Trajectory: Finding Direction for Your Life Part 6 Trust God's Pardon

Sermon Summary

This message looks at a chapter in David's life that is not so pretty. The Bible does not hide the sins of its principle players but allows us to see the struggles, the consequences and yes, the forgiveness and pardon God offers. We can learn many lessons from this particular story about David because it allows us to see the progression of sin from its conception to tragic end. It also allows us to see the amazing grace and willingness of God to forgive someone who is truly repentant and sorrowful. However, one of the biggest lessons from this story is the fact that some consequences remain even after forgiveness, so the best thing would be to turn away from the sin at the first glimpse of temptation.

Community Group Discussion Guide

1. Do you think David thought about the consequences his sin would bring about before he sinned? 

2. Have you ever looked at something or saw something you wanted but you knew it was wrong? What are some of things we tell ourselves when we try to rationalize our sin? 

3. Many times when we think about God's conviction and or discipline from a negative viewpoint because we don't understand God is trying to turn us away from behaviors that will harm us. What are some of the reasons this is true? 

Hebrews 12:11 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 it.

4. Thinking about the stages of sin, which ones are most difficult for you?

Not where you're supposed to be/Instead of looking away you explore further/Ignoring the warning signs/Evil fantasy becomes evil action/Consequences begin/The coverup begins/The coverup takes a dark turn/The circle of sin's effects widens/We fear there is no pardon

5. For people who think God could never forgive them for something they've done, David proves God can forgive anyone, anything if they are truly sorrowful. Why is it so hard to trust God's pardon?

Psalm 51:1-17 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; 
according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. Surely you desire truth in the inner parts ; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.


Trajectory: Finding Direction for Your Life Part 6 Trust God's Pardon

"You put Your love on the line to bear the weight of sin that was mine!" This lyric carries a depth of meaning that is life changing! God knew our sin would weigh us down and eventually destroy us, but He didn't want us to be destroyed so He made a way for us to be forgiven of our sin and be free from the overwhelming weight and burden of sin. But here's the key: We must...

Trust God's Pardon

Today, as we continue our look at King David's life, we're going to see that even though he had been a man after God's own heart, he fell into sin and lost his direction in life. He was going to need a pardon from God to get back on God's trajectory. And we'll see that David struggled with trusting God's pardon, like some in this room. Let's Pray!

Now, before we begin our story I've got to give you a quick theology lesson. Our story comes from the Old Testament, and came at a time, as I shared with you a few weeks ago, before people had developed an understanding of the reality of Satan and his evil work in our world and in our lives. Because of this, everything that happened in life was attributed to God, good and bad. This is what they understood and that is the way they explained things in Scripture. God inspired the writers, but He inspired them to write within the context of what they knew and understood. Having said this, I also want you to understand the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. The Old Covenant was based on the law and how closely a person followed the law. While there was certainly mercy and forgiveness from God to individuals, as we will see today, there was a stark difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. Under the Old Covenant, many times, immediate punishment was the response of God to sin. But God had a plan coming in which someone else would take our punishment and that would be Jesus. After Jesus' sacrifice and death on the cruel cross of Calvary, a New Covenant based on grace, mercy and forgiveness, was implemented to all who would receive Jesus Christ as their Savior. Under the Old Covenant an animal was sacrificed to atone for sin and to be a picture of the future New Covenant that would be implemented through Christ's sacrifice. When we read our story, you'll see why we needed to have this lesson in doctrine and theology. Sometimes people will do something wrong and then when something bad happens, they immediately think God's punishing them for the wrong thing they did. But we are under the New Covenant and Jesus took our punishment when He suffered on the Cross! So you can get the "God is punishing me" thought out of your mind when something bad happens. However, you need to understand two more things: Sometimes God does discipline us, but it's not to punish us, it is to guide us and direct us and to protect us! And why do I say "to protect us?"

That's the second thing you need to understand: When we sin, there are consequences and sometimes those consequences are painful, and even tragic. God knows that sin hurts and destroys and deceives, so He desires to save us from our sins, to and to turn us away from our sins! But here's a testimony to God's mercy: If we mess up and sin, He offers to pardon!

1 John 2:1-2 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense —Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

Now that's a wonderful, wonderful truth, but let me share another truth with you…It's far better if we listen to God and trust God's wisdom and turn from wickedness before we sin and bring about tragic consequences and the need for discipline. Okay, lets look at our Old Testament story from a tragic chapter of David's life and I think you will see what I mean. So before we talk about David's need to trust God's pardon, we're going to learn some very practical lessons from David's actions that caused the need for the pardon. By the way, our story today happened after David had become King of Israel. Take your Bibles and let's turn to 2 Samuel 11 beginning with verse one. You're about to see an example of the stages of sin...

David was not where he was supposed to be!

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.

For some reason, David chose to send others to do his job. For some reason, David chose to shirk his God-given responsibility to lead his troops. This placed him clearly outside of God's will and plan for his life. I think most of us could go back and look at our own lives and discover that many times temptation to sin has been strongest when we were not where we were supposed to be! Seems I recently heard a series of sermons on temptation. Temptation will come even when you are in the will of God, but will be exponentially stronger when we are outside God's plan for our life. Whatever the circumstance, we have a decision to make. David made a tragic choice...

Instead of looking away, David explored further

2 Samuel 11:2-3a 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, and David sent someone to find out about her.

For some reason it seems to be embedded in human nature to want to flirt with sin, and to see how close we can get to it without becoming entangled in it's web. We tell ourselves it's not a problem to flirt with sin as long as we don't give in. But you will find, as David found, your objectivity and clarity becomes clouded and jaded when you are playing with sin.

David ignored the warning signs

2 Samuel 11:3b The man said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?”

Eliam was one of David's elite special forces soldiers. She was the granddaughter of of one of his advisers. Uriah the Hittite was one of David's most faithful soldiers and obviously lived close to David's palace. The man David was sending to find out about her was pretty brave in that he knew the answer to the question he was asking. He was questioning the King's order. God was using him to warn David of the terrible path he was about to go down. Have you ever ignored warning signs God has placed in your life or the wisdom of a close friend or family member? Here's the problem...

Evil fantasy leads to evil action

2 Samuel 11:4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her.   
(She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home.

Remember this passage from the temptation series?

James 1:14-15 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

The consequences begin

2 Samuel 11:5 The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”

David should have repented of his sin right then and there, and trusted God's willingness to pardon him. It's not that God takes a light view of sin, He doesn't, and there would have been consequences, but God would have forgiven him and helped him to get back on the right path and direction in life. But David takes the human approach and...

The coverup begins

2 Samuel 11:6-13 So David sent this word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent him to David.
When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going.
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.
But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house.
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?”
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!”
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.
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 realizes he has messed up and that the integrity of his kingship and leadership might be destroyed if his sin is uncovered. So he begins a desperate coverup attempt. But Uriah was such a loyal soldier and could only think of his fellow soldiers back on the front lines, and he was very loyal to David his king. It's almost as if Uriah is now in the same place David was in with Saul and David is now acting like Saul. There may be someone in this room today and you're in the beginning stages of a coverup. Please stop the coverup and bring your sin to God trusting His willingness to pardon you and help you before you get any deeper. There will be consequences but if you don't you'll be like David where…

The coverup takes a very dark turn

2 Samuel 11:14-17 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah.
In it he wrote, “Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest.
Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”
So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were.
When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.

How tragic. An innocent man is now dead in David's attempt to cover up his sin. Here's a stark reality: Man cannot cover his own sin and any attempt to do so will only lead to greater sin. God, on the other hand, doesn't just cover up our sin, He takes the sin away and begins the process of redeeming us and helping us to deal with the consequences of our sin, but we must let Him! The sooner we let the process of forgiveness and redemption begin the better because...

The circle of sins effects widens

2 Samuel 11:18 Joab sent David a full account of the battle...

2 Samuel 11:25-27 David told the messenger, “Say this to Joab: ‘Don’t let this upset you; the sword devours one as well as another. Press the attack against
the city and destroy it.’ Say this to encourage Joab.” When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him.
After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the LORD.

David has now involved Joab in his plot and knows Joab would be deeply troubled once he discovered the truth. He tries to mitigate the damage to his top commander. But the loss devastates Bathsheba, Uriah's wife and she goes into mourning. And worst of all, God, the One who had done so much for David and had called and appointed him to be Israel's king, is sadly disappointed! But here's an amazing thing. You would think after such an epic and hideous failure that God would just get rid of David and chose someone else. But that's not the way God works. There's an old gospel song that puts it this way…"He looked beyond by fault and saw my need!" Remember, God knew David's heart in a way we could never know, so...

God begins His efforts to redeem by convicting David's heart

2 Samuel 12:1-10 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 he had bought. 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.”
Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! 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 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? 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 despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’

When David hears the story of the little lamb he is incensed and angry. He can't imagine someone doing such a thing and declares that one who had done such a thing deserved to die. So David pronounces the death penalty along with a fourfold repayment. So when he realizes that he's that man, and that the sword would never depart from his house he assumed that he was a dead man!

David assumes there will be no pardon for his sin

2 Samuel 12:13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.

David is thinking, "I'm a dead man! I've crossed the line this time! There's no hope for me!" Nathan assures David that he will not be put to death for his sin. He is assured of God's pardon. David had walked away from his calling and purpose in life, but God had not walked away from David or abandoned His plan for him. This faithfulness of God to an unfaithful David is called grace. However...

David is pardoned but consequences remained

2 Samuel 12:14 But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.”

Remember the theology lesson we had at the beginning of our message. And it's at this point we must learn the most important lesson of this story for our own personal lives. God does pardon, and even though there are unavoidable consequences to sin, God does not leave us to face those consequences alone. David would discover this through the many consequences he would face. What was done could not be undone! Uriah the Hittite was dead. And there were things to come as a result of David's sin. Sometimes consequences come in the form of the bad example our sin is to others. David's children learned from him and one of his sons struggled with moral issues like his dad and abused one of his half sisters. One of his other sons, would later take revenge by killing the brother who had done the deed. You can only imagine the sadness this brought to David. As a result David struggled with accepting the fullness of God's pardon. Sometimes when we face the consequences of our sin we think God is punishing us and we feel unforgiven. But let me share with you a concept.

When you come to Christ and decide to accept and trust God's pardon for you through the Cross, you are forgiven and you can take that to the bank! Why? Because God's Word tells us...

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

But we must remember this: there are sometimes consequences to get through because of our sin and the wild oats we have sown, but God will get you through it if you don't give up. If you get discouraged and give up you will inevitably go back to the old ways and sow more wild seeds or wild oats and those things will then grow and you'll face another bad harvest of consequences.

God's Word says this...

Galatians 6:8-9 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction;
the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

So don't give up! You'll get through the consequences with God's help! If you're here this morning and you're struggling with trusting God's pardon because you think you've done to much and gone to far and that you are beyond God's reach, then you've forgotten that we're talking about an infinite, almighty God who has the ability to reach any distance. Even if you have run light years from God and have fallen deep into sin, and even if you barely have the strength to whisper a cry for help, whisper that cry and God will hear with His supersonic, bionic, infinite, ears and His response time will beat the best and most impressive first responders response times! And by the way, if you have a wreck and are injured, our firefighters are not going to roll up on the accident scene and say, "Okay whose fault was this? Oh, it was your fault, well we're not going to help you, this is your fault!" The only way our guys and gals won't help you is if you refuse the help! It's the same with God. The only difference is He already knows who's at fault and responded anyway!

The amazing thing about God is the fact that even when we've let Him down, even when we've disappointed Him and broken His heart, He still pardon's and forgives and renders assistance and first aid as we deal with the results of our sin. God doesn't harshly say, "well you've made your bed now you'll sleep in it!" Quite the contrary. He knows that consequences hurt, that's why He tries to get us to avoid sin in the first place, but if we've messed up and we're willing to confess our sin He's willing to pardon and to help! Remember what I said earlier? Man cannot cover his own sin and any attempt to do so will only lead to greater sin. God, on the other hand, doesn't just cover up our sin, He takes the sin away and begins the process of redeeming us and helping us to deal with the consequences of our sin, if we'll let Him! This is were the New Covenant comes in through Jesus Christ...

2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

David decides to trust God's pardon

David was under the Old Covenant, but God showed him some New Covenant like mercy. But David sure had a hard time receiving it. Remember, David was a musician and just as God had used music in David's life when he played for King Saul, God was about to use music in David's life to finally give him the ability to trust God's pardon. God inspired David with lyrics to a song that had prophetic words about the New Covenant and what Jesus would someday do on the cross. Listen to this song he wrote after his conversation with Nathan the prophet and being confronted with his sin.

Psalm 51:1-17 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Surely you desire truth in the inner parts ; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.
Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

You and I could never sacrifice enough or bring enough offerings to cover our sin! Remember, we don't possess the ability to cover or remove sin, but God does and God will if we call upon Him and trust Him to cleanse us through the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ! Please hear this...

If you're going to trust God with your future you have to trust Him with your past! Just like David, we must have a broken spirit and a contrite heart over our sin, but then we must trust that God is moved by our repentance and offers a full pardon, forgiveness, redemption and a new life with purpose and power to rise above our past and embrace our future in Christ! Let's pray!