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Ministry of the Word – 16th Sept 2012; by Vincent Gannon

Scripture:   2 Samuel 11: 26-27

Subject: David        Topic: “True Repentance”

I like to begin this morning with a verse from the New Testament: 1 Corinthians 10:11-12. Then I would like to ask you a serious question, which is, “Do you really believe what it says?”  Why does it take us so long to learn the basics and keep on a steady course? The only answer that I can find is because we have a fallen nature and we assume or think we are a lot stronger then we are. So this verse is there to help us, take hold of us and encourage us along the way. So are we looking back or at the present or even are we looking forward?  This account seem so familiar to us that it could be tomorrows news even though it’s centuries past.

The Story to Date….

Responses to Uriah’s Death

(2 Samuel 11:26-27)

Bathsheba’s response to the death of her husband is as we would expect and would also hope. From what the text tells us, she has absolutely no part in David’s plot to deceive her husband, let alone to put him to death. Undoubtedly, she learns of Uriah’s death in much the same way every war widow did. When she was officially informed of Uriah’s death in battle, she mourned for her husband. No doubt mixed with shame and regret and guilt over what she did.  We cannot be certain just how long this period of mourning was.  We know, for example, that if a virgin of some distant (i.e., Gentile) nation was captured by an Israelite during a raid on her town, the Israelite could take her for a wife after she had mourned for her parents (who would have been killed in the raid) for a full month (Deuteronomy 21:10-13). As I will seek to show in a moment, I believe that Bathsheba’s mourning was genuine and not hypocritical. I believe she mourned her husband’s death because she loved him, thought some would question that.

David, on the other hand, did not even bother to go through the pretence of mourning. He did not even try to be hypocritical.  When other mighty men of Israel died, David led the nation in mourning for their loss.  David mourned for Saul and his sons, killed in the battle with the Philistines (2 Samuel 1).  David mourned the death of Abner, wickedly put to death by Joab (2 Samuel 3:28).  He even sent a delegation to officially mourn the death of Nahash, king of the Ammonites (2 Samuel 10).  However, when Uriah was killed “in battle,” not a word of mourning came from David’s lips.  It seems that he was not sorry; he was relieved.  Instead of instructing others to mourn for Uriah, he sent word to Joab not to take his death too seriously.

When Bathsheba’s mourning was complete, David sent for her and brought her to himself as his wife. I do not see him bending down on his knees, proposing. I do not see him courting her, sending her roses. I see him “taking” her once again. The question in my mind is, why? Why did David take Bathsheba into his house as one of his wives? I do not think he was any longer trying to “cover up” his sin; it was far too late for that. She must have been “showing” her pregnancy by now.  It is hard to imagine how all Israel could not of known what had been going on. It comes into sight that at this point David is not trying to conceal his sin, but to legitimize it. Whatever David’s reasons may have been, they were hardly spiritual, and they were most certainly self-serving.

Nathan had a response to the death of Uriah too, which is taken up in the first part of chapter 12. But let us save that until after drawing your attention to something which has been going on in David’s life that we have not seen from our text, and which the author of Samuel has not recorded.  David himself disclosed this to us in one of his psalms, written in reflection of this incident in our text.

David is divinely prepared for Repentance

(Psalm 32:3-4)

“ When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away Through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer”.

Psalm 32 is one of two psalms (the other is Psalm 51) in which David himself reflects on his sin, his repentance, and his recovery. Verses 3 and 4 of Psalm 32 are the focus of my attention at this point in time. These verses fit between chapters 11 and 12 of 2 Samuel. The confrontation of David by Nathan the prophet, described in 2 Samuel 12, resulted in David’s repentance and confession. But this repentance was not just the fruit of Nathan’s rebuke; it was also David’s response to the work God had been doing in David’s heart before he confessed and while he was still attempting to conceal his sin.

In these verses, David made it clear that God was at work even when it did not appear to be so. During that time David tried to cover up his sin, God was at work exposing it in his heart. These are not times of pleasure and joy, as Satan would like us to conclude; they are days of misery. David was plagued with guilt.  He could not sleep, and it seems he could not eat.  He was not sleeping nights and losing weight.  Whether or not David recognized that God was at work in him, he did know about the misery he felt.  It was this misery which tenderised David, prepared him for the rebuke Nathan was to bring and prepared him for repentance.  David’s repentance was not the result of David’s assessment of his situation; it was the result of divine intervention.  He had gone so far in sin that he could not think straight. God was at work in David’s life to break him, so that he would once again cast himself upon God for grace.

Nathan Tells a Shepherd a Sheep Story

(2 Samuel 12:1- 6)

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Ministry of the Word; 19th February 2012.
Christian Fellowship Church, Dublin


Scripture Reading:  1 Thessalonians 1

Let me begin this morning by saying what the church is not. And then we will go on to look somewhat at what it ought to be. We are not going to cover all the Scriptural and Biblical principles here this morning.

The False Perception of the Church

The Church does not belonging to any man no matter how capable, gifted or rich he may be hence it’s not the property of any group no matter how influential they may be or how big they are.  Jesus is its founder. It was His idea, His belonging to Him exclusively.

Matthew 16:18:“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it”.  In the Basic English Bible it says the same thing in very simple words such as, And I say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock will my church be based, and the doors of hell will not overcome it.”

This has nothing to do with who Peter is or was or will become it is based on the revelation as to the Person of Christ.

  1. The Church is not an organisation an exclusive club with a unusual name or a religious domination of any sort. Note this as well it is not where only a few people function, man led.  It is a living organism both on earth and in Heaven. The word organism as defined by a dictionary is as follows:  noun- a form of life composed of mutually interdependent parts that maintain various vital processes. 2- a form of life considered as an entity. In the Webster Dictionary we read – Definition of ORGANISM, ‘a complex structure of interdependent and subordinate elements whose relations and properties are largely determined by their function.’

So we are talking about people, complex individuals, who have been saved by God’ grace and in whom the Holy Spirit is still doing a job of work. But each one has a gift with a corresponding purpose which if used will make the body a healthy and happy, as well as successfully to the glory of God.

It is always necessary to be reminded that our head is Christ. We are His chosen and separated ones on earth for a purpose which is to do His will, to glorify Him, and to care for that which He has given to us; Namely the church.

  1. The Church is not a mix of all sorts. It is not ecumenical.  Again this means Definition of ECUMENICAL ‘worldwide or general in extent, influence, or application of, relating to, or representing the whole of a body of churches’. That is all on board no matter what you are.   As long as you don’t preach the Gospel as contained in the Bible. And certainly that you’re not a true evangelical.

Jesus called us out of darkness to be light. Jesus saves us from sin to be truth not error. I could say a lot more on the subject but we must move on. But don’t forget these points they are very, very important. I will be repeating this as we go on in different ways I hope.

The True Pattern of the Church

To help us put this pattern together there are seven headings I want for us to look at. There by no means the infinitive headings but they will keep us on course. As we go through them we have to decide where we stand in relation to them so at the end of each one you must come to a conclusion, make the decision and follow through.

All the basic ingredients that our Lord wants in a church were found in the Thessalonian congregation. The epistle that Paul wrote to the Thessalonians lays out for us the pattern of the church that Christ builds. It contains no reference to the number of members. It doesn’t tell us about their goals and objectives, their programming, the kind of sermons that were preached, or the music they sang. It doesn’t tell us about their Sunday school, their worship services, or their Christian camps. However, it does tell us about several spiritual elements.

The apostle Paul first preached the gospel to the Thessalonians during his second missionary journey. After he left them, he sent Timothy to find out how they were doing. When Timothy returned, he came with a fantastic report that we find in 1 Thessalonians 3:6-7: “When Timothy came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and love, and that ye have good remembrance of us al­ways, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you; therefore, brethren, we were comforted.”

The good news that Timothy reported to Paul prompted him to write this first letter to the Thessalonians. I trust that as we look at some of the basic principles in the epis­tle that the Lord will help us to see what He desires from each one of us and how our church can be what He wants it to be.

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