LWAYG: Finishing Strong – David’s (Lack of) Moral Boundaries

Once upon a time there was a King named David.  He was chosen by God directly to be the king because “was a man after the God’s own heart.”  He trusted and obeyed God in all things… for the most part.  Here’s the rest of the story:

“In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.  One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home. The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.””  (2 Samuel 11:1–5)

I notice a few things right away:

  1. David’s Laziness – He shouldn’t have even been in Jerusalem!  He should’ve been awaywith his army instead of playing “hookey” from battle!  We fall into the same trap – laziness breeds temptation.  As the saying goes, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop,” meaning temptations overtake us most frequently when we’re not busy doing what we’re supposed to be doing.
  2. David’s Lust – He thought to himself, “I know what I want and I want it now, and I’m the King… so go get her for me!”  He didn’t think about the consequences or what might happen because of his desires for Bathsheeba, he just wanted her and he wanted her NOW.

We later read about David’s attempt to coverup what he had done by having Bathsheeba’s husband (Uriah) killed in battle.  Clearly he hadn’t thought about what might happen after acting out on his lustful desires.  Eventually, David is confronted by the prophet Nathan, and he repents of his sin and writes Psalm 51 as his prayer of repentance.  As judgment against his sin, the LORD tells David that the baby Bathsheeba will give birth to will not live (note: God specifically explains this as judgment on David for his sin, but we should not make the connection that every baby who dies or is sick is suffering from Divine judgment).

When David is old he has 14 kids whose names are listed in Scripture (4 of them are from Bathsheeba, the rest from his other 6 wives – which is another issue entirely that I don’t have time to address here!).  His family is so dysfunctional that his son Absolom even tries to kill David!  One of the other four potential heirs is killed by a half-brother, and then the oldest remaining son of David-Bathsheeba tries to secretly crown himself king without David’s knowledge.  Solomon, David’s youngest son with Bathsheeba, is chosen and annointed to be the next king by David.

Has anyone else noticed that David shouldn’t have dealt with all this drama because he should’ve never been married to Bathsheeba… she already had a husband! There are a few principles here to keep in mind:

  1. God gives grace when we cross Moral Boundaries, but we often still must live with the consequences of our sin. As my youth pastor used to say when I was a teen, “You can’t put a condom on guilt.”  And guilt may be the “least” consequence we need to face; it may be an STD or a pregnancy or a ‘reputation’ that gets spread about you inschool.
  2. When we break our Moral Boundaries, we must seek repentance. It seems that David learned his lesson:“David had done what was right in the eyes of the LORD and had not failed to keep any of the LORD’S commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite”(1 Kings 15:5).  David messed up bad with what he did to Bathsheeba and Uriah, but he repented and obeyed the LORD from then on.
  3. God works through our failures, but He doesn’t dismiss sin and say “Don’t worry about it!” We have a tendency of telling ourselves that God will forgive us anyway, and then we go on and do whatever we want because we know God gives grace.  But when we do this we are treating sin lightly (which God never does) and devaluing the grace of God (which we should never do).

Big Idea: Purity paves the way to Intimacy
Tough Question: Am I establishing and maintaining godly Moral Boundaries
Key Verse: 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

Last Week at Youth Group: Moral Boundaries

What’s the difference between the fire in a fireplace and a fire that’s burning your house down?  Boundaries.

Is there such thing as a safe fire?  Yes.  And No.  Even a lit candle which is in a jar can burn your house down if that candle is bumped off the table and the flame spreads beyond it’s jar/boundary.

Sex and sexuality are the same way.  God made sex as a wonderful thing… but within its proper boundaries.  On television and in movies sex is used as a shortcut to deep relationships, but God gave us sex as the pinnacle expression of love and intimacy within marriage.

I know many people who have good marriages, but whose marriages are seriously affected because of the previous sexual experiences one or both members had before they got married.  Sexual purity paves the way to intimacy.

The best definition for intimacy I’ve come across is this: “Intimacy is the joy of knowing someone fully and being known by that person with no fear of rejection” (Andy Stanley, The Seven Checkpoints.  Howard Books, 2001. p.81).  I believe we all crave that kind of intimate relationship.  If we listened to the media, we’d think we get that kind of intimacy through sex.  But that intimate relationship comes from sexual purity!

So what are your Moral Boundaries?  Where is your “line” drawn?  How far is too far for you?

In General:

  • The further you go, the faster you go
  • The further you go, the further you want to go
  • The further you go, the more difficult it is to go back

So set clear Moral Boundaries TODAY!  If you wait until you’re alone with your boyfriend/girlfriend to define and defend those boundaries you will eventually go further than you originally want (and further than God wants too!).  Here are four keys to setting clear Moral Boundaries:

  1. Know your own boundaries first, and stick to them
  2. Discuss clear boundaries (if you can’t discuss boundaries, you probably shouldn’t be in this relationship)
  3. Agree on clear boundaries (if you can’t agree on boundaries, you definitely shouldn’t be in this relationship)
  4. Don’t sabotage yourself! (as in: Don’t “hang out” in a house all by yourselves and then wonder why you went too far)

So what do you do if you’ve already gone too far?

  1. Stop! Take a break in the relationship and evaluate whether you need to end it to save yourself.
  2. Drop! Pray.  Confess your sin to God and ask him daily to give you His strength to regain purity.
  3. Roll! Get away from bad influences and get closer to godly influences

Remember God’s love overcomes all sin when you confess and repent.

  • “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”  Psalm 103:11-12
  • “But God demonstrates is own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8