Grace In The Grief

Finding Hope In The Midst Of Grief When Life Seems Overwhelming

Ross Sawyers
Dec 17, 2023    53m
favorite_border
FAVORITE
Have you lost hope in the midst of grief or a painful season of life? We all experience loss and grief at some point. How can we find hope and grace even when life feels hopeless? Listen to this encouraging message on finding hope in the midst of grief. Discover how God can bring beauty from brokenness and restore hope, even after tragedy. Be comforted knowing that God's grace is sufficient, and He specializes in redeeming our pain. Video recorded at Grapevine, Texas.

Transcription
messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Ross Sawyers: [00:00:01] What a beautiful time we've had in worship this morning. And there's no doubt that all of us, in life, at some point, go through storms, and I hope that if Christ is not the cornerstone and the hope for you, that today might be a day that that becomes true for you. And there'll be an encouragement for all of us today for those who do find their hope in Jesus Christ. I found this image online, I wanted to just give a picture this morning to get us moving. And these are several uncut stones, that have been broken off, and they can later be used to actually form a mosaic. And so while we look at this picture of uncut broken stones, we know that something like that, in the right artist's hands, can make something beautiful of it. We've been looking at, the last couple of weeks, and we'll look again this morning, at a part of the line of Jesus, the genealogy of Jesus. And I think this gives us a good idea of who is in the line of Jesus and who can actually become a part of the line of Jesus. Because the line of Jesus is full of people that are broken, and God is doing a work in making broken people whole and beautiful again.

Ross Sawyers: [00:01:37] If you'll turn in your Bible to Matthew chapter 1, will be in verse 6 of Matthew 1 in a moment to launch us, and then we'll spend the bulk of our time in Second Samuel chapters 11 and 12, to unfold the story of the person in the genealogy of which I'll describe. Before we head there, I want us to think for just a moment about the upcoming year in ways that we, as a church, can be a part of that beautiful mosaic that God is forming all over the world. God is a global God, his heart is for the nations, it's for every tribe, every tongue, every nation, and every ethnicity God is for, And we get the privilege of being a small part of what God is doing all over the world, of taking broken people, and making them beautiful in him.

Ross Sawyers: [00:02:31] In this coming year, we have these opportunities. If you want to take a picture of that, if you have an interest in any of these, we'll have a lunch the third week of January, where we'll talk in more detail. But in this coming year, we'll be on the border with YWAM in March, we'll be in New York with a plant that we are partnering with in Brooklyn, and we'll be in Honduras twice during the summer, with Orphan Outreach. We work with Young Life in the Czech Republic; we'll be there in June with our high schoolers. We'll be in the Dominican Republic and Uganda, in July, working with the ministry partner. Edify. There'll be a medical trip to Guinea in August. We'll also go to India in July and early August with a group we've been working with since 2004, and excited about that opportunity. And then our young adults will be heading to Egypt, in the first part of the fall. So if any of that strikes you, that God is tapping you and saying, hey, I want you to be a part of one of these trips, he may want you to be a part of helping support someone else going on a trip, or he may want you praying for these things. These are all ways we can be a part of the global heart of God. And what incredible grace of God, that all of us are broken people. and that in his goodness, he restores us and that we can be a part of that with others as well.

Ross Sawyers: [00:03:59] Last week I spent considerable time talking about the genealogy and why Matthew would start his gospel with the genealogy, that's not really all that exciting, probably to most of us. And if the idea is in our world today, you better capture the attention of people in the first 90s or you've lost them, for the rest of the time, a genealogy probably doesn't seem like the best strategy to get people interested. But when we understand the audience, we do know this is a fantastic strategy because Matthew is writing to a Jewish audience, and we keep that in mind as we read, it's for us as well, but we look through the lens of the author and who he's writing to. And he launches this genealogy by saying that Jesus is the Messiah, he puts Jesus squarely in the center of everything. He says this is a genesis, this is a new thing that's about to happen, and he firmly anchors it in Abraham and David. And God had promised that Israel would be the people of God, and that his kingdom would be set up through Abraham and through David. And it would be mind-blowing for them to know that the Messiah, Jesus, is being set in the family line of Abraham and David.

Ross Sawyers: [00:05:27] Now he chooses different people. He has three sets of eras here, 14 people each, so it's not a complete genealogy. And it would cause us to ask the question, why did he select particular people? Mixed in this genealogy are four women, it concludes with Mary, which would be a fifth, but there are four up to her. It would be unusual in that day for them to have included women in the genealogy, but Matthew does it, why does he do that? When we look at history in the past, it gives us a glimpse of what the future will look like. And Matthew, I believe, has placed the women in this genealogy to let us know that women are going to play a significant role in his life, which they do, and in the times ahead. He also chooses a whole variety of people, including the women, some who we would describe as bad and some who we would describe as good in the way that we talk. And we find there that there's a hope for all of us to be a part of the line of Jesus in the glimpse that he gives us of those who are in the past. We also see a mixture of both Jews and Gentiles in the genealogy. The Gentile, again by definition, is anyone who is not a Jew. So today you're either Jewish or you're not, and that's how he writes it. And he includes both, which says everyone can be included in the line of Jesus in the way that God has designed it.

Ross Sawyers: [00:07:11] Now, we've taken a look so far at a woman named Tamar, and Tamar was connected to Judah. And there's really not a way for us to work through the genealogy of Jesus with these ladies, apart from talking about, the particular woman with the man and the way it intertwines. So Tamar and Judah are woven together in this genealogy. Rahab and the Israelite spies, you can't talk about the story of Rahab without talking about the spies and in her encounter with them. Last week we talked about Ruth and Boaz, those two are intertwined. And today we’ll talk about David and Bathsheba, you can't talk about Bathsheba without understanding what was going on all around her with King David.

Ross Sawyers: [00:08:02] Now, this is another one of those, excuse me, that's a little tough. And you might be thinking, well, it's the week before Christmas, wouldn't we just be choosing something that's like kind of a holly, jolly idea? And this is what's in the scripture, what I love about God's Word is it's real to their day and it's real to our day. And there are things that are going on here that are hard, and I actually believe that this is timely for us in the Thanksgiving to Christmas season, because this often is not a really jolly time for people. It is for many, but I don't know who you hang around, but I hang around quite a few people where there's quite a bit of grief in their lives because of different kinds of loss, because of sin that a person has committed, or sin that's been committed against them. And oftentimes those things can actually get highlighted in the Christmas season, and it makes it even more difficult. So what I'd like us to look at in this story, there are a number of ways to angle into it, but one way, at least I want us to consider is grace in the grief. We actually will land in a place of grace and hope. If you stick with me through the story, I think we'll find ourselves identifying at multiple parts with the people in the story. There are family difficulties here, there's loneliness here, there's loss here. and we'll also find, though, that there actually really can be grace in the grief.

Ross Sawyers: [00:09:53] The genealogy in Matthew chapter 1, verse 6, "Jesse was the father of David the king. David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah." So here we have the names being mentioned in the genealogy. Now let's move to Second Samuel, we'll be in chapters 11 and 12. I'll read some of the scripture, and I'll summarize some of it. It's too much to be able to read all of it today, but I'll sum up pieces of the story. And as always, I would encourage you to go back and read these stories, in Second Samuel 11 and 12, and to check my work, because I don't want you just to take my word for it, you can come and read it as well.

Ross Sawyers: [00:10:42] All right, so we're set right here, and this is what I would say about grace in the grief, it begins somewhere, so where does the grief begin? In this particular story, I'll talk about where it begins, it may start somewhere else, depending on what you're grieving is or my grieving is, but this is one way that it starts and begins. And we find ourselves in verse 1 of chapter 11. and David, it's springtime and King David is the second king of Israel. He's had quite a bit of success so far, and he sends his troops out to battle under Joab's command. The spring is a strategic time to go to battle for a couple of reasons. One, the weather's better. And two, it would have been harvest time, so the wheat and barley harvest, they would be able to feed the troops during their time out in battle. And David stays back this time, oftentimes he was on the battlefront with them. And this is a part where we have to be careful in stories like this not to use too much conjecture, as oftentimes people will say about this part of the story. Well, David should have been with his troops, and on the front line, if he was, this story would have never happened. So David was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I don't know that we can necessarily say that, because oftentimes the King would stay back for strategic reasons and for safety reasons. And it could be that he just stayed back this time, and that's all there is to it, so he wasn't necessarily at the wrong place at the wrong time. And that's where we find ourselves as we launch into this story.

Ross Sawyers: [00:12:28] In verse 2 it says, "Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance." Again, David was not in the wrong place at the wrong time, this was common for them. In the evening they go out on the flat roof of their homes, and that would be a relaxing place to be in the cool of the evening. and that's where David was. Now, if you've been to Israel or you've gotten some picture of Jerusalem as this big city, which it is large, that's not the case in this era, some estimated it might have been 12 to 15 acres in total. In Jerusalem, in that city, David would have had a house that was higher than the other houses to have a view of the city, and that would be a good picture of what was happening. And on this particular evening, he sees a woman bathing, she's very beautiful. What does he do with that?

Ross Sawyers: [00:13:31] Verse 3, "So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” Now Eliam, the dad, was one of David's trusted fighters, he knew him. Uriah was one of David's 30 valiant men, he knew him. And when they came back and said, this is who this is, David would have been really familiar with the family, and this is what he did. So David sent in verse three, and he inquired. Then verse 4, "David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house." Sin starts in the heart, in the human heart, and that's where it started with David. There's a pattern here that we see in Scripture, and I think you would agree that we see it in our own lives today and in the lives of people around us. What did David do? He saw something, and then he coveted what he saw. He wanted what he saw, and then he took it. That's the pattern of sin, whether it's sexual sin or any other kind of sin, we see it, we want it, and then we take it.

Ross Sawyers: [00:15:10] That's what happened in Genesis chapter 3, verse 6, the very first sin enters into the world. Eve sees the food, it looks good to her on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, of which she was not to eat. It was delightful to her, she thought it would make her wise, she wanted it, and she took it. And as it so often happens once, we've seen wanted and take, we want others to get in on it with us, she gets Adam in on it with her. We saw this when we were studying Joshua chapter 7, there was a ban on taking things out of the city of Jericho after it was defeated. What happened? Achan, scripture says in verse 21, he saw, coveted, and took, and the consequences were devastating for him and for his family. That's a pattern of sin.

Ross Sawyers: [00:16:13] When was the problem here? Was David at the wrong spot, and that's the problem? No, seeing is not the problem, there was an opportunity to bail out at that point. The coveting, that's getting into a problem in the heart, it is a problem, there's still a chance to bail. Once you take it, there's no bailout. In First Corinthians 10:13 it says, "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it." There is an escape out of every temptation, it's a matter of whether we will take that escape route.

Ross Sawyers: [00:17:15] I was listening to a podcast that someone sent me about sexual addiction and one of the comments that the guy made, he'd been sexually addicted for years and then God delivered him from it, and now he's helping people through it. But he made a statement that really stuck with me. He said, ”What you see today will torment you tomorrow." And I thought about that, and I thought, yeah, there are things that we can see today that will torment us tomorrow. The positive side of that is there are things we'll see today that we actually can treasure tomorrow. So wherever we choose to put our eyes, we can actually treasure that through the next day; or where we put our eyes and keep our eyes will cause us torment the next day. These are patterns that we can be aware of in ways that Satan takes advantage.

Ross Sawyers: [00:18:10] In verse 5, "The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, “I am pregnant.” He has his time with her, she conceives, and she's pregnant. Where did the grief begin in this particular story? In one man's heart as he refused to control the lust within him, and it is going to unravel a whole path of grief. There are good ways and bad ways to deal with grief. As the story unfolds, we see a poor way to deal with grief, I'll sum up this part of the story in verses 6 through 25. When we do something to someone else that causes harm to them, there are a couple of ways to go at it, there's probably several ways, but one way is poor, and David really goes at this poorly. This is his plan, it's a cover-up. He figures, hey, I can cover this, and nobody will ever know, it'll just be between me and her and this will be done. And the way he does it is he sends a messenger out to get Uriah off the battlefield, Bathsheba's husband. Uriah comes back in, and David's plan is, you know what? I'll have him come in for the night, he'll go in, hang out with his wife, he'll have sex with his wife, and then several months from now, when she has a baby, it'll look like it's his baby. A great plan, except Uriah, is more the man David should have been because he understands the sacredness of what he's doing in the battle for God, and he has a loyalty to the men who are out on the field, who don't have the same opportunity that he has to come and be with their wives and he sleeps on the porch outside the house. David finds out the next day that this is what Uriah did, and he has another way to cover it. This time, he said, you know, I'll just get him drunk. So he gets Uriah drunk, and he expects that he'll go in and have sex with his wife, but even in his drunken state, he didn't do it. So David has another way he'll cover this, and he writes a letter to Joab who's the commander on the front line and he sends it with Uriah. It's a sealed letter, so he can't see what's in it. He's, in essence, taking his death warrant to Joab. As David wrote and said, place Uriah in the fiercest battle on the front lines, and make sure that he's in a place where he'll die, and that's what happens. A messenger comes back and lets David know. Covering up, and denying, that's not a good way to deal with grief. So from David, we learn some poor ways to deal with it. We also know that if we think about the Ten Commandments today, there are probably more violations in here, but there are at least three. You are not to covet, you are not to commit adultery, which would cover any sexual sin, and you're not to murder, three out of ten David commits, and Bathsheba is on the other end of all of that. That's a poor way to deal with it.

Ross Sawyers: [00:22:28] But what would be a proper way we actually weave back into Bathsheba in this story, and we can learn from her how to grieve well in those initial stages of loss? Verse 26, "Now when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband." In that day when someone grieved over the loss of family or friend, they grieved hard, and they grieved, I believe, in a really healthy way. They would mourn for days, weep, wail, tear their clothes, wear sackcloth, fast, change their diets. I mean, it was about as hard as you can imagine to grieve. I believe God designed us in a way so that we can grieve hard over loss, whether it's death, a divorce, a wayward child, or a job. Grief, by definition, is over anything that's a loss. Some have deeper degrees, and some have lesser degrees of grieving.

Ross Sawyers: [00:23:48] I've often observed, because I've been in a number of situations and watched people grieve, that our culture, I don't know, does it very well. Our tendency is to say, are you doing okay? Yes, be kind of stoic about it, and we think they're doing good. I would say a good portion of the time, they're probably not doing so great. I would probably say the person that's a mess, crying, can't believe this has happened, stunned, I think that person's grieving in a healthy way. God has given us emotions to release, and stuffing things usually doesn't help, it just over time will make it more difficult. Bathsheba grieves well, the loss of her husband, the pregnancy that she has, and the sex that she had. By the way, different people have different views of this, some would say that Bathsheba is complicit because a Middle Eastern woman would not have been immodest. But it seems from the overall story in nowhere does God rebuke her, he does. David. And it feels like a lot of pressure to me, if the King's messengers show up, and say, that we're going to take you to the king. So I just wanted to be fair to give you different ways people think about this, but I would say she's grieving quite a bit of what's going on and what's happened more to her, in this particular story.

Ross Sawyers: [00:25:54] Now, "When the time of mourning (in verse 27) was over, David sent and brought her to his house and she became his wife; then she bore him a son." So the time of mourning was over. We've talked about that kinsman redeemer idea, that in the culture of the day, that the next closest of kin was to step in and marry the widow so that she would be protected and provided for. It at least looks like part of David's cover here is to step in on that idea. Here's Uriah the Hittite, he's from another land, and Bathsheba would not be protected as a widow now, and so David's going to step in, and then this will also make it look like it's okay when the baby's born. But then we see God's view of this, "But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord." We can only deny and cover up for so long, God sees everything, and what he sees here is evil. And that moves us to the next piece of the story.

Ross Sawyers: [00:27:09] For us to be able to grieve well, sometimes there's a need for someone to say the hard thing. Somebody needs to step in and say the hard thing. Sometimes it needs to be somebody else who can step in on behalf of someone and say the hard thing to the person that is causing and creating the grief. Bathsheba needed somebody to step in here on her behalf, and God did that, he sent the prophet Nathan to David. David had a lot of respect for Nathan, and Nathan starts telling him a story, and sometimes a story is a good way to get us to understand something. And he says, hey, there was this rich guy who had a lot of flocks and herds, agrarian culture, he had a load. And then there was a poor guy, and the poor guy had one little ewe lamb that he had raised from birth. And the Scripture says that the little ewe lamb was just like a daughter to him and to the family. A traveler came by to the rich man's house, and the rich man did not want to give up any of his flock or any of his herd, so he took the poor man's little ewe lamb, killed it, and used it to feed the traveler. Well, it's like David couldn't even let Nathan finish the story before he is burning with anger. I mean, this is just a story being told, he's burning with anger and says that man should die and fourfold restitution should be made. And Nathan looks at him and he says you're the man. I'm sure that was a little uncomfortable. Then. Nathan begins to tell David this is what God's saying to you today. Why have you despised me, that you would take the wife of Uriah the Hittite? I've given you everything, I'm the one that anointed you as king, I've given you the land, I've given you a promise that the kingdom will come through you, I've given you all of that, why have you despised me? He didn't go to David's sin against Bathsheba first, and this is the root and core of any sin that we commit against another person. First, we've despised God. Because what we've said is, God, your way is not worth it, I'm going to do it my way. So it's a despising of God, and then it's a sin against the person as well. Nathan then tells him there will be consequences, he says the sword will never leave your house. Then he said what you've done in secret, it's going to be publicly done with your wives. This is brutal, and I'm not saying those are the consequences for everyone, that's the consequences in a story like this. But there are consequences when through our sin, we create grief for other people. There can become freedom from the point on when someone says something hard to us and we actually receive it, this is where the grace starts to flow in.

Ross Sawyers: [00:31:33] I've been reading a book by Paul Tripp; I've mentioned it a few times in the last few weeks called Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands. And one thing he talks about is spiritual blindness. And he said, there's physical blindness and then there's spiritual blindness, and the difference in the two is that a person who's physically blind, they know it, but a person who is spiritually blind oftentimes does not recognize it. And God will use people to step in and say the hard things so that the spiritually blind might hear, and then freedom can move from there. He also talks about holding up the mirror of God's Word. And that's what you and I want to be able to do with each other. We're not throwing judgment on someone, we're simply holding up God's Word for ourselves and for others, and to see ourselves in light of who God is and how he sees us, let God do the work in the heart.

Ross Sawyers: [00:32:49] And by the way, I hope today there are a number of people in here, you've worked through a lot of hard spaces like this, and I hope you hear this today as a forgiven person, and that this is a day of gratitude that you have worked through it the way that God would have us to work through things in a broken world. But we're grateful and we don't always love it when somebody tells us the hard thing, but we're grateful that God continues to give us the grace to put people in our lives who will say the hard thing, that can be somebody in a family, it can be a friend, it could be a counselor. Sometimes God's asking us to say the hard thing, and sometimes he's asking us to receive the hard thing.

Ross Sawyers: [00:33:52] Now when it's appropriate, as we move through the story, we want to own our part in causing grief. I go to a biblical counselor, about once a month, sometimes it's a little longer stretch, and I started doing that this year. I just have an appointment set, whether I have a problem in mind or not, and inevitably, I have at least one, if not many, by the time I show up at the counselor's office. And this week, when I showed up, Lisa and I, my wife, we had had a disagreement over something, and I talked to the counselor about it, and she'll sometimes go with me. We both love the guy who does this, and he said to me when I described the situation, he said, neither one of you have sinned against each other. That you haven't sinned against her, you haven't wronged her. She hasn't sinned against you, she hasn't wronged against you, she hasn't wronged you. You've taken an event, and you've misinterpreted it because each of you are looking at it through a different lens. And so it's a misinterpretation, which then is a misunderstanding, in this particular case. And I want to highlight that because a number of people will try to own something that you don't have to own, and it's only when it's appropriate that we own something and go to them. In this case, David needed to own this, this is on him. In other cases that wouldn't be something like this, so it's only when appropriate. So I just want you to hear today that, some with the most sensitive of consciences, I better go own this or own that, it might not be on you. I can't answer that for you today, I'm just kind of giving that caution. But in this case, when appropriate, we do own it when we create the grief for someone else.

Ross Sawyers: [00:35:54] And this is a grace that I appreciate about David here, he said to Nathan, I've sinned against the Lord. He didn't blame shift. He didn't say, look, what am I supposed to do? I saw this woman out the window, I had no other choice, who wouldn't have done that? No, he didn't make any excuses, he didn't blame shift, he owned it. He recognized his sin, he didn't say, I've sinned against the Lord, but. I've sinned against the Lord, hard stop! Yes, I have despised him because I did something that does not bring worth to him, he's owning it. And here's the grace of God, "And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die." In David's day, adultery, and murder, would mean death for him. Nathan tells him that God is passing over your sins and you will not die. “However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die.” There will still be consequences, but the Lord has taken over and taken away your sin.

Ross Sawyers: [00:37:41] May I cheer you on this week to linger in Psalm 51? I want to read a little bit of it, this is David's response to this whole incident in Second Samuel 11 and 12. While I know this is hard this morning, one of the greatest gifts we could have for Christmas is to experience the forgiveness of God by confessing the ways that we've caused grief in another person because of our sins. And one of the greatest gifts we could give a person who confesses and repents is to forgive them. Those would be beautiful Christmas gifts that cannot be wrapped, but they would be some of the most meaningful ones that could happen. This is what David says, he says, "Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. 2Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. 3For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified when You speak and blameless when You judge." In verse 17, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise." God is grateful for the person that comes before him, broken over their sin against him and against others. He owned it.

Ross Sawyers: [00:39:33] Once it's owned, then what do we do? We start working through the grief. In the following verses, the baby is born, and David starts fasting, not eating. His servants start getting nervous because they can't figure out, if the baby's alive, why is he not a little more joyful? And then the baby died, and David saw the servants talking, and he knew that something had happened, and they let him know. They were a little perplexed because David then gets up, cleans up, and he worships. He worships. One of the ways that we work through grief is to worship God. David writes again and again in the Psalms they're so often psalms of despair and psalms of lament and he's looking for deliverance. He always lands in hope, and he always lands in grace. And so he comes up from the despair, and they're asking him, you know why he did this? He said, well, while the child was alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, who knows the Lord might be gracious to me that the child may live. So while it's possible, I'm going to beg God that something would happen different here than where it's headed. But now he's died, so why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? And this should be an encouragement to anyone that's had a loss of a child, he says I will go to him, but he will not return to me. While we may not be able to have the child back, there will be a day for those who are inside of God, who is the living hope, when they'll be able to go to where the child is. That's a hope today that we find in the grace in this story. So he's working through the grieving, and then we see the hope as he leans into the Lord's plan for hope. David's broken, in Psalm 51:10, he asked God, and he said, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." That is what God does, when we come to him broken, he starts to restore and to create something new. And yes, there are consequences will deal with, and there will be grace and hope in the midst of those that only God can give.

Ross Sawyers: [00:42:35] Where does the hope come for Bathsheba? Well, "David comforts his wife (in verse 24) Bathsheba and went in to her and lay with her; and she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon. Now the LORD loved him." I don't know how many of you are familiar with the story of Job, it's a brutal story of a total loss of family, land, and everything. In the end of the Book of Job, everything's restored, but he can't have his wife back, he can't have his kids back so often look at that and I think, how does this end in a happy way, he lost his family. But there is comfort and grace that comes in something new, and God did restore and give him something new in his family. And that's what he's doing with Bathsheba, it's through her that the line of David will continue and the Messiah, Jesus Christ, will come through. She has a son, and the son's name is Solomon, he'll be the third king of Israel. Solomon's name means Yahweh restores peace. Yahweh is the name that God gave Moses to describe who he is, he's I am, he's the self-existent one, and he'll restore peace. There was turmoil for her, but he gave her a son, and that son's name is peace. But it doesn't stop there, as Nathan hears that the baby is born, Nathan the prophet, and the prophet names him Jedidiah for the Lord's sake. See, Solomon, where peace is restored. But Nathan says, no, he's Jedediah, and that means he's the beloved of Yahweh. He's not just peace, he is loved by Yahweh. Oh, there is a hope running all through the grief.

Ross Sawyers: [00:45:11] When we think about grief today. We might be the ones, in our own sin against someone, who caused it. We might be the ones today that have been sinned against. If I just stay in the context of this story, there's grief on both sides, but the hope comes through one little ewe Lamb, who was born in a manger in Bethlehem and grew into an adult. And on his arrival, his cousin John the Baptist would say, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world." It's the same Lamb that Isaiah wrote of 700 years before the birth of Jesus in Isaiah 53, "Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. 6All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him." On the cross Jesus took the horror of your sin and mine, the devastation of your sin and mine, the guilt, the shame, the condemnation, the wrath, the judgment, Jesus Christ on the cross took all of that on himself. He was crucified and he died. But as we sang a few minutes ago, on that morning. He rose, and he conquered sin and death.

Ross Sawyers: [00:47:39] Matthew is giving us a glimpse into the family line, it's a pretty broken bunch of people. And in the future, we too can be a part of that family line by faith in what Jesus Christ has done on our behalf. Not one thing that you and I can do. we've seen so far in this genealogy, Ruth was about as good a woman as you could possibly find, and she still needed a redeemer. And we've seen some people, they're pretty rough, and they needed a redeemer. And the only way into the family tree is through Jesus Christ. Peter picked up on what Isaiah said, "He said he himself bore our sins in his body on the cross so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness." And what I want you to know and hear today, that every sin you've committed down to the very detail of that sin, into the very crevices and core of who you are and who I am, God's grace matches every sin and more, and he's overwhelming in his grace and mercy toward. There is grace today in the grief, and it comes by way of Jesus Christ crucified and risen. When we believe it, like Solomon, peace is restored. And like Solomon, you and I are called the Beloved of God, that's how he sees us today, is loved by him, and at peace in him. That's our identity.

Ross Sawyers: [00:49:35] I started by showing you some uncut, broken pieces of stone that can be shaped by the right artist into a beautiful mosaic. And I think part of the beauty of why Matthew shows these people in the genealogy is to say that it's loaded with broken people, and through Jesus, God is about making something beautiful out of the broken. In the 80s, not too long after I'd come to faith in Christ, there was a song called Something Beautiful, Something Good, All My Confusion, He Understood. And for some reason, that song is always stuck in my mind. And when I was preparing this this week, I would just sing that song when Lisa was not around and could hear it. God has given some people voices for others to enjoy, and for others of us we just need to hide in a room and God enjoys it because he gave it to us. And I thought I would sing it today, but then I thought, I don't think that would be helpful. But what I know today is God again and again in his grace, brings something beautiful out of something that is not. And maybe it could look something like this, those uncut stones when put together by the artist, have a beautiful tree. That's what God's doing, he's doing something beautiful through his grace to bring us into the family tree of Jesus, that is good news today.

Ross Sawyers: [00:51:15] Father, thank you for the time that we've had in your word. And, God, while difficult and hard, I pray, Father, that this would be a message in this season that actually brings comfort and that grace can be seen, and there can be hope in Jesus Christ. I pray, God, today, where any of us would have unconfessed sin or where we've despised you, we may not love thinking about it that way, but where we've chosen against you, I pray God that, like David, we'd not blame shift, or as he did initially, try to cover up. But instead, God, we would own it before you and receive your grace and mercy and forgiveness, God. And Father, where people have been sinned against, that today they might find relief before you, even if the person sinning against them doesn't own it. And God, I pray you'll give a freedom for every person to grieve however they need to grieve, whatever the losses might be. It's not even this context, God, today I pray we just find a grace in the midst of whatever losses we face. I'm grateful today. God that your grace is sufficient. And I pray, Father, that it would overwhelm our hearts and souls and minds, and that we'd have a Christmas that really is filled with joy in the midst of hard, in the midst of consequences, but flooded with your grace.

Ross Sawyers: [00:52:58] So I'd like for us just to have a brief moment to be still before the Lord. I really think times like this will require, just really good space with God. And I hope you'll carve that out this week and not let this go so that you might find grace and hope in the midst of it. Now we just need to know today that we were made to worship, and we want to sing in just a moment, a response to God, of who he is and what he's done. So I invite you to have that silent space and then to respond with us as we respond to a God who's worthy today.



Recorded in Grapevine, Texas.
Read More
121 Community Church
2701 Ira E Woods Ave.
Grapevine, Texas 76051
817.488.1213