Tuesday night. One of the nights my heart looks forward to most every week. This particular week, I show up a little early to the building. Thankful that my friend Shane would be teaching, so I can sit and soak up what the Lord wants to share through him from our section in 2 Samuel 12. I smile as I walk in and my friend, Paul, has already set up the couches and chairs around the fireplace in the foyer. There is just something freeing about men sitting around anything “fire” related; worshipping together, studying the Word together, and authentically sharing hearts together. I steal a few moments of quiet to think about the intensity of the verses we would be studying. Who would be coming tonight? How many of them are walking through intense grief right now? I desperately want this place to be somewhere we can worship God, love God by loving each other, and battling together as brothers. “Lord, help us understand you through your Word. Help us to battle for each others hearts well. Prepare my heart to hear your truths, so that I can apply them to the battles that rage in my own mind and heart. I love you, Lord. I love these men.” Mike
Every week I have the privilege of co-leading a group of men comprised of diverse ages and stages. These men faithfully show up with the deep desire to engage their hearts with God through worship, community, and seeking His Word. We call ourselves “The Forge”; because we long to “forge” our hearts as men to be effective tools, shaped into His likeness, and used for His kingdom.
A few weeks back, we found ourselves in 2 Samuel 12:15-31; my friend, Shane, did a great job of unpacking it for us. I want to take a few moments and walk through the lesson with you. I pray it impacts your soul as much as it did mine!
Most of us are familiar with this narrative in the life of King David. The text contains the heart-wrenching story of David living out the consequences of his sexual sin with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah. The Prophet of God, Nathan, comes to David and rebukes him for his sin, and then declares God’s judgment over David’s life because of these sins. As the judgment rolls out, David is understandably crushed when he sees that God has afflicted his son, just as Nathan prophesied. David grieves and pleads with God for mercy to land upon his sick son. David prays, weeps, fasts, and remains prostrate on the floor for seven days. David’s newborn son dies…
Verse 20 of 2 Samuel 12, seems to brings a bewildering and astonishing twist to this painful story, “Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and WORSHIPED.” WOW! I want you to grasp this… David allowed himself to process through the necessary stages of grief as his son was sick. Faced with the reality of God’s judgement; he spent the week pleading, weeping, fasting and grieving on his son’s behalf. He sought the Lord’s mercy, and yet regardless of how the Lord answered his pleas, David worshiped!!!
What trial do you find yourself in? Maybe you, or someone you know has lost a child and this story hits a little too close to home. I can’t imagine the heartbreak of losing one of my children. Even if this hasn’t been your specific trial, I know you’ve had to walk through grief. We live in a sin-filled world, and it’s a process that God himself has hardwired into our human DNA. There is purpose in the grieving process. Yet, regardless of how the Lord answers our pleas in the midst of grief and pain, we have hope. The Lord is bringing through His servant David a faithful reminder of how we can navigate the trials we are in. Grieve? Yes! Then, look deep into the character of your good God and tell your heart to worship. He has life and purpose for you beyond this trial.
Now, transition with me as we look at what David does next. After he worships God, we see him go home, eat, and then comfort his wife through intimacy. Not all of us are married, yet there is still a charge brought forth. Grieve, Worship and intimately Love those in your sphere of influence. Especially those who are hurting with you. As a counselor, I’ve seen that two of the most affective ways out of grief is worship and serving other people.
The last section I want us to look at is what God leads David to do next. Starting in verse 24, we see God calling the “man after His own heart” to return to battle. David grieves, worships, loves, and returns to the battlefield. Warriors are meant to swing the sword. Simply put, ineffective warriors are the one’s who aren’t on the battlefield. David staying home and not being on the battlefield started this whole debacle. Our battlefields look different then David’s, like: sharing Christ at work to “that person”; areas of strife in our marriage and relationships; a wayward family member; distraction of our own minds… etc. My point is… arm yourself with truth from God’s Word, pray, find godly brothers to go into battle with you and then intentionally pursue love, truth and obedience to God in the battlefields of your life! The surest way to lose ground to the enemy is to not show up and keep fighting.
My prayer for us as we read this story found in 2 Samuel 12 is this… that you and I won’t keep the life lessons in the annuls of history, but rather bring these powerful tools into our present trials. Grieve, Worship, Love, and Battle.
In the battle with you!
Praise to our God and arrows to the enemy!