David: The Principle of Correction
The Big Idea: God makes men by doing whatever it takes to correct and restore us when we go astray.
Suppose your son knows he shouldn’t hit his sister, but hits her anyway and, when confronted, says, “I’m sorry.” You will immediately forgive him, right? Of course. But is that the end of it? Of course not. Because you love him, you will also want to tutor his heart so that it doesn’t happen again. Depending on what you in your wisdom think your son needs, you will correct and restore him with enough severity that it’s not likely to happen again.
As men, our offenses are more complex and the stakes are higher, but our Father’s objective is the same. It’s to do whatever it takes to correct and restore us to a life of obedience when we stray. Nowhere is this principle more vividly illustrated than in the life of King David. Join us as we learn more about how God rescues us when we stray.
David: The Principle of Correction
2 Samuel 11:1, 2 Samuel 12:7, 2 Samuel 9-14, Acts 13:22, 1 Kings 15:5, Hebrews 4:13, Hebrews 12:10-11, Isaiah 53:6, Psalm 119:67, Psalm 71, Psalm 75, 1 Peter 5:8
Good morning, men. So let’s do a couple of shout outs this morning. The first one goes to a group called 60:20, a Men’s Bible Study. These are 9 to 10 men who in 2001 decided they would meet for 60 minutes for 20 weeks, and now 13 years later and they kept the name and they meet 6-7 on Friday mornings in Burford, Ontario, Canada. David Virr is their leader. I know David, and this is just a wonderful group of guys who are up there meeting at Fellowship Baptist Church in Burford.
The second shout out goes to a group called Men Alive. They started as a Man Alive book study, and now they’ve rolled into the video Bible Study. 12-18 men who meet on Saturday mornings at 9 o’clock at the Neighborhood Church in Redding, CA. The leaders there are Jim Boetjer and Dewey Anderson. They have their own black t-shirts with their own Men Alive logo on them.
So I wonder if you would join me in welcoming these groups to the Man in the Mirror Men’s Bible Study. One, two, three, hoorah! Good to have you men with us. Welcome.
Then I want to also mention Oscar in the very back corner here. We’ve started a Spanish speaking table here at the Bible Study to try it out and see if it would work, and Oscar is going to be leader of the table. Would you stand up Oscar? Now obviously we have people that will be bilingual if they’re going to understand me, or they could come and maybe not understand me, it might be an advantage. Anyway, they would go and sit with Oscar and Oscar is going to lead the table in their native tongue of Spanish. So now that you know about that, if you have some Hispanic friends you might want to consider inviting them too.
All right so you should be at 2 Samuel 11:1. The series is How God Makes Men, and today we’re going to talk about David and the principle of correction. Now suppose your son knows that he’s not suppose to hit his sister but he hits her anyway and when confronted says, “I’m sorry.” Are you going to forgive him? Well of course you are! But is that going to be the end of it? Of course not! Because you’re going to want to tutor his heart so that it doesn’t happen again. You’re going to do, based on your level of wisdom, whatever it takes to both correct him and restore him in such a way and with such a degree of severity that it’s not likely to happen again. And we as men, of course, our lives are much more complex and the stakes are much higher but God’s objective with us is exactly the same. It’s exactly the same. And so he’s going to do whatever it takes to correct us and to restore us to a life of obedience when we stray. And nowhere is that principle more vividly illustrated than in the life of David, and so we’re going to look at David’s life today and this principle of correction.
First up, the Big Idea for today is this: God makes men by doing whatever it takes to correct and restore us when we go astray. You can pick this up in the next showing if you didn’t get it all right now.
From HeroTo Zero
So first up, let’s talk about David and his life and I’m going to call this little section from hero to zero. So, the life of David, you know we see in his life all of the good that a man can do as an image of God and yet all the bad that that same man can do as a product of the fall. Now, I just want you to listen to this, don’t turn there. But I’m going to read to you from Acts 13:22 and you might want to write that down in case you want to look at it later. It says:
Acts 13:22. After removing Saul, God made David their King, he testified concerning him. These are the words of God, “I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.”
So God had this incredibly high regard for David. And then, you should be again at 2 Samuel, and I probably should be there to but I’m not. 2 Samuel 11: 1. So the lead up to this is that David had this incredible career. He went out and defeated Goliath, he lopped the giant’s head off, and that thrust him into the national spot light. So he became a national hero, a decorated general, and then eventually the king of the nation. So he had everything to lose, everything going for him, and he had this historic career, and then we see at 2 Samuel 11:1 it says:
2 Samuel 11:1. In the spring, at the time when Kings go out to war, David sent Joab. But David remained in Jerusalem.
So here’s the problem. If you are where you shouldn’t be, you’re going to be tempted to do what you shouldn’t do. And so one day because David should have been out in the field with the soldiers doing battle, but instead he was back in the palace, he was tempted to do what he shouldn’t do, because he was where he shouldn’t be. He was up on the roof of the palace one night, and he looked out, and he had a man, an employee named Uriah. David had 30 might men, actually 37, but that’s what they were called, and they were his employees, and he was the boss. One of his employees was Uriah, and he had sent Uriah on a business trip. Actually, he sent him out to battle. And then he saw Uriah’s wife Bathsheba, when he was walking around on the roof one night. The golden hues of dusk I’m sure made her even more beautiful to him.
By the way, can you look at a beautiful woman, especially if she’s your type, and not lust? The answer is yes, but not for very long. And so David’s eyes, as he was panning the Jerusalem sky line and he focused in on her, he saw her, and he hesitated, his eyes hesitated. And he lusted for her. And so he sent for her, he seduced her, he slept with her, we all know the story, she became pregnant, so this man who owned this company sends a trusted employee, a loyal employee off on a long business trip and then seduces his wife and get’s her pregnant. Of course we know that’s not even the end of the story, because we also know that David arranged for Uriah to be killed in battle. And then he took, after Bathsheba had mourned, her as his wife. Just an unbelievable lapse. And what’s interesting is that, is this in character or out of character for David? Totally out of character! This is not who this man is! And I would just suggest you should be, if you’re a man of God, walking with God, you should take note and you should probably be a little terrified that something like this might be able to happen to you. And by the way, if you hear this story and you’re not terrified, you should be terrified that you’re not terrified!
So you see in this story that basically one bad decision has tainted an entire career. In fact, in 1 Kings 15:5 you don’t have to turn there but let me just read to you, it says:
1 Kings 15:5. For David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and had not failed to keep any of the Lord’s commands all the days of his life, except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.
And so here is the man after God’s own heart and like a professional athlete who cheated or took steroids, for the rest of his life and for all time until Christ returns, David will always have an asterisk by his name.
So, what happens next is this. There are no secret sins. God was not happy. You don’t have to turn there, just let me read it to you, but you might want to jot down the address in case you want to look at it later. Hebrews 4:13. Listen to this:
Hebrews 4:13. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give an account.
So there are no secret sins. I’m sure that after David did the cover up and a couple of weeks had past, he probably thought he got away with this! I’m sure he probably thought he got away with it. I’m sure he probably thought he skated through this whole mess and it was going to work out. But then turn to 2 Samuel 12:7. God sent Nathan the prophet to confront David. He told him a parable. A parable that enraged David. And then in verse 7 of 2 Samuel 12, it says this:
2 Samuel 12:7-8. Then Nathan said to David you are the man! You are that man in the parable that I just said that you were so angry at that you said deserved to die. This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says. I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, if that had been too little, I would have given you even more!
In other words, everything you have I gave you, all of your respect, all of your honor, all of your prosperity, I gave that to you. And if you wanted more, I would have given that to you, too. And then reading on to verse 9:
2 Samuel 12:9. Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his sight?
He disobeyed the word of God. What is the word of God? You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not commit adultery.
2 Samuel 12:9. You struck down Uriah the Hittite.
You shall not commit murder.
2 Samuel 12:9-11. You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own, you killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now therefore the sword will never depart from your house because you despise me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own. This is what the Lord says, out of your own household I’m going to bring calamity upon you, because of you, before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you.
Absalom it turns out, his son.
2 Samuel 12:11 (Continued). And he will lie with your wives in broad daylight,
Which he did.
2 Samuel 12:12. You did it in secret, but I will do this in broad daylight before all Israel.
So, what’s going on here? Is God angry? You think God’s angry at David? Yeah! Why do you think God is angry with David? Because he despises David? No! He’s so fiercely angry with David because this is his son whom he loves so much and he is not willing to watch his son destroy himself.
Can you imagine, just think for a moment, what caused David to do this? What could have been in his brain to make him do such a thing? Well, you can answer that question pretty easily. It was the lust, it was letting his eyes hesitate on a woman that apparently was his type because he ended up marrying her and having Solomon, their son. Their first son died, you know that story, the son conceived in adultery died. But then they had Solomon, so they were obviously very much attracted to each other, very much in love. But it was totally out of character for him to do that.
Now here’s a better question. What do you think would have happened if God had not intervened? You think God is angry now, what do you think would have happened if God had not intervened? Verse 13 then:
2 Samuel 12:13. David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin; you’re not going to die. But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you, he will die.”
So there’s a lot happening in this text. But the main thing that’s happening in this text is that God is intervening in his life to correct him, to discipline him, to afflict him, to rescue him, so that he can restore him. That’s what’s going on. That’s what’s going on here. That’s what’s going on in your life when you sin, and God comes along and he crushes you! And you’re thinking God if you love me so much why are you crushing me? And the answer is because I love you. It’s because I love you.
The Big Idea here today is this: God makes men by doing whatever it takes to correct and restore us when we go astray.
Forgiveness, But With Consequences
Next, forgiveness but with consequences. So why do you think this story about David has been preserved for us? Why do you think God has put this story into his word? Well, because when David was confronted, he did repent, forgiveness was given, and one of the messages we should all take away is this; no matter what you have done, you can be forgiven. There is no sin so egregious that you cannot be forgiven. If you think about this, he committed adultery, and he murdered the man she was married to and he was forgiven. If God would forgive David adultery and murder, then what could you do that would disqualify you from forgiveness?
One of the reasons this story has been preserved is so that you can know that no matter what you have done, you can be forgiven. Isaiah 53:6, don’t look it up, I’ll just read it.
Isaiah 53:6. We all like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has turned to his own way. And the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
We have a savior, Jesus, who died to pay the penalty for our sins. We all have gone astray! And so when we say God makes men by doing whatever it takes to correct and restore men when they go astray, he does that because all have gone astray. And he’s laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all. So the penalty for our sins has already been paid in full by Christ. No one can fall so far that you’re beyond the reach and the rescue of God, as we have seen in this story.
However, forgiveness does not mean there will be no consequences. And so he does have the asterisk by his name. He had four sons who were killed. He had the son that was conceived in adultery die. Then Absalom killed his son Amnon because he raped his daughter Tamar. And then Absalom was killed by his general. Then Adonijah conspired to overthrow (which was a second conspiracy after Absalom) his father, and Solomon had him killed. So the consequences of this sin were tremendous! And I think there is a tendency in our culture in this day where the emphasis is on let’s be tolerant, let’s just love each other, let’s just get along, to sometimes not pay enough attention to the severity of the discipline of the God who loves us. And he’s not into permissive parenting! If you sin, he will forgive you no matter what you have done, but you may have to pay the consequences of it! And so again, you should be terrified that this could happen to you.
My story. So when I went in to real estate development, I made a vow that I would never personally guarantee business debt. I based that on a Biblical principal, Proverbs 22:26-27:
Proverbs 22:26-27. Do not be a man who puts up security for debts, because if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from you.
And so because I made that vow to not take on personal guarantees, I saw a lot of really good real estate deals slip through my fingers. And then one day, the deal came along that was too good to be true, and the only way I could get the deal was to personally guarantee the mortgage, which means that instead of just pledging the collateral for the repayment of the debt, I pledged all of my other assets, every single asset that I had, to the repayment of that debt. But as I said, the deal was too good to be true, and I wanted to be lead astray. And so I signed the line and personally guaranteed and took that deal. And after that, it was my regular practice to give my personal guarantee. And over the next 7 years, I amassed an unconscionable amount of debt, business debt, all with personal guarantees, and I never once consulted my wife about it. And, I have to tell you, it was fun! Debt is fun in a bull market! I went on a debt orgy! And it was fun! But the hangover sucks! I spent 7 years accumulating this debt and then one day the real estate market, the bull market went bare and in the short span of six months, property values for real estate in this area plummeted by 50% and the commercial sector, you remember some of you, and so the problem was that I had borrowed 75% of the higher values. So now, I’m under water, way under! And so it took seven years to accumulate this unconscionable amount of debt, and now I was faced with insolvency, and what to do about it. But God, it was like God had sent me Nathan, like Nathan had come back from the grave. And I was confronted with my sin. And I repented and God forgave me. But there were consequences. And I spent every day for the next seven years trying to remain solvent. And the emotional toll was great, but I’m just here to tell you that the spiritual toll was even more significant, even greater.
Here’s what I learned. When a man gets too big for his britches, the solution is not bigger britches. God decided to humble me because I needed to be humbled. You see, I had been deceived by the deceitfulness of sin. I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong, but I was bloated with pride, with arrogance, I had made success and making money into an idol. I was trying to reinvent God in my own imagination to be a God that I could manipulate and control to get what I want. And I was disobedient to his word, so you know what I’m talking about. And I didn’t even know it. Maybe I did. Actually, I just had a little flicker of a memory that I really kind of did know it even though I would pretend that I didn’t know it. And you know what that’s like, too. And so, he humbled me, he forgave me, but there were consequences.
Now, by God’s grace and mercy I did remain solvent, but I have to tell you, it was the most painful thing that I’ve ever been through. And I thought about the death of my brother, the death of my parents, I thought about all kinds of things, and you know, I just want to say, I’ll probably write it in the book that it’s one of the most painful things I’ve ever been through, but to be real honest, it is the most painful thing I’ve ever been through. All of my identity, my ego, everything was tied up in my business. And God crushed me. So the other things, the other losses I’ve had, they were not the core of who I am. This is the core of who I am. But I’m so grateful to God that it happened. Because he loves me, he didn’t let me destroy myself. Because he loves you, he will not let you destroy yourself. Instead, God is going to force you back into a right relationship with him when you sin. No matter how far he lets you go before he gets your attention, once he gets your attention, he’s going to force you back into a right relationship with him. We call this the Perseverance of the Saints if you want the theological term for it.
The Big Idea today, God makes men by doing whatever it takes to correct and restore us when we go astray.
It Is Good To Be Afflicted
The final piece is this, it is good to be afflicted. If you would turn to Psalm 119:67, and while you’re turning there I want to make a point out of another passage from Hebrews 12:10-11. And you don’t want to miss this. Through discipline we are forced to seek the God that the deceitfulness of sin makes us think we don’t need. Let me say that again. Discipline, God’s discipline of us, it forces us to seek the God that the deceitfulness of sin makes us think we don’t need. Listen to Hebrews 12:10-11:
Hebrews 12:10-11. Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best, but God disciplines us for our good that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on however it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by discipline.
I know that’s what happened to me. This deceitfulness of sin, and God’s discipline forced me to seek the God who is. That’s what happened to David and it’s a blessing for it to happen, it is good to be afflicted. Look at what David says in Psalm 119:67:
Psalm 119:67. Before I was afflicted, I went astray. But now I obey your word.
Drop down to verse 71.
Psalm 119:71. It was good for me to be afflicted, so that I might learn your decrees.
Drop down to 75.
Psalm 119:75. I know, oh Lord, that your laws are righteous and in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
That’s the Big Idea today. God will make us by doing whatever it takes to correct and restore us when we go astray. Why? Because he loves us. And so men, some of you are terrified that this might happen to you, and you should be, because if it can happen to David, it can happen to you. And some of us are not so terrified that this could happen, but you should be. Because if it can happen to David, it can happen to you. And some of us are in involved in risky behavior right now. There’s a warning here for you. There’s a warning here for you if you are involved in any kind of risky behavior now, FLEE! 1 Peter 5:8 says
1 Peter 5:8. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for somebody to devour.
And so if you’re involved in risky behavior right now and the deceitfulness of sin, you should know that the life ahead for you is the life of David. You’re going to end up with an asterisk by your name. Don’t let that happen. And don’t rely on your own strength, rely on Jesus. We all like sheep have gone astray, but he has paid for the iniquity of us all. So don’t rely on your own strength, rely on Jesus. Jesus can do this! Jesus in you can do this for you. Let’s pray.
Lord Jesus, thank you for David, thank you for this principle of correction. Thank you for your motivation to keep us from destroying ourselves. And Father, I pray that this would absolutely change somebody’s life this morning. I know it’s changed mine. We make our prayer in Jesus’ name, and everybody said, amen.