2 Samuel 7:8-16; 11:1-12:25
The most glaring and obvious question for today is, “How can a man who was so close to God that God would make an eternal promise with him plummet so quickly into the depths of such blatant sin?”
The answer to this important question can be found in 1 Samuel 11:1, “In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war…David remained in Jerusalem.” The problem is that David had fallen into the “success syndrome”. Up to this point in his life David had been very spiritually and politically successful. Let’s take a moment and recount his success story:
- Defeats Goliath: Faith and courage.
- Spares Saul: Humility, submission, and patience.
- Made king, but loves Ish-bosheth: Mercy and compassion.
- Defeats Philistines: Faith and courage
- Brings ark to Jerusalem: A true worshipper of God.
The Davidic Covenant. Chapter 7 is significant enough of a chapter that we need to take a break and look at it closely. One of God’s patterns throughout all of the Bible is that He made specific promises to specific people along the way that all built upon each other. He promised Adam that one would come to crush the serpent’s heel. He promised Noah that He would never flood the Earth again. He promised Abraham that He would make him a great nation and that all nations would be blessed through him. He promised Moses that obedience to God’s heart and Law would bring blessing. Now He is promising David that He would do great things for him and through him.
God promised David that he would…
- make his name great
- give him rest from his enemies
- establish a house for him
- raise up offspring to succeed him
- make his house and kingdom endure forever. Luke 1:32; Ezekiel 34:23-24;
This was an unconditional promise that God made to David, meaning that no matter what David did, God would still keep his word. parts 1-4 of the promise came true in David’s life. His name was great and still is great to this day. David did get to enjoy some peace in his lifetime, since he had conquered pretty much everyone around him. His house was established and his son, Solomon, did rise to the throne and build a temple in Jerusalem. part 5 of the promise is the most significant. David’s family would be an eternal kingdom. That is being fulfilled right now. Jesus came from the line of David and He sits on the throne of the Kingdom of God eternally.
You can see how each covenant God makes narrows the field and becomes more specific. in Adam’s promise, the Messiah could have come from any human family. In Abraham’s promise, the Messiah could only come from an Israelite family. In David’s, the Messiah could only come from the line of David.
- Defeats enemies: A mighty warrior.
- Loves Mephibosheth: A keeper of promises.
So, after all that truly godly behavior and fruitful victory, how can he become an adulterer, a liar, a thief, and a murderer? It is important to understand that the Bible does not directly say this, but it is not much of a stretch to place into David’s mind the reasoning that allowed him to remain at home when it was time to go to war. He may have been thinking, “You know what, I have been working hard for God for many years now. I deserve a break. After all, God has just made an eternal covenant with me. What could possibly go wrong?” There it is, just like a prize fighter who let’s his guard down in the 11th round, David let his guard down for a moment, walked out onto the porch, and set eyes on a beautiful woman. You know the rest of the story.
In the early 90’s there was a prominent pastor on the east coast that had a similar experience. He had written books that had impacted millions and was on the regular preaching circuit. One day, when being interviewed by a Christian magazine, he was asked what was his greatest strength. His response was, “My fidelity to my wife.” Within one year that man had an affair that rocked the Christian world.
Here are some points to remember for today:
- Our victories are God’s victories, not ours. For a brief moment David forgot that all the amazing things that he had done came from the power of God working through his submitted heart, not through his own strength. We need to make sure we don’t start taking credit for the fruit that God is producing in our lives. That is a sure way to turn that fruit sour over night.
- The enemy doesn’t take a vacation. As wearisome as it may sound, the battle for our souls and our allegiances never stops raging. Every day we must wake up and strap on the armor of God. Yes, we need to take a break and refresh our souls, that is a part of the plan. But, refreshing our souls happens when we climb deeper into the safety of God’s heart, not when we go play on the porch for a while.
- No one is exempt from sin. Everyone can fall in an unguarded moment. Never, for one minute, believe that you are “above” something. The greatest killer of Christian warriors is when they start believing that it is their own skin that is impervious to the enemy’s darts rather than the armor of God that has been protecting them the whole time.
- Guard your heart, every day. Once again, it comes down to this simple lesson. Every day we need to wake up and pray the simple prayer, “Kill me, Fill me, Spill me. Lord, in my own flesh and in my own wisdom I am weak. Please let me get out of the driver’s seat of my life and die to the desires of my own flesh. Please fill me with your Spirit today, wash me clean, and overflow in the kind of ministry that you want to do through me for your glory.” This attitude will be the shield that protects your heart from taking a nose-dive off the porch of sin.