Have you missed God’s Mark?
Speaker: Rev. Shine Thomas
Have you ever aimed at a target? What about throwing darts or aiming an arrow. Have you aimed a rifle at water balloons? All of us have probably aimed and missed the mark a lot of times. We aim for good education, great business opportunities, good jobs; some times we succeed and other times we fail. Now, God has a way of life. God wants us to live according to his ways and whenever we don't, we miss God’s mark.
For the past one month we were studying the life of David. Today, we will see how David missed the mark that God set for him looking at one of David’s mistakes.
David was a music boy taking care of some sheep when God anointed him king of Israel. David was born in Bethlehem but God gave him a destiny in Jerusalem as King. With the anointing as king, God gave a purpose for David’s life. His purpose was to reach Jerusalem to lead God’s people. David always longed reach his God-given destiny. With every struggle and every battle he knew he is getting closer to his destiny. For every one of us here, God has a purpose and destiny. Our aim must be to reach the potential that God wants us to reach. God’s promises are yes and amen and finally, at the age of 30 David became the second king of Israel.
I want to take you through the life of David from Bethlehem to Jerusalem and through the process we will zero in on yet another sin of David.
Five Stages of David
1. David in Bethlehem. 1 Samuel 16-17
This is the birthplace of David. It was in this place that he took care of his father’s sheep. It was the Bethlehem David that killed the lion, the bear, and the giant Goliath. It was in this place where Samuel came and anointed him as the king of Israel.
2. David in King Saul’s Palace. 1 Samuel 18-20
This is where he played the harp for King Saul. This is where God elevated him into ranks of Saul’s army. David got married to Saul’s daughter Michal during this time.
Listen, David now is in the palace at Jerusalem. He could see his destiny, moreover he was well appreciated in the palace. He probably would have thought that his promises are very near but things took an ugly turn where he had to run away from the palace.
How many times have we felt like our dreams are getting true but then somehow it slipped out of our hands? Maybe some of you are like this, without hope, far away from your destiny. Don’t give up hope when you lose things in life, God has his time and in his time he makes all things beautiful.
3. David in the Wilderness. 1 Samuel 21-30
King Saul becomes jealous of David and tries to kill him on several occasions. David sensing danger to his life fled from Saul. He spent most of his time now wandering from place to place, hiding from the watchful eyes of Saul and his army. David was alone for most of the time now, away even from his family.
It was a tough phase of David’s life. But it was in this wilderness that David sang songs to God. David wrote 73 Psalms in the wilderness. Maybe some of you are going through the wilderness experience. Do not grumble or murmur. Yes we have troubles and challenges in the wilderness but be strong God is leading you through your difficulties into your destiny. Don’t lose your song.
4. David in Hebron. 2 Samuel 1-4.
For 7 years David ruled the tribe of Judah. In Hebron he brought his family together. He took care of them and spent good time with his family.
5. David in Jerusalem. 2 Samuel 5, 1 Chronicles 11.
Jerusalem was David’s destiny, God promised him and finally God brought him there after the death of King Saul. In Jerusalem David became the king of Israel. God gave him great victories, peace and prosperity. Israel prospered during David’s reign.
But it was in Jerusalem that David did some of the major blunders of his life. Until now he ran a lot for the Lord, had high integrity, did great things for the Lord but when he came to the point of his destiny, David failed. He missed the mark that God had set and sinned. In Jerusalem David cried, “Lord, cleanse me.”
Psalm 51:7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whither than snow. So what was the sin of David that made him so bitter in his heart?
The Sin of David.
2 Samuel 11:1 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
A king is expected to lead his troops in battle. David at the beginning of his kingship did go out to fight. He defeated the Philistines, Moabites, and other enemies and God gave him victory wherever he went. However in this text David sent his senior officers to battle and he stayed back in the palace. Moreover it was spring time, so it was not a sudden unplanned battle. Most of the battles were planned in the spring because in winter it was difficult to fight and stay out in the open. Had the battle been in winter, maybe David had excuse not to go but in the springtime, in the heat of the battle David relaxed and stayed back home. David purely neglected his responsibilities.
David neglected his responsibilities.
Every one of us here has a job or role to fulfill in life. You maybe a teacher, engineer, accountant, sales person, cook, driver, student and so on, but we all have to do job. We have responsibilities to fulfill. Our responsibilities can also be parenting, family and so on. God does not want anyone to be idle. According to the Bible idling is sin, neglecting responsibility is sin, neglecting your duty is sin. David firstly sinned by avoiding his responsibilities.
You may be asking me what about rest time and vacations, maybe David took time to rest here. Yes, we can take rest, we can be on vacations, we can go out-of-station but then we handle responsibilities alongside our rest. Anytime we neglect our responsibilities the devil will use those chances to deviate us from God’s plan. Are we neglecting our responsibilities?
David neglected his responsibilities and see what happened to him? 2 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.
Now pay attention to this verse: NLT Late one afternoon, after his midday rest, David got out of bed and was walking on the roof of the palace.
It is usual for the people to take an afternoon nap but in our text here, David was sleeping until the sun went down, probably until 6 pm or 6:30 pm.
Survey says taking an afternoon nap is good for health and the best and effective time for an afternoon nap is said to be from late afternoon to early evening (1 pm-3 pm). It is said that a good afternoon nap lasts between 10-30 minutes and the maximum of 45 minutes to an hour. If you sleep any more than one hour, it means you are making up for your lost sleep at night.
Now, David after his midday rest got up late evening as the sun was setting. This shows either he was lazy or partying after lunch or had an unplanned appointment, or he did something until late night the previous day and was catching up with his sleep in the afternoon. David messed up his schedule. Listen, the moment we neglect our responsibility the devil tends to make us lazy and meddle around with our schedule.
David became lazy and had irregular schedule.
I have heard many people telling, “I do not have a fixed schedule in my life. I try but I cannot stick on to it.” Listen God works on schedule, and as men of God we need to have fixed schedule. Yes, I understand our schedule may get upset once in a while or because of our work timing but we need to systematize our life. Get our life into a good healthy schedule. Good schedule not only matters our health, it matter our godliness also. How is your schedule?
David neglected his duty, became lazy, found a lot of idle time, and messed up his schedule. It is quite easy for people to become lazy, waste time, sleep, and do nothing. We have seen people in good work resign their job or taking VRS and lazing around. We have seen students when they fail or have a break in their career just wasting time and lazing around. We have come across people in our ministry who watch TV until early morning or they are on the internet the whole night and then sleep throughout the day.
I often ask people the time of their sleep. You know what many replied, “Pastor, I sleep at 12 pm, 1 am, 2 am because that is the time I get some peace to do some work.” So I ask them what work you do at night. The answers are interesting: “I am watching TV, others say they are on the internet, some are on Skype and Facebook” (I am not talking about people who are catching up with friends and family in another time zone in another country. I am talking about the ones who just spend time on the net.), yet others chill out with their friends without schedule. Then I ask them what time they get up in the morning? Some say 8 am, others 10 am, yet others 12 noon. Listen; if you meddle up with your schedule, you are the number one target of the devil. See what happen to David as he messed up his schedule.
2 Samuel 11:2-3 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, 3 and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.”
A king usually built his palace in the highest ground in the city. The palace was built high so that the guards can look for any enemy intrusion. Even when you go to some forts in India, we can see that the king’s palace has a good view of the city. So as David was looking out he could see the entire city, soon his eyes went to a woman bathing. Instead of feeling embarrassed and turning away, David kept looking at her and that is why he noticed that she was beautiful. David was tempted and sent someone to find out about her.
2 Samuel 11:4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. Then she went back home. Oh! Here is a king, lifted by God to this position, using the same position to commit adultery.
David Committed Adultery.
Listen, no one does adultery at the first step. The devil knows how to trap you into a lifestyle where you end up in sin. Here David neglected his responsibility which made his schedule irregular, the irregular schedule made him lazy, his laziness brought him to the wrong place at the wrong time. The devil gave him an opportunity and caught him in adultery. Be Careful!
Remember what God spoke to Cain as he was plotting to kill his brother Abel. Genesis 4:7 Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.
Dear friends, let’s be alert. Do not be happy that you are not doing major sins. If the devil can mess up your schedule, he knows how to trap you.
Now that David committed adultery he is trying to cover up his sin. 2 Samuel 11:5-13 5 The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.” 6 So David sent this word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent him to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going. 8 Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him. 9 But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house. 10 When David was told, “Uriah did not go home,” he asked him, “Haven’t you just come from a distance? Why didn’t you go home?” 11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my master Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open fields. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and lie with my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!” 12 Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 At David’s invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master’s servants; he did not go home.
David plotted Deceit.
David finds out that Bathsheba is pregnant and comes up with a plan to make it look like that baby is not his but through her husband who is in the battle. It is a basic human tendency to cover up one’s mistakes. No one wants to be accountable and responsible. David tried to cover up his sin but when he could not he plotted murder.
David Plotted murder.
2 Samuel 11:14-27. David now has no choice but to get rid of Uriah. David sends a letter to Joab and puts Uriah on the frontline of the battle. Once Uriah was on the front line, he was put in a no-win situation and was killed. After David let Bathsheba mourn the death of her husband, David married her.
David committed adultery, tried to deceive, and finally committed murder. David thought he was smart and did a masterpiece cover-up. What David did not understand is that everything was bare and open before God. He could cover up from people but not God. 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 account.
David kept quite about his sin, but God was angry with David. God sent prophet Nathan and confronted David regarding his sin. 2 Samuel 12:11-12 11”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. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.
Listen, God brought David to Jerusalem for a purpose. God chose David as a boy, took him successfully through all stages and made him the King. When God brought him to the place of his destiny, David messed it all up, David missed the mark.
When God confronted David, he was in deep anguish and was angry at himself that he sinned and misused his office. David had only one solution, fall at the feet of the Lord for mercy. 2 Samuel 12:13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Psalm 51:1-3 1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
If we study the Psalm we can see the effect of sin in our lives.
David’s sin affected 8 areas of his life.
1. Eyes. Psalm 51:3 ‘My sin is always before me.’
Sin affects us entirely. Sin crushes a man completely.
When David realized the distress sin brought in his life, he is praying for forgiveness. Psalm 51:10-12 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
David cried to God: Restore me, use me, forgive me, give me joy, do not take the Holy Spirit from me. God forgave David with just a simple, sincere prayer. 2 Samuel 12:13b-14 Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the LORD, the son born to you will die.” Remember God can forgive our sins but the consequences remain. Once forgiven David did not give up, he did greater things for God.
David did three things after he was forgiven.
You see David sinned, David confessed, God restored David, and David went onto become the greatest king of Israel ever. God called him as a man after his own heart.
Yes, David missed the mark, he messed it all up when God prospered him. Yes, there are consequences for our sins, David’s son born in adultery died. But when we repent God forgives and restores. When we read 2 Samuel 12:24-25 we see that the LORD loved David so much that He forgave David, He forgot about the sin, and He blessed him with another son, Solomon. God loves you that much too. He wants you to be forgiven and cleansed of the sin in your life. God sent Jesus to die on a cross so that you could be washed and made to be whiter than snow. Let’s confess your sins this morning to God so that we will be cleansed and then praise God for what a Mighty God He is. Amen.
This sermon belongs to the series David. Other sermons in this series: