Sunday, September 23, 2012

David messed out — Redeemed by Grace

1. Story (based on 2 Sam 11-12)
  • HOOK: Cover up
    • Materials: Pile of dust/dirt, tissue paper/paper napkin, small dustpan/brush
    • Put a pile of dust/dirt in the middle of a table.
    • Kids, look, there’s a mess here. It’s really dirty. What should we do?
    • How about we try to cover it up? I know, let’s use this napkin. If we put it over the dirt, no one will see it. <cover the dirt with the napkin>
    • There. Does that work? <no>  
    • Oh dear. What do you think we should do? I know. I’ll clean it up and throw away the dirt. <get a kid to help sweep away the dirt>
    • See … clean and as good as new now!
    • Sometimes in life, we will mess up and make mistakes. But covering the mess will not work because the mess is still there. So the only way to get rid of the mess is to clean it up nicely.
  • Today, we’re going to learn about someone who messed up big time.  
  • Last week, we learnt that David became king and he celebrated by bringing the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem. David was a good king. A man after God’s heart. He loved God and loved to worship Him. God gave him much success and favour in whatever he did.  
  • But even a great man like David made mistakes. And boy, did David mess up big time!
  • One spring day, when kings normally go to war, King David sent his army out with General Joab to conquer the city of Rabbah. David decided that he wanted to stay in Jerusalem instead.  
  • One evening, David got up from his nap and walked around the flat roof of his palace and saw a very beautiful woman bathing. David found out that her name was Bathsheba. She was married, to Uriah, a soldier in David’s army.
  • Now, marriage is very precious in God’s eyes; it is a covenant between one man and one woman.
  • But David wanted Bathsheba for himself. So he sent his servants to bring Bathsheba to him and slept with her — something only a husband can do with his wife. That was a wrong thing David did. He took what belonged to someone else. He messed up!
  • And for a while, David thought no one would know about what he did. But then Bathsheba got pregnant! David knew people would find out that he did something with Bathsheba that he wasn’t supposed to. He was busted!
  • Cover-up Plan A  
    • Instead of admitting his wrong, David decided to try to cover up his mistake. He sent for Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, to come back from the battlefield, hoping he would go home to his wife. But Uriah didn’t. He slept at the entrance of the king’s palace instead.
  • Cover-up Plan B 
    • David’s cover-up plan didn’t work. So time for Plan B. David wrote a letter to his general, Joab. “Put Uriah on the front battle line, then pull back from him so that Uriah will be wounded and die.” Joab did as David instructed. And in the battle, Uriah died.
    • After David found out the news, he brought Bathsheba back to his palace and married her. They had a baby boy. Phew! David thought his Cover-up Plan B worked as he intended. Now no one will ever know! 
  • Busted! 
    • But God knew. And God was angry. Not only did David sleep with another man’s wife, he also killed an innocent man.
    • God sent the prophet Nathan to tell David a story: 
      • Once there lived a rich and poor man. The rich man has lots of cattle and sheep; but the poor man has only one lamb.  The lamb is the pet of the poor man and his children. The poor man let the lamb eat from his plate, drink from his cup, and sleep on his lap. The lamb became like one of his children. One day, the rich man had a guest that came visiting him. The rich man doesn’t want to slaughter his own cattle and lamb to serve meal for the guest. Instead, he went and stole the lamb from the poor man. He slaughtered it and serves it as a meal instead to the guest.

    • David grew angry and said to the prophet, Nathan, “Who is this rich man? I swear I would have him killed now!” 
    • Nathan replied, “The rich man in the story is you. God has given you everything, all the money and power and wives. Yet you murdered Uriah so that you could take his wife, Bathsheba for yourself.”
  • David cries out to God
    • David realised he couldn’t hide anymore. “I have sinned against the Lord.”
    • Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.”
    • But the consequences of David’s actions resulted in his son with Bathsheba becoming very sick and died.
    • After his son died, David (who had been praying and fasting) got up, combed his hair, got dressed and worshipped the Lord. Then David comforted Bathsheba, and they had another son, Solomon. 
    • The prophet Nathan came to tell David that God loves Solomon very much and to call him “Jedidiah” (God’s beloved).
  • Every one messes up
    • King David was a great man. But even he made mistakes. David realised that not only did he take another man’s wife and life, he sinned against God.
    • You and I make mistakes too. We mess up. We sin against God.
    • Mistakes have consequences. The Bible tells us, “For the wages of sin is death.” (Rom 6:23)
    • In David’s time, under the Old Covenant, there was no remedy or sacrifice for David’s sins — adultery and murder. The offender, David, should die.
  • God’s grace is bigger than our sin 
    • But David turned to God. He looked forward to a time when God would not only take away his sin, but wash him and make him “whiter than snow.” (Psalm 51:7). David did not deserve it, but God forgave him. Because of God’s grace, David lived and was blessed with another child, Solomon. 
    • “The Case of the Missing Story”: God’s forgiveness is so complete that when the life of David is retold in the book of 1 Chronicles, there is no mention of the story of David and Bathsheba (1 Chronicles 20:1). God’s redemption is complete —there is no trace of the failure left over when the blood of Jesus is applied.
    • The time that David looked forward to was when Jesus died on the cross, for you, for me, and for King David.
    • Jesus is “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) Jesus’ blood can wash us clean. Hebrews 10:17 tells us, under the New Covenant, “Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more”.
  • Let’s trust in Jesus
    • On the cross, Jesus took all the punishment for the wrongs we did. He paid for the sins we committed. Three days later, He rose from the dead, and we now can have His life in us.
    • If we believe in Jesus and trust Him, He will clean out all the messes and mistakes and forgive us. By receiving His grace, we can experience freedom, forgiveness and life.
    • Children, how many of you have trusted and believed in Jesus? Do you know that Jesus has cleaned you of all your sins? He has made you brand new, so that you can enjoy the life and love that He has for you.
    • How many of have not believed in Jesus before? Would you like to trust in Jesus? If you do, please pray together with me: Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross and taking all the punishment for my wrong. You paid for all King David’s sins. You paid for my sins. I believe in You, and I want to trust in You and accept Your gift of grace and eternal life. I believe that you make me clean and I have your life and Spirit in me always. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

3. Suggested Activities:
  • Memory Verse: Hebrews 10:17 “Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more”.

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