Sun. a.m. 6/28/98
TEXT: II Sam. 11:1-27
INTRO: One of the most important
aspects of human relationships is the issue of "integrity." We are living at a
time when integrity has been violated through all kinds of scandals. One of the
most important elements to our walk with God is trustworthiness. The message of
the Gospel can often be affected by the level of our integrity in the eyes of
It is a sad thing to realize that the world has grown to question the
integrity of Christian leaders.
ILLUS: In a recent Wall Street Journal survey, 1,000 corporate executives were asked to name their most trusted confidant when faced with an ethical problem. Only 1% said that they would consult a pastor. Shocking! I'm sure that there are many reasons for ignoring those who supposedly represent God, but I know that a large part of it is explained by the "integrity gap" in the ministry.
Psychology Today published their results of the
ranking of 100 professions according to their level of respectability,
desirability, and prestige. Pastors ranked 52nd, just below manufacturing
foremen and just ahead of power station operators. Why? Perceived lack of
credibility in the community. - Pastor Dick
We cannot ignore the call of God on our life to be people of integrity.
Integrity is an important doorway to the soul.
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us
that integrity brings health to our soul, and allows for God's character to be
revealed through our lives. It also shows us that the failure to be people of
integrity can have negative long term consequences in our lives and affect those
I. COMFORT'S DANGERS 11:1-5
A. Casual 11:1
1. To keep our integrity, we must be careful not to let our guard down.
2. David was not where he was suppose to be, nor doing what he was suppose to be doing and this always invites us to violate our integrity!
a. He should have been with his men in battle.
b. This was one of the rare times he stayed behind.
3. David may have appeared to be comfortable, but looks can be deceiving.
a. Just because someone's life looks good does not mean that it is.
b. The only real way to measure integrity is against the
ILLUS: Near Los Angeles is a hill where thousands of motorists stop their cars, shut off the engines, release the brakes and seemingly roll up hill. But a plumb level placed on the ground where the cars "roll up hill," will show immediately that the cars are actually rolling down hill. The eye can be deceived; the level cannot.
God has given us a similar apparatus: the
Bible. When my situation in life is placed next to the Word of God, the Holy
Spirit immediately establishes the true aspects of the situation and reveals
whatever unevenness or distortion there is. It is not safe to form judgments on
the basis of our senses or our emotions. We must "prove all things, test all things" ( 1 Thessalonians 5:21). --
Donald Grey Barnhouse, Let Me Illustrate, (Fleming H. Revell, Co., 1967), p. 26.
B. Compromise 11:2-5
1. In his boredom, David finds himself walking around on the roof of his palace that overlooked the city.
a. The nature of his heart is revealed in the Hebrew verb used here for "walked around" in verse 2, it means, "going backward and forward and getting nowhere."
b. In other words, David is restless, no doubt because he was not where he was suppose to be and he knew it.
c. This can be fertile ground for compromising what we know is right and wrong.
2. As he looks down on the city he notices a beautiful woman bathing.
a. David is immediately confronted with a couple of choices here:
(1. To turn away
(2. To continue looking
b. The GLANCE was not the sin, it was the GAZE that started David down a path of sin and compromise!
3. Bathsheba was not doing anything wrong, this was a common practice in those days, it may be that she didn't anticipate that the king was in town anyway since her own husband Uriah was on the battlefield as were most of the fighting men of Israel at that time.
a. In fact, her husband Uriah was one of the mighty men of David's, a royal guard (see II Sam. 23:23,39).
b. It would have been natural for her to assume the king was with her husband.
4. Integrity's test comes from moments when we might get away with doing
something wrong and probably not get caught ... what do we do?
ILLUS: At a national spelling contest in Washington an incident
occurred that made me feel good--and made me wonder. In the fourth round of the
contest, Rosalie Elliot, then an eleven- year-old from South Carolina, was asked
to spell avowal. In her soft Southern accent she spelled it. But did the seventh
grader use an a or an e as the next to last letter? The judges couldn't decide.
For several minutes they listened to tape recording playbacks, but the critical
letter was accent-blurred. Chief Judge John Lloyd finally put the question to
the only person who knew the answer, "Was the letter an a or was it an e? he
asked Rosalie. Surrounded by whispering young spellers, she knew by now the
correct spelling of the word. Without hesitating, she replied she had misspelled
it. She walked from the stage. The entire audience stood and applauded,
including half a hundred newspaper reporters... --James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton:
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) pp. 62-63.
5. David's failure to turn his eyes away led him down a path where he compromised the integrity of his life and his ministry.
a. How many broken lives today could identify with David here?
b. If David had turned away at the "glance" and not advanced to the "gaze" he might have had a different story to tell here.
6. David's compromise of integrity led him down a long broken path of sin with many innocent lives being torn apart.
7. Acting on the lust that was inspired by his long gaze, David has Bathsheba brought to his bedroom.
a. Tragically, Bathsheba seems a willing partner with David, if she had maintained her integrity things may have been different too.
b. The purpose for the statement in verse 4 that she had just finished her
monthly cycle is to make it very clear in the text that she could not have been
pregnant by her husband, this leaves no doubt about the pregnancy following
their night of sin together.
II. COVER-UP DESIGNED 11:6-27
A. Calculating 11:6-13
1. David now is confronted with the consequences of his sin, word comes that Bathsheba is pregnant with his child.
a. Even at this point David could have repented and been restored, but instead he calculates how he might yet hide his sin!
b. This was a bad choice on top of a bad decision earlier!
2. Instead of calculating how to hide his sin, he should have confessed it!
3. It took more work to cover his sin than to confess it!
ILLUS: It takes less time to do a thing right than it does to explain why you did it wrong.
-- Henry W. Longfellow -- As quoted in Bob
Phillips, Phillips' Book of Great Thoughts & Funny Sayings, (Wheaton, IL:
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1993), p. 113.
4. Notice that David's spiral down into sin doesn't go from a little sin to a horrible one in one step.
a. At first David only wants to get Uriah home to sleep with his wife in order to hide the truth about the pregnancy and his sin with Bathsheba.
b. Later when this fails however he will progress from just trying to deceive Uriah to setting him up to be killed!
c. Unconfessed sin not only leads to other sins, but usually greater ones.
5. Ironically, Uriah's integrity is a model against David's lack of integrity!
a. Uriah is no even Jewish! Uriah is Hittite, but had converted to faith in the God of Israel - this is easily deduced by his name "URIAH" which in Hebrew means, "Yahweh is my light" - a clear reference to the covenant name of God and his association with the Lord.
b. Uriah was one of David's most trusted soldiers serving as one of the mighty men.
c. That David's sin had so taken over his life is clear from these actions, sin will become our master if we don't repent of it!
B. Callous 11:14-27
1. David's sin make him harder as time passes.
a. As David's integrity slips further, he becomes more callous.
b. David moves from trying to deceive Uriah to having him killed!
2. Yet, he tries to appear to be showing concern for Uriah ... this is the
nature of deception, appearing to care without really caring!
ILLUS: A favorite story is of a man of substance approached to
contribute to a major financial campaign. The urgent need and compelling case
were stated, and the call was made for his support. The man responded: "I
understand why you think I can give fifty thousand dollars. I am a man with my
own business and, it is true, I have all the signs of affluence. But there are
some things you don't know. Did you know that my mother is in an expensive
nursing home?" Well, no, we didn't know. "Did you know also that my brother
died, and left a family of five and had almost no insurance?" No, we didn't.
"Did you know my son is deeply religious, has gone into social work, and makes
less than the national poverty level to meet the needs of his family?" No, we
hadn't realized. "Well, then, if I don't give any of them a penny, why do you
think I'll give it to you?" Donald E. Messer
--James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers,
Inc, 1988) pp. 239-240.
3. It would be a tragedy if we present to the world an image that we care, but then avoid demonstrating genuine godly love.
a. David is obsessed with covering up his sin, and he will pay any cost to keep it from being known...so Uriah is killed by David's order.
b. So many people have destroyed their souls and damaged other people's lives attempting to cover up their sins rather than confess them.
III. CLEANSING & DELIVERANCE 12:1-31
A. Confession 12:1-13
1. God seeks to call David to repentance, the Lord sends the prophet Nathan to convict David's heart.
2. Nathan uses a parable about a rich man who takes advantage of a poor man, and David gets so angry over the man in the story that he decrees that the man should die, an excessive judgment for stealing here!
a. David's excessive reaction here demonstrated the hidden sin in his own life.
b. When someone rants and raves about a particular sin and is so harsh against those who would do such a thing they may be hiding the fact that they are guilty themselves of that sin.
3. In the next breath however David decrees what the Scripture says in such an incident (see Ex. 22:1), that the rich man should pay back 4 times what he had taken.
4. It isn't our mistakes that will cause people to reject the Gospel as much as it will be the lack of integrity we practice when we do make mistakes!
5. If the world can show integrity, we as God's people must show
ILLUS: More than 30 years ago, Ted Williams was closing out his career with the Boston Red Sox. He was suffering from a pinched nerve in his neck that season. It was so bad that he could hardly turn his head to see the pitcher. For the first time in his career he batted under .300, hitting just .254 with 10 home runs. He was the highest salaried player in sports, making $125,000.
The next year, the Red Sox sent him the same
contract. When he got it, Williams sent it back with a note saying that he would
not sign it until they gave him the full pay cut allowed. "I was always treated
fairly by the Red Sox when it came to contracts," Williams said. "Now they were
offering me a contract I didn't deserve. And I only wanted what I deserved."
Williams cut his own salary by 25 percent, raised his batting average by 62
points, and closed out a brilliant career by hitting a home run his final time
at bat. -- Have a Good Day, June 1996, p.
7. David finally confesses his sins now that Nathan has exposed
B. Consequences 12:14-19
1. While David does genuinely repent unlike King Saul before him, there are still consequences to his sins that will continue on.
a. This is the side of sin that few talk about, we like the forgiveness part, but don't often discuess the consequences part.
b. God surely will forgive our sins, and He won't even remember them against anymore, but consequences may continue for a long time or a lifetime.
2. This is the sad truth about sin, the inability at times to change the
painful consequences even when the sins are forgiven.
ILLUS: Visitors to the Fiji Islands tell of a strange custom of
"calling the dead." The one who has suffered bereavement climbs to a high tree
of a cliff, and after mentioning the name of the deceased he cries out
pathetically, "Come back! Come back!" The heart-rending wail is filled with
despair, with only the mocking echoes to underscore its sad
3. David would have to live with many consequences for his lack of integrity during this time of his life.
a. It affected his children.
b. It affected his dreams for Israel, he would not be permitted to build the house of God he desired so much.
c. During his lifetime, the sword would always be a part of his life, these moments of ease that led to his integrity gap would be filled now with few moments of ease.
C. Consoled 12:20-31
1. David would still however find God's grace and love restored to him.
a. God's grace is evident in the fact that David was not killed, which the law prescribed for his sin.
b. God's grace is evident in the fact that David was allowed to still have leadership after repentance.
c. God's grace is evident in the fact that another child born to Bathsheba would one day become one of the greatest rulers of Israel, a child named SOLOMON - Nathan names Solomon JEDIDIAH which means "beloved of the Lord", a clear indication of God's forgiveness and grace. God does not hold grudges!
2. David also returns to battle and gains a great victory over the Ammonites, thus completing the subjugation of the enemy.
3. With David's confession restoration becomes possible ... even rebuilding his integrity over time.
4. How do we restore the world's sense of trust in Christian integrity?
One life at a time, and godly choices.
ILLUS: If each one sweeps before his own door, the whole street is
clean. -- Yiddish
5. Integrity is an important doorway to our soul!
CONCLUSION: The door of integrity is simple, obedience to God's Word even when no one else is around to see it! A life of godly integrity blesses God, oneself, and even others. If we violate our integrity the consequences can be long lasting even after cleansing. God help us to always have integrity in our lives.