Lessons From David and Bathsheba

1. The seductiveness of sin.

Even David, the man after God’s heart could fall to such a level. Perhaps anyone is capable of adultery if they’re lonely enough. Perhaps David was lonely even with so many wives, but who would have thought he was capable of murder? This is the same David who would not kill Saul in self-defense, despite Saul’s treachery and God’s promise to make David king. That ought to show us that anyone is capable of falling. David wasn’t  bad person – to use the common understanding of the word. He bore no ill will towards Uriah. He probably wasn’t even being selfish. In one moment of stupidity he had condemned Bathsheba to death, and it fell to him to save her. When Uriah refused to partake in the solution, David probably felt his only other option was to marry Bathsheba. He probably told himself that he wasn’t responsible for Uriah’s death. He just helped it along. People die in battle all the time. Uriah might have died anyway.

Sin draws us in with promises of hope and never delivers. Whatever David hoped to get from his adultery with Bathsheba, it wasn’t worth the consequences. Killing Uriah was to cover their sin, but all it did was make matters worse. Then there was that moment when Uriah was dead, Bathsheba was remarried, and it all looked like it would be OK. Only, it wasn’t.

2. The Inevitability of Discovery

If David had confessed his sin and begged forgiveness when Bathsheba turned up pregnant, his sentence might have been lighter. He certainly would not have been guilty of murder. But he tried to hide it. Hiding your sin seems like a rational response when you don’t want to be judged by others, but we can’t hide from God. It can be comforting to know that we are always in his presence, but we fear his reaction to our sins. But no matter how scared we are, the best response is to go to him immediately and get it sorted out. You can’t hide from God. If you try, he might punish you immediately, or he might wait until your sins can no longer be ignored. Trying to hide doesn’t work, and in no way lessens your punishment.

3. God’s Graciousness

It’s scary facing God, but I take comfort from the fact that he probably won’t strike me with lightning. Treat it like going to the dentist – or taking a shower for some of you. Stop dreading it and just get it over with. You’ll feel a lot better. He doesn’t want to punish us. He went to great lengths to not have to punish us. When we refuse to confess and make use of the forgiveness he offers us, we mock his sacrifice. But don’t waste your time. Forgiveness is for those who actually repent. If you sin with the belief that God will forgive you when you pray, remember: sincere repentance includes the desire to never repeat the wrong act. It also requires regret for the past action and the desire to right those wrongs.

God has forgiven a great many things – child sacrifice, murder, theft. Chances are, you’re nowhere near as dirty as the other people he’s forgiven.

4. God’s Justice

Paul famously said, “Do not be deceived. God is not mocked. whatever a man sows he will reap”. At least, I think it was Paul. (God forgave David in that he was allowed to live). But he exacted a heavy penalty. In sinning you hurt yourself and you can’t always count on him to prevent the negative consequences.


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I’m Tracy

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