The following is the last point of the sermon I will teach today called “You Are The Man.”
“Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and Davidnamed him Solomon. The Lord loved the child and sent word through Nathan the prophet that they should name him Jedidiah (which means “beloved of the Lord”), as the Lord had commanded.” – 2 Samuel 12:24-25
This is the part of the story that tells me God is full of endless grace and mercy. It shows us a God who sees a bad situation, knows He’s been sinned against, punishes the sin but then – and here’s the challenging part – God doesn’t hold it over their head. Unfortunately we, mere fallen humans, can still tell stories about how we were wronged, and feel the pain in that wrong, years and years later. We hold it over people’s heads in the way we speak or don’t speak to them. We don’t ever completely let it go. But God does, and He makes sure we know it. It is one of those character traits of God that we have the most trouble imitating.
After their baby dies – the baby conceived in sin – David comforts Bathsheba, let’s her mourn, and then resumes relations with her. She conceives and gives birth to a son, whom they call Solomon, which means “God is his peace.” The name Solomon and the word Shalom (peace), both share in the name Jerusalem, the City of Peace.
But God instructs Nathan to tell David and Bathsheba to call the child Jedidiah, which means “Loved by the Lord.” God was saying, “David, you sinned greatly. But My grace and mercy will make sure that your family will have My love and compassion. I will show you how much I love you by the way I love your children.” And by this, David knew God loved him.
I remember a story told by Dick Foth, the president of Bethany Bible College while I was a student there. One day President Foth came home from work and, while his wife Ruth was in the kitchen preparing dinner, he did what dads do best: he got down on the floor and starting playing with the kids. There was wrestling and roughhousing and noise and peals of laughter. Ruth came out and stood in the doorway, watching the shenanigans until it was over. Then she said to Dick, “Thank you for loving me.”
“Loving you?” Dick replied. “I was only playing with the kids.”
“Yes,” she said. “But when you love my kids you love me.”
How many ladies completely and immediately understand this? I must admit that as a man, it took me a while but I finally caught on. And I think something like that is taking place here. God is showing how much He loves David and Bathsheba, despite their recent despicable sins, by showing how much He loves their children. God isn’t holding it over their heads. He isn’t using their past as leverage against them. True, there will still be consequences and reverberations from David’s choices, but that doesn’t take away God’s love for David. Or for us.
That is the amazing part about God’s grace and lovingkindness. He creates mankind knowing we will sin. He sends His Son to die for our sins because it was the only adequate way to overcome the sin problem. And God doesn’t wait for us to clean up our act before He loves us. That is the way we treat one another; it is not the way God treats us, for Rom. 5:8 says, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” While we were still sinners! Are you letting that sink in?
Then God goes even further. He blesses us. And then He keeps blessing us. And God, knowing tomorrow we’d be a total wreck, still blesses us today. God didn’t withhold His blessings and presence from David even when He knew David would commit adultery and murder. One day God’s presence is all over David as he dances before the Ark of God, and later he is on his face pleading for the life of his infant son, and the love of God never fails him. Why? Because in God’s unique way, “Where sin increased, grace increased all the more” – Rom. 5:20.
Nathan said to David, “You are the man.” And that is the story of every person here. We are sinners, we are saved, we are grateful. We sin again, we mourn, and God shows us His love over and over again.
When Jesus came up out of the water after being baptized by John, a voice came from heaven and said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” – Matt. 3:17. This is how God views every one of His children. This love is not based on what we do or how we act. It is based on what Christ has done for us and our acceptance of that gift by faith. Eph. 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”
You are the man. You are the woman. You are the child of God who goes from sinner to being saved to sinning again, only to hear God keep saying, “You are my beloved child, whom I love, and with you I am well pleased.” It is the reason we still like to sing, “Amazing Grace.” It amazes us, God’s love and grace does. It never gives up on us. We are a room full of Jedidiah’s, for we are all “Loved by the Lord.”