Murder, He Wrote
return to the main player
Return to the Main Player
return to the main player
Return to the Main Player

Murder, He Wrote

2 Samuel 11:14-27  (ID: 3499)

While the Lord promised to establish David’s throne forever, the kingdom was not safe in the king’s hands. After committing adultery with Bathsheba, David callously planned the death of her husband, Uriah. His heart had grown increasingly hardened by sin’s deceit. Did God’s promises come to a crashing halt at the king’s moral collapse? Not for a moment! Alistair Begg reminds us that the fulfillment of the Lord’s designs lies not in the goodness of men and women but in the goodness of God Himself.


Sermon Transcript:

Well, let me encourage you to turn with me to 2 Samuel and to chapter 11, where I will read from the fourteenth to the twenty-seventh verse—from verse 14 to the end of the chapter. And I invite you to follow along as I read.

Two Samuel 11:14:

“In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. In the letter he wrote, ‘Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, that he may be struck down, and die.’ And as Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew there were valiant men. And the men of the city came out and fought with Joab, and some of the servants of David among the people fell. Uriah the Hittite also died. Then Joab sent and told David all the news about the fighting. And he instructed the messenger, ‘When you have finished telling all the news about the fighting to the king, then, if the king’s anger rises, and if he says to you, “Why did you go so near the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? Who killed Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Did not a woman cast an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?” then you shall say, “Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.”’

“So the messenger went and came and told David all that Joab had sent him to tell. The messenger said to David, ‘The men gained an advantage over us and came out against us in the field, but we drove them back to the entrance of the gate. Then the archers shot at your servants from the wall. Some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.’ David said to the messenger, ‘Thus shall you say to Joab, “Do not let this matter displease you, for the sword devours now one and now another. Strengthen your attack against the city and overthrow it.” And encourage him.’

“When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she lamented over her husband. And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.”

Amen.

Well, if you’re visiting today, then you may say to yourself, “I wonder what has prompted the pastor to choose this passage of Scripture.” And somebody, if you were to say that, around you would say, “Oh, he didn’t choose it; it chose him.” And that is because we have now for some considerable time been working our way through the record of God’s dealings with his people in 1 and 2 Samuel. And the further we have gone in our studies, the more we have realized what we have said from time to time—namely, that the ways of God are undeniably odd; that they are sure and they are certain, that he does accomplish his purposes, but he accomplishes his purposes in ways that, quite frankly, surprise us. He uses people that, if we are honest, we would never have selected. And the unfolding of his purposes deals in events that we would never choose to experience, events that we would rather forget about entirely.

And as we’ve been studying, we’ve realized that the people that we’re meeting are very much like us: foolish, frail, and sinful. And we’re not talking about the subplot characters. We’re not talking about the people in the small print. We’re talking about those who are actually the heroes, and no one more so than David, the anointed one, the chosen of God, who, up until “late one afternoon,” as it says in verse 2 of our chapter—up until “late one afternoon,” he hadn’t really put a foot wrong. I mean, he was remarkable! And it was clear to see just how gifted he was.

And yet here we find ourselves with a dreadful illustration of what it means to be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. We have, if you like, an Old Testament life-sized model of what James is dealing with in his letter when he writes, “Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”[1] It’s hard not to think that of all the things that James might have had in mind from the Old Testament record when he penned those words, that this incident concerning David would not have been there.

Now, it’s important for us in coming to this to recognize that if we are tempted to believe (as we may be tempted to believe and some of us perhaps do believe) that the kingdom of God comes by way of human cleverness, or by way of the essential goodness of the people who are involved, on the basis of how strong they are—if we are tempted to believe that at any level at all, then this passage of the Bible, along with others, will disavow us of that notion. Because what we’ve been discovering is that we’re meeting people here—again I say to you—who are just like us. They’re sinful, they’re lustful, they’re ambitious, they’re cruel, and they’re mistaken. They make bad choices. They do wrong things. We’re surely not going to stand in judgment on this, are we? We’re not gonna suggest that “Oh, well, I’m glad we can learn about people like that.” After all, we know what we are like. Well, we’ll come to that later on.

Now, how did they find themselves here? Well, back from the very beginning. The book of Judges has ended, remember, with everybody doing what is right in their own eyes.[2] It was chaos—political, moral, social chaos. And so the people had decided that if they could establish a monarchy, if they could have a king, then a king would then presumably be able to deal with their dilemma. Which was not a bad idea, if only they could find a king who is equal to the task. But they haven’t been able to find one. Saul wasn’t, Solomon won’t be, and David, as we can see, isn’t. The kingdom isn’t safe even in the hands of David, who is the man after God’s own heart. In fact, really, the story of the Old Testament is just a big, long search, a longing cry. If there is a voice that cries out in the Old Testament, it is “Give us a leader! Give us a king! Give us somebody!”

Our longings for peace and security and kindness and generosity are clearly, unmistakably, undeniably beyond our grasp. What in the world are we supposed to do?

“Well,” I said to myself as I was thinking along those lines, “that’s really the same cry that is going out at the moment in the United States of America.” This nation, our nation, was founded by dispensing with the place of a king. “If only we could get rid of the king!” That was the word. If we could get rid of King George, then we would be fine. We would form a republic. And in our republic, then we would have peace and safety and justice and truth.

Did you read the newspaper yesterday? Have you thought about life today? How well are we doing? We strive for justice, and yet people still treat one another unfairly. We vaccinate for COVID, and yet we can’t master the common cold. We hope for a world that is freed from conflict, but we continue to fight with ourselves and with those whom we love. The longings for peace and security and kindness and generosity are clearly, unmistakably, undeniably beyond our grasp. What in the world are we supposed to do?

Well, that’s where our Bible comes in, you see. That’s why we’ve said to one another routinely, we will never understand history without our Bibles. Because the Bible explains who man is, what man is, who God is, and what God is doing. Leave that aside, and then you have all these pieces of a jigsaw with no picture on the box and no possible way of putting all the end pieces in so that you can fill in the middle. And that’s exactly where men and women are today—even if they believe there’s a jigsaw at all.

Now, I’m helped—I hope you’re helped—by the honesty and clarity of the Bible, not just in this area but in every area. For example, in our Bible reading in the last few days, we’ve been reading Isaiah 51. And in Isaiah 51 it says, “The earth will wear out [as] a garment.”[3] Well, I made a note of that. I said, “Well, that’s interesting.” And not only is it interesting, but it’s of vital importance. Because all the concerns of ecology and the cataclysmic stories of an apocalyptic end to our universe are before us almost every single day. The G7 gathered, and one of their great preoccupations is “What in the world are we gonna do with our planet?”

Now, does the Bible have something to say? Well, it says that we’ve been given this that we might enjoy it, that we might care for it, that we might tend for it, and so on. But it also says that it’s gonna wear out like an old bathrobe. So therefore, we cannot be entrusted with the responsibility to withstand that which is written in from eternity to the very structure of our universe.

Well, I was pondering that. But then I went to the next passage of Scripture, and the next passage—because there’s four every day—and the next passage was Revelation 21, which begins, “[And] then I saw a new heaven and a new earth.”[4] “Oh,” I said, “that’s it! That’s it.” This one is gonna get rolled up like a garment. Look after it while you’ve got it. But don’t actually believe that divinity is contained within the universe. Don’t, for goodness’ sake, become a pantheist. Don’t look for God inside this. Before there was time, before there was anything, there was God. He will eventually roll this up like an old carpet.

But there is a new heaven and a new earth. You see, this is the Christian’s hope. This is the Christian’s view of the world. This is what allows us to engage in the obvious and necessary issues of time and planet in a way that recognizes that there is a sovereign God. But if you have no God, if there is no Creator, if there is no one who sustains the universe, then, of course, what are you going to do? You’re just gonna have to scramble and wonder and be concerned and say all these things that nobody really knows whether they’re true or not.

Well, that was just an aside. Let’s get to the passage. Some of you were hoping that was the sermon and that we’re going straight to the benediction. Sorry to disappoint you. But we’ll try and move through this with relative swiftness.

David Has Uriah Killed

It begins “in the morning.” “In the morning.” It’s interesting the way that the story is told, isn’t it? These little details. “It happened, late one afternoon,” verse 2. And then the nighttime falls, but he doesn’t go down to his house in the night. And then the next day dawns, and “in the morning…” The previous day had not ended as David had hoped. If only Uriah had done what he said. If only he’d gone down to his house and slept with his wife, then that would have been the ideal cover-up. He could have provided that for him. But he hasn’t provided it for him. He did not provide David with the cover-up he hoped for, and so now David has decided that he is going to make sure that Uriah is covered up—covered up with the dirt of the earth, covered up and placed in the grave. “If he won’t go down to his house, I’m gonna send him down to his grave.” That’s exactly what he says.

And so he’s been unable to get him to comply. And so he resorts, unbelievably, to murder. To murder! Ah, the depth of this! We know that he’s vulnerable to women. We’ve noticed that. We know that his background as a military man makes killing and swords and stuff part of his framework. He’s familiar with vengeance. But what began as a glance at a lady in her bath is about to end with the death of one of his servants on a battlefield.

What has happened to David? And has what has happened to David ever happened to you? Could it?

Well, actually, he’s lost his sensitivity to right and wrong. He, as a king, is supposed to be the champion of good and evil. He’s supposed to, as a king, be able to discern the difference between good and evil. But now, apparently, he’s lost every ounce of human decency, and he’s now become shameless. Shameless! How do you get like this?

I then just put in my notes, “This is for Joab.” In other words, the letter. He wrote a letter. And the details of the letter you will find in verse 15. Now, some of the commentators say it’s quite unusual that he would write a letter. After all, most of the communiqués that are happening, even in the text here, are verbal. One, the messenger speaks to Joab, Joab speaks to the messenger, and so on. But I don’t understand why they say that, because how in the world could it be any other way than in a letter? I mean, he couldn’t ask Uriah to go up and just say it, right? “Hey, David…” He finds Joab, he says, “David would like you to find a place for me on the battlefield so that I could get killed.” That’s not gonna work. So he writes it. A risky business! I wonder, was Uriah such a man of integrity that he wouldn’t open it? Have you ever been tempted to open a letter? Somebody gave it to you to take? I wonder, maybe he couldn’t read, so it wouldn’t be so risky. Well, I don’t know.

But what David has done is he has deliberately silenced the fear of God in his heart. Because he’s the one who knows that God searches him and knows him, knows the details of his life—when he stands up, when he sits down.[5] He knows all of that. But now all he needs to do is silence Uriah: “If I can silence Uriah, the deed is done.” (But he can’t silence his own conscience. We never can.) “If Uriah is dead, the matter is closed.”

So what he’s actually doing is acting in a way that people are tempted to act when we begin to think that sin is only significant if somebody finds out. If we’re convinced that there is actually no God to find out, then we’ve got no accountability up there. Therefore, as long as the people in the office can’t find out, as long as my wife can’t find out, then I’ll be okay, if I can just get through with it. In other words, he’s starting to act now like an atheist. He’s starting to act like there’s no God. He’s starting to act like he doesn’t recognize that God holds him accountable. In a world without God, of course sin will never be discovered; sin will never be punished.

Incidentally, that’s one of the reasons people choose not to believe in God. We suppress the truth of God for a lie.[6] Well, of course you do! If I’m gonna sin, then I don’t want a God who knows about it. Therefore, it’s better if I believe there is no God; then I can get on with my bad business without at least worrying about that—as long as the lady up the street doesn’t know. It all makes perfect sense.

He doesn’t live in that kind of world, and neither do you or I. In God’s eyes, sin is sin, wrong is wrong. Strange categories, aren’t they? Wrong. Right. Sin. Failure. Hmm. Well, if the pulpit does not speak to this in our relativistic age, it will never be heard. And if the people in the pew do not carry it forward both by lip and by life, then the impact of the salt on the populace of potatoes will be minimal at best. “For if the salt should lose its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It would be better to be cast out and trampled under the feet of men.”[7] That’s how serious it is. That’s why the Bible is so clear.

So what happens? Well, the mission is accomplished. How is it accomplished? Well, we’re told there: “As Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew there were valiant men,” where the best fighters of the Ammonites would be; “the men of the city came out … fought with Joab, and some of the servants of David among the people fell,” and “Uriah the Hittite also died.”

When I was studying this week, I wrote in my notes, my scribbles… I have a lot of scribbles, sheets and sheets of scribbles. None of them are any good. But I wrote, as I was reading this, I wrote in my notes, “Spare a thought for Uriah.” Because I suddenly said to myself, “What about Uriah? What a deal he got!” I mean, he’s going about his business. He’s fighting for the king. He’s living in a sensible relationship with his wife and presumably any family he has.

What are we to make of this? Why do bad things happen to good people? After all, doesn’t Uriah know the passage of Scripture that says he will give his angels charge over you to guard you in all your ways?[8] What happened? Did the angels leave for vacation in Uriah’s case? Have you ever felt like that? “God, your Word promises this, and yet I’m living in this. Does it mean that because I’m living in this, that your promise is nullified? That somehow or another, the circumstances of my life overturn, call in question, disprove the truth of who and what you are?” It can’t possibly be!

But what we do discover, both from the reading of our Bibles and the living of our lives, is this: that the promises of God do not exempt the children of God from the realm of suffering, from the realm of trials, and, finally, from the realm of death. Facts! I then thought to myself, I said, “Uriah would really have struggled with the kind of Joel Osteen message of ‘your best life now.’” “Yeah right,” he’d say, “what best life now? Are you kidding me? Look at this mess!”

No, you see, that kind of story doesn’t work, because it isn’t true. It’s not true to the Bible, and it’s not true to life. It plays well for a little while, while people are thinking only with a quarter at the most of their brain. But as soon as they get a diagnosis, as soon as their children turn back on them, as soon as they find that they’ve collapsed in a heap psychologically, they realize, “This story is a dream! There’s no reality to this at all. The earth wears down, and I’m wearing down.”

The promises of God do not exempt the children of God from the realm of suffering, trials, and death.

Calvin says, “The wages of the good and [the] faithful are not received in this world.”[9] And they’re not. Because “eye [hasn’t] seen, nor ear heard, neither [has it] entered into the heart of man, the things [that] God ha[s] prepared for them that love him.”[10] There is a better life than this one. And it is in this one that we live in anticipation of the one that awaits us.

The News Is Delivered

Now, that has taken place, and the news is then sent from the front in verse 18 and following: “Joab sent and told David all the news about the fighting.” See the way this story is constructed, where you have a summary statement, and then you advance, and then it fills in more of the background? Which is about to happen again. So, he says to the messenger, “Now I want you to go back and tell David what has happened. And you need to know this: that there’s a fair chance that he will lose his mind. There’s a fair chance that he will be really annoyed. And so, if he is as I anticipate, and that is not pleased with what he hears, let me tell you how you should approach this.”

And so he sets him up. He basically controls the media, if you like. He says, “Now, this is how you need to do it.” And he says, “It may well be that he will bring up that famous incident concerning Abimelech.” And you can read that for yourselves in your homework in Judges chapter 9. But it basically is that in that instance, which became part of folklore, if you like, or part of the historical record, the soldiers on that occasion had been drawn into a situation where it was possible for a lady up on the ramparts to throw a millstone out the top and land it on Abimelech’s head. Everybody knew that. Everybody knew you don’t go near the wall. “And he’s gonna find out that we went near the wall. So make sure that whatever else you say, you say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.’ That’s the closer, okay?” And so that’s exactly it.

Now, you think about being the messenger. First of all, the messenger says, “Why am I going back to tell David that this thing was a dog’s breakfast, that this was a debacle, that this was not a strategic piece of military warfare? Why would I, first of all, go back and do that? And also, what’s the thing about—what’s so special about ‘Uriah the Hittite is dead’?” You see, he couldn’t have known that that was the only answer to the question “Why did you go so near the wall?” That’s the answer! Because of David’s plan to cover his sin up under the earth which would swallow Uriah.

Well, you see there in 22 and following, the messenger came; he “told David all that Joab had sent him to tell.” And he has his speech already prepared. He goes through it. He says, “The people came out. We approached. They came out. We drove them back. And when we drove them back, we were up against the wall. The archer shot your servants from the wall. And some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.”

David’s Reaction vs. the Divine Verdict

Well, what remains? The reaction of David in verse 25. It’s quite incredible, this, actually. As I said before, you know, David doesn’t use a lot of words, does he? I mean, in his sin with Bathsheba, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of conversation, no expressions of affection, nothing at all. Just the miserable nature of the act. And now he has sent instructions to have his servant murdered. And look at his reaction! He’s morally bankrupt at this point. His innocent glance at a lady taking a bath has led to the innocent death of many of his servants on the battlefield.

What has happened to David? I’ll tell you what has happened to him: somewhere along the line he convinced himself, as we’ve said, that as long as no one saw, there was no harm, there was no shame. But that’s not true. And his message by return to Joab is, I suggest to you, as dreadful as his outgoing message back up in verse 14 where we began: “Say to Joab, ‘Don’t let this trouble you. These things happen. Proceed with the battle.’ And try and encourage him if you can.” End of story. Thank you very much. Let’s move on.

What remains? Well, all that remained was for the wife of Uriah to be informed. She “heard that Uriah her husband was dead.” There’s no reason for us to believe that she knew just exactly how it was that he came to die. We don’t know whether she did or she didn’t. The chances are that she wouldn’t have. All she knew was that her husband had died on the battlefield. She did what would be expected: “She lamented over her husband.” The time of sadness passed. “And when [that] mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son.” It’s all so matter of fact, isn’t it? That’s the striking thing about it: it’s all… Are we talking about this murderous deed?

And so all that remains to be said is the most important thing that is actually said, in one sentence, in the entire chapter. The way the story is told is masterful. If you love stories, you have to love this. You gotta love the way a story is told. It’s so fun to read it, and to read it properly, and to realize that the narrator is telling it in such a way that we might then be saying to ourselves, “You know, there’s no mention of God. There’s nothing about God in this. Why doesn’t God say something? There’s nothing at all.” And then here it comes, the punchline: “But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.” The divine verdict. The divine verdict.

And what he does is he sets in juxtaposition his statement to the messenger: “Say to Joab, ‘Don’t let this thing be evil in your eyes.’” That’s a more literal translation. “Don’t let this thing be evil in your eyes,” he says. But the thing that David had done was evil in the eyes of God. See, that’s the deal. “This is not that big of a deal.” Oh, yes it is. It always is.

And what is quite remarkable is that we’re not left, as we often are in Old Testament narrative, to draw our own conclusions, but we’re actually told here specifically that David’s actions were wrong. My friend from a distance, Woodhouse, says this is “the story of a callous brute with the conscience of a brick wall!”[11] I couldn’t put it better myself. (To which they said, “No, we know that.”) Now, this is the same man who displayed his kindness by giving Mephibosheth a place at his table when he didn’t deserve it. And now he gives to his servant Uriah a place in a graveyard which he doesn’t deserve.

God Keeps His Promises

Now, what shall we say in response to all of this? How shall we end this? I hope you’re not going to say—I hope you haven’t even thought for a nanosecond as I’ve been speaking to you, you said to yourself, “Well, I’m glad I’m not like that.” I hope you haven’t thought that. I wouldn’t be prepared to say that. But what I wrote in my notes was “If that can happen to him, it can surely happen to me.” And you too.

Because what we have here is a demonstration of the depth of human depravity—the capacity that exists within us, even in Christ, to run up against a day where all the seeds of human desires against God begin to germinate, on the day when desire and temptation and opportunity coincide, and suddenly we find ourselves in that evil day. And that evil day dawned for David, and he collapsed. And part of the reason it’s in the Bible is as a warning, so that none of us would be so foolish as to say, “Oh, I’m glad I’m not like that.” “Let [the one] who thinks … he stands take heed lest he fall[s].”[12]

And then, what are we to do with the promises of God? After all, the promise that was given concerning David was so straightforward: “Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.”[13] What in the world’s happened now? Has the promise of God come to a crashing halt in the poor decision-making of David and in his sin in this? And the answer is, not for a moment! Not for a moment it has! Because the security of the fulfillment of God’s promise does not and never does lie in the goodness of the individuals concerned but in the goodness of God who made the promise.

In the coming of the Lord Jesus, God has kept and keeps his promises.

And so, we won’t be around long enough to get all the way into 1 and 2 Kings. “At least,” you say, “I’m certainly not gonna be here for it.” But when the kingdoms are divided, and Judah’s here, and Israel’s there, and kings are rising up here, and they’re ascending to the throne over here, and the searchlight, as it were, is moving through the whole drama of the Old Testament, looking for a leader, looking for a king: How in the world will this promise be fulfilled?

And then it eventually all comes to an end, and the prophets stand on the stage of history. And what do they say? Well, they say, “Relax!” Amos: “In that day,” says God, “I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen.”[14] How’s he going to do that? Isaiah: “For [unto you] a child is born, [and unto you] a son is given; and the government [will] be upon his shoulder[s], and [he will] be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”[15] The Messiah! Jesus!

This is it, you see. The kings inevitably, like all of us: frail, foolish, sinful, stupid. And yet God continues. Well, how do we explain it? Well, in a simple sentence: in the coming of the Lord Jesus, God has kept and keeps his promises. In the coming of the Lord Jesus.

Are you one of these genealogy people? You don’t have to put up your hand. Are you an Ancestry.com guru? I meet them all the time. They come to me and they tell me, you know, they tell me, “I’m a quarter Portuguese, I am one-third such-and-such, I’m a thing and this and this,” and they go through this big thing. And I’m like, “Really? Wow. Well, how is that helping you? How much did you pay for that information? You really trust that DNA test thing? How specific would you like it to be?” “Oh, not too specific.” Good thought!

Because I noted this week that one of those groups was offering a fifty-dollar-off deal if you would sign up for it. And it said to me, it said, “Would you like to find relatives you never knew and uncover stories of your family’s past?” And I said, “No. No, I don’t think so. No, no! I’m sort of intrigued, but not really. ’Cause there’s gotta be at least one crazy uncle somewhere just out there that will give leverage to my wife to explain, ‘I know why that’s… It’s that uncle! See, I knew that all the time.’” So no, I don’t want to know. I don’t need to know! I know my grandpa, I know my great-grandpa, and I’m good with that. I don’t mean to be unkind to you if you spend your rainy afternoons trying to find out your forebears. Be that as it may.

But let me end in this way: Have you read the genealogy of Jesus? Wow! Yeah. The wife of Uriah the Hittite is in there. Just read it in Matthew. She’s not the only one with a kind of shady background. There’s also Ruth. She didn’t have a shady background, but she was an outsider. There’s also Tamar. We’ll come to her. Also Rahab the harlot. What a mess! You mean that Jesus knows what it is to have a strange family tree? Yeah! So do you think that Jesus, who knows about strange family trees, is unable to deal with your strange family tree? Do you think that for a moment he cannot sympathize with us in the blots that are on our past, in the mistakes that we have made? That somehow or another, we can bring to a crashing end his plans and purposes for us?

Loved ones, it cannot be. These people, like us, failed. And their failures are in the Bible in part for our instruction, so that we would find ourselves saying, “Isn’t it a remarkable indication of the wonder of God that he continues to bother with people like that?” And then we would say, “Isn’t it remarkable that he continues to bother with someone like me?”—that he has pledged himself to bring to fruition the good work that he has begun in us,[16] not because we’re perfect, not because we’re good, but because he is God, and he is good, and what he promises to do he will keep. He’s entirely reliable.

Oh, I urge you: come to him. Come to him in the only way you can, at the cross of Jesus Christ. And be prepared to just dump out there all the things that you are tempted to believe you have to hide forever and stumble through your life. You don’t. You can come clean with him. And he has provided cleansing for all of that.

There’s no story like this. Salvation belongs to the Lord our God.

Father, thank you that we find ourselves again, wonderfully, in the company of Christ, in the company of the only one who can cleanse us from our sins, can enable us to keep on. We stand against the accusations of the Evil One, the one who likes to come and get us rummaging around in old, forgiven sins.

O Lord God, look upon us in your mercy we pray. Thank you that you have reached out to us. And may we then live to the praise of your glory, for Christ’s sake. Amen.


[1] James 1:14–15 (ESV).

[2] See Judges 21:25.

[3] Isaiah 51:6 (ESV).

[4] Revelation 21:1 (ESV).

[5] See Psalm 139:2.

[6] See Romans 1:18.

[7] Matthew 5:13; Luke 14:34 (paraphrased).

[8] See Psalm 91:11.

[9] John Calvin, Sermons on 2 Samuel: Chapters 1–13, trans. Douglas Kelly (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1992), 508.

[10] 1 Corinthians 2:9 (KJV).

[11] John Woodhouse, 2 Samuel: Your Kingdom Come, Preaching the Word, ed. R. Kent Hughes (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015), 314.

[12] 1 Corinthians 10:12 (ESV).

[13] 2 Samuel 7:16 (ESV)

[14] Amos 9:11 (ESV).

[15] Isaiah 9:6 (ESV).

[16] See Philippians 1:6.

Copyright © 2021, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.