Sermon delivered May 2, 1998

by Pastor Donald J Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Quotation from the Bible are from the New International Version.

David's Feet of Clay

Did you know that one Bible writer was a murderer! Yet David was the greatest saint in the Old Testament. He was a man after God's own heart but nevertheless he was a man after Bathsheba's heart. Yet Hebrews 11 says David obtained a good report.

The tale of Bathsheba and David is in II Samuel 11. This sin stands out like a black fly in a cup of cream. I don't think David was an uncontrolled animalistic maniac. His human feet were made of clay.

Had a modern president David committed this sin in the 1990's, he would have hired a good criminal defense attorney and used his palace staff to smear the prophet and cover up the crime. He might have had the supreme court annul the 7th commandment. But David lived 3000 years ago.

Remember, Tall Saul had killed himself. David is king. Now David stands morally tall. For 20 years David honored God.

David's troops had cleaned the clocks of the Ammonites. But their strong walled metropolis, Rabbah, still had to be dealt with. In those days the nations had an open season for fighting. Like hunters must wait till the first day of Deer Season, the armies waited till the nice spring days before killing each other. Maybe they were a slight more civilized than we are. David ordered a siege to take the enemies fortress, but he stayed in Jerusalem.

David was in bed not in battle. He wasn't tired from doing productive exhausting work. He was bored. Standing water gathers filth. We must keep busy. When the nominating committee calls, get involved.

When you are over 50 you don't feel the urge to fight like bygone times. In Mid-life he wanted a new challenge. His cedar walled palace was commodious and peaceful. As top Monarch, he is unaccountable to anybody. The traps of Prosperity, fame, authority and too much leisure time led him into deep sin. Hard times build strong people but easy times are dangerous times. Unlike our sins, David's wickedness is public record.

For 20 years handsome king David demonstrated noble leadership. He took Mephibosheth into his own home, he composed hymns, he ruled with fair judgement and won victories over most of his enemies, he enlarged the boarders of the kingdom to encompass 60,000 miles. His reputation was impeccable.

But God says: "Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall." I Corinthians 10:12. None of us are immune to sin. The devil never gives up on us. II Samuel 11:2 - "One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful!"

His roof was like our front porch. It was cool up there in the evening and the view was great. David was not sleepy yet.

Suddenly his eye caught a lady bathing in a hot tub. It was lust at first sight. He should have immediately vacated his position. The neighbors grass seems so green and beautiful. There were no Zippers on his eyes. He lingered there looking. A powerful yearning rapidly developed itself into a full-blown scheme to commit sin. The INTENT to sin is as wrong as the act itself. - - Matthew 5:28

David ignored the flashing red light on the dashboard of his conscience. You have a choice when you see that red light: Ignore it.... or... stop and get out of the car and open the hood and see what is wrong.

Too many Christians carry a little hammer in the glove box of life with which to smash God's warning light. It blinks like a small still voice. They Knock it out and keep driving. No one will know for awhile. Not until your engine burns up. Then when the internal motor of your conscience is melted down, you will fall fast and deep into sin and death.

Sin is the transgression of the law. First by the mind and then the deed. David instigated this villainous sin. The blame must rest squarely on David.

It does seem that Bathsheba was a contributing factor. She undoubtedly knew that her bath site could be observed. She had surely seen David strolling on his rooftop before. She could have been a bit more modest. Modern Fashion designers have created loathsome temptations to sin. I wonder how many women realize what effect their immodesty produces?

What was Bathsheba doing bathing in public? Surely she could see David's grand edifice right there a few yards away from her own rooftop. He stopped, stared, and fell. The unwise moth fires his wings by hanging around the candle. It was David's fault. He was the molester. The only safe thing to do when facing this temptation is to flee from it. Flee fornication. If we do not flee we will fall.

Uriah and perhaps Bathsheba were both new Hittite converts. Uriah had been off to war for what seemed a long lonesome time. David sent for her. She was home alone.

But King David was not home alone. He had seven wives at the same time and innumerable concubines. A dozen or two dozen women in the house. Unmet physical needs were not an issue. Adultery was nothing new to David. All This polygamy and sin was not approved by the yardstick of Heaven. In taking all these women David was setting himself up for a further fall from God's will. (Deuteronomy 17:14-17)

Rich Polygamist David descended into the home of a poor man and took his one lamb while his own fold was more than filled with sheep.

"David was Repeatedly overcome by the tempter". - EG White - Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 746

A harem full of women will not satisfy the drive of passion, it increases the yearning. Having an affair will stimulate more unfaithfulness. A modern lie is that if you just indulge your lust it will be quenched. If polygamy were God s Ideal He could have created more than one husband for Eve. (Deut. 17:17)

It started even before the multiplicity of women in his life. We are told that David had an uncontrolled appetite. -- EG White, Vol. 1, Selected Messages, p. 268. Just like Adam and Eve fell on appetite just so David started his downward trek. If you cannot control your spoon and fork, soon you will lose control over what you drink and then what you do and then who you are.

Seldom do we fall suddenly. Crumbling is not the act of an moment. First comes a small cobweb then the lacework then the ensnaring net. Little compromises set the trend for David's defeat. He finally fell when he faced temptation without God. Never try to take on Satan by yourself. Immediately Call on Jesus.

Satan never stands there reminding you of the consequences of your sin. You could get AIDS. There could be pregnancy. That drug could blow your mind. That drink could lead to alcoholism. Finally, when the big payment for sin does come due, the tempter is nowhere to be found.

Nip it in the bud before it grows and its tendrils entwine you in strangulation.

A small girl explained how it works. She said: "When I see Satan coming, I say, 'Jesus, you go to the door.' So Jesus goes to the door. And when Satan sees Jesus he says, 'Pardon me, I've come to the wrong house!'"

The real Battle that we fight is in our mind over whether or not to send Jesus to the door or to answer the door ourselves. The contest is won or lost in our mind, before the deed is actually done.

One day Bathsheba sent a note to David: "David, I am pregnant." Panic struck to the roots of his soul. A secret affair somehow lasts forever even if it is a one night stand.

The Knowledge of David's "Secret Sin" and Bathsheba's pregnancy would become obvious all too soon. But Satan was standing by with a sinister scheme.... "Pssst! David! ..rather than confess your sin, invite Uriah home and let it seem the baby is his.

Soon Uriah the Hittite arrived in town. David invites him over for a fry-chick dinner with fancy veggies and vanilla soy milk ice cream. But Uriah is a man of character and will not sleep in his own home while his men and the ark are in tents. Desperate David went down to the 7-11 and got a pack of alcohol. But even drunk Uriah has more morals than sober David. Upright Uriah can't bring himself to enjoy pleasure while his men are in hard times. We should voluntarily endure hardness when the church of God must endure it. When the church has major needs why should we go spend our money for pleasure?

Finally Desperate David writes out an execution order to Joab and sends it by Uriah's faithful hand. David knew he wouldn't peek. Uriah was placed in the heat of the battle and then deserted. He and many of his loyal platoon were killed. Many paid the price for David's willful sin with their lives.

This conspiracy is so sinister because David knew Uriah would not retreat. His honesty insured his death. Dead men tell no tales. Uriah couldn't disown the child now.

Finally Bathsheba became a widow. After seven days of mourning, she became David's 8th wife. But the Bible says: "David did what was evil in the sight of the Lord!"

One sin leads to another. We gaze at the slimy sludge seeping out of David's feet of clay. It all started with a lingering look. No one knows where sin will lead. We dare not take that path. All we know is that the ends thereof are the way of Death.

If you are playing with the serpent of sin, sooner or later you will feel the fangs in your flesh. It is just a matter of time and you will slip and fall. David lost his influence. His integrity. His example. Lost sleep. Lost weight.

Psalm 32:3,4 - "When I kept silent, (about my sin) my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer." David was not a happy sinner. The pleasure of sin is very short. Whenever he went among people he undoubtedly looked into the sea of faces wondering: Do they know? You may hear sinners bragging about their high life. They will say, Don't worry about me, I am free, I am having the time of my life. But it is all hollow and temporary.

God sent Nathan, a courageous prophet, to burst David's bubble. God waited almost a year. God allowed the pain of sin to eat into the bones of David's life and then He sent Nathan. Pastor Nathan was a good speaker. He used a fascinating parable to bring the King to his senses.

II Samuel 12:1-6 - "The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, 'There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb--(Bathsheba was much younger than David) ... He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.'"

"'Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.'"

"David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, 'As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.'"

It never dawned on David that He was the subject of the story. David swallowed the hook and all Nathan had to do was reel him in.

Verse 7, - "Then Nathan said to David, 'You are the man!" These words cut David's heart like a sharp knife. David saw himself as a liar, thief, murderer, and adulterer. Hope comes when we see our sin.

When you carefully read verses 7-9 you can sense how sin hurts God's heart. "I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes?"

Obviously God felt heart break and deep sadness when David sinned. It hurt God. The price for sin is very heavy.

David and Bathsheba both deserved to be stoned. Even though David would be forgiven he still had to receive the natural consequences of sin.

I Samuel 12:10 - "'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.'"

verse 11,12 - "This is what the LORD says: 'Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.'"

Sin has weighty ramifications. Even though we might receive full forgiveness, we still have to reap the physical consequences of what we have sown. First the baby born to Bathsheba died. Things were in constant turmoil till David died. David's son Amnon raped his sister Tamar. Absalom murdered his brother and attacked David. David was banned from building the temple. A brief burst of sin carries an exorbitant price tag!

Sinful habits begin to sow seeds of destruction within your body. Even though you may stop and do it no more, your life will never be the same. Don't sow great quantities of evil seeds. Stop now. God will forgive you. You can find peace and salvation.

A Christian may get into sin but he hates it. He seeks forgiveness. The sinner does not. A sheep may fall into the mud but he will struggle to get out as quickly as possible. A pig will stay in the mud and enjoy it.

II Samuel 12:13 (A marvelous verse!) - "Then David said to Nathan, 'I have sinned against the LORD.'"

I can picture a flood of hot tears. Instantly his charred heart found healing balm. The waters of the inner lake broke forth allowing the washing away of the record in heavens book of life. Now he was clean. He could sing once again.

Nathan replied, "The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.

See how quickly the forgiveness comes from God. We serve a God who loves to pardon sin.

    David broke four commandments.
  1. - Coveted his neighbors wife
  2. - Committed Adultery
  3. - Gave false testimony
  4. - Murder

Somewhere we get the idea that forgiveness comes by Quoting 1 John 1:9. "Confess, repent, receive; one, two, three; let life continue. But David's words from the 51st Psalm don't sound like some formula. He pleaded with God. He was a man genuinely broken over his sin." (Tabb, names of heroes of the faith)

Read Psalm 51 sometime. Here is a copy of David's prayer asking for forgiveness.

I pray that God will grant that I finish my course without such a deep dark blot upon it. I want to wear the white flower of a blameless life to the end. (F.B.Meyer)

His sins were evil and dark. But Any sin can be forgiven. No matter what you have done. If you come to God and ask Him to blot out your sins they will be erased. If David can be saved, you can be saved! David received instant forgiveness! As soon as the sincere prayer of forgiveness leaves your lips, Jesus' blood blots your dark sins away forever and you instantly become as white as the snow on the peaks of Everest.

Next week: David: Raider of the Lost Ark

Dear Father, please help us feel a small amount of the pain that
our sin causes in your heart.  Break us of our love affair with
disobedience.  Create within us a clean heart.  Renew a right
spirit in me.  Purify our life.  Forgive us of our sins and keep
us pure from this moment, until that soon coming day when Jesus
shall return and take us all home.

Opening Hymn # 6   O worship the Lord
Scripture Reading:   Psalm 100
Closing Hymn #343   I will sing of my Redeemer

Dismissal Hymn:   214- We have this hope.


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