Pastor David B. Curtis

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Sin's Destruction

(1 John 1:9)

Delivered 05/26/19

We are currently working our way through 1 John. In our study last week we looked at verses 8 & 9 of chapter 1 and we talked about the importance of confessing our sins:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 ESV

"Confess" is a compound Greek term homologeo which is from "to speak" and "the same" so this literally means; to say the same thing. Confessing, therefore, means saying about our sins what God says about them, namely, that they are indeed sins, offenses against Him. It is present tense, which implies ongoing action. Believers continue to agree with God that they have violated His holiness.

As the believer continues confessing their sin they are forgiven and cleansed. "Forgive and cleanse" are synonymous in this context; they refer to the ongoing cleansing necessary for fellowship with God.

So, when a believer sins, he does not lose the forgiveness and cleansing that took place at salvation. That is our position which is unchangeable. But our sin does hinder our fellowship with Yahweh. As we have said this book is all about fellowship.

We live in a day where sin is greatly minimized, we talked about this some last week. Christians today don't seem to see sin as something bad, something damaging, especially if it doesn't affect them.

I believe it is the churches job to be a pillar and ground of the truth:

if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:15 ESV

Now notice what Paul calls the church: "the pillar and buttress/support of the truth." In Ephesus, to those the letters were written, the word "pillar" would have a special significance. The greatest glory of Ephesus was the temple of Diana or Artemis. The temple of Diana was one of the seven wonders of the world. One of its features was its pillars. It had 127 pillars, every one of them the gift of a king. They were all made of marble, and some were studded with jewels and overlaid with gold.

It may be that the idea of the word "pillar" here is not so much support—that's the idea of "ground"—but of "display." The idea is that the church's mission is to hold up the truth of God for all men to see. The church is to support and display the truth of God. We are not the source of truth, the Bible is, but we are to support and display it. The Bible is God's Word, and the church is to support and display that truth.

But the largest church in the United States today, Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas doesn't mention sin. Osteen purposefully does not talk about sin. Joel teaches that we are being saved from unhappiness and failure in life, not from sin and God's wrath. Osteen does not teach that we need a divine rescue from judgment, but rather simply a self-improvement plan.

And it's not just Joel the church today seems to down play sin and its affects. But John Eleazar wants us to know that sin destroys our fellowship with Yahweh and can also cause us great pain.

Does the fact that we can confess our sins and then God forgives us our sins and cleanses us mean that we really don't have to be concerned about sin? We can pretty much do what we want and then confess it and everything will be okay? The answers to these questions is; no! There is a consequence to sin, and it matters very much how we live.

What is Sin? Well John makes that very clear for us:

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 1 John 3:4 ESV
All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death. 1 John 5:17 ESV

Sin is disobeying God. It is violating his Holy law. God is the Creator and law giver, and any violation of his moral will is sin. How do we know God's moral will? It is revealed to us in the Bible. Any violation of God's moral will is sin, and sin has consequences.

So we'll understand that destructive power of sin and the damage it can bring to your life I want us to spend our study time this morning looking at a great man of God and the severe price he paid for his sin. I was reading 2 Samuel this past week and was struck by what David's sin cost him. The story of David and Bathsheba is very familiar to most Christians. But what happened to David after he repented of this sin is not that well known. Let's look at what David's sin cost him and hopefully come away with a greater understanding of the heinousness of sin.

God said that David was a man after His own heart. Speaking of Saul the Scriptures say:

But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought out a man after his own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you." 1 Samuel 13:14 ESV

Saul's replacement, David, is to be a man after Yahweh's own heart. Paul says this of David:

And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, 'I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.' Acts 13:22 ESV

Commenting on "A man after my heart," Albert Barns writes, "This expression is found in 1Samuel13:14. The connection shows that it means simply a man who would not be rebellious and disobedient as Saul was, but would do the will of God and keep His commandments. This refers, doubtless, rather to the public than to the private character of David; to his character as a king. It means that he would make the will of God the great rule and law of his reign, in contradistinction from Saul, who, as a king, had disobeyed God."

One characteristic especially distinguished David's rule—he rigidly guarded the people from idolatry and all the abominations which attended idol-worship and kept them faithful to the adoration of the pure and holy God of their fathers.

As we'll see David had his failures but the bent of his life was to love and serve Yahweh. But then there's Bathsheba. Let's look at what David's disobedience cost him.

In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. 2 Samuel 11:1 ESV

In the spring, after the latter rains were over, it was customary to resume military activity, David ordered Joab to launch an invasion of Rabbah, the capital of Ammon. David was the King of Israel and under the blessing of God, David had become one of the great kings of the earth.

Although it was customary for kings to accompany armies, they did not always do so. David, for reasons not given, remained in Jerusalem. At this time, David had been the king for 17 years. He should have gone to battle with his men, but instead, he stays behind and sends Joab. Joab was David's Chief of Staff, his four-star general.

I think we can draw a principle from what we see here: When you are where you shouldn't be, you become subject to temptations that you wouldn't experience if you were where you belonged. Does that make sense?

It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. 2 Samuel 11:2 ESV

David is looking at a woman that he shouldn't be, he should be at war. David had three beautiful wives, but he was very tempted when he saw Bathsheba.

And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, "Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" 2 Samuel 11:3 ESV

Instead of fleeing the temptation, David pursues it. He should have done what Joseph did in Genesis 39 and ran.

But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, she caught him by his garment, saying, "Lie with me." But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house. Genesis 39:11-12 ESV

This is the proper way of responding to temptation—run!

So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. 2 Samuel 11:4 ESV

This is adultery! This great man of God violated two of the ten commandments.

"You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's." Exodus 20:17 ESV
"You shall not commit adultery. Exodus 20:14 ESV

David began by coveting, and then he committed adultery.

Notice the parentheses at the end of 2 Samuel 11:4. The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible says, "She was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness. This notice indicates that Bathsheba has just finished menstruating, eliminating any possibility that Bathsheba could have been pregnant by her husband, thus complicating David's attempt to cover up his misdeed."

And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, "I am pregnant." 2 Samuel 11:5 ESV

David's sin has gotten him in trouble. It started by David not being where he should be, then he began to covet, then he committed adultery, and now she is pregnant.

Many Christians would say that David must not have been a Christian if he did this. Can a Christian commit adultery? Yes! Apart from the grace of God, a Christian can commit any sin that an unbeliever can. Most sins that are condoned by Christians are just as bad as what David did.

There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-19 ESV

Christians lie, slander, and cause discord, and think nothing of it.

David should have confessed his sin, but he doesn't. The longer you stay in sin, the worse it gets.

So David sent word to Joab, "Send me Uriah the Hittite." And Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab was doing and how the people were doing and how the war was going. 2 Samuel 11:6-7 ESV

The crisis brought by the pregnancy required some kind of suitable resolution, so David determined to "legitimize" the impending birth by bringing Uriah back from the Ammonite campaign, thus making it possible for him to spend time with his wife, thus covering up the adultery.

Then David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house and wash your feet." And Uriah went out of the king's house, and there followed him a present from the king. But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. When they told David, "Uriah did not go down to his house," David said to Uriah, "Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?" Uriah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah dwell in booths, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing." 2 Samuel 11:8-11 ESV

David's plan to cover his sin failed. Why should he, Uriah argued, be allowed the comforts of home and a conjugal visit while his friends in combat were deprived of them?

And David invited him, and he ate in his presence and drank, so that he made him drunk. And in the evening he went out to lie on his couch with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house. 2 Samuel 11:13 ESV

Even after David got him drunk, Uriah's sense of loyalty to his comrades prevailed over his desire for his wife.

In the letter he wrote, "Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, that he may be struck down, and die." 2 Samuel 11:15 ESV

David moves from adultery to murder. Uriah wouldn't sleep with his wife, so David had him killed.

And the men of the city came out and fought with Joab, and some of the servants of David among the people fell. Uriah the Hittite also died. 2 Samuel 11:17 ESV

David is now a murderer. He has broken another of the ten commandments.

"You shall not murder. Exodus 20:13 ESV

So, David, "a man after God's own heart," commits adultery and murder.

When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she lamented over her husband. And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD. 2 Samuel 11:26-27 ESV

This translation is kind of week. NASB Translation says, "But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the LORD." Not once in all of this did David confess his sin. His sin just keeps piling up. He goes from one sin to another trying to cover his sins.

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. Proverbs 28:13 ESV

Lest you think that David is just having a great time sinning it up, look with me at Psalm 38. This Psalm is supposed to have been composed by David after his sin with Bathsheba.

A Psalm of David, for the memorial offering. O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath! For your arrows have sunk into me, and your hand has come down on me. There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin. Psalms 38:1-3 ESV

Does this sound like David is enjoying his sin? He feels like a human pin cushion, He is experiencing pain and loss of health.

My wounds stink and fester because of my foolishness, I am utterly bowed down and prostrate; all the day I go about mourning. For my sides are filled with burning, and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and crushed; I groan because of the tumult of my heart. O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart throbs; my strength fails me, and the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me. My friends and companions stand aloof from my plague, and my nearest kin stand far off. Those who seek my life lay their snares; those who seek my hurt speak of ruin and meditate treachery all day long. Psalms 38:5-12 ESV
For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever before me. I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin. Psalms 38:17-18 ESV

Finally, David has had enough, and he confesses his sin. Believer, the sooner you come to this point, the better off you will be. When you sin, don't try to cover it up, but confess it.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 ESV

To confess our sins is to say the same thing about sin that Yahweh does. Willful disobedience breaks our communion with God; when we are in communion with God, we are constantly cleansed by Christ's blood. This is a beautiful description of the intimacy and fellowship that our union in Christ should bring.

Let's continue on with David's story. God sent a prophet to David to confront him in his sin.

And the LORD sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, "There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man's lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him." 2 Samuel 12:1-4 ESV

The case presented by Nathan may appear to have nothing to do with David's crimes, since it deals with neither adultery or murder. But what Nathan's case demonstrates is that adultery and murder were only the end results of a more serious crime: abuse of power. David is formally indicted by the divine counsel (speaking through the prophet) not only for taking another man's wife, but for believing that he could take whatever he wanted and being dissatisfied with what God had given him.

Then David's anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, "As the LORD lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, 2 Samuel 12:5 ESV

What a hypocrite! It's interesting how easily we can see the sin of somebody else but don't see it in our own lives. David just pronounced judgment on himself.

For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13 ESV

David showed no mercy, but insisted that the man must die.

and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity." 2 Samuel 12:6 ESV

David would like to be able to sentence the offender to death, but the law was clear enough. The fourfold compensation is consistent with the law for the theft of a sheep:

"If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. Exodus 22:1 ESV

Please remember what David says in verse 6, "He shall restore the lamb fourfold."

Nathan said to David, "You are the man! Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. 2 Samuel 12:7 ESV

Nathan tells David that the parable is all about him. Then God reviews the grace that He has demonstrated toward David. God had given David everything, but he wasn't satisfied.

And I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.' 2 Samuel 12:8-10 ESV

Now, notice carefully what verse 11 says:

Thus says the LORD, 'Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 2 Samuel 12:11 ESV

"Out of your own house"—keep this in mind along with verse 6,"He shall restore the lamb fourfold."

Now, finally David repents.

David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 2 Samuel 12:13 ESV

This is where we pick up Psalm 38:18, "I have sinned." David confess his sin, and God forgives him. Notice what Nathan says in response to David's confession—"Yahweh also has put away your sin; you shall not die." When we confess our sin, God forgives us, and we are restored to His fellowship.

Now, someone is bound to say, "Boy, David sure got away with a lot. He got to enjoy the pleasures of sin, and then upon confession, God forgave him." If you think that, first of all you are forgetting about Psalm 38 and how miserable David was while in sin. And secondly, you are forgetting:

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. Galatians 6:7 ESV

The law of the harvest is that you reap what you sow. When David confessed his sin, God forgave him and restored him to fellowship, but this did not remove the consequences of his sin.

Let's say that you go out and get involved in fornication, sex outside of marriage, and because of this sin, you contract AIDS. Then you confess your sin, and God restores you to His fellowship. Does God automatically heal you of AIDS? He could! But the chances are good that you're stuck with AIDS even though God had forgiven you. You do reap what you sow. David paid way beyond what he experienced in Psalm 38. David was disciplined "four fold" (2 Samuel 12:6) "out of his own house" (2 Samuel 12:11). Let's look at what happened to David because of his sin.

1. DAVID'S FOUR MONTH OLD CHILD DIES:

Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the LORD, the child who is born to you shall die." 2 Samuel 12:14 ESV
On the seventh day the child died… 2 Samuel 12:18 ESV

David's four month old child of Bathsheba dies because of David's sin. Think about this, parents. Can you imagine how you would feel if your child died as a result of your sin?

Believers, this is something we must all understand—our sin affects others. Let's say that your sin is drunkenness. Will it affect others in your home? It sure will, you may be verbally or physically abusive to your family because of it; you may lose your job because of it, and thus not be able to provide for your family; you may drive drunk, and actually end up killing some or all of your family. Our sin affects others. What if you commit the sin of adultery, will it affect your family? It sure will! You can bring an incurable disease home to your spouse; you could end up in a divorce because of it. Our sin affects others, and David's sin destroyed his family. Remember "four fold" and "out of your own house."

2. AMNON RAPES TAMAR:

Now Absalom, David's son, had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar. And after a time Amnon, David's son, loved her. 2 Samuel 13:1 ESV
But he would not listen to her, and being stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her. 2 Samuel 13:14 ESV
When King David heard of all these things, he was very angry. But Absalom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad, for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had violated his sister Tamar. 2 Samuel 13:21-22 ESV

David's son, Amnon, raped his half sister, Tamar. David knew that he was the cause of Tamars pain. So, we see death and sexual sin in David's household. David reaps what he has sown.

3. AMNON IS MURDERED BY ABSOLOM:

After two full years Absalom had sheepshearers at Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king's sons. 2 Samuel 13:23 ESV
Then Absalom commanded his servants, "Mark when Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, 'Strike Amnon,' then kill him. Do not fear; have I not commanded you? Be courageous and be valiant." So the servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king's sons arose, and each mounted his mule and fled. While they were on the way, news came to David, "Absalom has struck down all the king's sons, and not one of them is left." 2 Samuel 13:28-30 ESV

David's discipline is severe, we can only imagine his great pain as his family is being destroyed.

And as soon as he had finished speaking, behold, the king's sons came and lifted up their voice and wept. And the king also and all his servants wept very bitterly. But Absalom fled and went to Talmai the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son day after day. So Absalom fled and went to Geshur, and was there three years. And the spirit of the king longed to go out to Absalom, because he was comforted about Amnon, since he was dead. 2 Samuel 13:36-39 ESV

4. ABSALOM IS KILLED:

Absalom had been working on winning the support of the people. He had been weaning the people away from David. Absalom effected a coup, and David fled the city, running for his life from his own son. But no matter what Absalom did to David, David still loved him very much. David asks his men to deal gently with Absalom in battle.

And the king ordered Joab and Abishai and Ittai, "Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom." And all the people heard when the king gave orders to all the commanders about Absalom. 2 Samuel 18:5 ESV
And Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak, and his head caught fast in the oak, and he was suspended between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him went on. And a certain man saw it and told Joab, "Behold, I saw Absalom hanging in an oak." 2 Samuel 18:9-10 ESV
Joab said, "I will not waste time like this with you." And he took three javelins in his hand and thrust them into the heart of Absalom while he was still alive in the oak. And ten young men, Joab's armor-bearers, surrounded Absalom and struck him and killed him. 2 Samuel 18:14-15 ESV
And the king said, "Is it well with the young man Absalom?" Ahimaaz answered, "When Joab sent the king's servant, your servant, I saw a great commotion, but I do not know what it was." 2 Samuel 18:29 ESV
The king said to the Cushite, "Is it well with the young man Absalom?" And the Cushite answered, "May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up against you for evil be like that young man." And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, "O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!" 2 Samuel 18:32-33 ESV

I think that David is wishing that God would have killed him for his sin.

It was told Joab, "Behold, the king is weeping and mourning for Absalom." So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people, for the people heard that day, "The king is grieving for his son." And the people stole into the city that day as people steal in who are ashamed when they flee in battle. The king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, "O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!" 2 Samuel 19:1-4 ESV

What could be more painful for a parent than years of pain watching their family destroyed because of their sin. David knew that the pain was his own fault. David paid "four fold, out of his own house" because of his sin. David was held to a high standard because he was the king. His chastening was severe because his sin was severe. God had a purpose in the discipline, He wasn't just punishing David, but teaching him not to sin, and helping him to grow and mature.

And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives." Hebrews 12:5-6 ESV

Believer mark this down, sin brings discipline; sin causes pain; sin is destructive. Don't ever take sin lightly, sin is an affront to God, and it will always cost us. Our salvation is secure, but God will chasten us in this life if we fail to walk in obedience to Him.

Before we close this morning let's look at the song of David which is found in Psalm 18 and in 2 Samuel:

"The LORD dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me. For I have kept the ways of the LORD and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his rules were before me, and from his statutes I did not turn aside. I was blameless before him, and I kept myself from guilt. And the LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in his sight. 2 Samuel 22:21-25 ESV

How could David say this? Some say this was sung before his sin with Bathsheba. Others say that David is talking about the fact that he resisted the remarkably strong temptation to depose Saul and take the throne promised to him by violence. This was the consistent expression of righteousness that the Lord rewarded by giving David the throne. Yet others say that we never hear of him sinning in a similar way after his repentance from that terrible transgression. There is a real sense in which after his repentance, David did keep himself from iniquity. I think there may be some truth in all of these except the first one. But, let's think of this in light of 1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 ESV

Did David confess his sin? Yes, he did,

David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 2 Samuel 12:13 ESV

Did God forgive and cleanse David after he confessed his sin? Yes, He did, "The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die"—maybe, just maybe David saw himself as cleansed by Yahweh. Maybe he's talking about his position before Yahweh. Maybe David understood the principle of 1 John 1:9.

One more thing, this came to me this week. What is the sin that the church today acts like is the unpardonable sin? Divorce! Do Christians get divorced? Yes, they do! Can they be forgiven if the divorce was not Biblically justifiable?

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 ESV

Would you translate this as, "If we confess our sins (other than divorce) he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I sure hope not. It God has forgiven and cleansed them how do you think that we should treat them?

My hope and prayer this morning is that we all realize the high cost of sin, and therefore, turn from it, and live a life of obedience to God. There is no joy like the joy of fellowship with Yahweh. Sin brings discipline, but obedience brings blessings.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalms 16:11 ESV

When David said to the Lord: "In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore," he meant that nearness to God Himself is the only all-satisfying experience of the universe. God created us, and He created us to live in fellowship with Him. Only as we do that will we know true happiness.

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