All Roads Lead To Jesus - 2 Samuel

2 Samuel – Jesus is a Better King of Grace
Reading – 2 Samuel 11-12, Psalm 51, 2 Samuel 7

We get most angry with others when we see our sinfulness in their behavior. We tend to get maddest when we see our reflection in someone else’s sin. I am not sure why this is true, but I know it is true from my years of counseling others and in my 44 years of self-examination. Maybe it is because we want to make sure we stay hidden and this other person, we reason, might expose us. Maybe we get angry because we’re jealous or coveting.

I think we get angry because deep down, sin hurts us, and we know it hurts others who sin like us. I think we get angry because when we hear of others sinning as we do, the mirror of the law is held up and we know we’re guilty of breaking the law.

King David had it all. When we read the first ten chapters of 2 Samuel it doesn’t take long to see that David was nothing but victorious. He came out a winner with every new endeavor. He had the love of the people. He had military conquest. He had riches. He had power. He had a family. But one night, he saw something else he wanted. He wanted Bathsheba. The problem was that Bathsheba was someone else’s wife. Uriah the Hittite was not even an Israelite and yet he was fighting for King David. Uriah was where he was supposed to be and where David was supposed to be – in battle.

But King David was using his privilege as king. Maybe he had reasoned that he had fought enough battles. After all, he took down Goliath and the Philistines and countless new enemies. The first chapters of 2 Samuel open up the way Rocky III opens with the Italian Stallion defeating one foe after another.  Surely, he had proven himself a better king than Saul. Israel was flourishing under his rule. Why not take a breather and take in the sight of Bathsheba bathing on her rooftop? After all, he earned it. Hadn’t he?

David ended up stealing Bathsheba from his loyal soldier Uriah. When Bathsheba became pregnant, David called Uriah home and tried to persuade him to sleep with his wife. King David didn’t want this mark on his perfect record, and he figured out a way to cover it up. Uriah would not sleep with Bathsheba because he felt he needed to be in battle for his king. Instead of repenting, David went deeper into sin. He put Uriah on the front line, and he was killed almost immediately.

Perhaps David thought he got away with it. Perhaps he was learning to live with his sin. I believe it was eating away at David. The reason I believe this is because of how angry he became when the prophet Nathan confronted David. Nathan told David a story about a rich man who stole the pet lamb of a poor man, killed the lamb, and ate it. David became enraged. Nathan stopped David and told him, “You are the man.”

David wept. He repented. He wrote Psalm 51. But his life was changed forever. His family was a mess. Grief was no stranger to his palace until the day that he died. But we are told that he was a man after God’s own heart. God extended grace to the King. And in this, we see Christ as the Better King of Grace. Whereas King David was extended grace, Jesus, the better King is the one who extends grace.

The reason we get so angry when we see our sinful patterns in others is probably multi-faceted. But I do know that one of the reasons we get angry is because we forget about the grace that was extended to us. Grace is unmerited favor. That means that we don’t do anything to earn it and when we receive it, it is not because we deserve it. When we get angry about sin in others it’s because we forget that grace is a priceless gift, bought with the sacrifice of Christ, and given freely to us solely because of God’s good pleasure and will.

In David’s sin, it is not hard to see ourselves. We have committed adultery with our minds even if we haven’t done it physically (and many have!). We have murdered others with our words. And yet the story of David shows us that God’s grace is always deeper than our sin. What David did was an abuse of power, and abuse of privilege, hateful, prideful, lustful, and detestable, and yet God’s grace was extended to cover over that multitude of sins.

I am the man. You are the man. You are the woman. Like Nathan, God’s Word tells the story of David in order to turn the Law of God as a mirror on us. But it also turns the Gospel on us. The Law crushes but the Gospel frees us. The reason the Gospel frees us is because King David is not our Messiah and He is not our hope. He was a great earthly king with many flaws. He points forward to another King of Grace who was flawless.

In 2 Samuel 7, God makes a covenant with David. He promises David that his throne will endure forever. Well, David died and yet God has never broken a promise. The Kingdom of Israel fell to Assyria, then to Babylon, then to Persia, then to the Greeks and finally to the Romans and yet God has never broken a promise. How is that possible? How is David’s throne eternal? In both Luke 1 and Matthew 1 the Gospel writers make the connection between David’s throne and Jesus. Matthew tells the readers that Jesus’ family tree is firmly in King David’s family. Luke takes it a step further when he ties in 2 Samuel 7 to the significance of Jesus when he writes, “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”

God kept his promises by enthroning the King of Grace on David’s throne. The Kingdom that he rules over is not just Israel, but all of God’s people from every nation. Those people are called into the kingdom by grace, saved by grace, covered by grace, sanctified by grace, and will persevere until the end by grace.

I don’t know what things are heavy on your heart today, but perhaps these things are so heavy because you’ve asked the wrong king to carry them for you. Perhaps you are following the wrong king? David found out who really was king when he was confronted with His sin. His God was king, and he spent the rest of his life longing after the heart of the King. When Jesus rose from the grave after defeating death, he proved once and for all that He is King. He has told us his burden is light if we would just follow him. My hope is that you will see the King of Grace in Jesus and take him up on his offer to carry your burden. His throne will last forever. To him be all praise, glory, and honor. Amen.

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