Sin Will Take You Farther Than You Want to Go
By Matthew Black, Pastor
Text: 2 Samuel 11
Date: Wednesday June 24, 2009, 7pm
Tabernacle Baptist Church
7020 Barrington Road
Hanover Park, Illinois 60133
Open your Bible to the book of 2 Samuel 11. We are continuing our study in the life of David. There’s an old saying that goes. “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you'll ever want to pay!" Tonight we come to the saddest chapter in King David’s life—his adulterous affair with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, and his murder of Uriah.
King David was about 50 years old by this time. He had had about 20 years of unbroken success. He was popular and praised by everyone, even his enemies. Perhaps he was a bit removed from the trials of his earlier days in the wilderness.
Have you heard the story of a preacher falling into sin? Maybe you through you knew someone and respected them spiritually, and you ask, “How could that happen?”
I. The Pride of sin.
A. As we come to this account, let’s remember that any of us is capable of sin if we have a spirit of pride. Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
When we come to this story we all say, “David should have known better”. He was 50 years old. There is a temptation to think that as saints of God mature spiritually, that they become immune to temptation. Tonight’s message is hopefully going to be a wake up call and a warning to us all. There is no one at any stage of his spiritual life that is beyond even grievous sin.
1. So before anyone asks the question, “How could so and so fall into that sin” we need to remember Galatians 6:1, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted”.
2. David’s sad record of sin in 2 Samuel 11 and 12 teaches us what wretches even the best of men are if God leaves them to themselves. 1 Corinthians 10:12, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall”.
B. Secondly, let me give you a warning. Some people have used this story to excuse their sin. Anyone who does that shows that they do not have the fruit of the new heart. A Christian hates sin and grieves for sin. He does not want to excuse it but forsake it.
C. So let’s be thankful that God promises to fulfill His promises of sanctification in us (Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:29-30). We should always realize that even a strong believer has the possibility for great sin. Yet though God may allow His people—genuine Christians—to fall into grievous sin, we see from the life of David that God will through chastening bring the true believer back to repentance and to Himself.
Tonight I want to warn you about the pathway to sin. The purpose of our study is to let this story warn all true believers. We should fear sin. We ought to fear when we read this story. We must never say like Peter “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away” (Matthew 26:33, ESV). Peter found out that his love for the Lord Jesus was not as great as he believed.
II. Second I want us to see the Pathway to sin.
What were the tempters that led David to these sins?
A. Disregard of Duty will lead us into sin. Verse 1, “And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab”. He goes on to say, “But David tarried still at Jerusalem”. One of the reasons we fall into sin is that we are not faithful in our duties.
1. Home—be home with your family when you should.
2. Work—work normal hours! Don’t call in sick just because you don’t feel like going in.
3. Church—be faithful meeting with the saints.
In other words, faithfulness to what God has called us to will keep us busy for God and keep us away from temptations.
B. Idleness, a love of ease will lead us into sin. Verse 2, “And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon”.
David is now neglecting his God given duties as king, and he has nothing to do. He’s pacing back and forth. Someone said —“an idle mind is the devil’s workshop”. When you are not doing what you ought to do, you WILL be tempted!
C. Giving into to our Deceitful Lustful heart will lead us into sin. Verse 2, We read that David, “walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon”. David never would have been there had he been doing what God called him to do.
Still, David was tempted, and he gave into the temptation.
Application: It is not a sin to be tempted. It is a sin to give into the temptation. You may have a wrong through or see a wrong image on a billboard. It is when you look a second time or continue thinking on it that you cross the line to sin.
III. Third, I want us to see the Particular Marks of sin. We are going to see that sin brings with it deceit, disaster and deadness.
A. First, let’s see the first particular mark of sin is Deceit. Rather than confessing his sin, David executed a murderous cover-up process that led to more sins, holding God and his Word in contempt. For the rest of his life, David bore the scars and consequences of this sin; however, in grace, God forgave him.
1. Consider Uriah is a married man. Verses 6-8, “And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered. 8 And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet.” “Wash thy feet” was a euphemism for “"spend a night of marital intimacy with your wife!" David thinks he can get out of this one by having Uriah have relations with Bathsheba.
Sin will cause you to lie. It will cause you to be deceitful.
Look at Uriah’s response in verse 11, “Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing”. See the irony in this. Uriah is a HITTITE. He is a FORGEINGER. And He has more loyalty to Israel than Israel’s king. This is what the deceitfulness of sin will do to you.
We read next that David gets Uriah drunk hoping that he would stumble home into the arms of his wife Bathsheba. But once again the plan failed as Uriah, ever loyal and humble, simply slept on his mat among the David’s servants. Verse 13, “when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk: and at even he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house”.
When Uriah did not want to have relations with his wife out of loyalty to the army of Israel, David grew even more desperate and decided to have Uriah killed in battle! David ordered Joab to put Uriah at the front of the battle lines.
2. In fact, David is so deceitful, he has Uriah deliver his own death sentence. Verses 14-15, “David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die”.
B. The second particular mark of sin is Disaster. Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
1. David ruined Bathsheba’s life. Matthew Henry said, “The adulterer not only wrongs and ruins his own soul, but, as much as he can, another’s soul too.”
The latter part of verse 4 states David’s sin in stark terms—"he lay with her." Then verse 4 states, “for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house”. The mention of Bathsheba’s act of purification serves to confirm that she was not pregnant when she was brought to David. Following their sexual encounter, however, she soon began to notice the bodily changes signaling her pregnancy. Verse 5 records that she sent a message to the King declaring "I am with child”. Literally she said, “I am pregnant”.
She was pure. David violated her. Then David violated her husband.
2. David ruined Uriah’s life. He murdered him. We read in verses 26-27, “And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband.” Upon learning of her husband’s death, Bathsheba began to mourn for him in the customary manner. One historian describes this ritual as including
"weeping; wailing—… expressing a mournful, high-pitched cry; rolling in dust; modifying one’s diet for a period of time; and modifying one’s [clothing], either putting on sackcloth or, in the case of a woman who lost her spouse, wearing garments that identified her as a widow" (Bergen, 367).
Sin does not take into account the harm it does to others. It is even blind to the harm done to one’s self.
3. David ruined his own life and reputation. He was blind to these consequences when he sinned. He only listened to his lustful heart and then tried to cover it up.
4. David ruined his children’s life. We read in 2 Samuel 12:11 Nathan was given a message to give to David. Part of it was about his family. “Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house”.
History would soon reveal that David would lose four sons to premature death (Bathsheba’s baby—12:18; Amnon—13:29; Absalom—18:14-15; Adonijah—1 Kings 2:25).
Not only that, but before Absolom died, he would try to usurp the kingdom from David. He was a rebel. Solomon would multiply many wives. The kingdom would split and go into apostasy. The sword would never depart from David’s family. What a disaster sin brings with it!
C. The third particular mark of sin is Deadness. Sin can render one unable to feel. There can be a searing of the conscience for a time.
When King David committed adultery with Bathsheba, over 9 months went by before Nathan confronted him and he confessed. Bathsheba had already given birth to David's child by the time David was confronted by Nathan and confessed his sin. Sometimes we may think God has forgotten—that He really does not care or does not see. This is the deceitfulness of sin.
Unconfessed sin was the cause of the storm in David's life—and he was the I: "…my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. 4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture [vitality] is turned into the drought of summer. Selah." (Psalm 32:3-4). Later he describes the joy which comes to the upright in heart when they confess.
Sin will render you unfeeling if you continue in it. At first you will feel the singe of sin. But if you continue, it will render you numb, and the chastening to bring you back may be severe.
Please let this be a warning to all saints: don’t get near sin. As the saying goes, “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you'll ever want to pay!"
Conclusion: As we close consider Romans 6:12-18. We find that as believers we have a choice whether to sin or not to sin, and we know that sin will not ultimately have dominion over us. God will bring us out of it.
“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”
Listen to Christ’s promises to progressively sanctify you completely:
Jude 24-25, “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen”.
1 Thessalonians 5:24, “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it”.
Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ”.
Ephesians 2:10, “Ye are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
1 Corinthians 2:8-9, “Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord”.