DAVID: FAILURE IS NOT FINAL
Pastor Jonathan Falwell
There is no question that in the life of every Christ-follower, there will be moments of failure. These failures can either be defeating moments or defining moments. David’s actions after his failures are great lesson in recovering from bad moments on a great journey.
David, a “man after God’s own heart”, sinned repeatedly before God in a moment of weakness. His sin with Bathsheba led to an attempt at deception, coercion, conspiracy to murder, and murder itself. Then, there was a period of quiet when David may have thought he had gotten away with his sin. This might be because he thought he was doing the right things in other areas so God gave him a pass. But…
2 Samuel 12:1-10 (CSB) So the Lord sent Nathan to David. When he arrived, he said to him: There were two men in a certain city, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had very large flocks and herds, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one small ewe lamb that he had bought. He raised her, and she grew up with him and with his children. From his meager food she would eat, from his cup she would drink, and in his arms she would sleep. She was like a daughter to him. 4 Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man could not bring himself to take one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for his guest. 5 David was infuriated with the man and said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die! 6 Because he has done this thing and shown no pity, he must pay four lambs for that lamb.” 7 Nathan replied to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I rescued you from Saul. 8 I gave your master’s house to you and your master’s wives into your arms, and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah, and if that was not enough, I would have given you even more. 9 Why then have you despised the Lord’s command by doing what I consider evil? You struck down Uriah the Hethite with the sword and took his wife as your own wife—you murdered him with the Ammonite’s sword. 10 Now therefore, the sword will never leave your house because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hethite to be your own wife.’
1. Failure happens even when chasing the heart of God
Vs 7a Nathan replied to David, “You are the man!
Vs 9a Why then have you despised the Lord’s command by doing what I consider evil?
- Sin is no respecter of persons
- The only surefire way to protect against sin is to run after God through His Word
2. Failure is destructive
Psalm 51:1-4 Be gracious to me, God, according to your faithful love; according to your abundant compassion, blot out my rebellion. 2 Completely wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I am conscious of my rebellion, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against you—you alone—I have sinned and done this evil in your sight. So you are right when you pass sentence; you are blameless when you judge.
- David’s son with Bathsheba dies
- another son (Amnon) rapes David’s daughter
- Absalom ends up killing Amnon
- Absalom stages a revolt against David
- Absalom is killed in battle evebn though David told his men not to kill him
- Sin ALWAYS has a consequence, even for the one after God’s own heart
3. Failure is expected
Vs 5 Indeed, I was guilty when I was born; I was sinful when my mother conceived me.
- Throughout Scripture we are taught that we are born with a sinful nature
- Both OT and NT passages clearly lay out that we “are dead in our sins”
4. Failure should be followed by repentance
6 Surely you desire integrity in the inner self, and you teach me wisdom deep within. 7 Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 9 Turn your face away from my sins and blot out all my guilt. 10 God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not banish me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore the joy of your salvation to me, and sustain me by giving me a willing spirit. 13 Then I will teach the rebellious your ways, and sinners will return to you. 14 Save me from the guilt of bloodshed, God—God of my salvation—and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
- The only path away from sin and its destructive path is repentance
- Repentance will not remove the impact of sin but it will remove the destructive power of sin
Psalm 38:4 For my iniquities have flooded over my head; they are a burden too heavy for me to bear.
Psalm 38:18 So I confess my iniquity; I am anxious because of my sin
- Spend enough time in God’s Word that you recognize sin quickly
- Waste no time in getting to repentance
- Focus your heart on avoiding sin by not avoiding God