Lesson 4

The Cost of Rest

(2 Samuel 11-12, Psalms 51)
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Introduction: Last week we looked at some of the Fruits of the Spirit. One we mentioned is “peace,” which is the third fruit. See Galatians 5:22. Does peace have anything to do with rest? I think so. It seems difficult to find rest if you lack peace. Would you agree that giving up practices that “steal your peace” is “cost” of rest? For example, if you agree that showing up at work on time is necessary to hold a job, then giving up staying in bed all morning is one price, one “cost,” of holding a job. All of this suggests that leading a life led by the Holy Spirit is a requirement for true rest. Let’s dive into our study to see if the Bible supports this idea.

  1.         The View

  1.         Read 2 Samuel 11:1. Would you expect the King to be leading the army? (David has been a warrior, so it would be natural to expect him to be with his army.)

  1.         Would you have peace and rest if you were involved in battle? (Obviously not.)

  1.         Would you have feelings of guilt if you thought you were not doing your job properly?

  1.         Read 2 Samuel 11:2. Is David in a place of peace?

  1.         Do you think David is bored? (Perhaps he has too much peace.)

  1.         Let’s focus on the last half of 2 Samuel 11:2. When you are bathing, are you alert to whether others can see you? Notice the text says that this was “late one afternoon.” This is during daylight.

  1.         If you are a beautiful woman, might you want others to see and appreciate you?

  1.         Or, do you think it possible that this woman had no idea that she could be seen?

  1.         Read 2 Samuel 11:3. Is there anything wrong with David inquiring about this beautiful woman?

  1.         Does this response tell David all he needs to know? (He learns she is married.)

  1.         The Sin

  1.         Read 2 Samuel 11:4. Is there anything wrong with David wanting to meet the wife of Uriah the Hittite?

  1.         Do you like meeting and spending time with members of the opposite sex who are beautiful or powerful?

  1.         Just before they met do you think that David and Bathsheba decided whether they were willing to have sex with each other?  Or, was it more likely that having sex was just an accident?

  1.         When they had sex, they clearly crossed the sin line. The Bible says nothing about whether Bathsheba was coerced. Bible commentators suggest she was not. Assuming that she was not coerced, what might motivate her to have sex with David?

  1.         What motivated David to have sex with her contrary to God’s will? (I don’t think “lust,” or “coveting” adequately describe it. You can experience those without having sex. The root sin was selfishness. David preferred himself over God’s word.)

  1.         Do you think that after they had sex, David and Bathsheba felt peace?

  1.         The Consequences

  1.         Read 2 Samuel 11:5. Do they have peace now?

  1.         The title of our study is “The Cost of Rest.” What is the cost of rest here? (The “cost” of peace (which is necessary for rest) would be refraining from having sex with someone who is not your wife. Not being selfish.)

  1.         Read 2 Samuel 11:7-9. What does this tell us about Uriah? (He is clearly unselfish.)

  1.         Read 2 Samuel 11:11-13. Uriah is willing to eat and drink with David (as opposed to with his wife), why does David want to make Uriah drunk? (Although it did not work with Uriah, this teaches us that being faithful to God is more difficult when we are drunk.)

  1.         Do Bathsheba and David have peace in the face of Uriah’s unselfishness?

  1.         Read 2 Samuel 11:15 and 2 Samuel 11:23-25. Do you think that Bathsheba and David have peace now? (Their sin is still secret, but she has lost her husband and David has caused the death of more than one soldier.)

  1.         Read 2 Samuel 11:26-27, 2 Samuel 12:1, and 2 Samuel 12:7-9. You are encouraged to read the entire story that Nathan tells to convict David of the outrageous nature of his sin. If God is displeased with you, does He just let it rest?

  1.         How would you characterize God’s complaint against David? Is it simply that he committed adultery? (God’s complaint is that David is ungrateful. God has blessed David, why does he need Uriah’s wife?  Why does he need to kill?)

  1.         What would you answer if you were David? (I think David’s motive to kill was to avoid embarrassment. Adultery was a sin requiring the death penalty. Presumably no one was killing the King, but it would be a scandal.)

  1.         Read 2 Samuel 12:11-13. How do you explain that God forgave David instantly for his sin, but God also declared a punishment that increased the embarrassment that David would suffer over this sin?

  1.         I hear people say that God forgives our sins, but He does not take away the consequences. I think they are talking about natural consequences, not consequences that God imposed. Is God being just? Is He being vengeful?

  1.         Consider the consequences that God suffered as a result of David’s sin. What are they? (God’s leader, the man who God has blessed, shows contempt for God’s law. He embarrasses God and encourages law-breaking.)

  1.         Now that we have looked at this through God’s eyes, what do you say about God’s justice? (David stands as an example of the consequences of showing contempt for God’s law. No rational person will say “David got away with it, I am free to do what he did.”)

  1.         Have you ever thought that you can sin and it will be fine because God will forgive you?

  1.         Why didn’t God help David to keep this all a big secret? It would avoid embarrassment for both of them. (Notice in 2 Samuel 12:11-12 that God twice mentions that He will have things done in “the sun.” Read John 12:46 and Luke 8:17. God is light, He brings light and does not aid darkness.)                

  1.         The Cost of Rest

  1.         Read Psalms 51:3-4. What is David’s verdict on himself and on God’s justice? (He says that God is “blameless in [His] judgment.”)

  1.         Read Psalms 51:7-8. What does David seek? Is this consistent with peace and rest?

  1.         Read Psalms 51:10-12. What will bring rest to David?

  1.         Read Psalms 51:13. How does this address the issue of David’s sin encouraging others to sin? (David says that he wants to be a good influence, rather than a bad influence.)

  1.         Friend, do you want rest? Living a life in harmony with God’s will brings peace. That peace gives you rest.  Why not ask the Holy Spirit, right now, to create a clean heart and renew a right spirit in you?

  1.         Next week: “‘Come to Me ...’”  

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Lessons on Resting in Christ

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