TD Jakes - Scandalous Grace
And how do you manage the conflict and the contradiction when bad and good live in the same house? How do you manage the conflict when the psalmist, the sweet psalmist of David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, and set up a murder, and took a man's wife, and took a man's wife that trusted him and that was so loyal to him he would rather sleep on the porch than sleep with his wife because he was loyal to David's vision? And David betrayed somebody who was loyal to him. And that's what got God angry, because when Nathan comes to judge him, he doesn't just judge him over the adultery. He judges him over the fact that, "David, you had all of these lambs. I knew a man who had all of these lambs and I knew a man who had only one, and he took the one lamb from the one man. What should be done to him"? David said, "Where is the man, that he might be killed"? And Nathan said, "Thou art the man". Because it is easier to judge other people than to accept our own mistakes.
As as Nathan couched it as if it was somebody else, David was judging him, until he found out he was the man. And that's why I don't pay people any attention about what they say, because they are wonderful at seeing what's wrong with you, but terrible at seeing what's wrong with them. And then when you find something about me, or you, or you, or you, or you, you are ready to kill us, but no, not you. Because it's hard to get you to realize thou art the man. And David finally had to see himself. The David who was ready to judge a man over an animal was a man who had committed murder with a human. Why is it that we're so much harder on other people about their stuff than we are our own? That is the conflict in the text today.
And we find David, the powerful warrior who rode on the backs of horses, and ran into wars, and slayed thousands of Philistines, we find David crawling on the floor, covered with mud like a child playing in the dirt, begging God in mud and tears for mercy. And a gasping child who cannot catch his breath, dying and fading away. And while David was praying, the David who prayed down the glory of God, the David who had a special anointing on his life, the David who had walked with God since he was a child, while David was praying for God to give life to the child, while he was yet praying, the child died. What do you do when God has answered a hundred prayers, but not this one? And God has opened a hundred doors, and not this one. And God has made a hundred ways, but not this one. And God has blessed you a hundred times a hundred, but not this time. And while David was praying, the child died.
Now, the problem has switched from, "How do I keep the child alive?" to now his men are trying to figure out, "If he is acting this upset and the child is yet alive, what will he do if we tell him that the child is dead"? And they're over there whispering because they don't know what the king is going to do. And they're saying, If we tell him that the child is dead, there's gonna be problems 'cause he's already over there... And the Bible said that when David saw them over in the corner whispering, he perceived that the child was dead. And he asked them, "Is the child dead"?
Wait a minute. You're the father of this child and he still has no name. Is the child dead? And they answered, "He is dead". And when they answered that he is dead, the reaction of David is where the grace of God comes in. He immediately, he did not faint. He did not collapse. He did not commit suicide. He did not die. He did not wither into a hole. He got up, washed his face, and changed his clothes, and went into the house of God. And they said, "What meaneth this? As long as the child was living, you were crying, and having a fit, and rolling around in the dirt, and screaming, and beaten up dust everywhere, asking God to heal him. And now you found out he's dead". And David said, "There is nothing I can do about this".
I'm wondering if there are things in your life that did not turn out the way that they were supposed to turn out. And have you come to a point in your life that you have forgiven yourself enough to say, "There is nothing I can do about that"? You're right, I'm wrong. You're up, I'm down. You're in, I'm out. There is nothing I can do about that. So this message is not just about scandalous grace. It's about, how do you find the grace to go on when your life has turned into a scandal? How do you find the grace to keep on living when you've made mess after mess and bad choice after bad choice? How do you find the grace to survive a divorce, a travesty, an accident, an incident, a moment of bad judgment? How do you find the grace?
David gets up off the ground. And the Lord sent me here to tell somebody you've been on the ground long enough, and you have cried long enough, and you have walked the floor, and you've been depressed, and you have blamed yourself long enough. And it's time for you to get up off of the ground. And all of that dirt, and all of the dust, and all of the guilt, and all of that shame, God said, "It's time to wash your face," to wash it out of your spirit, and wash it out of your mind, and wash it out of your heart, and wash it out of your behavior, and wash it out of your songs, and wash it out of your attitude. It's time to wash your face! You can't go into the presence of God carrying the dust of yesterday. You can't go into the presence of God with your head down, feeling ashamed of yourself. You can go into the presence. It's time to wash your face.
And the Bible said that David washed his face and anointed himself. He refreshed himself and he went into the house of God. And I came to tell you this Sunday morning that there is a way back from a fall; that there is a way back from a crash; that there is a way back from a disaster; that there is a way back from a conflict; that there is a way back from a crisis; that there is a way back from a divorce; that there is a way back from a disgrace; that there is a way back from embarrassment. But you cannot find your way back if you're going to measure how close back you are to God by how people talk. Because this is not about people, this is about God. And it's about what God has to say and it is not about what they have to say, because they have something that if they were honest about, they would be laying on their face before God too.
Stop allowing your destiny to lay in the hands of men who are dirtier than you. And you don't see David meeting with people or reading the blog sites and trying to see what they're saying about him because the truth of the matter is is whether they say "Hosanna" or "Crucify him," your destiny is not in the hands of men. It is in the hands of God. And if God is for you, who can be against you? And if God says, "Live," none of what they said can kill you. But if God says, "Die," none of them all together make you live. So David saw a moment, and a chance, and an opportunity to take God up on a second chance. And he washes the dirt off of his face, and he anoints himself with oil, and he changes his garments because David, better than anybody else, knows that in order to enter into his gates, you have to come here with thanksgiving, and into his courts, you have to come with praise.
You cannot enter into his gates with guilt and condemnation. And some of you are trying to access God, but you have not washed your face. You have to enter into his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. And it's hard to get your praise back when you're laying in your predicament. So David washed his face, and he anointed himself with oil, and he changed his garments. And some theologians say it was of this moment that he wrote the text, "I was glad when they said unto me, 'Let us go back into the house of the Lord.'"
I was glad to hear that I hadn't gotten so far away from God that God would not bring me back home. And I am here to tell you that you have not gotten so far away from God that God would not take you back home. The question is, do you have the courage to wash your face? Do you have the courage to anoint yourself with oil? Do you have the courage to change your garments and walk past all the whisperers who think they have the right to whisper about you, but actually are no better than you at all? Do you have the courage to walk past all them and to enter into his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise? Because if you do, you will understand scandalous grace.
And if there's anybody that owes God a praise, I don't know about the perfect people, and I don't know about the self-righteous people, and I don't know about the people who never smoked, or chewed, or ran around with any of them that do. I don't know about them, but to all of us who have ever gotten it wrong, and ever messed up, and ever made mistakes, and ever had regrets, if there's anybody that has a right to give God the praise, it ought to be you. That's what the Bible says, "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so," 'cause you don't really have a praise unto you gotta praise you don't deserve. You don't really have a praise until you have praise that has come from sackcloths and ashes. You don't really have a praise until you have been pressed above measure, and shaken down, and at the end of your rope, and you're ready to die. You don't really have a praise until you open up your mouth and say, "If it had not been for the Lord that was on my side, I would have been swallowed up".
The person sitting next to you might not understand it, but there's some people that are watching right now that know that you are eating by his grace. You are living by his grace. You are moving by his grace. You are walking by his grace. You are talking by his grace. And if nobody else gives God a praise, it ought to be you. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so. I need somebody who's messed up that will open their mouths and thank God for scandalous grace. I need somebody in this room who's been to hell and back and God has given you a second chance to open your mouth and give God a praise. Ooh, I need somebody that don't care what you got on, don't care what you look like, don't care what people say about you, but you made up in your mind, "I will bless the Lord at all times and his praise shall continually be in my mouth".
I'm going to give you about 30 seconds to open your mouth and give God a praise. I'm gonna give you about 22 seconds to make some noise in this place and give God a praise. I'm gonna give you about 10 seconds to come off of your self-righteousness and give God a praise. God is about to give you a second chance and a new beginning. Somebody shout, "Hallelujah". Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Thank you, Lord, for a fresh start. Thank you, Lord, for starting me over. Thank you, Lord, for giving me life. Thank you, Lord, for making a way out of. Thank you, Lord. I'm so glad about it. Thank you, Lord, you did it again. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord, for your favor. Somebody shout, "Hallelujah". Thank God for favor.
And the Bible says that when David got through praising God, he goes and finds Bathsheba and he comforts her. He comforts her. I'm not sure what he said, but nobody can comfort you like somebody who's messed up too. Nobody can comfort you like somebody who's experienced scandalous grace. Nobody can comfort you like somebody who's been there and done that. Nobody can comfort you like somebody who's taken a class in humility and learned how to humble themselves up under the mighty hand of God. Nobody can comfort you like somebody who's seen God dig them out of a ditch and they're not ashamed to say, "I owe him the praise, and the honor, and the glory". Nobody can comfort you like somebody who's been a patient, who's been a client, who's been a recipient, who's been a prisoner, who's been handcuffed and chained in the bondages of sin, and seen God give them a second chance. Nobody can comfort you like them.
David came in and comforted Bathsheba. And somewhere along the way in the process of comforting her, he went in and slept with her. And out of David's gross, dark, depraved, selfish, debaucherous sin, and God's amazing, scandalous grace, Bathsheba was with child. I want to speak to somebody who's lost something, and you think your life is over, and God is saying, "I'm gonna do it again". And there she is, and her ankles are swollen, and her belly's getting big, and she got a little mask on her face, and she's pregnant. And she's gone from birthing a child to having the next king of Israel. For this time, Bathsheba, who was Uriah's wife, imagined that God would allow Solomon, the wisest man in the world, the successor to David's throne, to be born out of David's failure.
If there is not a message in that, there's not a message in anything at all. That God would use David's mistake to birth David's miracle. Nine months later, Uriah's wife pushed out of her body the next king of Israel. And I'm telling you that God can still get some good out of the worst moment in your life. That if you will allow him to get you out of the dirt, and the ashes, and the despair of where you've been, that there is yet a king in a common woman who got herself into debauchery situation at the hands of a weak and selfish man, that out of your coupling and coming together would come the next king of Israel. And today, all I want you to know is that there is yet a king inside of you. And you ought not let nothing can take you out in this present moment until you see what's next in your life.
I don't want to pray for Nathan and I don't want to pray for all the naysayers who are gonna say whatever naysayers say. I don't want to pray for all the spectators who are tryin' to figure out how to couch the conversation as if you don't understand what's goin' on in this text. I want to pray for Uriah's wife, that you can finally walk away from your guilt and shame and find what David found, the place that washes your face, and takes away your shame, and allows you to push out your king. Because you're gonna have a king that needs you, that needs your counsel, that needs your judgment. You're going to have a king that you're going to write him a letter that's gotta be quoted all over the world that's gonna tell him how to select a bride. You're gonna write a word that teaches him, "Whosoever findeth a wife finds a good thing". You're gonna establish what the Proverbs 31 woman ought to be, and you cannot do that if you still think you're a tramp. You're gonna be the woman that Solomon comes to for counsel when his life is going crazy. And you won't be there if you are forever seeing yourself through the lens of what you've been through.
So when God writes the gospel of St. Matthew and includes the lineage of Jesus Christ, I think it's Matthew, it might be Mark, and he writes down the lineage of Jesus Christ, when it comes to Bathsheba, he calls her Uriah's wife because God wants us to understand that in the DNA of Christ is grace for the scandalous. Now we live in a world where there exists no grace. No grace for the scandalous. We are more righteous than God. Self-righteous. More judgmental than the righteous Judge. For Christ himself, his lineage comes out of a mess and a scandal. And they write it down in the lineage, that in your bloodline is Uriah's wife. When the writer says, "We have not a High Priest who cannot be touched by the feeling of our infirmity, tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin," he does so so that you and I can come boldly to the throne of grace and find grace to help in the time of need. And you can find it even if you are Uriah's wife.