family still alive anyone to whom i can show kindness for jonathan's sake well there's a servant named zeba remember his name something about him will come up a little later not today but later in the rest of the story zebo is one of saul's servants david summons him are you zeba yes i am is there anyone left alive in saul's family yes there is mephibosheth now if you remember him when jonathan and saul died the maidservant picked him up tried to run away with him dropped him and now he has crippled feet he's five years old at the time now he's much older has family of his own so basically he's like ziva get him bring him here he comes mephibosheth he bows down to him i am your servant david says everything that belonged to saul is now yours including ziba and his servants and his family it's all yours and you're safe here so spends a lot of time there with david eating in the palace now if we turn to first chronicles 19 there's kind of an interesting account here this is second samuel 10 ish if you've been paying attention to the rest of the story you remember a guy named king nehesh he wasn't very nice if you go back to first samuel 11 you see that saul had to deal with him because he approaches the people of jabash gilead and he threatens them you can surrender to me but guess what when you do we're going to gouge out everybody's right eye kind of gross saul gets mad and he attacks them but he doesn't kill the king so here we get david saying king nehash dies and he says i'm going to go pay tribute to him because he was always kind to me and so that should strike you as a little weird so i guess like he was nice to david but not soul very strange but here's what happens he sends ambassadors or messengers to him and his advisors say no they're spies don't trust them so they embarrass him them they cut off their robes at the behinds and they shave off half their beards now this is very embarrassing i know partially from experience and i'm not going to tell that story but if someone gets drunk at your house and passes out all the time you can shave one of their eyebrows off they'll stop doing it anyway just saying not well never mind what did you learn in church that's what you're going to remember that's it that's it forget about my pastor said it's okay to no it's not it's also not okay to get drunk at people's houses and pass out so anyway the people of ammon they realize he's an ammonite king people of ammon realize that they've angered david so they make this alliance with the arameans for a lot of money like 75 000 pounds of silver and they go to attack david there's a series of battles one then two joab is the commander of the army they win and the arameans eventually say forget it we're not dealing with these ammonites ever again just to kind of cover that if we turn to chapter 20. this is where it can be very confusing and i hope i make it simple for you chapter 20 we see that david is going to attack rabbah it's ammonite city and then it says that when he gets there he conquers the city then we get an account this is very confusing about all these really weird uh philistine giants goliath's brother one with like six fingers on each hand six toes on each foot he carries a spear just like goliath does as big is a weaver's beam that is goliath's brother not the six fingered person he's lamai but confusing because you have to go to second samuel chapter 21 to read that it doesn't run quite parallel so but the interesting thing here is that in the middle of that account about rabbah and it's really quick in first chronicles there's the whole story of david in bathsheba that happens right there so you kind of have to like read the first couple of verses and then hop over and that's what we're going to do today second samuel 11 and 12 those chapters second samuel 11 1 in the spring of the year when kings normally got to be very close attention to the wording normally go out to war david sent joab and the israeli army to fight the ammonites they destroyed the ammonite army and laid siege to the city of raba so they're there and they're laying siege to this walled city however david stayed behind in jerusalem so here's the timeline late one afternoon after his midday rest david got out of bed and was walking on the roof of the palace kind of normal-ish i've explained that to you sometimes people sleep up on the roof because it's cooler up there late one afternoon after his mid-day rest david got out of bed walking on the roof of the palace did that as he looked out over the city he noticed a woman of unusual beauty taking a bath he sent someone to find out who she was and he was told she is bathsheba the daughter of eliam and the wife of uriah the hittite so just a pause button there she's not bathsheba because she's taking a bath daughter of the oath you know bear sheba the well of the oath so bathsheba about to just daughter of the oath then david sent messengers to get her and when she came to the palace he slept with her she had just completed the purification rights after having her menstrual period then she returned home later when bathsheba discovered that she was pregnant she sent david a message saying i'm pregnant okay so the thing about the menstrual period it's not in there to be gross it's in there so that you have no doubt that david is the father of the child it's not uriah so it's a timeline thing again that's why that's there so what does david do well he calls for her husband who's out on the battle lines uriah and he figures he's going to get there and then spend some time with his wife he'll sleep with his wife ah they'll think the kids his doesn't work he decides to sleep with the palace guards and david's like what are you doing it's not working well how could i do that when the commander of the army all my friends you know soldiers are fighting out there i can't do this type of thing so david's like okay i'll get him drunk doesn't shave his eyebrows off he just gets him drunk but he doesn't go to be with his wife he stays again with the guards so what does david do well he writes a letter to joab if you read it carefully it's kind of crazy because he sends uriah with the letter and it's basically his death sentence he tells joab who's happy to comply we know about joab's character here and he basically says send uriah out to where the fighting is the heaviest and then when it gets real heated withdraw from him so that he dies okay and so he does that joab sends a message back to david and it's kind of interesting because at first he's giving him like a battle report and he's saying well if david questions you and says something like why did you do that why did you send him close to the wall in a bad spot or them not uriah yet why did you send them that it's a military mistake you ever watch like medieval movies and stuff this is older but the battle kind of strategies didn't change very much for thousands of years if you are laying siege to a castle or walled town it's hard usually the best strategy is to wait them out they'll run out of food or water and you see this in the bible they'll cut off water supplies as a kyle do that later in order to either protect themselves deprive the enemy of water stuff like that you gotta wait it takes a while you don't run up to the wall if you're in a hurry and you do you're going to use something like a siege tower right because the people on the wall are shooting arrows down at you boiling oil rocks things like that don't worry lonnie won't throw anything on you from up here but anyway you know you don't want to do that and so that's exactly what happens sends them real close to the wall shoots arrows down on he's dead so if david asks you why i did this well and he may even say something he'll recall abimelech gideon's son went up to the wall and remember the woman throws the millstone down over his head i said don't underestimate a woman he dies he's embarrassed about it and he has his armor bearer run him through so that they can't say a woman killed him anyway he actually recalls that account he might be upset about this this blunder but tell him your eye's dead cause he knows on the back end that's going to make him kind of happy so this happens the messenger comes back and david's just basically like whatever the sword devours some this day and others on the other day tell him to fight harder he'll take the city but the lord is not happy about this so second samuel 12 1 the lord sent nathan the prophet to tell david this story it's a parable like jesus teaches in parables it's like there was this rich man with all these sheep and cattle and then there was a poor man just like jesus does this kind of contrast there was a poor man he had this one little baby lamb that he bought like a pet that eats at his table and drinks from his cup well the rich man had a visitor come into his house and instead of slaughtering one of his own many sheep or cattle for the feast he slaughtered the poor man's little baby lamb the pet david's infuriated this man should die he should pay back four times what he took for that man nathan says that man is you and then rebukes him he says this is what the lord says since you've done this you've murdered a man you've slept with his wife the sword will be against your family from now on i'll send a man to sleep with your wives but he's going to do it out in the open not in secret like you've done we're going to see this happen very tragic story of absalom it's going to be his son spoiler alert crazy david confesses his sin nathan don't worry you're not going to die from this you've been forgiven but but your son is the son that you made with bathsheba is going to die nathan leaves seven days later the child dies in the meantime david is mourning for the child begging the lord not to kill him fasting sees the messengers talking about the child knows the child is dead is the child dead yes but they're afraid to tell him they think david might harm himself or something and something unusual happens david gets up cleans himself up goes to worship and eats the servants are like that's weird you should be mourning now that the baby's dead david says this second samuel 12 22 david replied i fasted and wept while the child was alive for i said perhaps the lord will be gracious to me and let the child live but why should i fast when he's dead can i bring him back again i will go home one day but he cannot return to me then david comforted bathsheba his wife and slept with her she became pregnant and gave birth to his son and david named him solomon pay attention to this the lord loved the child and sent word through nathan the prophet that they should name him jedediah which means beloved of the lord as the lord had commanded how many people knew that solomon's god-given name is jedediah interesting david was doing so well his military victories crazy he's doing well kindness to mephibosheth he's doing well his covenant with the lord he's doing well but david got distracted he abandoned his purpose by staying home from war when kings usually go out to war he might have had too much free time on his hands he got distracted up there on the roof then he went from one sin to the next to cover up the first one sin is a slippery slope he was doing great in his covenant with the lord then he covets david compromises the covenant through coveting gets distracted but do we do that as well do we get distracted maybe in our walk with the lord in a broader sense we start off really well we're really excited we're high off that baptism we're doing things right but then something takes us off course not doing so good anymore we're all in in the beginning but something distracts us from our destination maybe like david we have too much free time on our hands maybe we start off the week well we do the sunday to sunday thing we get in a good word on sunday we worship i'm not gonna do the batteries recharge thing you know i hate that but we get built up in the lord edified so to speak we do really well and then we leave church and we forget about all the promises we sung on sunday i get distracted somehow you see we shouldn't covet things because it will often cause us to compromise our commitment to christ if something will we need to identify it and remove it think of it this way if you're new don't worry repent it's a big word right it just means to turn from something to just repent from it just basically think of it that way but i suggest you do almost like a pre-repentance this has worked for me in my life a free in other words remove the things so you don't even have to turn from them how about that right think about it if your issue is alcohol don't go to the bar you're kind of asking for it right it's food that's been a big thing right the whole lock down and all that stuff some people went crazy well when you're grocery shopping don't buy the junk food don't go through the drive through don't be a part of it let's be honest for a lot of people the sins in your phone where it is remove the app i've had to do that with certain things for pastors it's social media you want to get really agitated if you're a pastor look at what your people are posting on social media chasing winning arguments they win a lot of christians are great at winning arguments right but not so good at winning people over to christ and so that's really agitating so on my day off i don't look at that i put it a few swipes away from where it's easy to get to i should know better another thing accountability companions my wife is mine and it works somehow i don't know how in a marriage it's not always a good thing to do but anyway maybe get a friend but she does that she caught me on the one and only day that i commit to them why are you doing that you're working ah thank you remove the app no good you can get a friend you can get a friend an accountability partner humble yourself confess the bible says do that you know confess your sins to one another make sure that this person can be trusted another gossip you've got to test that out i know some of you have been burned by things like that but here at c3 church there are people you can trust get an accountability companion a friend a friend that doesn't talk to you like your pride does it doesn't talk to you like your pride does they'll lovingly bring you into correction when they see something that is not right you see our pride tells us that we can play with fire and we won't get burned that's what our pride tells us but we must get rid of that pride we must humble ourselves and accept the accountability proverbs 29 23 pride ends in humiliation while humility brings honor have learned something all pride there's no such thing as good pride i was told that in the beginning of my christian walk i had to mull it over but the more i read the bible it doesn't say that it doesn't say pride in your achievements no it says the opposite it actually doesn't even say pride in your country it doesn't say that that's not true pride in anything will lead to disaster it will distract you from the kingdom of heaven it will cause you to go off course from your commitment to christ period that's what pride does every single time our pride tells us that we can flirt with our former sin that's what it tells us it leads to destruction we must remove it repent from it because once it's been done even if we do turn from it even if there's a course correction there's still wreckage we have to deal with still wreckage david's family we're going to read about it in the weeks to come they're going to pay the price for his sin death of a child too he pays the price we can't let these distractions detour us from our commitment to christ that means anything that will distract you and there are a lot of things in the world trying to do that like everything in the world is trying to do that church has become a lot like the fitness industry bear with me it has if you think about it rightly think about it what do people do they join the gym i'm going to join the gym this what january right so we decide we're going to join the gym and they give us all the stuff at the gym right you get the t-shirt you get the keychain ornament maybe the sticker for your car so everybody knows you're going to the gym right and you start off well you do some exercises and then maybe there's a trainer there and the trainer tells you what to do okay but what do you do what do most of us do i shouldn't say what do you do what do most of us do in summon shape people most people do the gym thing then they go out and they hit the drive-through they do everything that the trainer told them not to do don't do that oh yeah i got it right everything they come back they haven't lost any weight trainer's like well and now here's the thing there are two different kinds of gyms maybe more but like really good gyms where the trainer rebukes you take off the shirt take the sticker off the car you're embarrassing me that's what a good gym does right that's a good gym but what happens when a gym does that they get small what happens when a church does that it gets small why i'll tell you why that's what the other gyms are telling them they should do no commitment no commitment look at that think there are a lot of in-shaped people there no i know that not gonna name the gem we know what when it is but right keychain ornaments that's what they get oh i'm doing so good so they don't see results and guess what it's the trainer's fault oh it's a stranger's fault uh it's their fault this this gym didn't work for me don't blame it on the gym that gym's no good it didn't work for me no you aren't working out that's the problem heard that about church ah like that church didn't work for me no you weren't working it that was the problem probably a pretty good church or lots of them but the problem for the pretty good churches is that there's a lot of churches like that that's the problem a lot of other places you can end up they won't say any of this stuff they're gonna make you feel great that's great you gain 10 pounds congratulations you know but they're not going to talk about sin they're not going to talk about commitment that's a bad word what do you think would happen if we put that on the outside of the church c3 church no commitment man this place would be full right we'd have to do another service not going to do that again don't worry right but this is what happens there are too many people who treat christianity like a keychain ornament that's it they get the jesus fish on the car they're good i'm a christian little c3 sticker if you're cutting people off in traffic and cursing them out please take the c3 sticker off the car just just saying stop embarrassing me christ requires commitment and christianity needs to turn from the commercialism it's cheapened it christianity needs to turn its focus back to christ and christ alone the world is competing against the word constant struggle for your commitment it wants to distract you so you're gonna open up your phone your bible app and what does it do it gives you a whole lot of other options that you'll choose instead so maybe get a paper bible read that i don't know but it is fighting it is fighting for your commitment it wants your attention but we cannot let it distract us from our destination important remember what david from mission india said last week we're just passing through that's very hard for people to understand but it's very biblical told you about sojourning it's very bible study we read all of first peter except like the last part last chapter passing through sojourning we're temporary how many times say temporary residents is what we are as christians we belong to the kingdom of heaven this is all just very very very temporary that's it and while we're going through we need to be focused on that destination we can't let anyone veer us from the course stay on track we need to do this what proverbs says 4 23 guard your heart above all else for it determines the course of your life avoid all perverse talk stay away from corrupt speech look straight ahead and fix your eyes on what lies before you mark out a straight path for your feet stay on the safe path don't get sidetracked keep your feet from following evil now here's what a lot of y'all are saying how how there's so much noise it's like trying to concentrate while you're taking a test never and everyone's screaming and yelling all kinds of distractions yeah i get it but there's something for paying attention a lot more powerful a lot louder the bible tells us how the instructions are all in there everything we need to know hebrews 12 1 therefore since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith that is chapter 11 all the people of faith who passed the test let us strip off every weight that slows us down especially the sin that so easily trips us up and let us run with endurance the race god has set before us how we do this by keeping our eyes on jesus that's how the champion who initiates and perfects our faith because of the joy awaiting him he endured the cross disregarding its shame now he is seated in the place of honor beside god's throne think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people think about that then you won't become weary and give up fix our eyes on jesus on him and think about what he did before you complain about your life then you won't get tripped up in sin worship him david said this too right last week not dave king david but david for mission india we worship what we do most of the time ooh ouch ouch we worship that hit i heard that long before he said it and when that hit me i realized everything had to change not because i'm a pastor yes that's a part of it we need to be in the word a lot but because i'm a christian i started thinking about it what did we do at bible study how long did it take to read all of first peter was it a half hour 25 minutes carol he's counting 25 minutes i'm a fast reader but but here's the thing we're going a tiny bit over sorry but here's the thing this is important i put commentaries in there i did it with commentary half hour i looked up and i said who here watches a sitcom you ever watch a sitcom you do that every day it's half hour how many of them do you watch a night how many half hours do you spend reading the bible think about it but you know what when i'm reading the word of god none of the other stuff distracts me i'm not thinking about any of that other stuff so try it out just a little bit i get it it's hard i've messed up maybe perhaps one of you here today is messed up i don't know but for being honest i think we mess up sometimes it's okay god is willing to forgive and he wants to bring you back but we should do so with a greater commitment that's my point david struggled too david wrote a lot of the sums probably about a half-ish of them he writes about his heart and his struggle as he too is sojourning through and so look to the psalms for worship for encouragement to relate god gets it so today i want to finish by worshiping from the psalms by praying from the psalms this morning and we'll close psalm 51 7 purify me from my sins and i will be clean wash me and i'll be whiter than snow oh give me back my joy again you have broken me now let me rejoice don't keep looking at my sins remove the stain of my guilt create in me a clean heart o god renew a loyal spirit within me do not banish me from your presence and don't take your holy spirit from me restore to me the joy of your salvation and make me willing to obey you lord then i will teach your ways to rebels and they'll return to you forgive me for shedding blood for sinning against you god for eating what i shouldn't eat for drinking what i shouldn't eat for looking at what i shouldn't look at for treating people unkindly forgive me o god forgive me o god who saves then i will joyfully sing your forgiveness unseal my lips oh lord that my mouth may praise you we ask this in jesus name amen. Amen