Make a legal U-Turn Ė
2 Samuel 11:1-18, 26-27 Common English Bible (CEB)
[First preached Feb. 28th, 2016]
January 20th, 2019
Make a legal u-turn. Thatís what my navigation system in our car says when I have failed to make a turn or have ignored the wisdom of Google maps. And as it recognizes my mistake, it gently voices the command as a request. ďMake a legal U-turn when possible.Ē Sometimes I am in a place where it is not legal to make a U-turn. I see a u-turn sign with a red line across it, telling me I will get in trouble if I do. But it is clear, I am going the wrong direction and if I continue on, I will drive farther and farther from my destination.
††††††††††† In the days before Garman and GPS, we had these things called maps. Ever seen one? Look like this. Now we have a pleasant voice telling us each and every step of the way.
††††††††††† When I hear the voice correcting me, I instantly become aware of a need to make a change. Iím going the wrong direction.
††††††††††† You might recall, the skit our community youth put on last Sunday featured a person who found god and was living a good faith life until various worldly influences began to draw her into a life of pleasure-seeking and separation from God. As she experimented with each of the temptations placed before her, she moved farther and farther in the wrong direction until she sat holding a gun to her own head. She had lost her ability to hear Godís GPS.
††††††††††† When she realized she wanted to live and wanted to hope and wanted to experience joy, she fought back against the temptation. The image of God/Ty held back evil as she returned to his care.
††††††††††† A spiritual u-turn involves several steps in a process where the driver sets off in the wrong direction at some point doubt sets in and the spiritual GPS prompts us to make a legal u-turn.
††††††††††† Helplessness, Confession, repentance, then forgiveness, and restitution, then restoration. Two weeks ago we talked about this process through three distinct stories about people who hit bottom and reversed their course in life. As a result they experienced new life in the spirit that surpassed anything they could have imagined.
††††††††††† In second Samuel we read the second half of the story about David and Bathsheba. If you donít know the full story, read 2 Samuel 11.
- the lord sends Nathan to David with a message
- He goes and tells David a story
o About a rich man and a poor man.
- The rich man has many sheep, the poor man, one.
o Special ewe lamb that is a beloved family pet.
o Like a daughter to him.
- A traveler comes to the rich man
- He refuses to slaughter one of his own animals.
- Instead, he steals the poor manís lamb
o He prepares int in a meal for the traveler.
- Nathan uses this story to reach David, who was a shepherd as a boy and it is common to keep a lamb as a pet in these times.
- The sin is theft and the reference to Davidís theft of Uriahís wife.
o Adultery and sexual immorality are theft
o The principle is also true of pornography
o Leviticus 18 describes the sin of uncovering the nakedness of those other than our spouses as theft.
- David, not knowing what is coming, becomes angry assuming the story is true.
- He passes judgment on the wealthy man
- In his passing of judgment he sees only the guilt of the other man.
- Commentators point out that David is ridding himself his guilty conscience by passing judgment on someone else.
- He sentences the man to death and demands 4-fold restoration
o He had to make it right.
- Davidís judgment is built on the idea that the wealthy man should have had pity on his neighbor and his family.
- He would have known how precious the lamb was.
- Instead he stole their precious pet.
- Vs 7-9 Nathan reveals his point bluntly with full force.
o You are this wealthy man!
o God anointed you King
o Delivered you from Saul
o Gave you the masterís house
o Would have given you much more
o Why have you despised the commandments of the Lord to do evil in his sight?
o You have killed Uriah with the sword
o You have taken his wife to be your wife
- David is about to make a legal u-turn.
- He has been living with the evidence of his sin
o Did he think about it?
o He sent Bathshebaís husband to his death so he could take her as his wife.
o Power had corrupted him.
- In this story we go deep into the nature of sin, and departure from relationship with God.
- Vs 10 Nathan makes it clear than in his actions, David is despising god.
- And then clarifies Ė one cannot fellowship with God and despise him at the same time.
- Perhaps David believed that he could hide his actions or cover them up. That they had no impact on his spirituality.
- But god sees everything.
Romans 2:1-6 is helpful to read.
- We have arrived that the legal u-turn.
- David confesses Ė I have sinned against the Lord
- I need to make a u-turn
- I need to open up my heart to what I have done and return to obedience.
- I need to be accountable and make it right.
- He didnít rationalize or make excuses
- He didnít blame someone else
- He was convicted of his sin.
- Psalm 51 is his repentant cry for mercy
Even in the simplicity of the skit, Everything, the same process is at work. The only thing missing was the consequences.
- David repented but was faced with the consequences of his actions, of what he had done.
o The baby dies
o Violence and turmoil are predicted for his future family life.
o What he has done will be done to him.
o Instant Karmaís gonna get cha, John Lennon
- An amazing troubling story about one of Godís blessed men.
- But it doesnít end with punishment. It ends with restoration and renewed devotion with a stronger bond and clearer spiritual sight.
- The paradox of the u-turn of repentence is that one comes out of it with greater faith, closer relationship
- In the worst cases, the worst circumstances, we see what seems to be the impossible Ė new life, new faith, vitality of the spirit.
- In cases that seem hopeless, miracles happen
- Davidís case could easily have been seen as hopeless
o He was king, powerful and wealthy
o He could have just executed Nathan and take the natural course in his denial
- But his heart would not let him. He had too much at stake.
o His relationship with God Ė the source of all his blessings
o Denial would bring even greater devastation and loss.
- We, like David, when faced with our sin, when held accountable for our own self deception Ė confess and repent
- We make a legal u-turn
- Because our need for God exceeds our need to sin.
- Because what is in us that is redeemed has greater hold than sin.
- Because we canít live without the light and love of Christ
- A U-turn is a reverse in direction
o Going away, you realize something, then you turn around and go back the way you came. The spiritual GPS tells us we need to.
o Sometimes we can drive a long way off course.
o We might even blame others, the map, the spouse, the kids, others before we confess
- LIGHTHOUSE STORY
- Lent is a time of deep reflection
- What do we mean by this?
o That you stop, pull of the road and check your spiritual GPS
o What direction is god sending you?
o Are you on the right track?
o Do you have confidence in your faith?
o Are you experiencing the fruits of the spirit?
- Take the time to sit and listen
o We get into big trouble when we donít Ė take it from David.
o Join the Wednesday study at the Brew, noon
o Join the Thursday study at Wiley at noon.
- I donít know about you but I want the reward. I want to walk by the spirit! I want to experience the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22-24