God’s Grace Toward Sinners, Part 2: David’s Rebuke (2 Samuel 12)

Monday, April 11th, 2016

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God’s Grace toward Sinners

Part 2–David’s Rebuke

2 Samuel 12

The title of this four-week series is “God’s Grace to Sinners.” And our goal over these four weeks is to remind ourselves how gracious God is despite the fact that we are hopeless sinners. I suggested to you last Sunday that one of the best examples of God’s grace towards a sinner is found in 2 Samuel 11 and 12.

So last week we read chapter 11 and found that David, the king of Israel, had sunk into a deep pit of sin. Let me do a quick review for you. In chapter 11, we saw that instead of being on the battlefield with his fellow soldiers, David was resting up on a staycation, taking it easy back at home in Jerusalem.

While he was there, he saw someone else’s wife and took her and slept with her. Her name was Bathsheba and she became pregnant. Then in an attempt to cover up the whole adulterous relationship, David hatched a plan to call Bathsheba’s husband home from the battlefield so that Uriah would go home to his wife and sleep with her. If Uriah slept with his wife, then everyone would assume that the baby was his, and everything would be tidy.

But Uriah remained faithful to his oath as a soldier and refused to sleep with his wife, even after David made him drunk. So David sent Uriah back to the battlefield carrying orders for his own murder. And Joab, the commander of the troops, was to send Uriah to the battlefront and then have the soldiers withdraw from around him so that he’d be killed.

Joab changed the plan just a little to maintain respect among the troops, but ultimately David got his wish. Uriah died in a battle along with a number of other soldiers. David was a thief. First David stole Uriah’s wife, and then he stole Uriah’s life. And then, when David heard that Uriah was dead, he sent a terrible message back to Joab. He said, “Don’t let this thing be evil in your eyes.”

And we contrasted that statement with verse 27 which says, “But the thing that David had done was evil in the eyes of Yahweh.” That’s the pivotal statement in the entire account. And it leads us into chapter 12, which is where we will spend our time this morning.

And so today, in chapter 12 we’ll read about “David’s Rebuke.” Our plan is to get to Psalm 51 next Sunday, which specifically details David’s confession of sin. And then in two weeks from now, we’ll finish up with Psalm 32, which is when David teaches his lessons on confession to others. But for right now, we want to find out how God deals with David.

Here’s what makes this whole story so perplexing–way back in chapter 7, God made serious promises to David. God said to David, “I will establish your royal dynasty forever. I will protect your throne, and you’ll never lose your kingdom. I will make your name famous. I will bless you. And I will guaranty that all your descendants will continue in these covenant promises.”

All that was well and good while David was a good king. And since David had been a godly man, these promises seemed to be appropriate. They just made sense. But now David has messed up big time, and the question is, what is God going to do with him? Will He take back His promises? Will He drop David altogether and find another king? Will He forsake His covenant with David?

I mean, after all, isn’t that what David deserved? What would you do with David? He dishonored God and deliberately disobeyed Him. He coveted another man’s wife. He committed adultery. He lied. He conspired to commit murder. He involved innocent men who ended up dying themselves. He disregarded these serious crimes and passed them off as if they were nothing. And he even instructed others to do the same.

When Saul acted in similar ways, God removed him from the throne. So shouldn’t David get the same punishment? Well, the answer is found in chapter 12. So let’s read 2 Samuel 12, and we’ll separate the chapter into eight more scenes. In your notes, you’ll find a page with some spaces to fill in these eight scenes, which will serve to divide up the passage for us and make it easier to see the flow. The first scene is found in verse 1, and we’ll call this . . .

Scene 1  Nathan’s Parable  Verses 1 to 6

Verses 1, “And the LORD sent Nathan to David.” Nathan is a prophet. He is God’s spokesperson, and he is sent by God to go have a chat with David. In fact, Nathan tells David a parable (a little story), and this is how it goes. He says . . .

There were two men in a certain city, one was rich and the other was poor. 2 The rich man had very many flocks and herds, 3 but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him” (verses 1 to 3).

I got to tell you–this story resonates with me, because I grew up feeding small lambs from a bottle. Every spring, we’d get the unwanted triplet lambs from the farm next to us. You see a female sheep only has enough milk for twins, so whenever there was a triplet, we’d get it for free. And my sister and I loved those lambs. They were often the weakest of the set.

We’d make up bottles of milk and feed these lambs. Sometimes, on a really cold night, we’d even bring them inside in a box so they wouldn’t freeze to death outside. I know exactly what it means to love a small lamb. Now of course, we’d end up eating that lamb. But that was a couple years down the track, so it was a little easier to do.

Anyway, Nathan tells this story–and you know what he’s doing, right? Nathan has been sent by God to go confront David, but instead of taking the direct approach with straightforward confrontation, he draws David into this story to see what his response might be.

He is trying to suck David in. And to be honest, Nathan is wise to do this, because his life is at stake. The king could easily demand Nathan’s head on a plate and then call in another prophet with a more encouraging message. And frankly, David has murdered before–this wouldn’t be his first time. It’s not beyond him to do it again.

Now look at this parable and understand the parallels–there are two. The rich man with many sheep is a picture of David with his many wives. The poor man with just one beloved lamb is a picture of Uriah with just one wife, Bathsheba, whom he loved very much. The significance of the parable is lost on David for a moment, but it will become real clear, real soon.

And so in verse 4 Nathan continues. He says, “Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and the rich man was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”

It’s a really sad story. The rich man had plenty of sheep to choose from. He wouldn’t have missed one small ewe. And it would have made no difference in his farming production at all. But rather than slaughter one of his own sheep, he stole and barbequed the family pet that had belonged to the poor man who had nothing but that one little lamb.

The word the narrator uses is the same word he used in 11:4, when David “took” Bathsheba. The picture is clear–in the same way the rich man “took” the poor man’s lamb by force, David also “took” Bathsheba by force. There was no consultation, no consideration. Both men acted impulsively.

Now look at verse 5. Nathan didn’t wait long for David to react to this sad story. In verse 5 it says, “Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the [rich] man, and he said to Nathan, ‘As the LORD lives, the man who has done this deserves to die.’” Now we don’t know if David knew this was a parable or not–Nathan didn’t tell him it was. And it’s interesting that David seems to react as if this was a real situation on which he needed to make a real judgment.

So he makes his judgment–“The rich man deserves to die!” But let me ask you–what do you think about this decision? Really? What do you think about David’s judgment? Is it appropriate? What do you think? Doesn’t it seem just a little over the top to you?

In New Zealand we have a lot of sheep–I mean a LOT of sheep. The population of New Zealand is 4.5 million people–but get this, New Zealand has 30 million sheep. And the sheep population gets recycled every two years, so that means every Kiwi in New Zealand can eat three sheep a year and it’s okay. There are so many sheep.

In fact, there was a report recently where some burglars in New Zealand were making their getaway on a country road, but were caught by police when their car got trapped by a flock of sheep. And the police came along and nabbed them. Sheep-stealing happens today–it happens in New Zealand. Now this scene is not from there, but imagine if you were the judge in a sheep-theft case–what kind of sentence would you give to a sheep-stealer? I mean what’s appropriate?

Don’t you think the death penalty might be just a little too harsh? Yeah, it’s way over the top. And it was the same in Israel. Lamb-theft was a serious offence, but it certainly didn’t deserve death. David was so angry with the rich man–and it’s not so much because of the rich man’s actions, but because of his disregard for the poor man and his family–agreed?

The rich man showed no pity on the poor man, and so David condemns him to death. And then in verse 6 he adds, “And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.” Now here in verse 6 David’s judgment is more appropriate, because in verse 6 he is properly enforcing God’s command from way back in Exodus 22:1 where it says, “If a man steals a sheep, and kills it, he shall repay four sheep for a sheep.”

Four-for-one–that was the proper punishment for a sheep-stealer. But David added death to the punishment of this rich man, and in doing so, he was unwittingly condemning himself to death, because he was the one who stole the one wife of another man.

Now think about this–in Leviticus 20:10, God says an adulterer should be put to death.  And in Numbers 35, God says a murderer should be put to death. And David was both of those–an adulterer and a murderer. And here in verse 5, David unknowingly sentences himself to the very same punishment that was appropriate for a sinner like him.

So David is caught now in this parable, and he’s got no idea that it is really about him.  And his reaction shows the hypocrisy of his own heart. And so the second scene begins in verse 7, and we’ll call this . . .

Scene 2  Nathan’s Pronouncement  Verses 7 to 12

Verse 7, “Nathan said to David, ‘You are the man!’” Whoa–what a shock for David! “You’re the guy! You’re the rich man!” David would have been bowled over by this revelation. And Nathan doesn’t stop there. He thrusts the dagger in and now he’s gonna twist it–look at verses 7 and 8, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. 8 And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more.’”

God blessed David with so much and He would have kept on doing so. He even would have given David more wives. God gave everything to David–there was no need for him to go out and steal another man’s wife. He didn’t need to do that. Then in verse 9 Nathan says, “’Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight?’”

That’s a rhetorical question, and David doesn’t offer an answer. There is no good excuse for despising God. Then Nathan says, “’You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.’”

Now just a little aside here–back in chapter 11, you’ll remember that Uriah died as a result of an arrow being fired from the top of the city wall. And so the word “sword” here in verse 9 is being used somewhat loosely to refer to a sharp object that took Uriah’s life. But the point is this in verse 9–Uriah died a violent death as a result of David’s actions.

And for that reason, Nathan says in verse 10, “’Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’” There was a greater issue at stake than just the sins of adultery and murder. The more important issue in verse 10 was David’s treatment of God, and Nathan says it three times for emphasis.

In verse 9, “David despised the Word of the Lord.” In verse 10, Nathan says again that David had despised the Lord. And then if you look ahead to verse 14, Nathan says to David, “You have utterly scorned the Lord.” That is, my friends, the reality of our sin. Listen to me–it doesn’t matter what particular sin we are caught in. It doesn’t matter whether we think it’s a big sin, or a little sin. Our basic problem is that whenever we sin, we are despising the Word of God.

Every time we sin, we scorn the Lord God who made us. We turn our back on God. We temporarily decide that God’s will is not important. God’s Word is not binding. In fact, every time we sin we might as well be shaking our fist at God, shouting, “I don’t care what You think, I’m going to do it anyway!” We justify ourselves. We downplay the sin. We tell ourselves it’s not that bad. In the end, all we are doing is making excuses.

That’s what David did–he despised the Word of the Lord, and the outcome of his sin resulted in severe consequences. Nathan said the sword would never depart from his house. David’s home would be a violent home from that time on. In fact, remember in verse 6 David said that the rich man should repay the poor man fourfold? Well, as it turns out, that’s exactly what happened to David.

David and Bathsheba’s son is going to die in this chapter. In chapter 13, David’s son Absalom kills David’s other son by another wife, Amnon. In chapter 18, Absalom himself dies at the hands of Joab. And then in 1 Kings 2, another son of David, Solomon, orders the death of Adonijah, who was also another of David’s sons by another wife. So ultimately, four of David’s sons die–that’s the fourfold restoration that David himself judged was appropriate.

Not only that, but there was another result of David’s sin. Look at verses 11 and 12, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.'”

God says, “Look, David–since you took Bathsheba, I am going to allow someone to take your wives. And it won’t be done in secret.” God says, “I Myself am going to make sure this punishment happens in broad daylight where all of Israel will know what has happened!” As it turned out, God followed through, because in 16:22, Absalom, David’s own son, went into David’s concubines and slept with them on a roof in Jerusalem (of all places) and did it in the sight of all Israel.

Listen, there is a lesson here for us. Even when God forgives our sin, there may still be temporal consequences. God may withhold eternal judgment from us, but there may still be consequences here on earth if we despise God’s Word. Just log that thought away for a bit, and I want to come back to that.

So we’ve looked at 1) Nathan’s Parable, and 2) Nathan’s Pronouncement. In the next scene we’ll see how David responds. The third scene is found in verse 13, and we’ll call this . . .

Scene 3  David’s Penitence  Verse 13a

Verse 13, “David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’” Just stop there. It seems like such an understatement, doesn’t it? David’s confession is comprised of only six words. Most of us would say, “Is that it? Is David for real? Is he being genuine? Surely he should say so much more than just six words.”

Well when you come back next week, you’ll see that David did say more than just those six words. Next Sunday we’ll look at Psalm 51, which records David’s confession in much more detail. But even here in 2 Samuel 12, David’s confession seems to be much more genuine than any of Saul’s confessions in the previous chapters.

When King Saul supposedly confessed his sin, he also made excuses. He added explanations. Saul always qualified his sin, as if there was a way to fix things. He tried to make them seem not so bad. Sometimes, instead of listening to confrontation, he lashed out and attacked those who were the godly influences in his life.

David doesn’t try any of that–he just states the case simply and without excuse. “I have sinned against the LORD.” And the fact that he would identify the Lord rather than Uriah and Bathsheba as the offended party, is an indication that he understood the real issue here. He’s not beating round the bush, he’s not trying to regain ground with the people. He’s not trying to patch things up. He’s casting himself into the hands of a holy God, Who can do whatever He wants with David.

We need to learn from that. When you have sinned and someone comes to you to talk about your sin, you need to listen to them. You need to humble yourself so that you have a listening ear. But understand this–your first concern is that you’ve sinned against God Himself. That is the primary concern. Christians should be quick to confess sin before God!

Don’t make excuses. Don’t blame someone else. Don’t illicit sympathy as if you’re the victim. Follow David’s example and say it simply–“I have sinned against the LORD.” And so David confesses his sin. The big question now is, what will the Lord do with David? We see it in verse 13. This is the fourth scene–we’ll call this scene . . .

Scene 4  The Lord’s Pardon  Verse 13b

Verse 13b, “And Nathan said to David, ‘The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.’” Oh what a relief–but what a surprise! David deserved to die–but Nathan says, “You shall not die.” Those four words display the amazing grace of God. That’s God’s grace toward sinners, because the very thing this sinner deserved, God chose to withhold. It is a picture of how God treats us.

Let me give you two definitions. A definition of grace, and a definition of mercy. God’s grace is God giving us what we don’t deserve–forgiveness. It’s a forgiveness that is extended to us over and over and over again. On the flipside of that, God’s mercy is God not giving us what we do deserve–eternal damnation. It’s judgment that is extended to sinners over and over and over again for eternity.

God is both gracious and merciful to us. But why would He treat us so well? There is no reason for it. There was nothing in David that made him worthy of God’s grace. And there is nothing in us that makes us worthy either. The only reason why we are recipients of God’s grace is because He chooses to give it–that’s it. That’s all it is–God’s choice! It’s an amazing thing!

The Lord had chosen David years before this to be His man. He chose him to be a man after God’s own heart. And God granted a special relationship to him. That’s the only reason why God now shows His grace to David. That is an amazing truth that keeps us marveling in God’s love. There is no reason for Him to guaranty our eternal security, except that He wants to. And so we are eternally saved.

But here’s the thing about consequences. Even if eternal salvation is given to us, there are still temporal consequences when we sin. That’s what we move to now in the next scene–the fifth scene is in verse 14. This scene is entitled . . .

Scene 5  The Lord’s Punishment  Verses 14 to 15

Sometimes when we sin there is temporal punishment. There will never be eternal punishment, but sometimes there are short-term consequences. That is what we find in verses 14 and 15 when Nathan says to David, “’Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the LORD, the child who is born to you shall die.’ 15 Then Nathan went to his house. And the LORD afflicted the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and he became sick.’”

The child doesn’t even have a name–that’s how young he is. This is David and Bathsheba’s brand new baby boy and the Lord chooses to take him from his parents as a reminder of David’s sin. You might say that this is so unfair for the innocent baby who didn’t even get a chance to make his own decisions in life. And from an unbeliever’s perspective, it does seem really unfair.

But as believers with a God-focused worldview, let’s recognize that it wasn’t as unfair as when the perfect Son of God came to earth and lived a spotless life, but was still punished on the cross for sins He didn’t even commit. Now that was unfair! Some people get so upset with God because they think He is unfair. They say He acts unjustly.

But they forget that every single person is born a sinner and we all deserve eternal judgment. We are all born sinners–all of us. We all deserve to die. The only person who didn’t deserve God’s wrath is Jesus, but He received it anyway. That is where the real injustice occurred. That was unfair. The perfect, sinless man got punished for our sin. That’s the thing to marvel at.

So let’s not hurl criticisms at God for removing a lost, depraved, rebellious, sinner from this world at a young age. Instead, we should be so thankful that God doesn’t take us all out, but He deals with us so graciously at His own expense. And then we come to the sixth scene. It is found in verse 16. Here we find . . .

Scene 6  David’s Prayer  Verses 16 to 23

In verses 16 and 17 it says, “David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. 17 And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them.”

David is absolutely broken, so he fasts and prays. What else is a person to do in such a situation? He was in such a state of desperate communion with the Lord, that he couldn’t even be lifted up by his servants, and he didn’t eat anything either. It seems like he stayed in this prayer vigil for a long time, because in verse 18 it says, “On the seventh day the child died.”

David prayed for seven days. He felt that God might also be gracious to the boy. He was pleading for the life of the baby, hoping that God would relent. But God followed through as He said He would. God was just in this matter. He didn’t sin against David or the baby–both deserved judgment, but God chose to show grace to one. This is what characterizes God. He is gracious to those He chooses to love.

Then in verses 18 and 19, “The servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, ‘Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to us. How then can we say to him the child is dead? He may do himself some harm.’ 19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David understood that the child was dead. And David said to his servants, ‘Is the child dead?’ They said, ‘He is dead.’”

So David finds out that his son has died. God didn’t answer his prayer this time. And in verses 20 to 23 it says, “David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate. 21 Then his servants said to him, ‘What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.’ 22 He said, ‘While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, “Who knows whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?” 23 But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.’”

There is a big lesson for us here. It is important to note that David did not get angry with God when his son died. David didn’t lash out saying, “God, this whole thing is so unjust!  How can you take my son from me?” No, once the baby had died, David seems to settle–he rests now in God’s decision. He understands that God is God, and the Lord can do what He wants.

David had no right to be upset with his Maker. He settles on the fact that God did what was right. God is absolutely just in the matter, and that very truth brought about peace in David’s heart. So David says in verse 23, “’Now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.’”

Simply stated David says, “One day, I will follow my son to the grave, but I know now that God is not going to bring him back to me.” Listen, sometimes God doesn’t answer our prayers. Sometimes we can plead and plead for something that seems like it’s the right thing–something that we think even God would agree with, and yet He chooses not to give us what we ask for.

And when that’s the case, we need to learn to trust in God’s grace.  Because sometimes, an unanswered prayer is a sign of God’s love. Then we come to the seventh scene–it is found in verse 24. Here we find . . .

Scene 7  Bathsheba’s Pregnancy  Verses 24 to 25

David and Bathsheba lose their first son, and then in verse 24, “David comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her, and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. And the LORD loved him.” The Lord loved Solomon–why? Why Solomon and not the first baby?

Once again, there is no reason for it–God just chose to love Solomon. There was no merit in Solomon. He hadn’t even done anything yet. But it doesn’t matter that this new baby boy didn’t have time to earn favor with God. God just gives favor. And so in verse 25, the Lord “sent a message by Nathan the prophet. So he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD.”

Nathan called Solomon Jedidiah. So Solomon had two names. Solomon means “peaceable”, and Jedidiah means “beloved of the Lord”. And by giving David a new son, a new son beloved by the Lord, God turned a whole series of sad events into a blessing.

Here’s the point–in spite of David’s terrible sin, God’s redemptive plan is still on track.  One thousand years after these events, another King would come who would be a descendant of David and Solomon–and He would redeem mankind. His name would be Jesus, King of the Jews.  Even though David despised the word of the Lord and made a mess of everything, God’s sovereign salvation plan was still on track.

The birth of Solomon was a signal of God’s grace, which ultimately culminated in the coming of the Messiah. Isn’t that cool? God did that–God planned that–God purposed it! And He showed His grace to all humankind that day. And then we come to the eighth and last scene. It is found in verse 26. Here we find . . .

Scene 8  David’s Privilege  Verses 26 to 31

Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and took the royal city. 27 And Joab sent messengers to David and said, ‘I have fought against Rabbah; moreover, I have taken the city of waters. 28 Now then gather the rest of the people together and encamp against the city and take it, lest I take the city and it be called by my name.’ 29 So David gathered all the people together and went to Rabbah and fought against it and took it. 30 And he took the crown of their king from his head. The weight of it was a talent of gold, and in it was a precious stone, and it was placed on David’s head. And he brought out the spoil of the city, a very great amount. 31 And he brought out the people who were in it and set them to labor with saws and iron picks and iron axes and made them toil at the brick kilns. And thus he did to all the cities of the Ammonites. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.”

Let me summarize the end of the chapter this way. Joab calls David to Rabbah to complete the final stages of taking the city. So David goes there and God gives the city to David. Why is this important?

It is important because even though David sinned against the Lord, even though David had despised the Word of the Lord, God still kept His promises to the Davidic throne. The kingdom that David ruled would still be blessed. David was still allowed to overthrow the enemies of Israel. The city of Rabbah was taken and the Ammonites became the servants of Israel. God kept his promises to David in spite of his sin.

So that’s it–chapters 11 and 12 are finished. This entire section in 2 Samuel is designed to show us that God keeps His promises to His chosen people. It is designed to show us God’s grace. Now there will be some who complain about God’s actions. They will say, “God has not been gracious at all.”

They’ll say things like, “When Saul sinned, God showed zero grace–in fact, Saul was removed from the throne.” And they’ll say, “What about Uriah? He was a godly man, but he died–was God gracious to him? What about Uriah’s fellow soldiers who lost their lives on the battlefield–was God gracious to them?”

“What about David and Bathsheba’s first son–he died, and he was just a baby! That’s not gracious. What about Amnon, Absalom, and Adonijah–why did they need to lose their lives?” And they’ll conclude that it all seems so unfair. God is capricious, His decisions are arbitrary, He’s getting it wrong. His choices are not based on merit. He doesn’t reward good people.

To which we answer what? We say, “AMEN!” It is just as well God doesn’t reward good people. It is just as well He doesn’t make decisions based on merit. It is just as well God doesn’t wait for us to prove ourselves. Because if He did, none of us would be saved. None of us deserve God’s grace! None of us deserve to be chosen! None of us deserve forgiveness–we all deserve to die!

See here’s the thing–forgiveness is by nature unfair. It was unfair that Christ should pay for our sin on the cross. It was unfair to Jesus that He should be punished so that God might extend forgiveness to us! What God gives us is not fair. It’s not what we should get–it’s not what we deserve. Our salvation is purely based on God’s kind grace–it is based on God’s choice.

Doesn’t that make you glad that God chose you? Aren’t you glad God has extended His gracious hand in your direction? You might be saying, “Well I don’t know if God has chosen me. How can I know that my sins can be forgiven like David’s sins were forgiven? The sad reality is that some people never approach God because they’re worried about whether they’re chosen or not.

But here’s the deal. First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” That’s His promise!  If you will come to the Lord totally trusting Him for forgiveness, He will respond by granting that forgiveness, and you will receive His grace–it’s guaranteed.

God’s loves a penitent sinner. You can come to Him and you will be saved. And you will ultimately look back on your journey to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will say with the rest of us, “God has shown His gracious hand to me a sinner. And I am so glad he has chosen me.”

I plead with you–if you know you’re not right with God . . . if you’re unsure whether you belong to Christ or not . . . if you’re not confident that you’ve been forgiven . . . if you’re worried that you might be in the multitudes of people whom God rejects and you want to make that right.

You want to confess your sin and get right with Christ. You want to trust Jesus to save you from eternal Hell. Would you please come talk with me after this? Talk to the person who brought you. Talk with your friend or parent. Get right with God today, because tomorrow might be too late. Let’s pray.

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