Welcome to another episode of Inspired Word with T.K. I’m your host T.K. Chapin and today we’re going to look at David and Bathsheba. While this topic is a bit sad it’s a lesson for us all when it comes to matters of the heart, matters of sin; and I’ve been studying this in my morning devotions and it was something I wanted to share with you.
You know a lot of times we struggle with understanding what God’s will is. A lot of times bad things happen and we aren’t sure why, whether it’s a death of relationship, whether it’s a death of our marriage, or a certain area of our life—we suffer. And the good news, the gospel, is that Jesus raises the dead. So whether you have a broken relationship, whether you have a broken marriage, whether you’re struggling with some kind of sin and you just feel dead, and you feel like you’re at the end of yourself.
Go ahead and turn in your Bible if you have it handy to 2 Samuel 11, it’s where the reading will be today. And let’s just go through it together and see what we can gleam from David and Bathsheba.
Verse 1: ‘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.’
David had a lot of success. Everything he did was blessed in the previous chapters. You can go back and read it to see all the achievements that he was doing. He was rocking, rocking it, and it was because the Lord was him. He did more for Israel than any person up to that point as far as kings go. But in this first verse we see that David took a step back from what he was supposed to be doing and took some “me” time.
“Me” time is something that’s really easy to fall into. I write a lot of books, but a lot of times I’ve caught myself doing this several times. After a book is released I’ll take time to just step back, and while it can seem like an okay thing to do, it can get us off track right. Because if we’re in the mindset I deserve some “me” time that means the focus is on ourself, it’s not on God is not on other people and we see this with David right off the bat in verse one.
Verse 2 goes on to say: 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.
In verse two we see David getting up in the evening, so something was going on. It was either something on his mind or he’s just got this weird irregular sleep pattern going on, but it’s evening time and he is walking around the roof of the palace right. If he was doing the right thing which was being off to war, he would’ve never been in this circumstance where he saw the woman bathing.
But he sees her, and he sees that she is very beautiful. His curiosity got the best of him obviously because in verse 3 it says: ‘David sent someone to find out about her.’ So he’s feeding that curiosity about this beautiful woman. He’s not off at war, he’s indulging in “me” time, he sees a pretty woman and he’s like I got a learn more about her. The man said (this is a verse 3): ‘The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.”’
Uriah the Hittite was David’s, one of David’s mighty men. One of the mighty warriors. So think like Special Ops. And then her father Eliam (sorry if I’m butchering the names). Eliam was high up in the military in the political arena of that time. So she’s basically a military wife, and her family super entrenched in politics in the military. That right there was a roadblock and an opportunity for David to step away because he saw her looking good, bathing right? And then he learns who she is.
Verse 4: ‘Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her.’
Doesn’t go into detail about the meeting before they slept together, but it could’ve been a simple as David like . . . “Oh she’s she’s Eliam’s daughter and the wife of Uriah you know I should have her come over and we can talk, that’s innocent enough.”
How often in our own lives do we think oh you know what I can handle this, I can deal with this, this is fine, this is gonna be okay? And that’s what happened with David in here. I mean I guess that’s assuming but it doesn’t go into detail being when she came and he slept with her, he committed adultery. So David, while he was off-track not doing what he was supposed to, saw her, saw she was beautiful, and learned who she was and still went ahead with the sin. Now how do we avoid that as Christians?
First we have to be doing what we should be doing which is filling ourselves and renewing ourselves every single day. David during this “me” time that he took, God was no longer the center but instead it was him, himself.
And in Romans 12:2 we are warned: ‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then (So after you do that)Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.’
When we keep God at the center, we don’t get into the world’s point of view which says we are number one. We are the most important. Because when you put “me” at the middle and you don’t put God at the middle, you start feeding your flesh. You decide not to go off to war, you decide not to volunteer in that class anymore, you decide not to go to that Bible study that you were going to faithfully for years. You decide to skip a Sunday, maybe two Sundays, you decide to skip devotions one morning and then it turns into a week and then a month. When we let ourselves go off track it leads us down a path. Sometimes we get off that track and can get right back on, but other times like in the instance of David it leads to one thing after another and soon destruction happens.
In verse five says: ‘The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.” ’ So now David is dealing with consequences for the sin that he committed and it doesn’t stop there.
Verse six: ‘So David sent this word to Joab (Joab was a commander of the army and he said): “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent him to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going. Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him. But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house.’’
So basically David got Bathsheba’s husband back to town off the warfront and told him to wash his feet which basically means go home and enjoy your house. But he didn’t do that.
It goes on verse 10: ‘David was told, “Uriah did not go home.” So he asked Uriah, “Haven’t you just come from a military campaign? Why didn’t you go home?”’
See now what David is doing right now is he’s trying to get Uriah to sleep with his own wife so that the pregnancy can be covered up as just Uriah’s kid. He’s trying to cover his mess that he has already made by sinning and committing adultery with Bathsheba.
Verse 11 says: ‘Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my commander Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!”’
You see, Uriah is on the correct track he knows what he should be doing and he was under David’s command ultimately, and he was trained as a soldier to know what he should be doing as one and he is focused. He doesn’t, he doesn’t feel right doing anything. And this, this has to lay on the guilt for David. And David’s trying to cover it up the best he can.
So in verse 12: ‘Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. At David’s invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master’s servants; he did not go home.’
So now David got him drunk and drunkenness isn’t okay with God, but David’s continually trying to fix the sin that already happened. He’s trying to get Uriah drunk so he’ll stumble home and make love to his wife and given to his inhibitions. But he didn’t. It didn’t work out. And as you see sin manifests over and over and over again and it gets out of control.
Verse 14, picking up: ‘In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”’
David has tried everything in his mind that he could cover this up, and he knows that the punishment for adultery is to be killed. So, now instead of facing the punishment David is just going to snuff out the problem which is ultimately Uriah in his mind.
Verse 16: ‘So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were. When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.’
Now we see that not only did Uriah have to die because of David’s sin, but other men in the Army also. Sin, if you go up further back to where we read earlier, sin started with simply David stepping out onto the balcony during some me time. And one thing led to another, he slept with another man’s wife, and then he ended up getting people killed.
Our sin can seem like a pretty woman taking a bath across a balcony but that’s the problem with sin, it’s only pleasurable for a moment. And as you can see in the story it destroys and it destroys and it destroys and we have to never take a break from what we’re supposed to do. That means prayer, that means Bible reading, that means keeping God and other people at the center of our life. If we keep God at the center day in and day out we don’t have the opportunity for sin to come into our life and destroy us.
That doesn’t mean you’re never going to have temptation because we still have to carry these fleshly mortal bodies with us. And there’s going to be times you slip off that track, and you got to get right back on there. And as far as knowing God’s will, when we’re continually keeping God at the focus and at the center, we’re going to know what His will is because were not conforming to the world.
The world says you are the center, the world says how you feel is the center. The world says take a pill, take a drink, take a drag, take whatever you need to to feel okay, to deal with the difficulties, make it all about you.
In Romans 12:2 again it says: ‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.’
If David was on that balcony at the palace and he was renewing his mind daily and staying focused on God and not in an episode of “me,” it would’ve never happened. He would’ve been out there at the war and if he did take the me time and realized he was off track he would’ve ended up going over to fight with his comrades. But without that renewal you conform to the pattern of the world which says feed the flesh, focus on yourself, focus on your pain, focus on the problems.
David’s story and David’s sin not only shows us that even pillars of faith had struggles, had problems. And it doesn’t matter what kind of mess you got yourself in, it doesn’t matter how bad you think of person you might be. David committed adultery and he got people killed, and no matter what mess you got going on God can still use you. Did God remove his hand from David? He sure had a lot of problems after this point in his life, But he still was the house of David which ultimately led to Jesus.
Remember Jesus is the one that can raise the dead parts of our life back to life. He is the only one that can bring joy in a dark time. He is the only one that can fill that void in your life and it’s only through the power of Jesus Christ that we have hope, that we have salvation.
In conclusion, we need to make sure that we are renewing our mind daily through keeping our focus on Jesus Christ our Savior. It’s through having a centered focus on God that we can avoid the mistake that David did, we can avoid stepping out onto that balcony and inviting sin into our life.
David was a pillar of faith in the Bible and we too can be led astray if we are not careful. It’s an important lesson in the story of David and Bathsheba.
It’s been my pleasure to bring you another episode of Inspired Word with T.K. I hope this is been helpful and encouraging for you in your life. Tune in for another episode next time.