The Beginning of David’s Fall Pt 1

7/25/2021

**The Sermon will contain some sensitive content. Please use discretion for younger audiences or those with trauma history.**

Message Title: The Beginning of David’s Fall Pt 1
Theme: Reruns & Glory Days
Season: Ordinary Time
Main Text: 2 Samuel 11:1-15

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 3:14-21
RCL Scripture: 2 Samuel 11:1-15 or 2 Kings 4:42-44 Psalm 14 or Psalm 145:10-18 Ephesians 3:14-21 John 6:1-21
Focus:
David rapes Bathsheba and orders her husband killed in battle.

Function: To listen for the stories of the vulnerable and fight systems that silence their voices.
Other Notes:

SCRIPTURE READING: Ephesians 3:14-21 14 This is why I kneel before the Father. 15 Every ethnic group in heaven or on earth is recognized by him. 16 I ask that he will strengthen you in your inner selves from the riches of his glory through the Spirit. 17 I ask that Christ will live in your hearts through faith. As a result of having strong roots in love, 18 I ask that you’ll have the power to grasp love’s width and length, height and depth, together with all believers. 19 I ask that you’ll know the love of Christ that is beyond knowledge so that you will be filled entirely with the fullness of God. 20 Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us; 21 glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus for all generations, forever and always. Amen.

RERUNS & GLORY DAYS:

  1. **Content disclaimer**– We will be talking about some sensitive topics today in the story of Israel. This includes discussion of rape and murder. I understand if you need to hold off on this discussion for another day.So, to start us off, we’ll ask a question and give people a chance to settle in.
  2. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: What is your favorite crime show?
    1. Walker Texas Ranger; Blue Bloods; NCIS; **Sherlock (BBC); Prison Break; Law & Order: Special Victims unit
  3. Attack of the vulnerable: If I’m honest with you, I am not great with crime shows; especially true crime like Unsolved Mysteries or The Ted Bundy Tapes. I carry those stories with me forever. They season my dreams and flavor my outlook on the world.

TRANSITION: The popularity of “true crime” shows reveals the desire to understand what leads a person down a path of darkness. In our text for today, we will see God’s golden boy fall from graces by committing multiple atrocities. This will only be part 1 of the story. Return next week for part 2.

This is a dark story of scripture, Sorry Nan… not a great birthday present… but it leads to a brighter place. Join me in the darkness for a time.

MAIN TEXT: 2 Samuel 11:1-15 In the spring,when kingsgo off to war, David sent Joab, along with his servants and all the Israelites, and they destroyed the Ammonites, attacking the city of Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. 2One evening, David got up from his couch and was pacing back and forth on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. 3David sent someone and inquired about the woman. The report came back: “Isn’t this Eliam’s daughter Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4So David sent messengers to take her. When she came to him, he had sex with her. (Now she had been purifying herself after her monthly period.) Then she returned home. 5The woman conceived and sent word to David. “I’m pregnant,” she said. 6Then David sent a message to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David. 7When Uriah came to him, David asked about the welfare of Joab and the army and how the battle was going. 8Then David told Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him. 9However, Uriah slept at the palace entrance with all his master’s servants. He didn’t go down to his own house. 10David was told, “Uriah didn’t go down to his own house,” so David asked Uriah, “Haven’t you just returned from a journey? Why didn’t you go home?” 11“The chest and Israel and Judah are all living in tents,” Uriah told David. “And my master Joab and my master’s troops are camping in the open field. Howcould I go home and eat, drink, and have sex with my wife? I swear on your very life, I will not do that!” 12Then David told Uriah, “Stay here one more day. Tomorrow I’ll send you back.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day. The next day 13David called for him, and he ate and drank, and David got him drunk. In the evening Uriah went out to sleep in the same place, alongside his master’s servants, but he did not go down to his own home. 14The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15He wrote in the letter, “Place Uriah at the front of the fiercest battle, and then pull back from him so that he will be struck down and die.”

EXPLAINATION: David rapes Bathsheba and orders her husband killed in battle.

  1. “…when kings go off to war…”– The narrative in this passage starts by contrasting David’s behavior with what was expected of kings. David was *supposed* to be with his army at war.
    1. This was even emphasized by the honorable reaction of Uriah when summoned to sleep with his wife and cover up David’s evil actions.
  2. “to take her”
    1. Audience engagement: Let’s take a moment to consider something—
      1. Did Bathsheba have a choice in this story? Could Bathsheba deny the request of the King? Could Bathsheba deny David’s sexual advances?
        1. No. Bathsheba did not have a choice.
    2. Uncomfortable conclusion: David raped Bathsheba. This was not a romance story. No romantic comedy about how they fell in love. David “took her” and did what he wanted.
      1. Bathsheba is not a temptress that lures in the honorable David.
      2. David was forced himself on her.
      3. Bathsheba was a victim.
  3. Uriah the Good Guy does what David should have been doing……and then has Bathsheba’s husband killed. David is contrasted with Uriah the Hittite (who?). David becomes the king Samuel warns about in 1 Samuel 8.

INTERPRETATION:

  1. David the Bad Guy – In this moment, the man who we call ‘a man after God’s own heart’ is the bad guy. David used his position of power to take advantage of a woman and her husband.
    1. David was not doing what he was supposed to do as God’s appointed king AND THEN his sins escalated to rape and murder.
    2. Unfortunately, the story of David, Bathsheba, & Uriah never fully gets resolved but we will hear more of the tale next week when Nathan tells David what God thinks of David’s actions.
  2. Adolf Hitlerthe impossible Bad Guy vs. David -Everyone’s Bad Guy
    1. It’s hard to imagine David as the bad guy. Especially he has been contrasted with Saul all along.
    2. It’s easier to think of a bad guy like Adolf Hitler. We paint Hitler as this black & white—obvious bad guy.
      1. However, Adolf Hitler has a soft side. Everyone knows that Hitler was a painter but few knew about his love for children. Our time separated from history has twisted the truth making Hitler the impossible evil bad guy that no one else can become.
      2. Now don’t hear me wrong Hitler did terrible things and being nice to kids doesn’t cancel that out. I’m saying it’s hard to put yourself in Hitler’s shoes. David on the other hand….
        1. Hitler and Helga Goebbels (https://rarehistoricalphotos.com/hitler-helga-goebbels-1936/ )
    3. Bad guys like Adolf are easy. You condemn them and leave it there. But David… David was called “a man after God’s own heart”… how could David be a bad guy? I mean, isn’t he like all of us?
  3. We grow arrogant when we think we are not susceptible to dark and twisted choices.
    1. Foster training this week has been rough. We’ve learned about some really difficult stories of parents or guardians doing terrible things to kids and the pathways for healing and restoration.
    2. It’s easy to judge an abuser and think ‘I could never be like that’ … However, we all have the potential to be Honorable David or Bad Guy David. It’s the choices we make and the voices we listen to that make the difference. (Nano teaches as much in her children’s messages—let’s love our neighbors).

APPLICATION: To listen for the stories of the vulnerable and fight systems that silence their voices.

  1. David was king. He was supposed to protect the vulnerable – like a shepherd—not bring them to the wolves or act like a wolf.
  2. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT:
    1. Who are the vulnerable? (poor, children, elderly, vets, labor/low wage employees)
    2. What ways can we act like wolves to the vulnerable?
      1. #MeToo –Pastors reported for sexual abuse
      2. Churches harboring abusers
      3. WOW—game being sued by the state of California for abusing women
      4. Ignoring the history of Minorities
      5. Laborers receiving fair livable wages
  3. Building Bridges – The vulnerable need our help. We’ve named them… now we need to get to work. Our ministries will honor the Shepherd.
    1. Mentoring
    2. Sunday School
    3. Spiritual Listening Workshop
    4. Grace Tables for 8
  4. How we do ministry moving forward—looking for ways to bridge the gap
    1. Bridging the gap for the vulnerable
      1. Ministries to the vulnerable in our community:
        1. Kokomo Rescue Mission – shelters for men, women & children
        2. Gilead House – women in drug rehab
        3. CAM – homeless & impoverished
        4. Howard Haven – elderly, disabled, & impoverished
        5. Hopebridge – Austistic community
        6. Jackson St Commons – veterans
        7. Tipton County LIT

CONLCUSION:

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