Teaching, Helping and Encouraging Spiritual Growth

David and Bathsheba (Part 1 of 3)

Here is the sermon I taught last Sunday. It is longer than my normal post. I think it’s worth reading! I hope you get something from it! God bless, Dick

When I was in junior high I was given a book report assignment. I went to the school library and checked out a book about David. Yes, the David of the Bible! My! How things have changed!

David quickly became one of my favorite heroes. It was easy for me to identify with David because many of his heroic exploits were done as a teenager.

As a shepherd boy, he protected his flock of sheep by killing bears and lions with his bare hands. He defeated Goliath, a nine foot giant of a man who was fully armed with swords, spears and shields.

David killed this man who was insulting God and God’s people with a single stone flung from his sling-shot.

David’s exploits continued throughout his life, and was known as the “apple of God’s eye.”

David’s life was filled with things that lifted up the name of God and brought great honor and glory to Him.

But, David had his weaknesses. Just like all of us, David struggled with certain weaknesses and made huge mistakes that led to shame, regret and sorrow. David had a pride problem.

This morning we are going to focus on one of King David’s darkest periods, and my hope is that we learn from his mistakes.

One of the things that David did was have sexual relations with a married woman named Bathsheba.

The account we are going to study is found in 2 Samuel.

2 Samuel 11:1 In the spring, when the kings normally went to out to war, David sent Joab, his servants, and the Israelites.

David’s problem began when he got into the habit of taking God’s blessing for granted. David thoroughly enjoyed God’s blessings as king, but David neglected his responsibilities as king.

God had appointed David as the king of Israel. God had given David the responsibility to lead Israel, including lead the army.

The springtime was the best time to go to war since the roads were dry and the weather was good. Typically this was the time that the king joined the army.

But David did not to go out to fight in a war and stayed at home in the palace with all the creature comforts.

In those times when you “take a break” from obeying God and living by God’s ways, but instead doing our own thing, eventually you find yourselves getting into mischief. Sound familiar?

Look at the mess David made of his life because he ignored his God-given responsibilities and did his own thing.

2 Samuel 11:2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around the roof of his palace. While he was on the roof, he saw a woman bathing. She was very beautiful.

When you begin to neglect your relationship with God and slip away from the way he wants you to live, and you slide back into your old sinful habits, trouble finds you. You become more vulnerable to the pull of sin. This is what happened to David.

This would have never happened if David was where he should have been, serving as God’s appointed leader on the battle field.

David’s disobedience led him to this very dark place. Look at what happened because of David’s disobedience.

David woke up from a nap and began to stroll around the palace. While David was strolling around the palace roof, he looked over the side and saw a beautiful woman bathing below. The Hebrew word for “beautiful” actually means, “She was very beautiful to look at.”

Instead of turning away out of respect for the woman, and resisting the temptation to continue to look at her, his human nature got a hold on him.

In an instant, his desire to look at her turned to into lust for her that turned into an obsession to have her. That’s how quickly sin can act.

David immediately acted on his lustful thoughts and took steps to satisfy those sinful lusts.

2 Samuel 11:3 So David sent his servants to find out who she was. A servant answered, “That woman is Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam. She is the wife of Uriah the Hittite.”

David knew Uriah from the army, and was a friend of his. But, David’s lust overwhelmed his friendship with Uriah.

David set out to have Bathsheba in spite of the fact that she was a married woman, married to a friend of his!

2 Samuel 11:4 So David sent messengers to bring Bathsheba to him. When she came to him, he had sexual relations with her. (Now Bathsheba had purified herself from her monthly period.) Then she went back to her house.

David asked a servant to bring her to him. David got what he wanted.

He had intimate relations with Bathsheba and then she went home. And David moved on, having his sinful desires satisfied.

The mention of Bathsheba’s period indicated that she was not pregnant when she had sexual relations with David.

You might ask, “Why did Bathsheba have sexual relations with David?”

In those days to refuse the king’s request could mean punishment or even death.

So, Bathsheba was put in an impossible situation, and David made Bathsheba an adultress because of his sinful lust. But David didn’t care.

As far as David was concerned, he had satisfied his natural desire for her, and sent her home. David thought it was over.

But something rocked David.

2 Samuel 11:5 But Bathsheba became pregnant and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”

Doesn’t this sound like our culture today? How many women have called their “friend” and said the same thing?

“I’m pregnant!” “What are we going to do?!” “I’m a married woman!” “What about my husband?! “What about my reputation?!” “What about your reputation?!”

David must have been horrified! What did David do?

Did he come to grips with his sin and go to God and ask for forgiveness and repent of it? Did he go to Uriah and confess his sin and try to figure something out?

No, that was beneath the king. David’s pride would not allow it. David had a different plan.

2 Samuel 11:6-8a So David sent a message to Joab: “Send Uriah the Hittite to me.” And Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab was, how the soldiers were, and how the war was going. Then David said to Uriah, “Go home and rest.”

David’s solution to the problem was to get Uriah to go home and “get some rest.”

David’s plan was that Uriah would sleep with Bathsheba and have relations with her, and the pregnancy would have a proper explanation. He would then be in the clear.

But, deep down, David knew what he was wrong.

2 Samuel 11:8b So Uriah left the palace, and the king sent a gift to him.

David’s guilt got the better of him and he sent a gift to Uriah, but his guilt did not change the course he had set out.

2 Samuel 11:9 But Uriah did not go home. Instead, he slept outside the door of the palace as all of the kings officers did.

As we observe David abuse the power of his position as king (being totally disloyal and dishonest to his friend Uriah, and trying to cover up a terrible sin with Uriah’s wife) David was faced with the reality of Uriah’s character and loyalty.

Uriah’s had character. He was loyal to the king, had a great sense of duty as an officer, was loyal to his men, and refused to do or be anything less.

Instead of going home and “resting” with Bathsheba, Uriah did what he always did. He did his duty. Uriah did the right thing.

2 Samuel 11:10 When David heard that Uriah had not gone home, he summoned him and asked, “What’s the matter? Why didn’t you go home last night after being gone so long?”

2 Samuel 11:11 Uriah replied, “The Ark and the armies of Israel and Judah are living in tents, and Joab my master’s men are camping in open fields. How could I go home to wine and dine and sleep with my wife? I swear I would never do such a thing.”

David was certain that Uriah would jump at the chance to see his beautiful wife and spend the night with her.

But Uriah’s strong character messed up David’s plan to get Uriah to go home and have sexual relations with Bathsheba.

David needed more time to come up with a new plan.

2 Samuel 11:12 David said to Uriah, “Stay here today. Tomorrow I’ll send you back to battle.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next.

2 Samuel 11:13 Then David called Uriah to come and see him, so Uriah ate and drank with David. David made Uriah drunk, but he still would not go home. That evening Uriah slept with the king’s officers.

Once again, Uriah thwarted David’s plan. Even when Uriah was MADE to drink too much and under the influence of too much wine, Uriah’s character did not crack. He still refused to go home and slept with the officers.

At this point, David took off the gloves. David had one final plan.

2 Samuel 11:14-15 The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by Uriah. In the letter David wrote, “Put Uriah on the front lines where the fighting is worst and leave him there alone. Let him be killed in battle.”

After David did everything he could think of to get Uriah to go home, David came up with a new, final plan. He was going to have to kill Uriah.

All this because David just had to satisfy his lustful desire for a beautiful woman and his refusal to confess and repent. Do you see how sin expands?

2 Samuel 11:16 Joab watched the city and saw where it’s strongest defenders were and put Uriah there. When the men of the city came out to fight against Joab, some of David’s men were killed. And Uriah was one of them.

David’s cover-up had now come to murder.

2 Samuel 11:25 David said to the messenger, “Say this to Joab: ‘Don’t be upset about this. The sword kills everyone the same. Make a stronger attack against the city and capture it.’ Encourage him with these words.”

The messenger told David of Joab’s remorse about sending Uriah to his death.

David’s response to Joab’s remorse was, “Oh, well. These things happen in war, now move on.”

So, David tried to encourage Joab, but in doing so showed how calloused he had become.

With Uriah gone, David had one final task to complete the cover-up.

Since Uriah was dead, he could marry Bathsheba and her pregnancy would not be an issue. How course and insensitive to Bathsheba and her feelings.

2 Samuel 11: 26-27 When Bathsheba heard that her husband was dead, she cried for him. After she finished her time of sadness, David sent his servant to bring her into his house. She became David’s wife and gave birth to his son, but the Lord did not like what David had done.

David thought he could cover-up his sins. He thought he was home free.

Except for one thing: God saw everything.

David moved on, and the memory of what he had done began to fade in his own mind.

Bathsheba had a little boy. He was about a year old when David got a call from Nathan, a prophet of God. Oh-oh!

What did Nathan have to say to David?

In my next post we will see that David did not get away with it and learned that there are real consequences to sin.

What have we learned from David’s mistakes

          Trouble finds you when we wander away from where we should be in the Lord.

           When faced with temptation, run from it!

           Do not chase sin!

           Don’t let your pride keep you from doing the right thing!

           Do not become calloused to sin!

           Your sin has an impact on the innocent.

           God knows what you are doing.

           Be sure your sins will find you out!

          There are consequences to sin!

It is always better to learn from someone else’s mistakes. Let’s learn from David’s mistakes!

God bless you all!


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