“I will exalt you, my God and King, And praise your name forever and ever. I will praise you every day; yes, I will praise you forever. Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure his greatness.”
–Psalm 145:1-3 NIV
Do you ever struggle to praise the Lord? Do you know that the demonic wants to steal your joy? He desires to steal your praise? We have to understand that praise is absolutely vital to our physical, spiritual and emotional well-being. We have been created to praise!
In the Bible, King David really intrigues me. Travel with me as we do “Ruth’s version” of 2 Samuel 11-12. King David was very, very human. We learn immediately that the kings had a time of year when they normally went to war. However, apparently David didn’t feel like going and stayed home. He sent his men out without their main leader. Huge mistake. What happens to us when we have too much time on our hands? Like David we are likely to get into trouble if our focus gets off base! David takes a nice little nap and than goes to wander on the roof. However, his eyes did too much wandering, his mind got tempted and he came into agreement with the temptation! He fell hook, line and sinker. Remember, he saw something that he should not have seen, Bathsheba, a beautiful woman bathing. He should have averted his eyes but instead he began to ask questions, sent for her and slept with her. Now, who is going to say no to the king? By culture you can’t say no to the king, it could result in death. However, we can’t let Bathsheba off the hook, why didn’t she say no? Why didn’t she protect her marriage?
We need to ask ourselves some questions here – what would we have done? Are we strong enough to resist pressure from any direction that would lead us into sin? What measures can we put into our lives to protect ourselves in a Godly manner?
Now, back to Scripture. Bathsheba got pregnant from the fling with the king. Imagine David’s dilemma. As the “king” he can do whatever he wants. However, he is “God’s chosen king”. He should be following God’s mandates no what the kings of other nations can do. But instead, David does what most of us do, he began to scheme to cover his sin. By scheming he puts more people in difficult situations. Joab is told to send Uriah home, with the hidden agenda that Uriah would sleep with his wife (Bathsheba) and everyone would assume that the baby was Uriah’s. Joab is later given orders to put Uriah on the front lines where he will surely be killed, and is killed. I don’t believe that Bathsheba is “stupid”; in fact I believe she was a very wise woman and fully understood what was going on. However, Bathsheba never said anything to her husband. Uriah must have wondered why he was called home as somehow I don’t think it was a normal request. However, his devotion was to his king. Some commentators imply that a war camp was considered holy to the Jewish people because they understood that God was present to fight for his people. Hence, Uriah was avoiding anything that could cause impurity. In fact, he slept at the palace entrance rather than going home.
What is our commitment to our King Jesus? Uriah was so devoted to king David that he kept his focus and slept at the palace gate rather than the comfort of his home. What is our devotion to Jesus? Are we willing to keep ourselves pure and our focus on him?
We see David moving deeper and deeper into sin. He moved from adultery, to deception, to murder. The darkness in his life became darker and darker.
Finally, he married Bathsheba as soon as her time of mourning was over for her husband. Was he trying to be the “hero”?
How would I feel if I had to marry the man that had my husband killed? Would I be able to extend forgiveness and choose to love this person? Can I release those who have wounded me and offer them the gift of forgiveness?
David and Bathsheba had a son. However, God wasn’t going to ignore the sin. I have to wonder if David thought he had gotten away with the sin. Did he ever wonder what God thought? Did he ever regret what he did? God wasn’t going to ignore it. He sent a prophet (Nathan) to rebuke David.
God is so creative. He sends a prophet named Nathan to tell David a story. David doesn’t even catch that this story is about him. He is clueless! David gives out a verdict and declares the death penalty! At that point Nathan tells David that this story is about him. OUCH!
Interestingly enough, we immediately see David come face to face with his heart. He doesn’t try to hide anymore. He also doesn’t try to blame anyone else. David specifically states that he has sinned. What is so cool is that even though God sent Nathan and David was forced to come face to face with his sin God had already forgiven him (2 Samuel 12:13). As I read this I see such a difference between Adam, Eve and David. Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the serpent and David took responsibility. All paid a consequence for the sin but David immediately “owned” the sin.
When you sin do you try to blame someone or something else as Adam and Eve did or do you immediately confess like David did?
Consequence? Yes, David’s precious little baby died. David begged God to save the child; he went without food and lay on the bare ground. However, when the baby died and David was told about the boy’s death he “…got up from the ground washed himself, put on lotions, and changed his clothes. He went to the Tabernacle and worshiped the Lord.”
When God, in his wisdom, takes something or someone dear to us away, how do we respond? Do we get angry with God? Do we pout, complain and throw a temper tantrum. Or do we get up and wash, eat and worship?
As we read on, we find that David comforted his wife and eventually she became pregnant again and gave birth to Solomon. Solomon eventually built the temple for the Lord.
God took an ugly situation and walked David through it. David had a teachable spirit and he was honest before God. His repentance was from the heart and God healed that heart. It was from that place that David worshipped.
Satan’s plan would have been to keep David buried in his shame and deception. God had chosen David to be king because He (God) had sought out a man after His (God’s) own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). God’s heart is for openness and honestly. God’s heart is for us to have intimate fellowship with Him. It is from this place of intimacy that we can truly worship God no matter what the circumstances.
Can we worship God today – just because of who He is? Because we love Him so much? Because He is worthy of all praise no matter what our circumstances are?
“I will exalt you my God and King, and praise your name forever and ever. I will praise you every day; yes, I will praise you forever. Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure his greatness.”
– Psalm 145:1-3 NIV