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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” I’m so glad that you joined us again today as we continue our rather long series, entitled, “Making the Best of a Bad Decision.” Today, we’re talking about the great sin of David, the twin sins of murder and adultery and one of the things that we learned last time is that he tried to cover his sin but it didn’t work very well and it never does. But today, I’m going to be drawing out more lessons from that story that I’m sure you know quite well.
First of all, it’s a reminder that anyone can commit sexual sin. Ministers, Christian leaders, fathers, mothers, you know the whole history of the human race. David is the last person we would have expected to see in this dilemma. I mean, he gave us the Psalms, his relationship with God was very intimate and we profit from that even to this day.
There’s a second lesson and this is so critical and so true of human nature. We see other people’s sins much more clearly than we see our own. When you open chapter 12 of 2 Samuel, you discover that a prophet by the name of Nathan comes to David and in summary, Nathan says this—there was a poor man who had only one lamb. This lamb was a household pet. Even the children interacted with it. Nathan said it was like one of his daughters. And then next to him, there was a very wealthy man with many sheep. When a man came to the wealthy man and said, “I need some sustenance. I need some help.” This rich man took the poor man’s little lamb and used it to prepare a meal instead of one of his own. The Bible says that David was livid with anger and David said, “That man should die and he has to repay fourfold.” You know, I’ve forgotten most of the Hebrew that I learned in seminary but I still remember how Nathan confronted David and I remember Nathan’s words to David after he told the parable of the lamb. Nathan said, “אתה הגבר” which, in Hebrew, means “You, the man.” What a commentary on human nature. It’s very obvious that David saw other people’s sins. He was so concerned about someone stealing a lamb but evidently not very concerned about the fact that he had stolen a man’s wife and then killed her husband to cover it up. Isn’t that true of human nature?
But there’s another lesson that we must learn and that is this that in forgiveness, which David thankfully received, in forgiveness, that forgiveness has to be separated from the consequences. What do I mean by that? After the consequences began, there was nothing that David could possibly do to stop those consequences. God says, David, I’m going to judge you. I’m going to judge your sons. The sword will never depart out of your house. You’re going to be in trouble and your whole kingdom is going to be disbanded, basically—or I should say the kingdom was going to be in trouble at least, nothing could be done to change that but God still said to David, you can be forgiven and you can enter into the joy of your salvation. Now, we’re going to pick it up again next time because there are too many lessons here to learn about moral failure and the grace of God even in the midst of disastrous decisions. So, you stay tuned because I’ll see you right here next time but as for today, you just go with God.