When we meet King David in 2 Samuel 11, he is at the peak of his life. He has won battles, given all glory to God for his success, he has shown extraordinary honor in sparing Saul’s life when he wanted to kill him irrationally. He has provided for the family of Saul and Jonathan with great generosity and love. And here, in the spring time, when kings go off to war, King David decides to take a break and sends Joab out to war.
The king that Israel wanted was a king that fought their battles. And now, while other kings were going out to war, David took a rest in his palace.
That evening, David walks around on the roof of his palace and sees a beautiful woman bathing. Captivated, he finds out about her and learns that she is Bathsheba. He then sent messengers to get her, and slept with her.
In the first 5 verses of 2 Samuel 11, we see the sin David had fallen into while staying behind in the palace instead of going out to fight the war. He saw Bathesheba, he found that she was beautiful and he desired for her. Then, he enquired about her, and took the next step to call for her and finally slept with her. Does this pattern sound a tad bit familiar? Listen to this: “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.”
Here we see how sin played out in King David and in the first ever sin of all mankind. It started with a thought that came about from something you saw. Unguarded, the thought can lead to indulgence in the thought, and finally into action. The sexy lingerie ad or dubious website link can provoke thoughts in our minds. If we entertain them and let them develop, it can lead us down the slippery slope and finally into sin. Never underestimate small thoughts or slight compromises. They can result in one going far far away.
Reading on to the end of 2 Samuel 11, we see that David ends up plotting and committing murder in addition to the act of adultery done in the moment of folly.
No matter how close to God we may be, not one of us is immune to sin. Not King David, even though he was described in the Bible as a man after God’s heart, and surely not us. Yes, David was shown much grace and mercy when he repented, but he also had to reap the consequences of his sins.
Let us never be complacent, and submit our every thought to the Lord. Here are some practical tips by John Piper that can help:
How to fight for purity using A.N.T.H.E.M
A – AVOID as much as is possible and reasonable the sights and situations that arouse unfitting desire.
N – Say NO to every lustful thought within five seconds.
T – TURN the mind forcefully toward Christ as a superior satisfaction. Saying “no” will not suffice. You must move from defense to offense. Fight fire with fire. Attack the promises of sin with the promises of Christ.
H – HOLD the promise and the pleasure of Christ firmly in your mind until it pushes the other images out. “Fix your eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 3:1).
E – ENJOY a superior satisfaction. Cultivate the capacities for pleasure in Christ.
M – MOVE into a useful activity away from idleness and other vulnerable behaviors. Lust grows fast in the garden of leisure. Find a good work to do, and do it with all your might.
(remember King David was supposed to be fighting a war and not hanging around in his crib)
Sister Cherlyn Oh