A few weeks ago I noticed a crack in the windshield of our car. It started out as just a “chip”. Essentially, the plan was to simply ignore the chip as it was fairly unnoticeable and unobtrusive to driving vision. After some time I took the car to a car wash using a pressure washer. When the car wash was complete I returned to the vehicle only to notice that the chip had become a long crack. When pressure was applied the indention and imperfection increased.
As you consider the life of King David there were multiple “chips” in his life that when pressure was applied they became cracks and ruptures. Last week’s message examined these cracks and ruptures and this week we will see David’s response when confronted with his sin.
On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger and its crew embarked on a mission to broaden educational horizons and promote the advancement of scientific knowledge. The most outstanding objective of the Challenger 51-L mission was the delivery of educational lessons from space by teacher Christa McAuliffe. A lesson was, indeed, delivered, but not one which anyone expected.
Just 75 seconds after liftoff, tragedy struck. Before a watching world the shuttle suddenly erupted overhead, disintegrating the cabin along with its crew. The debris of metal, blood and bones plummeted to earth, along with our nation’s glory.
What had gone wrong?… The problem was with the O-rings which had been designed to fit snugly into the joints of the booster engine sections. Evidently, the O-rings had become defective under adverse conditions, and the resulting mechanical failure led to the tragedy.
However, there was more to the story. The New York Times put it frankly: the ultimate cause of the space shuttle disaster was pride. A group of top managers failed to listen carefully to the warnings, advice and criticisms given by those concerned about the operational reliability of certain parts of the booster engine under conditions of abnormal stress. Just think: heeding criticism could have saved seven human lives.
David was the King of Israel. In some sense, he could do what he wanted, when he wanted and how he wanted. He could have ignored Nathan’s rebuke or even had Nathan murdered; he did it to Uriah. Yet, he chose to listen to a trusted friend – to whom he was accountable. To whom are you accountable?
This message will explore why and how to confront sin in other’s lives. The reality is that this is very difficult. No one enjoys having their faults pointed out. Most people don’t like initiating confrontation, however there are a few (watch out!). When confrontation does happen you have a choice to make – receive it or reject it. In all, confrontation is necessary because every relationship you have gets messy and needs help.
Consider the examples:
– Your neighbor confides in you that her husband beats her and the children.
– Your golfing buddy admits to stealing thousands of dollars from corporate funds.
– A teenager shares they struggle with addiction.
These are all examples of messy relationships requiring immediate assistance. They call and shout for our attention and help.
– Author Paul Tripp says, “Personal ministry is not about always knowing what to say. It is not about fixing everything in sight that is broken. Personal ministry is about connecting people with Christ…”
EXAMINE 2 Samuel 12 4 ways God can use you to confront conflict
We can confront conflict by offering Christ-like Character (12:1a)
Nathan was a true prophet of God. In a day when prophets and kings were corrupt, Nathan was a man of character and unafraid of rebuking those who were not.
Nathan was sent by the Lord, which proves Nathan’s character. God sent Nathan to confront David’s sin. At least 8x the previous chapter (11) refers to David sending someone or for someone, showing his presumed power and authority. Now God shows who has the greatest authority by sending Nathan.
Nathan did not include personal opinion or attack of David’s character or actions. His confrontation was based on the commands of the Lord. Nathan spoke, “Thus says the Lord…” “Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight?” The focus was Godward rather than on man centered.
– “Character is a by-product; it is produced in the great manufacture of daily duty.” – Woodrow Wilson
– Proverbs 27:6 “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.”
– Do you have the character to judge someone else?
Matthew 7:1-5 If you judge then have a life characterized by repentance and removing self-made planks before you remove the sawdust out of others lives.
– Proverbs 27:17, 19 “As iron sharpens iron, so one person another…As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.”
We can confront conflict by offering Creative Candor (12:1b-8).
Nathan was sensitive yet creative and direct in confronting David with his sin. He told a parable (story) relating to David’s life, bringing David’s conviction.
Rich man had many flocks David had many wives
Poor man had one lamb Uriah had one wife
Rich man took from poor David took from poor Uriah
David was enraged that the rich man had no pity on the victim, the very attitude David lacked. Nathan linked David with the rich man making David give his own judgment – deserving of death.
God had more blessings to give David yet he forfeited them because of his sinful behavior.
– How many blessings do we forfeit because of our sinful behavior or missed opportunities?
1. Invite Criticism & Listen Sincerely
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Trust others to invest in your life and ask you the hard ?’s
Face conflict head on or it will multiply
Individualism says: “I do not need others help. I cannot be wrong.”
God says: “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (Hebrews 3:12-13)
2. Resist Triangulation
Church grapevine only thing faster than lightning
Gossip is a sin
3. Love People
Deal with sin but be sensitive to people
Explore all possible solutions with repentance and restoration as the goal
We can confront conflict by offering Consequential Certainties (12:9-12).
Nathan confronted David with his sin and spoke from the Lord about the consequences he would face. Just as a child’s disobedience demands discipline, God’s holiness and reputation were at stake if he did not discipline David for his sinful actions. It is important to note that these are not Nathan’s judgments but God’s. David’s consequences were several-fold:
Personal: David lost fellowship with the Lord
Psalm 32:3-4 “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.”
Family: Death would reign in David’s household, among 4 sons
2 Samuel 12:18 unnamed son would die for judgment of sin
2 Samuel 13:29 Amnon was killed by Absalom for raping his sister
2 Samuel 18:14-15 Absalom was killed by Joab for treason against David took David’s wives in view of Israel
1 Kings 2:25 Adonijah was killed by Solomon for his jealousy
Ministry: Reputation & Character became stained
Great King, Heart for God BUT… moral failure. A positive reputation is built from countless choices and behavior patterns, whereas it only takes a single act to ruin that or gain a negative reputation.
We must show others the consequences of sin to dissuade them from error.
Lying can give reputation as a liar
Cheating can give reputation as a cheater
Stealing can give reputation as a thief
Anger can give reputation as an abuser
Your reputation will give credence to similar character qualities.
Don Shula, coach of the Miami Dolphins, was talking to a reporter about a player’s mistake in practice. He said, “We never let an error go unchallenged. Uncorrected errors multiply.” Marabel Morgan in Homemade, Feb. 1987
Matthew 18:15-20 steps for handling conflict
1. Go one on one
2. Go two on one
3. Go to church
We can confront conflict by offering Christlike Compassion (12:13-14).
Nathan confronted David with his sin, he showed him the consequences of his sin and he also shared the grace and mercy of God to the one who repents of his sin. David would not die though his son would. The grace was that God was still with David (cf. 1Samuel 18:12) and used his life for good. Undoubtedly, this was because of the genuine nature of David’s repentance. (cf. Psalm 51)
In confronting others one must always be mindful there is grace at the cross. God stands ready to forgive every broken heart.
Sometimes we become so desensitized to our sin that we think that God is not offended by our actions. We think, “If God were unhappy with me he would stop me, or change my situation.” However, David’s sin escalated all the more and would have continued if he did not stop at the confrontation by Nathan. Likewise, we must pay attention to people who God places in our life to hold us accountable.
Proverbs 15: 31-33 “He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise. He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.”
This passage reminds us that just as David was ‘saved’ by the story of a slaughtered lamb so we too are saved by the Story of a slaughtered Lamb.
Isaiah 53:5-6 “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Proverbs 28:13 “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
 Story adapted from Appendix F of Peacemaking for Families by Ken Sande.
 Paul Tripp, Instruments in the Redeemers Hands, p. 183.