Generation Lapse

 

MOTIVATE

On April 20 a generational disaster occurred among our nation. Deepwater Horizon, a drilling rig contracted by BP, exploded and caught fire causing a massive leak. Almost 50 days later, the well is still pumping oil into the Gulf, threatening the ruin of wildlife and a way of life in the Gulf area. Everything is endangered from seafood to seagulls, from tourism to turtles and from beaches to Biloxi. The bigger problem is that it is not just an ecological or economic issue but a cultural impact. Future generations will be impacted in the way they live, work, entertain, educate and even worship.
BP is spending approximately $10 millions a day on clean up efforts and it still could be weeks or months before the leak is brought under control. The effects from the Gulf oil spill will occur over the long term. On May 5, 2010 Bill Lucey of The Huffington Post quoted Felicia Coleman, director of the Coastal & Marine Laboratory at Florida State University, who said, “Many of these communities rely entirely on the high ecological productivity of the northeastern Gulf of Mexico . . . In some areas, it’s not a question of recovery. It will mean the loss of a way of life.” (“The Economic Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill”) And for that, there can be no repayment. Beauty, enjoyment, spiritual renewal and kinship with nature: those things are priceless.”[1]

Regardless of the actual who is at fault, the big picture reveals it is a “leadership” issue and failure. Much of everything rises and falls with leadership. Nations, businesses, organizations, churches and even families depend on good leadership. Actions by leaders often have impact not just for the present but for the future as well.

EXAMINE

The last message we looked at the greatness of David. He was a great king for Israel and many admired his passion for God and political savvy. God blessed David greatly in his reign with power, fame and favor. Yet, after time David began to believe he independently deserved God’s blessings as a sense of entitlement rather than an undeserving gift.

Entitlement says “I deserve (demand?) to have my desires fulfilled when and how I want them. It is right to live for myself and do what only brings me personal fulfillment regardless of others.”

How does this mindset happen, especially in the life of a believer? How does a person so close to God turn to being so far away? One reality that you cannot miss is that sin has a slippery slope. The seeds of sin are subtle and slow before its roots grow deep into the heart and mind.  

Author Paul Tripp says, “…sin produces in all of us a tendency toward ‘now-ism,’ which means we forget three things: who we are (betrothed to Christ); what he is doing now (preparing us for the final wedding); and what we are supposed to be doing (remaining faithful to him). When we focus only on what we want now, we fail to solve our problems and we also cause more difficulties”[2]

This message has one key point: Sin has a slippery slope

In 2 Samuel 11 we will briefly examine 6 escalated leadership failures of King David in effort to guard against similar decision-making.

Time (11:1)

In a time of war David stayed at home rather than working hard to be Israel’s King and expand God’s kingdom. This simple decision and misuse of his time became a giant stain that would cover his life forever.

Time is something that is granted to all of us from God and we are called to steward our priorities. Certain times that we must be careful over are times of leisure and times of stress, that we do not allow to rule our lives.

Ephesians 5:15-16 “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making good use of your time, because the days are evil.”

Lust (11:2-3)

In David’s time of war (both leisure and stress for him), he saw a beautiful woman bathing. A glance became a gaze of desire and entitlement. In his inquiry he found out that she was married yet he still sent for her.

Lust promises to please but fails to fulfill.

Proverbs 6:27, 29 “Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? …So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished.”

Adultery (11:4-5)

David’s sin of lust was acted upon into adultery. It is unclear how agreeable a partner Bathsheba was, although it is certain that she did not entirely reject. Adultery is seldom an immediate impulse but a decision that has been in the making.

Deceit (11:6-13)

David’s sin of adultery carried consequences that would find him out as Bathsheba became pregnant. His plan was to bring Uriah home so he would sleep with his wife and cover up that it was David’s baby. However, Uriah did not go home out of duty to the Lord and the King, as he was intent on being a soldier. David tried even further by getting him drunk but Uriah stayed as a focused soldier. All of David’s deceit failed.

Proverbs 20:17 “Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man. But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.”

Murder (11:14-24)

When David’s schemes failed he was left with a final decision – face or finalize his sin. David chose to send Uriah to the front lines of the army where the battle was the fiercest, expecting Uriah to die. In a sense, David gave the orders for Uriah’s death. In David’s mind, having Uriah killed would remove his problem. In reality it only was just the beginning of David’s troubles.

In David’s family there would be hatred, anger, bitterness, rape, all sins bringing much shame and guilt back to this point of David’s life.

Desensitized (11:25-27)

Lastly, David’s sin had escalated to the point where he became indifferent toward it. When he received news of Uriah’s death he was cold and careless. Notice the text says that Bathsheba mourned but it is silent concerning David’s emotions.

If you allow sin to build in your life you are in danger of becoming desensitized to the God-given effects of sin (conviction) and to God’s intended direction for your life.

Ephesians 3:18-19 Those that do not follow God “ have hardening of their hearts. [They lose] sensitivity, they give themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge [their own pleasures].”

APPLY/THINK

“Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you’re willing to pay.” (Steve Farrar, Finishing Strong)

ð      What do you do if you have traveled sin’s slippery slope? What if your life is characterized by sin?

  • Romans 5:6, 19 “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly…For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.”
  • As David’s sin impacted generations to come, so the Son of David’s righteous sacrifice impacts generations to come.
  • Grace Greater Than All Our Sin

 

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can we do to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.


[1] http://news.suite101.com/article.cfm/economic-and-social-damages-from-the-gulf-oil-spill-a243121

[2] Paul Tripp, Instrument in the Redeemer’s Hands”, p. 241

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