2 Samuel 11:1-17
11 It was spring. It was the time when kings go off to war. So David sent Joab out with the king’s special troops and the whole army of Israel. They destroyed the Ammonites. They marched to the city of Rabbah. They surrounded it and got ready to attack it. But David remained in Jerusalem. 2 One evening David got up from his bed. He walked around on the roof of his palace. From the roof he saw a woman taking a bath. She was very beautiful. 3 David sent a messenger to find out who she was. The messenger returned and said, “She is Bathsheba. She’s the daughter of Eliam. She’s the wife of Uriah. He’s a Hittite.” 4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him. And he slept with her. Then she went back home. All of that took place after she had already made herself “clean” from her monthly period. 5 Later, Bathsheba found out she was pregnant. She sent a message to David. She said, “I’m pregnant.” 6 So David sent a message to Joab. David said, “Send me Uriah, the Hittite.” Joab sent him to David. 7 Uriah came to David. David asked him how Joab and the soldiers were doing. He also asked him how the war was going. 8 David said to Uriah, “Go home and enjoy some time with your wife.” So Uriah left the palace. Then the king sent him a gift. 9 But Uriah didn’t go home. Instead, he slept at the entrance to the palace. He stayed there with all his master’s servants. 10 David was told, “Uriah didn’t go home.” So he sent for Uriah. David said to him, “You have been away for a long time. Why didn’t you go home?” 11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and the army of Israel and Judah are out there in tents. My commander Joab and your special troops are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink? How could I go there and sleep with my wife? I could never do a thing like that. And that’s just as sure as you are alive!” 12 Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day. Tomorrow I’ll send you back to the battle.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 David invited Uriah to eat and drink with him. David got him drunk. But Uriah still didn’t go home. In the evening he went out and slept on his mat. He stayed there among his master’s servants. 14 The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab. He sent it along with Uriah. 15 In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front. That’s where the fighting is the heaviest. Then pull your men back from him. When you do, the Ammonites will strike him down and kill him.” 16 So Joab attacked the city. He put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest enemy fighters were. 17 The troops came out of the city. They fought against Joab. Some of the men in David’s army were killed. Uriah, the Hittite, also died.
“No. Don’t do it!”
So here is David, chosen by God to be king because he is “a man after his own heart” (13:14), not where he belongs (at the head of his army) … on the roof, looking into other people’s homes … looking at a woman who is not his wife … taking a bath.
“David, Stop now! … Don’t send for her! This can’t end well … She’s another man’s wife. Don’t touch her! … What have you done? That’s so wrong … I can’t believe you killed an honourable, loyal, brave man just to hide your sin?”
It starts with not walking where God is. Then a little sin quickly spirals out of control into enormous sin. It’s a familiar pattern. He looked; he desired; he took; he hid it. (The same progression as for Achan in Joshua 7:20-1.)
So what do I learn from David about how to avoid this familiar path?
The safest place to be is walking with my God – all the time.
And when temptation does come along … Don’t make eye contact. Remember that Jesus set me free from slavery to sin. I don’t have to give in to it.
And when do I fall into sin, be honest about it, especially with God. Call it what it is and reject it straight away. Don’t let a “little sin” fester and become a bigger sin.
Wouldn’t it be better if God just took temptation away?
That would be nice. But each one is an opportunity to express my love for God and choose Him. Each one is an opportunity to stretch my faith. Each one I overcome is an act of worship.
I choose you, Lord.
Written by David Cornell