Friday, May 04, 2012
“One evening David got up from his bed and strolled around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing-a very beautiful woman. So David sent someone to inquire about her, and he reported, ‘This is Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah the Hittite.’ David sent messengers to get her, and when she came to him, he slept with her. Now she had just been purifying herself from her uncleanness. Afterward, she returned home….When Uriah's wife heard that her husband Uriah had died, she mourned for him. When the time of mourning ended, David had her brought to his house. She became his wife and bore him a son. However, the Lord considered what David had done to be evil.” (2 Samuel 11:2-4, 26-27 HCSB)
I remember several years ago that I had a tire on my van which had a slow leak. From time to time, I would notice the tire getting low and would put in some air. One day, in a rush, the family jumped in the van and off we went speeding down the highway. Before long, I noticed the steering becoming a little squirrely. Then I heard this horrible sound getting louder, the tire began to shred and we were stuck on the side of the road! That would have been bad enough had it only been me, but I had my family with me.
Most moral breakdowns are not the result of a sudden blowout, but a slow leak. When we become stranded on life’s highway by sin, others may see the result, and think it happened suddenly, but the moral tire had been slowly, almost imperceptibly losing air. We neglected the maintenance of it. We were oblivious to the danger of it. Then—the tire blows. Not only does it affect us, but all the passengers with us. It can even lead to a deadly crash! Thus, it was with David.
DUTY WAS AVOIDED (2 Samuel 11:1).
“In the spring when kings march out [to war], David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah, but David remained in Jerusalem.”
Had David been mindful of his duty, none of this would have likely happened. The context of his sin was the avoidance of responsibility. The old cliché says, “An idle mind is the devil’s playground.” It is often true. Doubtless, we can find temptation anywhere—even in good activity. But, temptation will be sure to find us when we are idle. Are you busy doing what you ought—caring for your family, attending worship, serving the Lord, sharing your faith?
DEVOTION WAS NEGLECTED (2 Samuel 11:2).
“One evening David got up from his bed and strolled around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing--a very beautiful woman.”
David had a pattern of consistently spending time with God. In the Psalms, he speaks of greeting the day by meeting with God. David writes of meditating on the Lord and communing with Him on his bed. Had he maintained his intimacy with the Lord, he might never have had the occasion of becoming intimate with lust. But, instead, he is sleeplessly pacing the palace roof. It is easy to sleep through the night, if one is habitually rising early to spend time with God. It is hard for lustful thoughts to rise in darkness of evening, if our thoughts are directed heavenward. One of the areas where Satan will fight you most persistently is in the area of your daily quiet time. He knows that if you neglect that, it will only be a matter of time until your passion for God ebbs and he can substitute an illicit passion. When we spend time with God, our spiritual defenses are strengthened, but, if we don’t stay on guard, the enemy will find a breach in the barrier.
DESIRE WAS EMBRACED (2 Samuel 11:3-4).
“So David sent someone to inquire about her, and he reported, ‘This is Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah the Hittite.’ David sent messengers to get her, and when she came to him, he slept with her. Now she had just been purifying herself from her uncleanness. Afterward, she returned home.”
David saw a beautiful woman bathing. Red light! He could have turned his head. He still could have redirected his thoughts. But, he runs the red light and entertains the evil desire. Then, he decides to further investigate—merely curious, or so he might have excused his sensual thoughts—and inquires who she is. Some time lapses; he could have dropped to his knees and cried out to God, and when the report did come that Bathsheba was the wife of one of his loyal soldiers, Uriah, David could have taken a cold shower and gone back to bed. Red light! But, he runs that one too. He sends for her. The seed of lust has been sown, fertilized in his mind, now the forbidden fruit was tasted in the King’s bedroom. David has run every red light, ignored all warning lights on the dashboard—the breakdown has come.
DECEIT WAS PRACTICED (2 Samuel 11:5-27).
“The woman conceived and sent word to inform David: ‘I am pregnant.’ David sent orders to Joab: ‘Send me Uriah the Hittite.’ So Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab and the troops were doing and how the war was going. Then he said to Uriah, ‘Go down to your house and wash your feet.’ So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king followed him. But Uriah slept at the door of the palace with all his master's servants; he did not go down to his house.” (v.5-9)
The shocking news comes to David’s ear—Bathsheba is pregnant. Her husband has been away on the battlefield. Now what? In that moment, the fallout of David’s sin, serious as it would be, might have been lessened had he confessed his sin, but instead he seeks to cover his sin. The already scandalous story becomes even more sordid, as the king first tries to get Uriah to sleep with Bathsheba, so she might claim the child was his. Failing in this, David issues an order to Joab which amounted to a death sentence for Uriah. What must Joab have thought? Maybe he said to himself, “The hypocrite! David is always singing about God, now he is sinning like Satan.” The blood of Uriah would be on David’s hands, just as much as if he had personally murdered him. You see, when we begin to compromise, little by little, we start going faster and faster—out of control.
DISCIPLINE WAS PRONOUNCED (2 Samuel 12).
“Nathan replied to David, ‘You are the man! This is what the Lord God of Israel says: “I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master's house to you and your master's wives into your arms, and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah, and if that was not enough, I would have given you even more. Why then have you despised the command of the Lord by doing what I consider evil? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife as your own wife-you murdered him with the Ammonite's sword. Now therefore, the sword will never leave your house because you despised Me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own wife.” ’ ” (v.7-9)
Be sure your sin will find you out. David thought he had gotten by, but God sent a prophet to confront him. The Lord was displeased and David would be disciplined for his disobedience. Romans 6:23 tells us the wages of sin is death—and that is the price that will be paid.
David actually pronounces his own punishment. When Nathan comes, the man of God tells a story about a poor man who has a little pet lamb that he loves dearly, but that lamb is stolen from him by a wealthy man with extensive flocks. This struck a chord with the king who had been a shepherd. “David was infuriated with the man and said to Nathan: ‘As the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die! Because he has done this thing and shown no pity, he must pay four lambs for that lamb.’ " Often we are most quick to judge in others, the sin that is present in us! Can you imagine how David’s boiling blood, suddenly turned to ice, when he knew he was caught? Four lambs would be the restitution—and four it would be! The sword would fall on four of David’s sons. The baby of the illicit relationship would die—one. Amnon would be killed in vengeance by his brother Absalom—two. Absalom would die in battle after leading a revolt against David his father—three. Adonijah, would be executed by his brother Solomon for setting himself up as rival for the throne—four.
David, when confronted, cries out to God in confession. Psalm 51, is the gut-wrenching expression of a broken heart, entreating God for forgiveness. God forgave. But, it did not remove all the consequences. God will not disown His disobedient child, but He will discipline him or her.
Have you checked the pressure on your tires? Have you checked your oil? Have you run a red light?
STOP! Pull over! Let the Spirit inspect the vehicle of your life—before you break down!