Sunday, January 31, 2021

Divine Insanity


You know, not everyone believes in the divine will and purpose of God. Some people only believe in what they can see or explain, what they feel, or what they want.

The way of the world, even in all the wisdom of man, seems blind to the divine. The world endeavors to explain away the unexplainable. Often those unable to discern the divine element attribute something foul to the process in order to discourage its continuance. In other words:

·        If it cannot be understood it must be bad and it needs to stop.

·        If it cannot be controlled, it needs to be killed.

The accounts of controversaries in the Bible usually divide people into three basic groups.

·        Group 1: Those who believe in, support, and follow God’s divine interventions, and never want to stop.

·        Group 2: The well-meaning people who just don’t believe it for whatever reason and want it to stop.

·        Group 3: People who really don’t care about anything else but staying in power … People who, if they cannot control it, want to kill it.

In Moses’ day:

·        There were people from all walks of life, Hebrew and Egyptian, who believed Moses was a great man sent from God and they were excited to follow him.

o   Exodus 12:38  A mixed multitude went up with them also …

o   Exodus 11:3b Moses was a very great man in Egypt …

o   When people accept a divine element, unanswered questions cease to be their main focus.

§  How did Jesus walk on water? I can’t explain it …

§  How did Jesus multiply the fish and loaves? I don’t know.

§  What made the Red Sea part? It was by divine intervention. But I don’t know how it all happened.

o   Some people believed Moses was sent from God and they were excited about following him into the wilderness, with no mention of food or water.

o   These were the Group 1 people … I believe … let’s go!

·        Then there were the elders of Israel who were well meaning but they wanted Moses to stop aggravating Pharaoh because Pharaoh was making it harder on them and the Children of Israel.

o   Exodus 5:20-21 You have made our burden greater …

o   These are the Group 2 people … no divine connection to the moment.

§  I don’t necessarily dislike you, and you probably mean well … but Moses, you need to stop …

§  You’re just making things worse for everybody.

·        And finally there was Pharaoh and his court in Group 3.

o   Those who did not know and didn’t care how Moses was doing what he was doing.

o   They had magicians who could do the same.

o   They had absolutely no divine connection.

o   Moses had too much influence and so they wanted to kill him, and his followers.

o   Hard hearted people in positions of power with no concern for anyone else.

o   Angry beyond reason and unafraid of offending God - if God even existed at all.

It was the same in the days of John the Baptist and also the same for the Apostle Paul and even for Jesus.

·        Some people love you and support you …

·        Some people like you but don’t agree with you …

·        While other people hate you and want to hurt you and anyone who supports you.

With these thoughts in mind, we are going to continue our series in the Gospel of Mark this morning and put our focus on Jesus as we read our text and consider which group we want to be in. Is it possible God is doing something He didn’t consult about beforehand? It happens …

Mark 3 NKJV

13 ¶  And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him.

14  Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach,

15  and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons:

16  Simon, to whom He gave the name Peter;

17  James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, “Sons of Thunder”;

18  Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Cananite;

19  and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. And they went into a house.

Most likely the choices Jesus made did not agree with everyone there. But they were after all His choices. God had a plan and Jesus had a chance to participate … and so did the disciples … even Judas Iscariot.

Jesus called those He wanted. He appointed, and anointed them, and then they went into the house.

21  But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, “He is out of His mind.”

The NLT says when His family heard what He was doing, they came to take Him away saying Jesus was not in His right mind. We know this happened out of concern as verse 31 indicates, which is also in agreement with Matthew 12 and Luke 8. They believed Jesus was out of His mind; doing things harmful to Himself and others; carrying on like a crazy man; exhibiting insane behavior. He needed to stop! Or rather, somebody needed to stop Him.

This account also reveals the three basic groups earlier mentioned.

Group 1: The followers and supporters of Jesus.

Group 2: Well meaning close family and friends. They like Jesus but they don’t agree with Him and they want Him to stop.

More than simply being a nuisance, Jesus’ family considered Him to be a danger to Himself and to others who followed Him. This has got to stop before somebody gets hurt. Maybe they wondered if Jesus knew He could get stoned to death or cause others to get hurt or lose their jobs.

If the family could have succeeded in having Jesus declared incompetent, mentally impaired, crazy, or insane, then perhaps He would be spared arrest and public execution for saying and doing things seen as unlawful.

“The charge of derangement on account of attention to religion has not been confined to our Saviour. Let a man be made deeply sensible of his sins, and spend much of his time in prayer, and have no relish for the ordinary amusements or business of life; or let a Christian be much impressed with his obligation to devote himself to God, and act as if he believed there was an eternity, and warn his neighbours of their danger; or let a minister show uncommon zeal, and waste his strength in the service of his Master, and the world is not slow to call it derangement. … At the same time, men may endanger themselves on the bosom of the deep, or in the bowels of the earth, for wealth; or may plunge into the vortex of fashion, and folly, and vice, and break in upon the hours of repose, and neglect their duties to their family, and the demands of business, and in the view of the world it is wisdom, and proof of a sane mind! Such is the consistency of boasted reason; such the wisdom and prudence of worldly men!” (Barnes)

Group 3: National leaders from Jerusalem came hoping to destroy Jesus’ credibility imagining that if they did, people would stop following Him.

22 ¶  And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has

Beelzebub,” and, “By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons.”

It is so evident when one individual or group hates and wants to destroy another. They will manufacture any accusation, no matter how ridiculous it is. And they will stop at nothing. Later Jesus asked His accusers a question:

John 10 NKJV

31  Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him.

32  Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?”

Jesus was helping people … He blessed the poor, healed the sick, fed the hungry, had compassion on widows, and loved children … what was so bad about that? Well: it could not be explained, taxed, or controlled, so it had to be stopped and stopped at all costs.

We must allow for divine interventions in life which challenge us and rise above the wisdom of this world and the designs of men. Those who have never experienced the unexplainable or embraced a wisdom greater than their own, have not yet met God. They may know about Him and they may talk about Him, but I fear they have not met Him.

The divine will and purpose of God is greater than the good we intend or the bad we deserve. No one can calculate a person’s value to God but God.

How has the message from Mark challenged me today?

1.  I want to know which group I’m in.

a.   Do I love and obey Jesus even when I don’t understand?

b.   Do I like the thought of Jesus and heaven but reserve the right to have and share my own opinion?

c.    Do I hate it and want to destroy it when it does not favor me?

2.  No one can calculate a person’s value to God but God.

a.   I am not going to limit God’s will to my wisdom.

b.   I’m going to put everyone else in God’s hands and just work on myself and my responsibilities.

3.  We could all use a little more divine insanity.

a.   I want to experience things I can’t explain.

b.   Witness more miracles and hear a fresh word from God.

c.    Be overwhelmed with joy and break out in dancing like David.

d.   I want to wake with hope for unseen realities that keeps me excited all day long.

e.   To not be disappointed in the little things I cannot control.

f.    Have unwavering faith in the good will of God for myself, my family, my neighbors, my nation, and the lost souls throughout the world.

That’s how the message from Mark challenged me today … What were your take-a-ways?

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

More Than a Kiss


My father, the second born of 10 children, was raised during the Great Depression. The years following the stock market crash of 1929 devastated American businesses and industry and completely destroyed the national economy. It was a very difficult period of time and families were faced with horrible decisions.

I’ve heard the story of my dad being encouraged to leave home and fend for himself when he was only 10 years old because there was just not enough in the house to take care of everyone. He had to quit school but was a strong young man and he made it ok and held no grudge against anyone for the decisions that had to be made during those tough times.

I attended elementary, Jr high, and graduated from high school at James Bowie in that same little rural northeast Texas community where my dad was born. When I was a kid, I’d hear the old timers tell how James (Jim) Bowie camped right on the spot where that school was built when he was on his way to defend the Alamo in the 1830’s. What a story. But that was not all the school was known for.

The school was built out of rocks which were dug from the surrounding land.

The school was built by the Works Progress Administration, affectionately known as the WPA. The WPA was a program designed by the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration in 1935, designed to put America back to work. The WPA offered an average wage of $41.57 per month to able bodied men who were willing to invest in America by providing the hard labor it took to build roads, bridges, parks, airports, schools, and other public facilities necessary to the rebuilding of the devastated infrastructure of America.

The man tasked with running the WPA was a very good friend of President Roosevelt named Harry Hopkins. Hopkins was Roosevelt’s chief assistant throughout his presidential years and was called the assistant president by many. When it came to helping people in need Harry Hopkins had deep convictions and a long-standing history.

During the early years of World War II, Americans were fairly set against getting involved. The news from countries directly impacted by the aggression of Japan and Germany was terrible but still distant to so many. 

In 1941 President Roosevelt sent his trusted assistant Harry Hopkins to meet with Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of Great Britain. Hopkins saw the devastation of the country in the wake of the constant bombings and how close the Nazi Regime was to victory over all Europe. Hopkins saw a land and a people who were tired and weary but who refused to surrender to what seemed overwhelming and inevitable.

On the last night of their meetings, in the cold wintery late January 1941  weather, Churchill and Hopkins were given a dinner in Glasgow by the Regional Director of Scotland. Churchill, ever the fearless leader, sat knowing the future of Great Britain and the world was hanging in the balance. After dinner Harry Hopkins offered his parting words.

“I suppose you wish to know what I am going to say to President Roosevelt on my return. Well, I’m going to quote you one verse from that Book of Books … ‘Whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.'” Then he added very quietly: “‘Even to the end.'”

Observers present saw Prime Minister Winston Churchill in tears. He knew what it meant.

During the 1970’s I was fortunate to serve in the USAF for 6 years. During my enlistment I was stationed in both England and Germany for over half of that time. While there I took the opportunity to attend university in both England and Germany. Because of the proximity and access to so many wonderful sites, I concentrated on English literature while living in England and on history, 1865 to present, while living in Germany.

Many of my classes included weekend field trips to the battlefields, memorials, and monuments in Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Austria, all within a day’s drive. Visits to historical WWII battlefields most often included a visit to the memorial cemeteries where those who gave their lives were buried. Memorial cemeteries dedicated to the American Soldier, remembering the thousands upon thousands of the best and the bravest young men gave their all on foreign soil to defend the freedoms of others who could not defend or deliver themselves, dot the landscape and tell the story of the real cost of covenant.

Covenant, like the covenant Ruth made with Naomi, details the duties of a shared destiny. Ruth was a Gentile who made covenant with a Jew when Naomi had nothing in return to give. And we know how that worked out.

Without the help of America, Great Britain would not have won the war and perhaps would have even ceased to exist at all. Harry Hopkins, assistant to President Roosevelt, understood The duties of a shared destiny and he helped to steer our nation into a covenant with Great Britain knowing the cost yet embracing the duty.

I have seen the results of this covenant with my own eyes and stood in the midst of those white rows of gravestones. Men who never made it home, and knew they would not … men who were buried beside others also gave their lives defending the shared destiny we now enjoy.

Let’s take a moment and revisit this passage in Ruth before we pray for our nation and the nations of the world this evening. Truly, we all have a shared destiny and if our nation, or the nations of the world hurt, hunger, or harbor injustices, it will do us no good to turn a deaf ear or a blind eye to that need - Even though the costs be ever so great.

Ruth 1 NKJV

16  But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.

17  Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.”

Contracts are made when there is promise of gain. Covenants are made when there is nothing to gain and everything to give.

·        Consider the cost of the covenants you make.

o   More than a kiss – like Orpha …

§  There are “kissers” and there are “cleavers.”

o   More than words – not just an “I do” … Let’s see if you did …

§  Stories will be told about those who did …

·        Work hard to defend the destiny you share with others.

o   Don’t deny your family.

o   Don’t devalue your friendships.

o   Don’t destroy your future.

·        Appreciate and respect those who stand beside you.

o   Be thankful and show it.

o   Never forget the price others paid for you to have a life.

o   Someone else shared the cost for your greatest opportunity … 

Let’s pray for our families, our nation, and the world.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

A Future and a Hope


God is not thinking like you are thinking, unless you are thinking like He is thinking. In other words … Most likely you and God don’t have the same opinion unless He has spoken to you and you agree with Him. How does God speak to people today? Same as always:

·        Through His Holy Spirit and Confirmed by His Word

This morning we are going to continue our series in the Book of Mark by reading an account in the second chapter. Then, as you may have heard, we are going to hear from a real bonified prophet before we conclude.

Mark 2

13 ¶  Then He went out again by the sea; and all the multitude came to Him, and He taught them.

14  As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.

15  Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him.

16  And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”

17  When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Jesus is not afraid of tax collectors and sinners … in fact, the main desire of Jesus is still to get as close to sinners as He can. He often sat together with them while He ate … and many of them ended up following Him. The way Jesus thought and the things He did often opposed what others thought He should do.

Ever since Cain killed Abel in the very beginning of history, people have had divided opinions on what they think others should say and do. However, there is One voice which should be above the arguments and opinions which often divide us … That one voice is the voice of God.

About 600 years before Christ, there were two opposing political parties in Israel, and they were violently divided. There was the pro-Egyptian party in Israel and then there was the pro-Babylonian party.

A Quick History

·        In 610BC the Assyrian Empire ruled over most of the middle east.

·        Babylon, an Assyrian province, rose up and overthrew the Assyrians.

·        The Egyptian Empire was afraid the neo-Babylonians were going to swallow up the land. So the Egyptians conquered and laid claim all that was west of the Euphrates River. This included all of Israel.

·        King Josiah, a good king over Judah, was killed at the battle of Megiddo fighting against the Egyptians … but the Egyptians won.

·        King Nebuchadnezzar II launched a counterattack and defeated the Egyptians in 605BC. This is when people like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were taken back to Babylon.

·        Israel’s new King paid tribute to the King of Babylon for four years.

·        In 601BC the Egyptians defeated King Nebuchadnezzar II.

·        A large group of Jews in power were pro Egypt so the King stopped paying tribute to Babylon. He expected the Egyptians to protect him.

·        But King Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem and ransacked the city, pillaged the Temple, and carried the King, his court, and even the prophet Ezekiel back to Babylon, and left a pro Babylon King in place.

We will stop here for the sake of time and brain freeze … however, suffice it to say that Egypt and Babylon continued to defeat one another every few years. They each claimed and reclaimed the land and the people of Israel with every victory. So in the end – some Jewish families felt like Babylon was their savior and some Jews hated Babylon. Some believed Egypt was the best and others felt they were the worsts. These two opposing groups were deeply, and at times violently, divided as to which empire they supported. It was a crazy mixed-up deeply divided world.

Into this mix came the prophet we will hear from this morning. His name is Jeremiah. He was called by God to preach repentance and redemption.

Jeremiah was neither pro Babylon nor pro Egypt … Jeremiah was pro God. Jeremiah saw the Big Picture plan of God while many from the two opposing political parties saw only what they wanted and believed only what their favorite sources were saying in support of their personal views. They were only tuned in to their favorite prophets.

Jeremiah served as a prophet in Jerusalem during the reign of 5 different Kings. Why so many? Because they kept getting killed or taken away captive or blinded, their families were persecuted, imprisoned, and exiled, their friends executed or led away in chains … who would ever want to be a King, even the King of Israel, in such politically divided times. Even Jeremiah the prophet was brought to trial and accused by a pro-Egyptian cabinet member in hopes the current king would execute Jeremiah. This counselor to the King felt Jeremiah was far too pro-Babylonian. Jeremiah was convicted but instead of being executed the current administration only threw the poor prophet down a well hoping he would starve to death so they could be rid of him but claim plausible deniability. However …

Jeremiah only got stuck in the mud and was there for a while until another prisoner from Cush, (I don’t know why the Bible tells it was a Black man who saved Jeremiah – a Black prisoner helping a Jewish prisoner – what will God think of next), drew the prophet out of the well and saved his life.

Two of my favorite Bible passages are quotes from Jeremiah. One of them is found in Jeremiah 1 where God calls Jeremiah as a young man.

Jeremiah 1

4 ¶  Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

5  Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

6  Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.

7  But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.

8  Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.

9  Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.

10  See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.

The other favorite passage of mine from the book of Jeremiah is one of the most quoted and perhaps one of the least understood verses in the Bible:

Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

This scripture tells us how much God loves and thinks about His children and how determined He is to give them a future and how He wants them to not lose hope.

I love the thought of this verse because it gives us hope for the future. This morning I would like to set it into proper context for us so that we might understand just how powerful this prophetic word was to the people of that day and how instructive it can be for us today.

Jeremiah 29 contains two letters sent those Jews who were living as prisoners in Babylon. The first letter, verses 1-14, is filled with instruction. The second letter, verses 15-22, encourages a warning against believing people who are only saying what you want to hear.

God’s concern here is simple. He does not want people to imagine that they have to do nothing and somehow, He is going to wave a magic wand and all hardship will be over in two years. God’s intent is to get His children to do their very best wherever they find themselves and to prosper and increase under every condition of life in which they may find themselves.

Just like Joseph in the land of Egypt … we must participate where we are and with what we have if we are going to prosper under these conditions.

Today, if I woke up in Communist China or North Korea, I would not attempt to overthrow the government … I would do my best to win souls for Christ. Which, in many places, is just as dangerous as trying to overthrow the government. We must embrace the Big Picture plan of God and remember that Jesus is not afraid of opposition and neither are we.

Let’s read what Jeremiah actually said to those under the rule of Babylon.

Jeremiah 29 NLT

4  This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem:

5  “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce.

6  Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away!

7  And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”

8 ¶  This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let your prophets and fortune-tellers who are with you in the land of Babylon trick you. Do not listen to their dreams,

9  because they are telling you lies in my name. I have not sent them,” says the LORD.

10  This is what the LORD says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again.

11  “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

12  “In those days when you pray, I will listen.

13  If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

14  I will be found by you,” says the LORD. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”

I am not saying and do not believe this passage is a definitive finite word for America or the world today. However, I do firmly believe that we should open our hearts to the overriding will of Almighty God and embrace the Bigger Picture and current part in God’s plan. Let me be plain:

It is the will of God today that His children … talking about you:

·        Build homes and plant gardens and eat the fruit of your labor.

·        Marry; have children; raise them to marry; enjoy grandchildren.

·        Increase and multiply in the land and do not dwindle away.

·        Work for the peace and prosperity of the country in which you live.

·        And Pray to the Lord for the welfare of the nation without regard as to who sits on the throne. For if the nation does well, so will you.

For God knows the thoughts and plans He has for you. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Don’t be afraid.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021



Without respect as to how we feel or what we may experience in life, whether or not this is a good day or a bad day for you, believe me when I say, “Your greatest day is yet ahead!”

This is the everlasting, overriding, never-failing, word of Almighty God for His children. In John 16 Jesus told His Disciples:

John 16:33  “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Jesus is the one constant in whom we find our peace and all hope for the future. Victories and defeats are all subject to His name. He is our Rock and our Fortress and the One in whom we put our trust. All other ground is but sinking sand.

We are given accounts throughout the scriptures which encourage us to stay on track and stay focused on the purposes of God. God does not intend to save the world but rather God is intent on saving people from this world. The good, the bad, the rich, and the poor. This world will wax worse and worse and will ultimately fill their cup of sin to the point that God will finally bring judgement on all the ungodly for their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed (Jude 1:15). This is God’s job not ours.

I thank God that He is ever merciful to the just and to the unjust. God told the Apostle Paul that His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9).

God is not without knowledge concerning the unfolding events in our lives and even the sin which abounds in the earth today. In fact, the reason God sent Jesus was to save us from this world.

Romans 5:20  … Where sin did abound, grace did much more abound.

The grace of God is more abundant and more powerful than the sins of men. God is also greater than the temporary victories we achieve in this life and His plan is both sure and secure. God will not be distracted or detoured from the single purpose of His will and neither should we.

This is one messed up crazy world and I am so glad it is not my home. I am also glad I have been invited and equipped to lead a search and rescue party to seek and save those who are lost and trapped in the darkness of this world. Thank God He has given us a great light to shine on the souls in danger because it seems to me things in this world are getting darker and more divided with each passing day.

Our hope for family members, our friends, and those we meet on our way is that they might see the light in us and listen to us as we share the Gospel of Christ with them.

I know some of you are greatly disappointed right now in the way things are going in our nation while others are quite happy with the results. I won’t suggest you put away your convictions or abandon your heartfelt beliefs however I will ask you to re-focus for a moment on the future and realize that God has a plan and there is a part He needs you to play. He is not distracted, and it is no time for us to forget His purpose in all things.

This evening I have chosen an event in the life of David to help us re-focus our attention on the greater truths of life and to hopefully help to give direction to many of you who are feeling some level of despair or justification right now. You have taken the first good step in that you have turned tonight to the Word of God. This is no time to shut out what God has to say. His grace is sufficient.

This may not be a word you want to hear but it is a word you need to hear. Then, this coming Sunday morning, we are going to hear from a real, honest-to-goodness prophet of God … he is the real deal … you don’t want to miss this word from God.

Tonight our story begins in 2 Samuel. In a moment we will read from the 11th chapter. While you find it, allow me to catch us up to that point.

·        King David had been very successful in all he had done. One year he decided to stay at home when his army went out to war. This was a good idea with great reasons, but it did give him some idle time.

·        From the rooftop of his house King David saw a woman named Bathsheba taking a bath on the rooftop of her house. Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah, one of his commanders who was off at war.

·        David invited Bathsheba to his house, and they committed adultery and she became pregnant.

·        First David tried to hide the affair by bringing her husband home from the battle hoping he would sleep with Bathsheba and later imagine the child was his.

·        The plot didn’t work because of the integrity and honor of Uriah. Uriah couldn’t allow himself to enjoy comfort or consolation when his troops were still in battle … so instead of going to his house, he slept on the steps of King David’s palace.

·        David sent Uriah back to the battle with a letter to the Captain of the hosts directing him to send Uriah into the heat of the battle in hopes he would be killed.

·        And so it happened … Uriah was killed by the enemy on David’s orders.

·        King David took pregnant Bathsheba into his house, made her his wife, and the child was born.

·        In Chapter 11, God sent the prophet Nathan to David. Nathan told David a story about two men and how one of them had robbed the other of his one precious lamb.

·        David was enraged and then Nathan discovered to David that the story was all about what he had done to Uriah by murdering him and taking Bathsheba as his own.

·        David repented … and he even wrote a Psalm about the whole affair … Psalms 51.

The prophet Nathan told David that he had been a great disappointment to God and to the nation, but God had forgiven him and removed his sin from him.

2 Samuel 11  NKJV

14  “However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.”

15 ¶  Then Nathan departed to his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became ill.

16  David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground.

17  So the elders of his house arose and went to him, to raise him up from the ground. But he would not, nor did he eat food with them.

18  Then on the seventh day it came to pass that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead. For they said, “Indeed, while the child was alive, we spoke to him, and he would not heed our voice. How can we tell him that the child is dead? He may do some harm!”

19  When David saw that his servants were whispering, David perceived that the child was dead. Therefore David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.”

20  So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate.

21  Then his servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.”

22  And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’

23  “But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”

David was successful in his strategic appropriation of Bathsheba but now he could not imagine losing his son. And for as long as there was any hope that God would intervene, David prayed and pleaded and fasted, night and day and refused to be raised up from the ground. After a week, the child died anyway. Seeing how devastated David was when the child was sick, David’s servants did not understand how David recovered himself once he realized all his hopes and prayers turned to nothing.

This is where the servants underestimated David and his relationship with God.

·        Unlike others, David trusted God.

·        Sure David did not want his son to die.

·        Certainly, David knew God could intervene.

·        Truly David made his honest petitions to God.

·        David bore his heart and soul to God and pleaded with Him.

·        Then God answered … and when God answered … David accepted God’s answer.

·        Then David

o   Got up

o   Washed his face

o   Cleaned himself up

o   Changed clothes

o   Went to Church

o   Worshipped God

o   Went home

o   Had a good lunch

o   And looked forward to the future he believed would come to pass.

o   This was in no way over … it was just over for the moment and would need to take a different course … but the future was secure …

o   David would one day receive his desire, just not today.

·        In answer to his servant’s questions, David replied: “Why should I fast … I can’t change this … I have to put the future in God’s hands.

God is good to us and will deliver us from our successes and from our failures - even if we sin, how much more if someone else sins against us 

Both success and disappointments fall prey to the scrutiny of God’s purpose and will.

Here is my big take-away from this evening’s message:

Some things don’t work out like we hoped … still our greatest day is yet ahead!

I want to challenge each and every one of you here and all who are attending online to refocus on what you can do to accomplish the purpose of God during the days ahead. God’s grace is sufficient … You can trust His decisions … He knows what He is doing.