Part 1: The Sin
2 Samuel 11:1-5
In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3 and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home. 5 The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”
Over the next four devotions we will look at the life of David and Bathsheba, we will see: 1. The Sin, 2. the Scam, 3. the Shame, and 4. the Solution. Is this a story of judgment and condemnation, or a story of grace, restoration, and hope? I think we have somehow separated these in our minds, and for those willing to admit their sin and accept God’s judgment, grace, and restoration, we discover it is both. We must remember that God’s agenda is not to crush sinners under his feet, but to heal them and to restore their relationship with Him. Sin always affects our intimacy with God; Adam hid, Jonah fled, Peter denied.
Our last two posts dealt with David showing up to the battle field and boldly going out to meet the enemy giant Goliath. This was not the last battle David faced, and he becomes known as David the warrior-king. Yet “in the spring, at the time when kings go off to war” we find David hanging back from the battle and hanging out at the palace. He wasn’t where he was supposed to be; David’s place was with his armies not his amenities. Where are you hanging out? What if David had showed up to the battle, this whole incident would never have happened and he would not have lost the war. There have been many reasons suggested as to why David didn’t go out to the battlefield, but the bottom line is we will always loose the battle when we don’t show up! He wasn’t where he belonged, he was inactive, which is often the first step of a downhill slide. Are you in the battle or on the sidelines? There is a great danger when we become inactive in our spiritual life, when we don’t show up for battle. Not showing up is dangerous in any area of our life. Relationships fall apart because we don’t work at them. A beautiful garden is destroyed by neglect; a house crumbles around you if you don’t maintain it. Many people die prematurely because they neglecting their health. David’s son Solomon put it this way in Proverbs 24:33-34, “You sleep a little; you take a nap. You fold your hands and lie down to rest. Soon you will be as poor as if you had been robbed” Are you going to show up? Are you where you are supposed to be or are you avoiding the battle?
David couldn’t sleep so one evening he gets out of bed and takes a stroll on the terrace. There’s no indication that David was “on the prowl,” but he wasn’t ready for the battle, he had already let his guard down and night time can be a dangerous time. Now he is up late looking at something he shouldn’t, his eyes should have be on the war not the woman. It’s hard to focus on what you need to when you’re in the wrong place looking at the wrong stuff. One of the greatest battles you will ever face takes place on one of the smallest battle grounds, your mind.
I should point out here that, when viewed through the eyes of modern western civilization, it’s all too easy to conclude that Bathsheba shares in David’s guilt as a willing participant, or if nothing else, an immodest woman who had no business bathing where the King could see her. In that society’s governmental system, the King was the absolute authority. If Bathsheba was summoned to the King’s palace, then she came to the palace or risked execution for defying the King. As far as her bathing I’m sure she had no expectation that she would be seen, since the King was, after all, supposed to be on the battlefield with her husband. I don’t think David set out to commit an insidious sin, people seldom do, but because of his own decisions David ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time, making one poor choice after another. It starts with David being lax, when he chooses not to go to war which leads to him looking, looking leads to lingering, which involves him inquiry as to who she is. Laxness, Looking and lingering lead him to lusting, and by the time he learned that she was married, David had already let lust get its nasty little hooks into his heart. In the Laxness, looking, lingering and lusting the battle is lost. Why are you losing the battle? In our society we have a nice name for this we call it an affair, but let’s be honest, it’s adultery and people are getting hurt. David as king was supposed to be protecting God’s people by leading God’s army against the enemy. This is a case of him abusing his power and position for his own pleasure instead of others protection. Sin affects your serving, instead of serving others you end up serving self. As king he was supposed to be leading by example from the front, you can’t lead from the back. Is it time to step up and get alone with God?