2 Samuel 12:9-10


Sermon preached on June 8, 2014 by Laurence W. Veinott. © Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. Other sermons can be found at http://www.cantonnewlife.org/.

Unless otherwise noted, quotations are from The Holy Bible: New International Version (NIV). Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.

This past week I read a web page that was entitled, "The Most Powerful Defense Of A Woman's Right To Her Own Body". Although it's called a 'defense', it doesn't really use any argumentation—it's basically declaration after declaration. It began,

This is my body. I do what I want with it. This is my body. I make my own choices. This is my body. I use it as a canvas, tattoo it, decorate it, and pierce it. I take medicine if I want to and only undergo medical procedures I choose. I eat what I want, exercise for my health, and wear what I like. I fall in love with whomever, …sleep with whomever and marry whomever I choose. I decide when and how to become a mother.



This is my body, not yours These decisions have nothing to do with you. If I'm not hurting you or stopping you from pursuing your inherent right to happiness, it's none of your business. This is my body, not yours.



Later on it says,

"I make all decisions regarding my pregnancy. I will access prenatal care whether or not you agree with the choices made resulting from that care. I have the right to an abortion without facing intimidation, harassment, burdensome parental consent laws, or prejudicial taxes. If I decide to have an abortion, I will not undergo unnecessary, invasive medical procedures for the purposes of your moralizing and personal edification."



She's basically saying that she's a law unto herself—that all authority for her decisions resides in her.

Arguments like that are very common in our society. The concept of freedom is embraced with such gusto that it's like in the days of the judges of Israel in which people themselves decided what they should do or not do. Judges 17:6 says, (ESV)

"In those days there was no king in Israel.
Everyone did what was right in his own eyes."

Many people don't want others judging them. If anyone tries to correct them, advise them, or say anything negative to them about their behavior they might reply with,

"Who are you to judge me?"



Some of them will even quote a verse of Scripture to you to try to end the debate. They will remind you that in Matthew 7:1 Jesus said,

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged."

What are all these arguments forgetting? They're forgetting about God and His Word. In our text we have a truth that demolishes all such arguments. After David sinned, Nathan the prophet came to him and said,

"Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing
what is evil in his eyes?
You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword
and took his wife to be your own.
You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.
Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house,
because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite
to be your own."

One of the great truths that we see here is that

when you sin, you sin against God's Word, you sin against God Himself.

Our lives are lived before God and it is He who knows what is good and evil and He has revealed this to us in His Word. We are to live accordingly. We are accountable to Him. He is our great judge. When David behaved a certain way Nathan told him that he was despising the Word of the Lord. Nathan told David that he was despising God Himself. So one of the great truths we need to understand is that

sin is against God.

When Potiphar's wife enticed Joseph to sleep with her, he refused and said, (Genesis 39:9)

"My master has withheld nothing from me
except you, because you are his wife.
How then could I do such a wicked thing
and sin against God?"

Joseph recognized that if he sinned he would be sinning against God.

David recognized the truth of Nathan's words. When he repented of his sin, David said to God, (Psalm 51:4)

"Against you, you only, have I sinned and done
what is evil in your sight, so that you
are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge."

So when we sin we regard God with contempt. Our behavior is not just our own business. God created us for His glory. We live our lives before Him. As Proverbs 15:3 says,

"The eyes of the LORD are everywhere,
keeping watch on the wicked and the good."

The Hebrew word that is translated 'despised' means just that, to despise, to 'regard with contempt'. Esau despised his birthright. Michal, David's wife, the daughter of Saul, when she saw David brining the ark of the Lord to Jerusalem and him dancing before the Lord, she despised him. When Nehemiah was rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem, Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab—they despised him. It has connotations of hating, opposing, loathing.

Sin is essentially against God. There are at least two ways that this is so.

First, it is against God's character.

Herman Bavinck says of sin, (Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 3, p. 145)

"it opposes everything that belongs to God."



Sin has to do with opposing God's character. For example, telling lies is against God's character. God is truth. He always speaks what is true. Hebrews 6:18 tells us that

"it is impossible for God to lie…"

Wayne Grudem puts it this way, (Systematic Theology: p. 492)

"Sin is directly opposite to all that is good in the character of God… It is, in essence, the contradiction of the excellence of his moral character. It contradicts his holiness…"



Louis Berkhof writes, (Systematic Theology)

"the great central demand of the law is love to God. And if from the material point of view moral goodness consists in love to God, then moral evil must consist in the opposite. It is separation from God, opposition to God, hatred of God, and this manifests itself in constant transgression of the law of God in thought, word and deed."



Secondly, sin is against God in that

it seeks the overthrow of His rule.

In the New Testament we see that there is a kingdom of evil spirits, a kingdom that is the antithesis of Christ and His kingdom. Satan is at its head. He wants to be worshiped. He is opposed to God and wants to take the glory that belongs to God and have it for Himself. Herman Bavinck writes, (Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 3, p. 139)

"Satan has… correctly been called the ape of God. When God builds a church, Satan adds a chapel; over against the true prophet, he raises up a false prophet; over against the Christ, he poses the Antichrist."



2 Thessalonians 2:3–4 tells us how the man of lawlessness will be revealed,

"He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything
that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up
in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God."

That's what sin does. It seeks the destruction of God.

John Frame defines the nature of sin by comparing it to a righteous deed. (John M. Frame, Systematic Theology, p. 848-849) He says that a righteous deed is one that,

"(1) obeys the proper standard, God's law (James 4:11; 1 John 3:4), (2) seeks the proper goal, God's glory (1 Cor. 10:31) and the success of his kingdom (Matt. 6:33), and (3) is motivated by true faith (Rom. 14:23) and love (1 Cor. 13:1–3)."



Thus sin has a false standard, a false goal and a false motive. It substitutes something else for God's law. It seeks something else—the opposite of God's glory and the success of His kingdom. It does not believe God or love Him.

The second thing we see here is that

sin is against God's Word.

Nathan said that David despised the Word of the Lord. Sin is lawlessness.

How do we know that something is wrong? By the Word of the Lord. God tells us what is right and wrong. Herman Bavinck, (Vol. 3, Reformed Dogmatics, p. 150)

"Scripture never abandons the objective position that locates the standard of sin solely in the law of God."



He says, (Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 3, p. 140-141)

"For the standard of sin is God's law alone. What sin is is finally determined not by the church (Rome), nor by the state (Hobbes), nor by an autonomous moral law (Grotius), nor by the autonomous Self (Kant), nor by humanity as a whole (Comte), nor by social instincts (Darwin), but solely and exclusively by the law of God."



The things that God has declared as sinful are not just arbitrary—they in actual fact evil. They are against His holy character, against His goodness, against His righteousness.

Thus we see that there is a close and indissoluble connection between God and His Word.

We are not to think of the Word of God as something that is merely external to God. Robert D. Bergen writes, (1, 2 Samuel (NAC 7; p. 372)

"The Lord and his Word were inseparable: to neglect or offend the word of the Torah—that is, the word of the Lord—was to neglect or offend the Lord."



Sin is lawlessness. It is against God, against His Word.

This is a lesson we all need to take to heart. Society today wants to take us away from God's Word. It tells us that the Word of the Lord isn't reliable, that it really doesn't tell us what God's will is. Many who call themselves Christian today will tell you that you can disregard much of God's Word, what it says about the sanctity of life, what it says about sexual sins—and still be a Christian.

That's just not true and must be totally rejected. Nathan put these two things together—if you despise God's Word, you despise the Lord.

This means that

We are to love and appreciate God's Word.

2 Timothy 3:16–17 says,

"All Scripture is God-breathed
and is useful for teaching,
rebuking, correcting and
training in righteousness, so that the
man of God may be thoroughly equipped
for every good work."

Everything is right there. If you want to know God's will—you go to the Word. If you what to know what righteous is—you go to the Word. If you want to know how to do good works, and to know what good works are—you go to the Word. If you want to know how to correct something in your life—you go to the Word.

We need to view the Bible, God's Word, it's teachings, with great love and appreciation. Just before he died, Moses gave the Israelites instructions about how to live. Then he said to them, (Deuteronomy 32:46–47)

"Take to heart all the words I have
solemnly declared to you this day,
so that you may command your children
to obey carefully all the words of this law.
They are not just idle words for you—they are your life.
By them you will live long in the land
you are crossing the Jordan to possess."

These words are our life.

When the woman in my opening illustration declared that her body was her own and that she had the right to do with it whatever she wanted—she was wrong. All of us were made by God and we are to honor God with our bodies.

Our bodies are not our own. This is especially apparent for Christians. In 1 Corinthians 6:19–20 Christians are told,

"Do you not know that your body
is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you,
whom you have received from God?
You are not your own; you were bought at a price.
Therefore honor God with your body."

But God even has rights over non-Christians. They may say all they like how they are independent of God, how they have rights—but the fact is that they were created for God. They were created in His image, they were created for His glory and they owe allegiance and obedience to Him. In Colossians 1:16–17 the apostle Paul said of Jesus,

"For by him all things were created:
things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;
all things were created by him and for him.
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."

In Acts 17:25 Paul said that God,

"gives all men life and breath and everything else."

Paul continues, (Acts 17:26–27)

"he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men
would seek him and perhaps reach out
for him and find him, though he is
not far from each one of us."

Those people who think that what two consenting adults do in the privacy of a room are wrong. Acts 17:30–31

"but now he commands all people
everywhere to repent.
For he has set a day when he will
judge the world with justice
by the man he has appointed."

So people are not independent of God. Pharaoh thought he was independent of God. He said to Moses, (Exodus 5:2

"Who is the LORD, that I should obey him
and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD
and I will not let Israel go."

But he found out differently. God said to King Belshazzar in the book of Daniel, before Daniel interpreted the writing on the wall to him, (Daniel 5:23)

"But you did not honor the God
who holds in his hand your life and all your ways."

Belshazzar was ruined because of that.

There are two great conclusions from all this.

First,

sin is much more serious, more horrible, more awful than we can imagine.

Sin is against God. It is against everything good. It is against God's character. It is against His rule. It fights against His redemption. It is against His love. Sin seeks to destroy God and His works. In all of its forms it is most evil.

God is good. He is perfect in every way. For sin to be against Him, to be against His Word—reveals sin as it really is. As such sin is most horrific. It is most vile. It is most awful. It is most deceitful.

Think of Eve and her sin. By her actions Eve essentially called God a liar. Her actions disparaged God's character. It led her to misery and ruin.

We need to view sin this way. Sin is not good. In itself in does not lead to good. It is never, 'better to sin' than not sinning.

The second great lesson we should see from our text is that

incredibly, in spite of sin being against God, He forgives sin.

Nathan told David that God had taken away his sin.

David was unfaithful, God was faithful. David went astray and left God. God sought out David. He sent Nathan to him. God forgave David's sin.

Sin is against God. It's against his character. Yet he forgave David's sin.

Think about how incredible this is. God could have justly punished sinners and cast them off forever. But He forgave David.

Consider this. Has anyone ever sinned against you personally?

There are be different levels of sin against us. One time on vacation we stopped overnight at my parents and some people broke into our van in Halifax and stole some of our stuff. But it wasn't personal. They broke into other cars on the street. I felt violated. But they didn't attack us personally.

When I was a kid playing hockey, when the game ended a fan jumped on the ice, came up behind me and assaulted me. He hit me on the back of the neck so hard that I went sprawling and saw stars for awhile. That was personal. But I later learned it was a guy who had mental problems. For some reason he picked me out. I guess he didn't like my looks. But he just took one hit and then ran away. I never saw him. By the time I was able to get up he was gone. He didn't try to kill me.

There are other levels of assault. I suppose the worst is murder. I can't imagine how it must feel to have someone try to take your life, to end your existence on this earth.

Sin is so abhorrent to God. Yet, God forgave David when he sinned against Him. David's sin was against God, against His Word, against God's goodness. God tells David that if what He had given him was too little—He would have even given him more.

There's no one like our God. There's no one like Jesus, who loves sinners so much that He died for them.

God will forgive your sin if you go to Him. He offers you forgiveness of sin. He offers Himself to you. He offers you salvation. Go to Him.