Here is a summary of the Bible study on Sunday.

"The Promise & David”
In about 2090 BC, God made a promise to Abraham. He told him, "I will make you into a great nation ... I will bless you ... I will give you many descendants ... I will give you a land … and all nations on earth will be blessed through your offspring."

About 600 years later, Abraham's descendants (Israel) entered the "promised land." In 1010 BC, David became king of Israel. God made a promise to David, which was in line with his promise to Abraham.

God promised David a dynasty. David's offspring would succeed him as king, and his kingdom would endure forever (2 Samuel 7:11b-16). God was faithful to His promises. David's son Solomon succeeded him as king, and Israel became a "great nation." As Solomon said, "Not one word has failed of all the good promises [God] gave through his servant Moses" (1 Kings 8:56).

The "great nation" did not last. Though Solomon was wise in many ways, he did some very foolish things. Solomon took hundreds of wives who worshiped other gods and his heart was turned away from the true God to other gods (1 Kings 11:1-6). Solomon's unfaithfulness toward God resulted in Israel's division. Eventually, Israel was destroyed and exiled.

God had promised David that his "house and kingdom would endure forever" (2 Samuel 7:16). So how could God's promise be fulfilled? Luke 1:26-33 provides the answer. Jesus, a son of Abraham and son of David, would be given the throne of David, and His kingdom would never end. Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of God's promise to David!

David's Failure
There is much we can learn about ourselves and God from Israel's story. However, on Sunday, we focused on one lesson from David's life. David was considered a "man after [God's] own heart" (1 Samuel 13:14; cf. Acts 12:22). In general, he was fully devoted to God (1 Kings 11:4).

However, David had his moral failures. In particular, David committed adultery with Bathsheba, got her pregnant, arranged for the death of her husband, and then married her! (2 Samuel 11). He attempted to hide his sin, but he could not hide his sin from God (and neither can we).

David's Response

So how could David still be considered a “man after God's own heart?” It was certainly not because he was sinless! Rather, it was because of his response toward God after he realized his sin. As Psalm 51 indicates, David responded in deep humility and sorrow.

David confessed that he was a sinner, recognized his need for God's mercy and grace, and sought God's forgiveness. Because of his attitude toward God, David was forgiven and restored in his relationship with God. (This does not mean David escaped all consequences of his sin! See footnote 12 in the handout.)

Our Response
The Bible says, "all have sinned" (Romans 3:23) and "the wages of sin is death" (6:23), meaning separation from God who is the Source of life and blessing. Jesus Christ came to die for our sins so that our relationship with God could be restored (Colossians 1:21-22). Our necessary response is to repent (confess and turn away from our sins) and place our faith (trust, belief) in Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38). Do you need to do that?

What about those who have already trusted in Christ? The Christian's relationship with God is based on Christ's righteousness, not our own good behavior. It is "by grace, through faith" that we are saved. Still, sin in the Christian life is harmful, and it negatively affects our relationship with God. The Bible says, "If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

Do you need to confess sin? ("Sin" may be defined as "any attitude or action opposed to the authority and moral will of God.") Reflect on Psalm 51, and remember that God wants our hearts. God wants men and women "after His own heart" (that is, loving God, sharing His values, and desiring His will).

As always, I welcome any questions or comments you may have. So please let me know.

Your Servant,

You may E-mail Jay & Michele Lester

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