2 Samuel 14:1-33
September 4-5, 2021
One of the things we do appreciate about the word is that it is very open and honest about the characters of the Bible. It doesn't gloss over. It doesn't gloss over their failures. It shows their victories, but it shows their defeats and their faults. David is no exception as we've been looking at the life of David, his faults and failures are epiccastrophic, but God gives us a portrait of David you might say words at all.
Now, by the way, that's an interesting phrase. Actually, it's a famous phrase. It comes to us out of the 1600s, and it comes from Oliver Cromwell, who was Lord protector of England in the 1,600s. He hired the King's artist, Lely, to paint a portrait of him. Now, back in those days, of course, they had no photography. If you wanted to be remembered in history, you had to hire an artist to paint your portrait.
It was very calm in practice at the time for an artist to let's say, flatter, the one being painted. Royalty, especially expected portraits of them to be showing them in the best possible light. Even if the artist has to be fanciful in their rendering of it, you get what I'm saying, right? It's like the glamor shots of the day. Do they have that thing still glamor shots? You know what I'm talking about? Where everything's looking like, "Oh my goodness, that looks like a slice of heaven right there."
Famously when Crowell sat down for his portrait, he said, "Now, Mr. Lely, I desire that you would use all of your skill to paint my portrait truly like me. Do not flatter me at all. Remark all of these roughnesses these words, these flaws, everything just as you see it, or I will not pay you a thing for it." He wanted him himself to be depicted accurately flaws, warts, and all.
Now, that is an interesting thing. Today, when you look at Facebook and Instagram and you see the portraits of other people's lives and the renderings of what everybody else does, it looks like everybody's got a perfect life. Their kids are perfect. They do great things. They're always doing fun things. My life isn't. It's important to see that God's portrait, He paints the portraits of characters accurately because we need to see the fact that our flaws are real.
God deals with us in the reality of who we are. As the king of Israel, David's flaws and his failures become inextricably linked to his reign as king. He had committed adultery as we saw last week. He arranged for her husband to be killed in battle when he instructed that he be put in the front lines and the men draw away from him, then he took this woman as his wife.
Now, as we saw, yes, God would forgive him, but there would be consequences. God forgives, but there are still consequences. Now, see that right there is a life lesson. It's important to recognize. Now, many of you know my story, many of you know are very well aware that at the trial for the murder of our daughter, that my wife and I forgave the man who killed her. Yet, we also asked the Jury to give him a sentence of life in prison.
Afterward, a reporter asked, "How could this be? How can both things be true?" I responded, "I forgave him. That is between him and me. He owes me no debt." However, there is a breach of trust here, women are not safe around this man. There must still be consequences. It is a life lesson. When we ask God to forgive because we have sinned, God surely forgives.
He forgives because the condemnation for that sin fell upon His son when He died on the cross at Calvary and took our sins upon Himself, but there are still consequences. There's still the need to, to rebuild the life. There's still the need to restore that which was broken. The good news is that God will walk with you in the rebuilding.
God will walk with you in the restoring. He's a good, good father. Like a good, good father, He will never leave you, He'll never forsake you, He'll never cast you off. He will stand with you no matter what you have done. Can we just give the Lord praise for this?
The consequences of David's tragic decisions are gonna be seen in his life for years. His life and the life of his children. Now, the backdrop or background of 2nd Samuel 14, is that one of David's sons, Amnon was his name, had a wrongful desire for his half-sister. He had a sexual desire for his half-sister. He pretended to be sick as a ruse to get her to come into his room.
Then when she was there, he forced himself upon her against her strong request. Afterward, he despised her and sent her way in disgrace. When Absalom, her brother found out what had happened, he brought Tamar into his care and waited for David to settle the matter, but David did not settle the matter. David took no action. David, the great man of action did nothing. Why? It's an important part of the story.
Finally, after two years, Absalom took matters into his own hands and had Amnon killed. Afterward, he fled to Gesher, home of his mother's family, and there he remained banished for three years. Estranged. Now, there's a great chasm, but this is a story of reconciliation. This the story of beautiful reconciliation.
Let's read it, 2nd Samuel 14, we begin in verse one. Now, Joab, remember he is the commander of the forces of Israel and very near to David. Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the King's heart was inclined toward Absalom. In other words, he could see David loved his son Absolum. They are estranged, there's a great chasm. David, you could see long for Absalom. Joab came up with a scheme, a plan.
He sent Tekoa brought a wise woman from there and he said this to her, "Now, please pretend to be a mourner. Put on morning garments now, don't anoint yourself with oil," in other words, don't look good, but rather look like a woman who has been mourning for the dead for many days. Look all disheveled and let your makeup run and all that kind of stuff, then go to the king, speak to him in this manner. Joab put words in her mouth.
Now, when the woman of Tekoa spoke to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, prostrated herself and this is what she said, "Help, oh, king help." The king said to her, "What is the trouble?" She answered, "Truly I'm a widow, my husband is dead, your maidservant had two sons, but the two of them struggled together in the field and there was no one to separate so one struck the other and killed him."
"Now, behold, the whole family has risen up against me, your maidservant, and they say hand over the one who struck his brother that we may put him to the death for the life of his brother whom he killed and destroy the heir." Thus, they will extinguish my coal, which is left so as to leave my husband neither name nor remnant on the face of the earth." Then the king said to the woman, "Go to your house, I will give orders concerning you," but she pressed it again.
The woman Tekoa said to her king, "Oh my Lord, the king, the inequity is on me and my father's house, but the king and his throne are guiltless." David presses as his answer, "Whoever speaks to you, bring him to me, he's not gonna touch you anymore." Still, the third time she presses, then she says, "Oh, please let the king, remember the Lord or God so that the avenger blood may not continue to destroy lest they destroy my son."
David says, "Adamantly no, as the Lord lives, not one hair of your shall fall to the ground." Then the woman said, "Please let your maidservant speak a word to my Lord, the king." He said, "Speak." The woman said, "Why then have you planned such a thing against the people of God? For in speaking this word, the king is the one who is guilty, in that the king does not bring back the one who is banished."
Then she says, "This speech, this is an amazing speech, for we shall all surely die and we are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one may not be cast out from Him. That is an amazing, that's like the gospel of The Old Testament, that is amazing. Jump down with me to verse 18. The king answered and said to the woman, "Please don't hide anything from me that I'm about to ask you." The woman said, "Let the Lord the king speak." The king said, "Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?" Very insightful king and the woman answered and said, "As your soul lives, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right or to the left from anything that my lord the king has spoken."
"Indeed, yes, it was your servant Joab who commanded me, and it was he who put all these words in the mouth of your maidservant. In order to change the appearance of things, your servant Joab has done this thing, but my lord is wise, like the wisdom of the angel of God, to know all that's in the earth." Then the king said to Joab, "Behold, I will surely do this thing. Go, therefore, bring back the young man, Absalom."
Verse 23, "Joab arose and went to Geshur and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. However," verse 24, the king said, "Let him turn to his own house and let him not see my face.'" Well, that's not really reconciliation. Absalom turned to his own house and did not see the king's face. Jump down to verse 28. "Now, Absalom lived two years in Jerusalem and did not see the king's face. Absalom sent for Joab to send him to the king, but he would not come to him.
He sent a second time and Joab still will not come. Therefore, he said to his servants, "See Joab's field, it's right next to mine. He's got barley there. Go set it on fire. That will surely get his attention." Absalom servants set the field on fire. Then Joab arose, came to Absalom at his house and he said, "Why did your servants set my field on fire?"
Absalom answered, "Because I sent for you, saying, "Come here that I may send you to the king to say this. Why did I even come from Geshur? It would be better for me to still be there. Now, let me see the king's face. If there's iniquity, let him put me to death." Joab came to the king, told him all his words. He called, David called for Absalom. Thus he came to the king, prostrated himself with his face to the ground before the king, and the king kissed Absalom."
I. Don’t Stay Spiritually Weakened
Of course, in that time and culture, it was a tremendous sign of affection, and closeness, and beautiful reconciliation. These are the words that we wanted to look at and understand the insights and the life lessons that we can apply to our lives, starting with David. What is happening in David that he took no action? I suggest you this, this is a tremendous, important insight.
We can summarize it this way. Don't stay spiritually weakened. David was spiritually weakened because we know that his moral authority was diminished. Sin has that effect. He has no moral authority, you might say. In other words, something had to be done to break David from his spiritual slumber, but why was David taking no action? Because David was paralyzed. Here's why, because sin weakens the soul.
Now, we know this is true. Anyone who has ever done anything tragic in their lives know this is true. It weakens the soul. You have no moral authority. You can't stand in authority when there's such in your own life. It weakens the soul. David is guilty of adultery. He even murdered because he arranged for the death of Uriah. How can David take action against his own son when he's guilty himself?
Psalm 38:3 speaks to that very thing. "There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation. There is no health in my bones because of my sin." We know this is true. Anyone who's done tragic things can relate. They understand this. Psalm 40:12, "My iniquities have overtaken me so I'm not able to see. They are more numerous than the hairs on my head and my heart has failed me."
A. Sin weakens the soul
Sometimes parents struggle with this very thing. Sometimes parents fail to discipline their children because they did wrongful things themselves. Like, "How can I say anything to them when I did the same thing? I was a difficult child. I was a rebellious child. I did some things. I did things. How can I discipline my child for doing the same thing that I did?" They think.
I suggest to you, that's even more reason because now you know the consequences. You know the hurt. You know the shame. You know the pain. Spare your children because you know that it is going to bring consequences to their lives. You have now a mandate from God. Raise up your children in the fear and instruction of the Lord and let them have a foundation on which to build their lives. Amen? Yes.
David was paralyzed because of his own sin. He had no moral authority, no ground to stand on. Or did he? I suggest he did because he should have treated his son, Amnon, the same way that God treated him. David understood God forgave his sin. Habakkuk 3:2, "Lord, I've heard the report about you and I fear. Lord, revive your work in the midst of the years. In the midst of years, make it known, but in wrath, remember mercy."
We love this about the Lord. David knows this mercy of God. Ephesians 4:30-32, "Don't grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and slander be put away because these things grieve the Holy Spirit, but be kind to one another, be tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has forgiven you." In other words, has not God forgiven you so much? Then can you not forgive others based on the fact that you have received so much forgiveness?
In other words, David should have confronted the problem. He should have confronted the problem straightforwardly and then brought mercy because that's what God did to David. David then should have brought consequences because that's what God did to David. He would have been the righteous and just king because that's what God did to David.
Hebrews 12:6-7 is true, "Those whom the Lord loves, He disciplines." That's one of the ways you know that you're a son. It says, "God deals with you as with sons." What son is there whom his father does not discipline? That's how you know that God loves you because He disciplines for the purpose of restoring and rebuilding and bringing the needed correction, that you might be blessed in the receiving of it.
B. God desires mercy more than sacrifice
What we see then, the heart of God reveal to us in this story, God desires mercy more than sacrifice. God desires mercy. David took no action regarding his son Amnon for two years. Absalom waited and waited and waited. David did nothing. Meanwhile, Absalom, his heart is growing bitter. Finally, he couldn’t wait no more, took matters into his own hands, arranged for Amnon's death then fled to Geshur.
Here, again, David, now estranged from his son, spiritually weakened, a man of inaction. As the king, he wanted to uphold the just demands of the law, but he loved his son. He's in a dilemma. He loves his son, his heart longs for him, but he's in a dilemma. There are many today that are in a very similar place. Perhaps, they've been hurt by someone. Someone is offended in some way. Their heart longs for that reconciliation, but they insist, "No, there's not going to be a reconciliation until there's justice."
I submit that God is in the same dilemma. He is the king that stands for righteousness and justice, but he's also the father who longs for relationship. Jesus demonstrates this so beautifully. His example speaks volumes as to how God deals with us, and then how we should relate to others.
Comes to us out of Matthew 9. I love this story. Verses 9 to 13, it tells us that, "Jesus saw a man called Matthew sitting in the tax collectors booth." Now, you might know tax collectors were despised by the Jews. They were considered betrayers of Israel because they were taking up taxes in behalf of the Romans. They were the hated, despised. The only friends they had were other tax collectors.
II. God Heart is for Reconciliation
"Jesus saw this man sitting in the tax collector's booth, and he said to him, "Follow me." He got up and he followed him. I love that too. He just walked away from everything. "Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table of his house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and his disciples." Matthew brought all his sinner friends to come and be with Jesus.
Now, we love this scene. Here is Jesus sitting with these tax collectors and all these sinner friends. We love this because we can relate. We're part of the sinner friends. "When the Pharisees saw this, they said to the disciples, 'Why is your teacher eating with tax collectors and sinners?" You can just see them wagging their fingers. "Jesus when he heard this, he said, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means. I desire mercy and not sacrifice." This is right out of the old Testament. This is right out of the word of God. These are teachers of the law. You go and learn what this means. They knew the word of the law, but they did not know the heart of the law. They didn't know the heart of God. "You go and learn what this means. I desire mercy and not sacrifice. I didn't come to call the righteous, I've come to call sinners to be reconciled."
God sent his son to seek and to save that which was lost because sin has brought a great chasm. He sent his son that many would be reconciled because God's heart is for reconciliation. Brings us back to 2nd Samuel 14 and the message that this woman of Tekoa brought to David. David promised mercy for the woman's supposed son, "As the Lord lives not a hair of your son shall fall to the ground."
A. Life is short, value relationships
Then she brought it right back to David, "Why is it then that the king does not bring back the banished one." In other words, you show mercy to someone else, you show mercy to someone you don't know, but you also show mercy to your own son. Then she says, this amazing speech in verse 14. The point of it is this, life is short, value relationships. Life is short. They say, "you can't take it with you". That's a very true statement, but I suggest that there are some things you can take with you. Relationships is one of them.
"Life is short," the woman is saying. "Our lives are like water poured out that cannot be taken up again." Psalm 39:4-5, "Lord, make me to know my end and the number of my days, let me know how fleeting life is. When you're young, you think you got all kinds of time. You've got all these years. It is never going to end. You think when you're young that way, but when you get older, you stop thinking that way.
When you get older, you realize life is fleeting. You got to make every everyday count. It means a sense of urgency about it. Psalm 90:12, "Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom." When you number your days and you realize life is short, you value right things. There are so many people with broken relationships, but relationships are a great treasure. What a waste, not to seek reconciliation.
I love quoting Romans 12:18, "If possible, so far as it depends on you be at peace with all men." I'm very thankful that it certainly put in the words if possible because some people are impossible. When it says, "So far as it depends on you," means that you make sure that you've gone as far as you can go. Make sure that you oppressed it as far as you can press it.
Now, many, many families have divisions. Many have their own stories of family divisions. Well, one of those family divisions came to my wife's family many, many years ago, and we were the ones being banished. I say, "How could that be? Pastor Rich, you're such a wonderful guy. How is that even possible?" I know. I wondered the same thing. How does that even happen? Well, I'll tell you how it happened.
Someone in the family was offended with someone else and so the person that was offended decided we're going to rally the family together and banish that person. Well, my wife and I were on vacation at the time. We came back to this. We came back to all these, all this family drama and then they said, "Yes, we're all going to banish so-and-so so you join us in the banishing," to which we said, "I'm sorry, we don't banish. I'm not a banisher." Is that a word? It ought to be?
"I'm not a banisher. I'm sorry, I can't do this thing. I'm not going to join you in this banishing, I'm not a banisher. We were on vacation, we come back to this. No, I can't banish." "Well, if you cannot manage, then you, yourself will also be banished." Okay, I guess we're banished. They even convinced the father to banish us. For seven years this went on. Our children had no grandparents at the time.
Our response, my wife and I and our kids, we decided, "You know what? We're not banishing them, they're banishing us." We bought their Christmas presents every year and their birthday and all of that stuff and we'd drive into their house, leaving on their porch and, of course, they wouldn't come out. We'd leave it there and move on next year, bring this stuff seven years until dad got cancer, my wife's father, cancer of the throat. They're going to put in a tracheotomy, a hole. He would never speak again.
I said to my wife, "This is traumatic. He is going to be going through such a major life change. To not speak, to have a tracheotomy, this is so difficult. He needs some support. He needs some love. I want to go and I'm going to stay with him in the hospital. I'm taking some days off of work and I'm going to just be with him all the time he's in the hospital, all the days he's there."
He's old, old, old. The family is going to be a very offended. Well, I'm already banished, what more can I do? That's their problem. Your dad needs that love. I packed some stuff and I went to the hospital and I stood at the door and, "All right, George, I'm your new roommate? I'm moving in." He starts crying. I shaved him. I brought him a white board with the thing so we could start writing to his doctors.
I knew it was hard, so I interceded for him with the doctors and we were there days. When he got out, I helped him find his device. It's electronic device you can hold it up to your throat and then press a button and you can speak this way and practice with them and get them to learn how to speak. A couple of months later, I brought him this bowl of clam chowder. I love cooking. Clam chowder was one of the things I was into at the day.
I brought him a thing of Clam chowder and he said, "Can I talk to you?" I said, "Sure." He said, "I misjudged you. I listened to others and I should never listened. I'm so sorry. Would you forgive me?" Oh, I forgive you. He stood up and kissed me. Beautiful reconciliation. Love wins the day. Can we give the Lord praise for that.
Love wins today. We often think in terms of justice. I will not reconcile until there's justice. The problem is that God desires mercy. One day I was driving one of our missionaries to the airport and we were, intently chatting as we were going on. We came up to the exit for deed off of the airport and I saw there was a car there, so I sped up a little and then the car sped up. I slowed down and he slowed down and I realized, he's doing this on purpose. He's trying to stop me from taking my exit.
I could not believe it. I really slowed down and let some other car get in between us and then I moved over and I kept on talking. The missionary said, "Wait, why doesn't that bother you?" I said, "Because I'm getting old." I learned my lesson, just because he's having a bad day doesn't mean I should have a bad day. Just because he has a bad heart doesn't mean I should have a bad heart.
Many times we think of justice, but God desires mercy. Notice this part of the story, I love the speech that the woman gives because it really comes down to this great truth. "God has made a way for you to come home." It's a powerful line the woman says, one of the best gospel texts of the old Testament, "We will surely all die and we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again."
God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one will not be cast out from him. That is a great speech. God has a plan for those who are far from God to be reconciled to him because God's heart is reconciliation. That plan is found in Christ Jesus. 2nd Corinthians 5:19-20, "God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself not counting their trespasses against them." God desires mercy and He then has committed to us the word of reconciliation. God has committed to us the word of reconciliation, therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ. In other words, God has commissioned you to be an ambassador of reconciliation. Isn't that a great idea, great concept? God's heart is to reconcile.
He has sent His Son to reconcile the world to Himself, and then He has commissioned you and me. He's empowered you and me, given us a mission that we would be called ambassadors of reconciliation. It is as though God were making an appeal through us, therefore, we beg you on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God. This is God's heart.
Many years ago, there was a fellow in the church who was witnessing to a friend in his living room. They got stuck at some point and he asked if I could come. I said, "Sure." I came and I got to meet this fellow. I said, "Tell me the trouble. What is the objection?" He said, "My objection is this. I think God put my name on the wrong list." "God put your name on the wrong list?" "Yes, he's put me on the list of those whom he has rejected."
I said, "That's way too much theology for someone who doesn't believe yet." I said, "Let me just say something to you. I have a word from God to you." He give me that look like, "Oh really? Are you going to be one of those weird ones?" I said, "No, really? I have a word from God to you." He said, "Really? What is it?" "God's word that he sent me to speak to you is this, I beg you in the name of Jesus Christ to be reconciled to God." That is God's heart to you. That is what God is saying to you. That is God's word to you.
Now, let me show it to you, I read it right out of the word to him. I'm here to report, amen, came to faith in Jesus Christ. His friend got to lead him to Christ. He's walking with the Lord today. God's heart is reconciliation because God's story of redemption is all the way through the Bible. From Genesis to revelation, it is the grandest story of the Bible.
Man was banished from God's presence because of the sin of Adam in the Garden of Eden, which they might not eat from the tree of life, then you go all the way to Revelation. I tell you, the story of redemption is all through the Bible. You go to Revelation and you see the relationship. You see the reconciliation and you can see the tree of life.
Revelation 22:1-2, "He showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal coming from the throne of God and from the lamb in the middle of a street, it was. On either side of the river was the tree of life, and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nation. God wants people to be reconciled and He'll use so many ways to try to get them to open their eyes. He'll use the word of God. The word of God reveals God's heart using it to draw people to himself.
Isaiah 55:11, "So will my word be, which goes forth from my mouth. It will not return to me empty without accomplishing what I desire without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. For He sends it in power to reveal His heart of reconciliation." God sent His son to seek and to save that, which was lost, that they might be reconciled.
The Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8 was reading Isaiah 53, one of the most amazing chapters of the Old Testament that shows Jesus revealed as the suffering Messiah of Israel. Many today, when they read Isaiah 53, you know that many Jews don't even read Isaiah 53, but when they start to read Isaiah 53, and then they see the story of Jesus, many Jews today are coming to faith that Jesus is the Messiah of Israel because he'll use the word of God to do it.
He'll use all manner of things. He can use hardships. God uses all manner of things and God's plan is loving and just. He takes our sins upon himself, pays the penalty for that sin on the cross of Calvary. That is justice, but He does it as a demonstration of his great love.
Then lastly, we'll close with this. "Let those who are reconciled draw near." See, David agreed to bring absolute home to Jerusalem. That sounded like reconciliation, but he couldn't see his face. That's not reconciliation. He waited two more years. Finally, he appealed to Joab for help. God reconciled us to himself in full reconciliation. To see His face, meaning to draw near.
The whole point is for reconciliation, for relationship Absalom said, "Why did he even come if it's for full reconciliation?" The point is when God draws you, He draws you into full reconciliation for the purpose of a relationship. Not that you must be brought back partway, but that you'd be brought back all the way for the nearness of God is the heart of God in it.
One of the best stories of this has to be found in the book of Luke 15, the Story of the Prodigal Son. Many of you know this story. Young man asked his father for his inheritance, went to the city, spent it all in wild living, parties, women, you know, all of the things. He spent it all. Then when he had nothing left, tragedy struck, famine, hit the land. He had no money, had no job. Finally, he found the worst job a Jew could ever have, feeding swine.
When day it occurs to him, he's jealous of the pigs for they have food and he does not. Then it says, Luke 15:17, "When he came to his senses, " love that line right there. That was a glorious line. When someone comes to the senses, that moment when someone opens their eyes, that moment when the light dawns, it's a glorious, holy moment.
He came to his senses and he said, "How many of my father's hired men have more than enough bread? I'm dying here with hunger. I will get up and I will go to my father and I will say to him this, father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight." Catch this part. "I am no longer worthy to be called your son, I just need a job. Take me as one of your hired men. I'm not worthy. I've done shameful things. I don't want to even tell you what I did. I'm ashamed of myself. I'm not worthy of being a son. I just need a job. Take me as one of the hired men."
He got up and he came to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father saw him, felt compassion for him and ran. Oh, don't you love this part of this story, reveals to us, this is God in this story. This is the heart of God. He sees his son, dirty bedraggled son coming down the road, just asking for a job. He sees him a long way off. The father runs down the road and fell compassion, braised him, kissed him.
Then, of course, we know the son gave his speech, but then the father said to his servants, "Quickly, bring out the best robe and put it on my son. Put a ring on his hand, sandals on his feet, bring the fattened calf, let us eat and celebrate for this son of mine was dead, but has come to life again. This son of mine was lost and has been found." The whole point of reconciliation is that you would draw near. God draws you to be a son or a daughter. Here's my point. God doesn't have hired. God doesn't have employees. God has sons. God has daughters. God does not have employees. God does not take you as a hired man. He takes you as a son or not at all. It's all with God. Draw nearer. Too many people, they stay too far away. "You don't understand. You don't understand. I have so much shame in my life. You don't know what I've done."
Well, God knows it all and He's the one who draws you and says, "You come home, but you come home all the way and you be my son. Because I'll tell you what, you keep staying out there and you're not going to rebuild your life. You come near to me. I'm the one who will rebuild your life. I'll restore your life because I am your father and I'll never leave you nor first take you. I'll never cast you off. You come near to me and you come nearer to me, and you come nearer to me. Look, I know all about the shame and I still love you and I will pay for it all. Don't be far. Don't be far. Come, draw nearer."
Father, thank you so much. It's beautiful, beautiful to see your heart, and so God we today say to you, thank you for speaking life, for drawing us to yourself, for showing us your heart is for full reconciliation. Church today, how many would say to the Lord, "I want to walk nearer to you as my father. I've been too far. I've been walking too far. I ask that I could walk near to you.
Be my father. Be my father. Walk with me through this. I need you today. I want to be fully reconciled because I want to walk nearer to you as my father." Would you say that to God? Is God speaking that to your heart? Would you just raise your hand to the Lord and say it to the Lord? "That's your desire. That's my very heart. That's the very thing I'm asking. God, I want to draw near to you."
Just raise your hand to the Lord. Be bold in the Lord. Father, thank you. Thank you for everyone. As the spirit is drawing us, as the spirit is drawing us, thank you for moving upon us, showing us your heart. We loved you and honor you for all, in Jesus' name. Everyone said--