Victory out of Defeat
I suppose that it is the human condition that causes us to stumble and then to wallow around in self pity or despair. We look at moments in the past or sometimes we get stuck on something in the present.
– Something that we feel is too terrible or ugly for God to ignore
– Something that surely will cause us to be separated from His work forever
We quickly forget what He has already done for us and what He has promised to do. I know I fall into that category from time to time. Its so easy to listen to Satan’s whispers when we are already full of guilt or shame.
“Give it up, you are not worthy.”
“Its easier to live life for yourself. No one else cares anyway.”
“If God loves you so much, why does He let you continue to struggle?”
The questions or feelings continue to pour into our minds and hearts like stones thrown at a wall. Some of them will bounce off and some will cause a chip or scratch. If enough of them are thrown and hit directly, a crack can form that jeopardizes the integrity of the wall.
When that happens, it is not long before we live a life feeling incomplete. We desire to please the Father but fear to do anything because we feel unworthy and unfit. The truth is – we are unworthy and unfit – except for the fact that Jesus has justified us to His father. We are co-heirs because of the work He did on the cross.
I was reading the first part of Matthew on Sunday and was stuck in the part that I usually skip. I am sure you are aware of it. Its the part that goes on about who begat who. Its funny how sometimes the most mundane thing can have such a spark of encouragement. Hopefully I have your attention now, because I want to show you how those begats became a message of victory out of defeat for me.
I want to take you back to a scene from the Old Testament first.
The Israelite army had just destroyed the Ammonites and were setting a siege around Rabbah. King David had sent Joab out in his place to take care of the army while he stayed home in Jerusalem. We know that David was supposed to be with the army because 2 Samuel 11:1 states – In the spring, when kings go off to war.
So here we have David, someplace he is not supposed to be – even if it is home. And of course Satan starts his work. Across from the palace a certain Bathsheba decides its time to take a bath. I don’t know if is customary to do so, but she does her washing on the roof of her house. Maybe she thought no one was home in the palace because the war was on and everyone was supposed to be off to battle. We can only speculate at the reasons why she was where she was.
What we do know is that David is where he isn’t supposed to be. As Bathsheba bathes, David becomes restless in bed and decides to go for a walk around the roof of his palace. Is it me, or does it seem some plan is motion here? Anyway, as he walks around the roof, he sees Bathsheba taking her bath.
The bible says that she was very beautiful and David must have agreed because he sends someone to find out who she is. If you are keeping score, that is strike three. One for staying home when he should have been at war, one for staying and taking a look-see at naked Bathsheba, and one for acting on the desire to know who she was. Three strikes and you’re out.
So it was with David. You can read for yourself in the 11th chapter of 2 Samuel how David proceeded to have an adulterous affair with Bathsheba. An affair that caused a pregnancy while her husband was away at war. David conspires to hide the affair by having her husband, Uriah, brought back from the war to sleep with his wife.
Unfortunately, for David, Uriah is a man of honor and will not sleep comfortably with his wife while his comrades are still at war. David makes the ultimate bad decision to have Uriah killed to cover up the affair. He does so by having Uriah carry his own death sentence back to the war. The message is for Joab and instructs him to put Uriah in the middle of fiercest battle and then to withdrawal from him so that he will die. After Uriah was dead, David brought Bathsheba to his palace to be his wife.
Chapter 11 of 2 Samuel ends with these words: But the thing David had done displeased the LORD.
Imagine how Satan must have been dancing around with glee. Here is God’s annointed, hand-picked king brought to this lowly state by design of his own lust. He must have been celebrating the victory over one of God’s chosen like there was no tomorrow.
How many times had Satan been there whispering in David’s ear? “You’re the king, you make the rules”. “David, if you take this step nobody will know what you did”.
How many times had David second guessed himself? Had he ever given up on his relationship with God? How many times did he feel that he was unworthy to ever sing another psalm?
David was a defeated man more than you or I have probably ever known. Let me show you now what caught my eye in Matthew chapter 1.
1 A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:
2Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
3Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram,
4Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon,
5Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse,
6and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
7Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa,
8Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
9Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
10Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah,
11and Josiah the father of Jeconiah[a] and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
12After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
13Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, Abiud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor,
14Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Eliud,
15Eliud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob,
16and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
You caught that didn’t you? This is the genealogy of Jesus Christ and right there in the middle of the whole thing is Solomon. And who were Solomon’s parents? None other than David and Bathsheba. The adulterous couple from the old testament.
I thought that Satan had the victory in that relationship. How could God use this situation to ultimately bring His son to this earth? When I read this part of the genealogy, I had to stop and go back to see what had happened. I knew God had held David accountable for the sin that he had committed by taking that first child that Bathsheba had been carrying within a week of its birth.
But why would God use David and Bathsheba instead of David and one of his other wives to fulfill His son’s coming to earth?
2 Samuel chapter 12 verse 24 says this: Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and lay with her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The LORD loved him;
I believe that while Satan celebrated David’s defeat, God planned a victory. …and they named him Solomon. The Lord loved him. God specializes in using the things that confound the human mind. He held David accountable for his actions but His grace was so great that He used David’s mistakes to His glory.
Those four words tug at my heart – The Lord loved him. Just as He loves you and me. We are going to mess up every day. That is the curse of Adam that is on all of us. Sometimes we are going to mess up big and Satan is going to tell us that he has the victory. Fortunately, we have a Father whose grace shines on us.
God has used drunks, murderers, liers, cheaters, prostitutes, convicts, and many others to accomplish His plans. You probably know someone who used to be an alcoholic or drug addict that is now a minister. He can use you too, you just have to turn to Him and in the turning God will make a victory out of defeat.