“God looks at the heart...” (I Sam 16:7) “David, a man after God’s own heart...” (I Sam 13:14; Acts 13:22) “Create in me a clean heart, O God...” (Ps 51:10) “The eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth to that He may strongly support those whose hearts are completely His.” (2 Chron 16:9)
In 1966, Hollywood released a western classic called The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly that launched macho Clint Eastwood into stardom as 3 gunslingers searched for gold buried in the desert. Each man lies, cheats and kills leaving pain, carnage and death along the way according to their choices. Like macho Eastwood and studly King David, we too make good, bad or ugly heart choices each day in response to the voices we obey. In His wisdom, God does not sanitize but rather records in vivid detail David’s heart decisions to challenge our life’s choices. Because so much is written by God about David, we will look at only a few of his good, bad and ugly choices with which we can all identify. The Lord will most certainly use these to chisel our hearts and draw us closer as we learn to make decisions more like Jesus. What is your favorite Eastwood movie? How do your good, bad and ugly choices reflect the true condition of your heart?
THE GOOD: How does God use good choices to chisel our hearts?
COURAGEOUS HEART: (1 Sam 17:1-26, 32-35, 45-49)
David walked boldly into battle each day because he understood God’s power and expected Him to act to glorify Himself through his life! How did the choice to focus on God’s character rather than the circumstance cause David to show great courage? How does God use courage to chisel His character into your life? T/F Explain: the greater a man’s focus is on God’s character the greater will be his courage regardless of the circumstance! On what aspect of God’s awesome character do you need to focus in order to show great courage to face a current ‘giant’?
CLEAR HEART: (1 Sam 24:1-15; 26:1-12; 21-24)
David was confi-dent in God’s perfect timing so he did not have to take things into his own hands (be in control) but could wait on Him (Hab 2:3; Ps 27:4, 13-14). What made David’s heart hyper sensitive to listen to God’s voice rather than others (Rom 2:14-16)? “Con” (with) + “science” (facts) = ‘with knowledge’ about God’s Law/standards. David’s heart was filled ‘with knowledge’ of God’s Word and knew clearly when he came close to violating it.
According to Psalm 5 and 24 what knowledge about God made David highly responsive to His voice (will) no matter the cost? How did David’s conscience impact his decision making? Where are you currently tempted to compromise your faith to get what God has already promised to give in His timing (Abraham Gen 16; Moses Ex 2; Achan Josh 6; Jehoshaphat 2 Chron 17:3-4; Samson Judges 15-16)? What can you expect to happen in life when you compromise? How will you fill your heart with knowledge of His character that your conscience might be a good guiding influence (Col 1:9-12; Ezra 7:10; 2 Tim 2:15; Ps 119:9-11; Jer 15:16)? To what specific facet of God’s character will you cling instead of compromising? How can God use a biblically informed conscience to chisel you more like Jesus? How can you be restored both vertically with God and horizontally with others if you have compromised?
CELEBRATING HEART: (2 Sam 6; 7:18-29)
The ark of the covenant (Ex 25:10-22) was a gold covered box (Raiders Of The Lost
Ark) which reminded the people of God’s awesome presence (Ex 25:22; Ez 10:1-22), extreme holiness (seraphim. Is 6:1-9), gracious forgiveness (judgment/mercy seat. Rom 3:23-25; 2 Cor 5:10), constant provision (jar of manna. Heb 9:4) and power as Creator (Aaron’s budding rod. Num 17:5-10). It had been 70
years since the Philistines stole the Ark (1 Sam 4). David’s very 1st act as King
(30 yrs old) was to bring it back!
What does 2 Samuel 6 tell you about David’s heart for God? What does it mean to celebrate God’s character from the heart? Why has God given us the capacity to celebrate? How does true worship chisel a man’s heart making it more like Jesus? Is authentic celebration euph-oric emotion only or something more? When was the last time you truly celebrated your salvation as a new man (Ex 12:14, 47; 13:3; Lk 15:23-32; 2 Cor 5:17), freedom from slavery to sin (Ex 5:1-2; Rom 6:6-8, 11-13, 15-20; Gal 5:1, 13), His delight in you (Zeph 3:17; Eph 1:3-9; 2:4-8), His creation of the universe from nothing (Gen 1-2; Ps 8; 19; Col 1:15-18; John 1:1-14), God becoming man (Jn 1:14; Gal 4:4-6; Luke 2:11-14), Christ’s crucifixion in your place (Gal 2;20; 1 Cor 11:23-29; 2 Cor 5:21), His resurrection power made available to you (Phil 3:10; 1 Cor 15) or assurance of eternal life in Christ (Jn 5:24; 1 Jn 5:11-13)? What did God say was more important than celebrating His goodness (2 Sam 6:16; Num 4:15)? Why was it important to teach David (and us) again the vital importance of His holiness (1 Sam 6. His purr/roar)? How can you celebrate God’s way rather than your own way? Which of God’s attributes or actions do you need to celebrate from the heart!
KIND HEART (2 Sam 9; Psalm 136)
As God overwhelmed David with His grace it overflowed to others! Why would David show grace to the sole remaining heir to the throne ...the crippled grandson of King
Saul who tried to kill him for 16 years? Who has God put in your life for you to lavish them with His grace, forgiveness and love just as He has in Christ done to you (Eph 1:3-13;
Ex 34:6-8; Ps 103; Tit 3:3-7)? In what tangible ways did David care for Mephibosheth? How can you show this kind of care to others who are spiritually, emotionally,
financially, socially or physically ‘lame’ or outcast? Check out this video...
THE BAD: David had a number of victories when his heart was good. But he did not protect it, therefore he made some very bad decisions based on feelings (lust) rather than faith (love) (Prov 4:20- 23; 18:10).
LUSTFUL HEART (2 Sam 11)
Ships don’t sink because of the water around them but because of the water that gets in them! David let too much of his culture into his life and it sank him (Deut 17:15-29)! Like many men in the Bible, David started well but got into trouble in the sex and marriage department. When satan attacks a man’s heart, he often starts with sex/lust (Gal 5:16-23; 1 Cor 6:9-11; Gen 39:1-10; Prov 5:1-23; Rom 1:26-28; Jam 1:13-17). God’s divine design for marriage has always been 1 man and 1 woman for life. God gave us the gift of sex to be enjoyed in the ‘fireplace’ of marriage. He knows that the same sexual fire outside of marriage will burn down a man’s house and destroy his family! It wasn’t enough that David disobeyed God’s law by having 7 wives (2 Sam 3:2-5, 14; 5:13), he had to have more! So at a weak moment because he had not dealt with the accumulation of sin in his heart, David had an affair with Bathsheba, had her husband murdered and then covered it up when she becomes pregnant. David did not fall suddenly but gradually disobeyed.
What did he let...
Erode his integrity? (1 Sam 19:12-13)
Destroy his accountability? (1 Sam 18:1-4; 20:16-17; 31:2)
Distract/harden his heart with pride? (Duet 17:14-17; I Cor 10:12; Gal 6:7-8; Hosea 8:7)
As a result, King David should have been out protecting his people from their enemies (1 Sam 11:1); but instead he let his guard down and in a weak moment lost sexual self control. What 8 step slippery slope process of lust do you see in David (1 Sam 11:1-6, 27 (Jam 1:13-15)? Where are you in this process? What practically will you do to get your heart back in line with the Lord’s? Who will you ask to help?
DECEITFUL HEART (2 Sam 12:1-23)
For an entire year David covered up his affair with Bathsheba and murder of
her husband until the Lord graciously sends Nathan to call him out (Prov 27:6;
Gal 6:1-2). Where are you covering up private sins which you are scared might go public? Is there a “Nathan” in your life to whom you can confidentially confess who will lead you back to the Cross of grace?
REPENTANT HEART (2 Sam 12:13; Ps 51; Acts 3:19-20)
What does Scripture teach you to do when the Spirit convicts your heart of sin against His Holy word and character? Why is repentance at the Cross of Christ so very refreshing? (I John 1:7- 9; Rom 2:1-5; 7:15-8:2; James 4:6-10; 5:16; Prov 28:13; Ps 32:1-5; 51)
THE UGLY: Though David’s sin was forgiven by God (Ps 51:1-2; 103:1-18) he did not escape the consequences (Gal 6:7-9)!
David learned the hard way that his sin did not hurt just him! It resulted in broken marriage (2Sam 12:11-12), loss of children (12:15-18; 18:32-33), daughter raped by half brother (13:1-15), passive family leadership as David does nothing (13:1-15:12), continued family division (hatred/revenge 13:20-39), deeply rebellious children (2Sam 14-19), conspiracy/coup/deception, loss of kingdom (2Sam 15-17; 1Kings 1), passing on generational patterns of sin to Solomon (1Kings 1-12). Through it all David knew that God is near to the broken hearted (Ps 34:18; 147:3) and would walk him through the devastating repercussions of his sin. Where does David turn in Psalm 63 and 69 for healing? Where do you turn when you are brokenhearted? Reach out to someone who is broken hearted over their sin and comfort them with God’s awesome grace! Because David trusted that the Lord’s mercy was greater than his sin, what did he call the people to do in I Chron 29:10-13?