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James Merritt - Lyin' Eyes

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    James Merritt - Lyin' Eyes

Well I want to say good morning to those of you who all right watching online, to our Mill Creek campus, those who are watching by television. Thanks for being a part of our service today. I want to begin by asking you a question. If you could roll the tape back, and you could live your life all over again and do just one thing differently, not two, three, or four, you get to do one do-over, what would it be? I guarantee you it wouldn't be something you've done that was good that you wished you had done better. It would be something that you did that was bad that you wish you had never done at all. And that's what we're gonna learn about today as we talk about David.

We're in a series on David we're calling Life Lessons from a King. And there's no question that if David could have done his life all over again, if David could have rolled the tape back and you had said to David, David is there one thing in your life that you wish you could do all over again? I absolutely know beyond a shadow of a doubt exactly what it would be. As a matter of fact, I can sum it up in one word. And that word is Bathsheba. He could do it again. 'Cause when you think about David and if you know the story of David, two other names always come to your mind, right? One is Goliath and the other is Bathsheba. And the reason is, is because Goliath represented David's greatest victory, but Bathsheba represented David's greatest defeat. No single sin outside the sin that Adam and Eve committed in the Garden of Eden has received more press coverage than David with Bathsheba.

It's been repeated over and over and over right up to this very present day. We have a term for it in the 21st century. It's called a one-night stand, a hook up, a quick affair. In other words, this story we're gonna read today is all about Hollywood's favorite topic, which is sex. And if Hollywood was making a movie of this today, I promise you it would be up for so many Academy Awards it would probably break the all-time record for somebody seeing it for the first time because it's got everything Hollywood wants. You've got sex, you've got murder, you've got intrigue, you've got a cover up. You've got a king who has a one-night stand with another man's wife. He gets her pregnant. He has the other man murdered to cover it up. And today, everything from the New York Times to Twitter would be lit up with the headline, King's Spring Fling Uncovered. I mean you can see it everywhere.

So if you want to learn about this story and see it with me, I'm gonna invite you to turn to the book called Second Samuel. It's in the Old Testament. If you do not know where Second Samuel is, it's so easy to find. It's right after First Samuel. So if you'll just turn to Second Samuel, chapter 11. Go to Genesis and turn right, you're in Second Samuel, chapter 11. Now here's what's amazing about this story. If you've been coming for a while and you've been hearing about David, you'd be the first one to realize I would have never expected to have read this story in David's life. Of all the things that I would have expected after hearing all the things I've heard about David, this is something I would not have seen coming. Because when you read the first 10 chapters of Second Samuel, David is batting a thousand. He's at the top of his game, he's never been defeated in battle.

His approval rating by the people is 100%. The economy is humming. There's no unemployment. God's covering Israel like a blanket. Everybody loves David, everybody likes David. And everybody knows the hand of God is on our king. He is a man after God's own heart. He's now 50 years old, he's in the prime of his life. He has been king now for 20 years. And I mean literally everything has come up roses for him. He is the nation's number one songwriter. He is the nation's number one soldier. He is commander-in-chief of a army that have never known defeat. Every year he always gets the most votes for the most admired person in Israel. He's never been held in higher public esteem or public perception, or personal esteem.

As we read the story he's literally standing at the highest point of his life. He's standing in the highest place in the city. He's on his rooftop overlooking Jerusalem and literally, if not figuratively, he not only has Jerusalem at his feet and Israel at his feet, he's got the whole world at his feet. Israel is literally eating out of the palm of his hands. And yet, sadly, as we learn the hard way, the higher you are, the farther you fall, and the more it hurts. What causes the fall can be boiled down to one simple fact. This is where David blew it. This is where David messed up. He came to a point in his life when he said yes when he should have said no. He said yes when he should have said no. The one time David should have run, he stood his ground and it almost cost him his kingdom.

How many of you are Eagles fans? You don't know who the Eagles are? God help us. Okay, I've got three of you. Gosh man, am I that old? I thought the Eagles were, okay. Anyway the Eagles, one of the songs they sing that's always haunted me is called Lyin' Eyes. And David's lyin' eyes got him in trouble because David convinced himself of a lie that we've all convinced ourself of at one time or another. Maybe when we were younger, maybe when we were older, maybe when we were in-between. But David convinced himself of a lie that we've all convinced ourselves at one time or another. And the lie is you can win the game of sin. And we all come to that point, we say you know what? I think I can beat the game of sin. But David couldn't, and you can't. Because sin always wins. Not most of the time, it always win. No one's ever beaten the game of sin and no one ever will.

So here's what I want to do for us today. We pray over every seat in this worship center on Sunday morning. You probably maybe don't know that, if I've told you or not. But every seat is prayed over. So the seats you're sitting in now, you were prayed for this morning whether you realize that or not. And as I was going over my section I was praying. I was saying Lord, there are two people especially today I want to pray for. There are some people that will be here today and they're facing temptation. I don't know what that temptation is. Maybe it's the temptation of being faithful to their spouse. Maybe it's the temptation to get on drugs. Maybe it's the temptation to cheat on their income taxes.

I don't know what their temptation is, but whatever that temptation is, Lord, let this message be preventative medicine to keep them from taking a step that they really know they should not take. On the other hand, Lord, they're gonna be people here too late for them. They've already taken the wrong path. They've already made the wrong decision. They've already gone in the wrong direction. They've already taken the wrong exit. Lord, my prayer for them is that what they'll hear today will help them take the right path and get back on the right road. So if you don't want to do what David should not have done, and you don't want to mess up the way David messed up, I want to share with you three lessons we need to learn today so your lyin' eyes will not deceive you. Number one, we must realize the appeal of sin. We've got to realize the appeal of sin.

Now knowing David you've just got to ask this question. David, you're a man after God's own heart. You've been batting a thousand. You have obeyed God with everything that you had. You've got everything going for you. You are at the top of your world. How in the world did you get into this mess that we're about to read about? Well we're clued in in verse one. "In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king's men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and they besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem". The little word, but, is what gets David in trouble. See, back in the day when winter would come armies would not fight 'cause the weather was too bad and it was too hard. So they would kind of take a break. They'd get some R and R. Then when springtime came, that's when the war would start. That's when the battle would begin to flare up again.

Well every time the armies would go off to war there was always would be led by a king. And when you read the life of David, every time the army went to battle, David was always out in front. David was always leading the charge. David's always leading the battle. David was always right where David should have been. But now for the first time we read these words. But David stayed behind. So David now we know is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Instead of being in bed he should have been in battle. Because if David had been where David should have been, Bathsheba-gate would have never happened. We wouldn't even know this story. Would not even be in the Bible. So while his soldiers were out on the battlefield fighting, David is in his bed sleeping until this happens. "One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a young woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful".

David has been taking this long afternoon siesta. He wakes up, he's bored. There's not a whole lot to do so he takes a walk out on the roof of his palace. Because back in the day kings usually would put their bedrooms on the upper floor of the palace. And then they would build a patio so they could just walk right outside of their bedroom and they would be overlooking everybody in the city because their palace was always at the highest point in the city. So David's up there minding his own business. He's looking around the entire city and he looks down and right below him there's this woman bathing. And we're told that she wasn't just beautiful. The Hebrew is very exquisite and very explicit. We're told she was very, very beautiful. She was the homecoming queen. She was the winner of the Miss Jerusalem beauty contest.

People Magazine selected her as the best looking woman in Israel. She was a knockout. And David was instantly physically drawn to this beautiful woman. Now why do you think the Hebrew, why do you think the story tells us that? 'Cause it's trying to tell us something right up front. Sin is very appealing. This is one of those messages a pastor really doesn't want to tell you, but he has to tell you anyway. Sin's very appealing, sin's very attractive. Sin is very beautiful. That's the dirty little secret. You say well how do you know sin is so attractive? 'Cause if it wasn't, nobody would sin. Why do you think we sin? We enjoy it, we like it. Well David see's this woman bathing. She is beautiful, he is attracted to her. So then David asks this question. "David sent someone," that is one of her servants, "to find out about her. And a man said, she is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite".

Now don't miss how she's described. That's a very important part of the story. See, this servant goes out, David gets a servant says hey, go find out who that woman is. So he goes and he comes back. And he knows he's got to tread lightly. He's got to walk on eggshells 'cause he's a servant. He's talking to the king and he's trying to give the king his wise word of warning because normally in Israel the identity of someone that if you want to know who someone was it was always given without relation to their spouse, or wife, or their husband. It was always given in relation to their parent. So for example, if you were walking down the street, you're a lady and you're walking down the street and you see this good-looking guy coming down the street you would say man, who's that good-looking guy over there?

And they would say oh, that's so-and-so, the son of so-and-so. Or if you were a guy walking down the street, you see this good-looking girl coming towards you and you look at your buddy and say man, who is that girl? He would say oh, that's so-and-so, the daughter of so-and-so. So the servant comes back and he says that's Bathsheba. She is the daughter of Eliam. And then on his own he adds she is the wife of Uriah the Hittite. Now in other words he's kind of sticking his toe in the water here. Kind of got to get the picture 'cause what he's trying to say in a real nice way is, back off Bubba, this woman is already married. She is already married, she already has a husband. Do not touch.

Now let me just clue you in on something. That wasn't the servant really saying that. That was God through the servant saying that. That was God warning David, David, you don't want to go there. Because whenever you're about to walk off the cliff of temptation into the valley of sin, God always sounds the alarm. God always makes the red light flash. God always makes the horn go off. I was reading the other day, about two years ago I read a book about the Secret Service. It was just fascinating, couldn't put it down. And I was reading about how they protect the president. And in this book the question came up, what is the most important thing that you have going for you that helps you protect the life of the president? I could not believe their answer.

The Secret Service says the greatest asset that they have to protect the president is what they call their sixth sense. And what they meant by that was it's their instincts, it's their training. They said we have this ability to anticipate danger and to take quick preventative action before it happens. And then they said this, it really blew me away. They said it really doesn't matter how sound or technically advanced our equipment is or all the protective techniques that we practice. It doesn't matter how large a safety zone we put around the president. It doesn't matter how many bulletproof vests, or guns, or good intelligence we have. What ultimately is the best thing we have going for us is our reflexes and our skills and our training that kicks in at the right moment and says we've got to stop this and stop this now. And they said that is the single biggest difference between whether the president lives or the president dies.

And I read that and I though you know, God's done the same thing for us. God's given us this sixth sense, it's called a conscience. If you're a believer, it's the Holy Spirit. And whenever you're about to step off a cliff you shouldn't step off of, whenever you're about to take an exit you shouldn't take, God puts the gates down across the tracks. He sounds the alarm, he turns the light red. He gets it flashing, he gets it making a sound. And he's doing for David what David needed to have done for him. But David wouldn't listen. He goes ahead and takes that fatal step over the temptation cliff into the valley of tragedy. "Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him and he slept with her. Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness". You'll see why it says that in a minute. "Then she went back home".

Now you're reading this story and it's right here. You just want to stop the tape. You just want to kind of interject yourself into the story and you just want to scream at the top of your lungs, "David, David, David, don't do this". David listen, go take a cold shower. Go down to the Varsity and get a chili dog and a fry. Go watch Jimmy Fallon. Whatever you do, don't do this. Don't do, David, what you are about to do. Because if you know the story of David, you realize he didn't know what we know. He didn't know that this one-night stand would cause four of his children to die. He didn't know that this one-night stand would split his kingdom in half. He didn't know that this one-night stand would make him a murderer of a loyal soldier and a trusted friend. 'Cause see, when you come face-to-face with the appeal of sin it's so beautiful, it's so attractive you think man, I could really, really enjoy it.

There's only one remedy for it and here's the remedy. Run. Only remedy, only thing that works. See, when you're tempted to do wrong, if you stay, you lose. If you run you win. When you're tempted to do wrong, if you stay you lose, if you run you win because over and over, you know what we're told in the scripture over and over? Flee sexual immorality. Now we're never told to flee gluttony. We're never told to flee gossip. We're never told to flee lying. We're never told to flee any other category of sin. But every time you get around sexual immorality God word says over and over and over and over flee, run, get away from it. Run away from the sin and run to God. David didn't to that. He ran to sin and away from God. And the results were absolutely catastrophic.

So if you're here today and you're facing this temptation and you've been thinking about giving in, and you've been thinking maybe I can win this game of sin I want you, number one, just to realize the appeal of sin. But maybe you'd sit there and you'd say well too late for me. I wish I'd heard this earlier, but I didn't hear it. And you know, I'm kind of in the midst of it and I've already blown it. I've already fallen flat on my face. Well then let me give you the second lesson to learn. And that is, refuse to conceal your sin. Realize the appeal of sin, but refuse to conceal your sin. Now David goes to bed that night. He sends Bathsheba back to her home. He goes to bed that night and he thinks what a lot of people would think, right? I got away with it, a lot of fun. She enjoyed it, I enjoyed it, no harm, no foul.

And that went on for about a month. And then David learns the hard way that a one-night stand can turn into a lifetime of misery. Because one day there's this knock on the door. And David opens the door and there is a messenger with a message from Bathsheba with this message. "The woman conceived and sent word to David saying, 'I am pregnant.'" Only words she ever says in the whole story, those three words. Only recorded words Bathsheba ever says in this entire narrative. But it was three more words than David wanted to hear, and it was the three words that shook him right down to his toes.

Now once again you just want to stop the tape. You just want to kind of jump into the story and you want to say David listen, listen. Listen to me. If you'll just confess your sin right now, confess it to God, confess it to Bathsheba, confess it to Uriah her husband, the bleeding will stop, the problem will be contained to adultery and a pregnancy out of wedlock. Most likely the marriage can be rebuilt, lives can be saved, relationships can be restored. But instead, he did what we tend to do when we mess up. Instead of fessing up, he begins covering up. Instead of fessing up, he begins covering up. Now rather than read the entire narrative 'cause we don't have time, let me kind of summarize what happens next. David now knows okay, I've got a problem. I got this woman pregnant and I don't want anybody to know I got her pregnant. I don't want anybody to know I slept with her.

So he comes up with this brilliant idea. He sends for Uriah. Uriah's out on the battlefield, he sends for Uriah, brings Uriah home. And Uriah gets home and he's probably wondering what does the king want with me? You know we're not all that close, we're not really bosom buddies. But he says okay, so he goes back. King brings him to the palace. Hey man, how's it going out there? Oh it's going great, Sire, we're winning the battles. You know we really do miss you but everything's going good. And he says well look, I just felt like you needed some R and R and I'm sure your wife really misses you. So I want you to go home and I want you to kind of visit your wife and spend time with your wife. He even gives him a gift, the scripture says in the story. He even gives him a gift.

I don't know what it was, perfume, cologne, take out from Chick-Fil-A, I don't know what it was. But he gives him this gift to kind of motivate the guy to go home and sleep with his wife. He thinks okay, I've got this solved. Problem, Uriah didn't go home. He sleeps on the palace doorstep with the rest of the servants. David wakes up the next morning, finds out he slept on the doorstep, didn't go home. David calls him in, says why didn't you go home? And what Uriah says to David had to put a dagger in David's heart. Uriah said, well Sire, the reason why I didn't go and sleep with my wife is this. How in the world can I go to bed with my wife when my brothers are out in the battlefield fighting for the nation? It was another wake up call to David. It was God's way of saying yeah David, if you had been where Uriah would have been you wouldn't be having this conversation with Uriah.

Well David now he's got a bigger mess. What am I gonna do? So David invites him to come and says listen, stay over another day. And listen, you really do need to go see your wife. You know she misses you and I give you permission. I'm telling you as your king and commander-in-chief it's all right. You go home and you spend time with your wife. But he doesn't do it. The second night he sleeps on the doorstep with the servants. He does not go home. Well now David's desperate. He's thinking what am I gonna do? So he comes up with this last idea and he's absolutely convinced this will work. He gets him drunk, he gets him bombed. He gives him the wine, he gives him the champagne. I mean he gives him everything he could imagine. And he's trying to loosen him up. He thinks now he'll go home, but he doesn't. Even drunk, he goes back to the doorstep of the palace and sleeps with the servants. And Uriah is now proven to be a better man drunk than David was sober.

So now David, a man after God's own heart, is about to get as far away from the heart of God as any man can ever think about getting. He's at the end of his rope. He's tried everything. He now knows this guy's not going to sleep with his wife. This is not gonna happen. So he comes up this one last idea. He sends Uriah back to the front line and he gives him a letter. It's a sealed letter. He says, give this to Joab. Joab was the field commander. And the letter said to Joab, Joab, I want you to put Uriah on the very front line of the next battle, and when the battle is at its fiercest, and the battle is raging hot pull everybody back and make sure that Uriah dies. So in other words, David now has come to the point in his life he is so far away from God he literally gives Uriah his own death warrant to take back to the battlefield. Well Joab reads these orders, he doesn't understand why. But king gives the orders he's gonna do what the king tells him to do.

So here's what happens. "So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders where. When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David's army fell. Moreover, Uriah the Hittite died". Uriah the Hittite died. And oh, by the way, you noticed it wasn't just Uriah died. You notice there were some other innocent soldiers that got killed as well. There were a lot of innocent people that day that paid the price for David's sin. Because I'll tell you something I've seen all in my ministry. Sin always leaves innocent people in its wake, always. You may think it doesn't hurt anybody. Sin always hurts. As a matter of fact, you know you've heard the old question how does it go? If a tree falls in a forest, how's it go? Does it make a, oh yeah, if I tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound because there's nobody there to hear it? You've heard that?

Number one, whoever made up that question is just an idiot. I mean who makes up stuff like that, right? Number two, it's an easy question to answer. It always makes a sound. You say how do you know? Because God hears it, so yes it makes a sound okay. So you don't have to ask that question anymore. We solved that, all right. Here's the point. The next time you say well listen, I don't know why it's wrong for me to do this. It's my life, it's my business. After all, nobody gets hurt. Hear me carefully, when you break God's law God always gets hurt because it breaks God's heart. So it's just not true to say well, if it doesn't hurt anybody. Stop right there, it always hurts him. It doesn't hurt anybody else, it always hurts him.

So what David did with Bathsheba, that was a hot-blooded sin. Passion, love, lust, whatever you want to call it. What he did with Uriah was a cold-blooded sin. There was no passion, there was no compassion. 'Cause always remember this, when you give into temptation, listen, when you give into temptation and you take the wrong road you're immediately gonna be faced with two choices. You're either gonna confess what you did or you're gonna conceal what you did. You're either gonna push the confess button or you're gonna push the conceal button. Now you say well, what difference does it make? Real simple, if you push this button you dig out of the hole you're in. You push this button you just get deeper in the hole that you're in. Let me put it to you this way. When you tell one lie, it leads to another. So, you tell two lies to try and cover. Then you tell three lies, and oh brother. You're in trouble up to your ears. That's just the way it works.

Now here's what's amazing. David thinks he has covered this up. He thinks he's put it under the rug. He thinks nobody will ever know. He thinks he's gotten away with it. And you know what's so strange? We now know that David's cover was uncovered because we're talking about it. 3,000 years after it happened I'm talking about this story. As a matter of fact, God made sure the story was written down in black ink on white paper so millions and millions of people read this story long after David was gone. It is easily one of the top five most famous stories in the entire Bible. Outside of the crucifixion, what I just read to you has probably been the subject of more dramas, more movies, and more novels than any other story in the Bible. And here's the lesson. Covering your sin will always cost you more than confessing your sin, always.

There's always a bigger cost of covering your sin than there is to confessing your sin. When you don't fess up, you always mess up. You realize the appeal of sin, yeah it's attractive. I'm not gonna lie to you. Realize the appeal. I want you to understand you should not conceal your sin. As a matter of fact, you can't conceal your sin. You should refuse to conceal your sin. Now you may be saying well, I'm not totally sold. How can you be so sure that I can't cover up my sin? Because of the third lesson we learn. Remember God will reveal your sin, God will reveal your sin. Now when news reaches David that Uriah's dead I want you to listen. This is how cold David has become. This is how hard David has gotten. This is how far away from God sin has taken David from God. Listen to what he says. "David told the messenger, well say this to Joab. Don't let this upset you, the sword devours one as well as another. Press the attack against the city and destroy it. Say this to encourage Joab".

He just had a good man, a faithful husband, a trusted friend, a loyal soldier, he just had this guy murdered as if he had taken a sword and had cut his head off with his own hand. And what does it say? Whatever will be, will be. That's the way it goes, that's the way the cookie crumbles. We know you can die when you go on the battlefield. I mean that's the risk you run when you volunteer for the army. I mean, not even a fraction of an iota of a scintilla of molecule of a tear can be found anywhere in his eye. And after Bathsheba mourns he brings her to the palace. He marries her, he thinks now we can live happily ever after. He's convinced himself, I did it. I got away with it, nobody's gonna know. But there's this one little statement at the very end of this chapter that tells us why that not only David didn't get away with it, but that David could not get away with it because nobody ever gets away with it.

You won't get away with it, I won't get away with it. Nobody gets away with it. How do we know? Listen to this statement. "After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house and she became his wife and bore him a son. But," there's that little word again. "But the thing David had done displeased the Lord". So you just go ahead and play the game of sin if you want to. You just go ahead and take that step over the cliff of temptation if you want to. You go ahead and just have fun if you want to. But do yourself one big favor. Please don't say nobody will ever know. Please don't say nobody will ever find out, because God always knows.

See, we can do a lot of bad things that would all work out if God didn't see them. We could all commit crimes and they would be the perfect crimes if the Lord didn't see them. We could all get away with everything from lying to stealing, to cheating, to murder, to adultery if the Lord didn't see them. There's only one problem, the Lord always sees them. And the Lord always knows them. Think about the world we live in right now. We have video cameras that watch us everywhere we go. We've got DNA that can identify anywhere we've been. We've got cellphones that can track our every movement. We've got satellites that photograph the earth at such precision they can show the hair on your head, not to mention everything from Twitter to Instagram, to Facebook, to Snapchat. Now if you realize now I can't get away from anything with people here, why much more does an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God all-seeing, all-knowing, knows everything that we do. And God's camera never turns off, ever.

So here's the thing. We don't hear this much about God. We don't even like to hear this part about God, but it's true. God knows everything that we do wrong. God knows everything we do wrong but, you ready? He will not forget it until we make it right. He will not forget it until we make it right. There's no statute of limitations with God. There's no boys will be boys and girls will be girls with God. When you blow it, when you break his law and break his heart, not only does he know it but he says I will not forget it until you make it right. See here's the way it works. What we cover, God will uncover. But what we uncover God will cover. That's the law of the universe. If you cover it God's gonna uncover it. But if you uncover it God will cover it.

See, here's what's so tragic about this story. At any moment in this story David knew God well enough to know this. And at any point in this story, David could have stopped the tape. David could have said wait a minute, I've sinned, I've blown it, I've done wrong. Lord, I need your mercy, I need your grace, and I need your forgiveness. And David would have gotten it. But please understand God is always willing to forgive and forget, but he will not forget until he forgives. He's always willing to forgive and forget, but he will not forget until he forgives. And God forgives when we just simply come to him and tell him what he already knows anyway. You're not gonna tell him anything new. He never goes, really?

When you come to God and you say Lord, I blew it. I don't blame anybody but me, it's my fault. I sinned, I'm the one that broke your law, I'm the one that broke your heart. I am throwing myself on your mercy, I'm asking for your forgiveness. I need your grace. That's when God does what God does best. And here's what we're gonna find out. You don't want to miss next week, by the way. A little sneak preview. David goes 12 months and never seeks forgiveness. 12 months, goes a year, never says a word. But think about what's happened to David. Let's rewind the tape four weeks. In the span of four short weeks he has managed to knock off six of the 10 commandments. Let's name them. He coveted another man's wife. He committed adultery. He murdered he husband. He stole his wife. He lied about it and dishonored his family. He basically undid in one night what he spent 50 years building up.

And in the next chapter we're gonna see David had to learn the lesson the hard way. God will not abide what you try to hide. God will not abide what you try to hide. What you conceal, God will reveal. But what you reveal, God will repeal. I made that up, you need to hear that, listen. What you conceal, God will reveal. But what you reveal, God will repeal. To bring this home, now do you understand why God sent his son Jesus to die on the cross? Do you understand now why he did that? He did that because he knew we all are gonna mess up. We're all gonna take that step. We're all gonna go, even though we know it, even though it doesn't matter. We're all gonna take the step over the cliff of temptation. We're gonna fall in the valley of sin. God knew it before the world was even created.

So God sends Jesus and because of Jesus it doesn't matter how far you fall, how hard you hit, how much damage you do. If you go to the foot of the cross and you simply say I blew it, I'm sorry, would you forgive me, you get forgiven every single time. Even adultery and murder. Doesn't matter what it is. If you're willing to confess your sin and get forgiveness of your sin and repent of your sin, God will forgive you. So I want to wrap this up. It will make it real personal really for me, maybe you just get in the way. So David's died. In fact, he's been dead for a long time. And one of his descendants, a man by the name of Abijah, he becomes the king of Judah.

Now he was a wicked king and yet God made sure that this wicked king would be followed by his son who would be a godly king. Because he wanted to keep Jerusalem strong. And when you read the story you realize that God says to Abjiah's son, I'm gonna put you on the throne not because you're a good man, not because you're gonna be a good king. I'm not doing it for you. I'm not even doing it for Israel. I'm not even doing it for Jerusalem. I'm doing it for the sake of your father David. And Abijah's son says something about his ancestor, David. And it's both glad news and it's sad news. I want you to listen to what this man said. He had never met David, it was just an ancestor.

This is what he said about his great, great, great, great-grandfather. "For David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord and had not failed to keep any of the Lord's commands all the days of his life, except in the case of Uriah the Hittite". David almost, almost pulled it off. He almost had this basically unblemished record. Oh, except in the case of Uriah the Hittite. Imagine a man and his son hundreds of years later they're walking in a cemetery and they see this tombstone, big tombstone. It's David's tombstone. And they stop and they read David's epitaph. "David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord. Had not failed to keep any of the Lord's commands all the days of his life".

Wouldn't it be great if they could just stop it right there? But the little boy goes, Daddy, who is Uriah the Hittite? You told me about what a great king David was, what a great man David was. So who is Uriah the Hittite? And a dad has to tell his son how a man after GOd's own heart destroyed six out of 10 commandments in one single night. So I want to make it personal. Like a lot of us, I'm running out of runway. I don't know how much longer I'm gonna be here. The Lord promises 70 years, so I've got what, five more years to go. And if God's good maybe longer, who knows? Maybe less, none of us know when we're gonna die, right? But I'm running out of runway. And I already realize now what we all realize. I'm not going to die perfect. But I do want to die blameless.

One of these days my grandson or my great grandson, or my great, great-grandson or daughter, whatever it may be if the world lasts that long, maybe they'll come see Pop's grave. And I don't know exactly what will be on my epitaph. I told Theresa one thing I wanted to put on there is this, I told you I was sick. I don't know what will be on there. But I'll tell you one thing I don't want on there. I don't want that word "except".

Well James, he was a good husband, he was a good dad, he was a good pastor, good preacher, good Christian, except. I'm telling you as your pastor, I want to be faithful to Jesus 'til my last breath. I don't wanna die, I can't die perfect, but I want to die blameless. And I want to ask you today to join me in making a brand new commitment that you would say to the Lord right now, Lord, until I draw my last breath and my heart takes its last beat, I just want to do what is right in your eyes. I don't want to fail to keep any of your commandments all the days of my life. And because of Jesus we can do just that.
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