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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - June 19, 2007

  • 2007 Jun 19
  • COMMENTS
 

Bathsheba

When we Fail to Keep our Promises, God does not

Part 2 continued from June 18th.

 

Bathsheba—No Stain Is Too Deep for God’s Grace

 

The story of this fourth woman we have already seen in 2 Samuel 11 and 12. Bathsheba was in the wrong place at the wrong time—in all these areas we could call her “defeated:

 

  • She was unwise at best, to have washed herself, unclothed outside of her home.
  • She was immodest in her display.
  • She responded to David’s interest in her, even though she was another man’s wife, and he was another woman’s husband.
  • She muffled her heart’s warning as God’s conviction was upon her conscience.
  • She stifled the virtuous vows that she had made of lifelong loyalty to Uriah.
  • She ignored the fact that God had given her a wonderful, courageous, loyal warrior husband.
  • She yielded herself to passion, and the sin that would follow.

 

What did Bathsheba reap from all that defeat? Her husband, Uriah, was murderously slain, and the baby she had conceived by David choked out his life in death. Bathsheba and David—the grieving, sorrowing mother and the murderous, adulterous father—faced great sadness. And, after Nathan spoke to David about his sin, the world would forever know that Bathsheba was a defeated woman.

 

Her sin became monumental for all time. Numerous movies have even been made about her illicit romance, which was both public and shameful. Some people may think: Oh, I can do that, and no one will ever find out. We can cover our tracks! But the Scriptures say that whatever you sow, you will reap; and whatever you whisper in secret will be shouted from the rooftops (Matthew 10:27; Galatians 6:7-8).

 

What did God’s placing Bathsheba in Christ's genealogy do? He graciously lifted her out of her pit of defeat. In doing so, God was saying, “Here’s a woman who is unworthy, who is a sinner. Though she’s done many things wrong, I’m going to let her be one through whom I will bring Christ into this world.” God also poured out His grace upon David and Solomon, from whom we’ve received a great deal of our Scripture. Through them, we learn about what it means to live wisely—to be someone after God’s own heart. And, according to His perfect plan, Bathsheba became a beautiful portrait of His grace, as we find in Matthew 1:6: “David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah.”

 

Jesus loves to forgive and cleanse. He is waiting today, as He was in Revelation 2-3, for us to hear His voice, repent of our sin, and let Him wash us clean. Revelation 1:5 says that Jesus wants us to know Him as the One who “loved us, and washed us [kjv] and freed us [niv] from our sins.” No stain of the past, no sin of our youth, no failure in our home or marriage is too deep for the God of the Second Chance. No failures are permanent with Him.

 

  • Take your burdens to the Lord right now, and start over. You may be estranged from your mother, father, or children, or grandchildren—Jesus can help. Bring that deep pain and sorrow to Him right where you sit and place it at His feet. The Christian life is a continual offer from God—new beginnings.
  • Bow before Jesus and start over as a mother or father for God, as man or woman of God, as a husband or wife for God, or as a godly boy or girl—right now.

 

When we look at the rest these women in the remainder of this chapter, we will be looking at women who were His beautiful portraits of grace—women who were defrauded, defiled, despised, defeated, or determined—yet, all were given a part in God’s grand and glorious plan!

 

If you are like most mothers, there have probably been times in your parenting when you have felt ready to quit!

 

Whenever that type of emotional tidal wave happens to sweep over you, remember these five incredible mothers who overcame great obstacles to shine through the centuries like the rare and precious jewels they are in God’s sight!

 

Now then, let’s meet the rest of these special women individually. Remember the reason these women are here in this chapter is to remind us of the doctrine of God’s forgiving grace. That doctrine reminds us all that we are like…

 

Tamar—No Pain Is Too Great for God’s Grace

 

Thirty-eight centuries ago, in Genesis 38, we are introduced to Tamar. Whenever you think of her, think of a woman “defrauded.” One of Judah’s sons had married her, but was personally struck dead by God because he was a wicked sinner, a rebellious man. Judah promised, as was the custom, that he would get her a new husband.

 

Tamar put on her widow’s raiment and waited, and waited, but she was forgotten. Judah had taken care of everything else except for her. Tamar was lied to and overlooked, and she finally took the law into her own hands. Posing as a harlot, she had an incestuous affair with her own father-in-law. A child born out of wedlock resulted. God never condoned what she did; He just described it. Tamar was defrauded of many things:

 

  • She was defrauded of a normal life.
  • She was defrauded of a happy marriage.
  • She was defrauded of a good name.
  • She was defrauded of a sterling reputation.

 

Tamar was robbed of all these normal expectations by one thing— sin. She was a woman who was deprived by losing her husband. She was overlooked by her husband’s father. She then allowed sin to cause her to take matters into her own hands through an illicit union. But, in spite of all that, God compassionately looked down at her and said, “I have a plan for Tamar! She is a woman who portrays My plan—a wicked sinner, forgiven!” She was allowed to be part of the line that would bring the Redeemer to humanity— Christ, the One who perfectly portrays God’s grace! God graciously placed Tamar in Christ’s family tree, as recorded in Matthew 1:3: Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar ….”

Do you have the pain of being wronged or defrauded by someone who promised love, took all you had, and then deserted you?

  • Then through your pain listen to the voice of Jesus as He whispers to you, like He did to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you. My strength is made perfect in [your] weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
  • Believe the truth and go on; let God fill you with the comfort and strength of His Word!

 

Remember the reason these women are here in this chapter is to remind us of the doctrine of God’s forgiving grace. That doctrine reminds us all that we are like…

 

Rahab—No Past Is Too Bad for God’s Grace

 

If we were to identify Rahab with one word, the word that best describes her is “defiled.” Her life story is introduced in the second chapter of Joshua. In 1406 b.c., fifteen centuries before Christ, the children of Israel faced the walls of Jericho. A woman was on those walls—a very smart businesswoman. She was in two ancient businesses that were often interchanged: (1) inn keeping, and (2) harlotry. She not only provided lodging, but also gave men a sinful substitute for what God ordained in marriage. In every sense, Rahab was defiled:

 

  • She was a sexual sinner.
  • She was a member of the cursed Canaanite race.
  • She was a city-dweller doomed because Jericho was about to be annihilated.
  • She was literally sitting on a “time bomb” because God’s judgment was about to cause the walls to fall.

 

However, in His mercy, God said, “I’m going to destroy everyone and everything in Jericho except for that tiny section of the wall—and that little family huddled together at the inn there.”

 

Can you imagine what it must have been like on that day of destruction? To see the 60-foot-high walls crumble and fall around you while your portion of the wall stood firm? To witness the Hebrew army march in, slice and demolish every living thing in its path? To watch the city in which you’ve lived and worked all of your life suddenly go up in flames?

 

Nevertheless, Rahab, through faith, heeded God’s warning through the spies: “Stay inside of your house; hang a red cord out your window and you will be saved!” So that day, in Joshua 2, God reached down and plucked Rahab with her family out of the inferno of His destruction on Jericho.

 

Have you ever met anyone like Rahab? She was terminally defiled; in every sense her destruction was looming. Her story is one of the most beautiful pictures of how God saves lost people. You see, Rahab was part of a doomed race, and so are we.

 

Did you know that the human race itself is doomed? Every one of us has a terminal illness. Some people know the name of it; the rest of us just don’t know what is going to “get us” yet. But one thing is for certain: death will happen sooner or later.

 

We are all going to die, and the germ that will kill us is called sin. No one gave it to us; we received it by inheritance from our forefather, Adam, who had fallen into sin. Every one of us is guilty of sin; each of us faces His judgment (Romans 3:23; 6:23).

 

We are all in a world that God is going to destroy (Revelation 21:1-8); but, by God’s grace, we can be eternally saved (Ephesians 2:8-9).

 

Rahab’s life is quite a portrait of salvation by God’s grace. The Lord needed no spy report; He graciously wanted Rahab; and put this defiled woman in His plan. She was in the line of special mothers who would bring Christ to portray God’s marvelous grace to the world, as recorded in Matthew 1:5: “Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab.”

 

If your past is less than sterling (and whose isn’t?), always remember that this too is God’s offer of grace. What do I mean? Listen to the voice of Jesus as He spoke to another woman so much like Rahab in the New Testament, who wept about her sinful past, at His feet: “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, [the same] loves little.” (Luke 7:47) A stained past “forgiven” is the opportunity to “love much”—a wonderful, loving Savior who forgives much!

 

If you have never received Christ's forgiveness you can have it today. One greatly defiled man came once to Jesus and said to Him, “If You are willing, You can cleanse me.” To which come Christ's sweetest words, I am willing—be cleansed”!

  • To receive His cleansing forgiveness today all you need to do is to come to Him and say I need Your touch, I want to turn away from my sins (that is called repentance) and I believe You are my only hope (that is called faith). He does the rest.
  • Jesus said that all who come to Him—He will never cast out! Come to Him today.

 

 

None of these five special women deserved to be a woman of grace. None of them deserved for God to use them. All of them were women with a mark against them, and most were unqualified to serve in such a manner. Yet, God lifted up each of these special ladies as an example of His fathomless grace! Through their life experiences, women for all time can learn that:

 

  • No pain is too great to be healed.
  • No past is too bad to be forgiven.
  • No problem is too big to be solved through Christ.
  • No stain is too deep to be cleansed through Christ’s blood.
  • No task is too great for God’s enablement.

 

As we look at the fourth woman and mother in this chapter, remember the reason these women are here in this chapter is to remind us of the doctrine of God’s forgiving grace. That doctrine reminds us all that we are like…

 

See the conclusion of this sermon tomorrow June 20th.

 

 

 

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.

 

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