‘David sent messengers and took her . . . he lay with her.’ – 2 Samuel 11:4.
When Israel clamored for a king, Yahweh relented and gave them Saul, but after Saul’s disobedience, God promised another king after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). When Paul the apostle was addressing the Jews at Pisidian Antioch, reviewing the salvation history of Israel, he referred to David as a man after God’s own heart, one who would do His will (Acts 13:22). So, how could a man after God’s own heart, who wrote these marvelous Psalms, who expressed a profound depth of holiness and zeal (Psalm 22, 47, 63), fall into the grievous sin of adultery and then exacerbate the problem by having his adulteress’s husband murdered? The answer-David ran nine red lights God had graciously put before him.
Red light number one. Israel was in the midst of war with the nation of Ammon when the Arameans sided with Ammon against Israel. David gathered his army and crossed the Jordan River at Helam and routed the Arameans (2 Samuel 10:15-19). The Ammonites had not yet been conquered so the war continued, but David was not there in the war theater. It was the spring of the year, after the rains, when the roads are dry, that armies would typically move out of camp and face their enemies. David stayed home. He sent Joab to conquer the Ammonites (2 Samuel 11:1). In other words, David was neglecting his kingly responsibilities. Take away-stay in the fight. Stay busy. Idle time in hotels, coffee shops, or restaurants are breeding grounds for licentious behavior.
Red light number two. ‘Now when evening came, David rose from his bed,’ (2 Samuel 11:2). What? Why is David in bed at 6 p.m.? Why is he not managing his kingdom, meeting with his key men? Answer-because David is the king and he can do whatever he pleases. If he wants to slack off his work routine, no problem. He knows the peace and prosperity of the kingdom is due to his able leadership (apparently he has forgotten that all he has and is is from God’s benevolent hand). Take away-Get up early. Never sleep past 6 a.m. Do the hard and most important tasks first. Never be enamored with your position, money, or power. It can vanish quickly like the frost at noon day.
Red light number three. David walked around on the roof of his house. Is it too much to imagine that due to the height of a king’s palace, towering over other nearby buildings, that David had observed lurid scenes before? Again, David has too much time on his hands. He reminds me of prideful Nebuchadnezzar who is walking around on the roof of his palace and sees the vast city he has constructed and congratulates himself on his mighty accomplishments (Daniel 4:28-33). He suffers insanity for a season, as a consequence. Maybe David was looking for something. Maybe he had seen Bathsheba before. Take away-eschew pride. Resist it. Run from it. Resist also the fleshly impulse to look for the other woman at work, lingering at the break room, hanging out at her office, taking her to lunch or for a cup of coffee. Eschew brazen pride. It is a killer of men, their wives, and their children.
Red light number four. David saw a woman bathing. He also noticed that she was beautiful. It is one thing to see a beautiful woman and re-direct your eyes to the task at hand.. It is another thing to linger with your look. Take away-a lingering, lustful look may very well be what catapults you into the bed of destruction.
Red light number five. David sent for her. He could do that because he was the king, and people do what the king commands them to do. He saw her, lusted after her, and sent for her. Take away-all the prayer and praise, all the writing of the Psalms were no match for the pride of the king. He was going to do exactly what he wanted to do. All your Bible reading, all your prayer, all your meetings, all your profound and moving times with God are no match for your lust if you keep running red lights.
Red light number six. David was told that the woman is Bathsheba, the wife of another man, and by the way, not merely the wife of any man, but the wife of one of David’s mighty men (2 Samuel 23:39) Talk about treachery! At the very least, since Bathsheba was married to such a humble faithful servant of the king, surely David should have backed off. Take away-the more red lights you run, the easier it becomes to run the next one. You just don’t consider, at this point, that you are running rapidly to rapacious disaster.
Red light number seven. David sent messengers. He had already done that once. He sent them again. This time, however, it was not to inquire but to take. While they were on their way, David had a few minutes to think about what he was planning to do. He could have stopped. He could have contemplated how this would destroy his family and credibility in the kingdom, but after running seven red lights, he is gaining speed toward destruction. Take away-unchecked lustful passion will overpower sound thinking every time.
Red light number eight. She came to him. There was still time to call it off. Yes, there was this beautiful young woman, whom he had just seen naked, one for whom he was lusting mightily, but he could still have walked away, sent her home without touching her. Take away-men who commit adultery are like sheep being led to the slaughter. They may be powerful men in business, church, or government but they can be woefully weak in the presence of a beautiful woman.
Red light number nine. He lay with her. He did it. He committed adultery and now everything will change for David, Bathsheba, their respective families, and the kingdom. Take away-you never sin in a vacuum. Libertarianism is not the real world. Your actions do matter to your nation, community, church, and most of all, to your family. How many children have been emotionally and spiritually traumatized by the sexual sin of their parents.
Are you too close to someone other than your spouse? Run for your life. Flee to Jesus. Ask Him for mercy. Don’t be a fool. I promise you, you will regret your actions for the rest of your life. Can you be forgiven? Of course you can, and some of you have fallen into this sin and you know you are forgiven, been restored to your loving Saviour. But the consequences remain. They will never leave you in this life. Don’t go there.
– Al Baker