THE SIN OF ADULTERY
2 Samuel 11:1-13 (CEV)
God told David, “You need to be at the battle.”
But David remained at Jerusalem.
- The principle of Galatians 5:16 rings true: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. If David had his attention where God wanted it, he would never put it where God didn’t want it. “While Joab is busy in laying siege to Rabbah, Satan is to David, and far sooner prevailed.”
David encounters temptation.
- Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold.
a. David arose from his bed and walked on the roof: The Hebrew verb form of walked suggests that David paced back and forth on the roof. He couldn’t sleep and was uneasy – uneasy because he wasn’t where God wanted him to be.
b. He saw a woman bathing: There is little doubt that this woman (later called by the name Bathsheba) acted immodestly. Though it was evening and apparently the time when most people were asleep, certainly she knew that her bath was visible from the roof of the palace. Any immodesty on Bathsheba’s part did not excuse David’s sin, but she was still responsible for her wrong.
- We must never be an occasion for sin in others, even in how we dress. Paul’s word in 1 Timothy 2:9 is relevant here: the women should adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation.
He saw a woman bathing: David’s sin was not in seeing Bathsheba. It was unlikely that he expected or planned to see her. David’s sin was in choosing to keep his eyes on an alluring image after the sight came before his eyes.
Guidelines for Growing Godliness
- Godliness is living by God’s Spirit, in the fear of God, under the eye of God, according to the will of God, with an uninterrupted consciousness of God’s indwelling presence. Living this way will keep us from much trouble and tragedy.
- Be certain that we are always where God wants us to be or we put ourselves in jeopardy.
11:1-26 The watershed (defining moment) of David’s reign. Here his kingdom begins a decline, as domestic tragedy plagues him and his final sin of numbering the nation brings is reign to an end.
11.1 Likely Joab returned to Jerusalem (10:14) because it was the rainy time of year. After the final rains, the battle and the siege of the Ammonites at Rabbah is renewed. There is no reason given for David’s decision to stay in Jerusalem, though his place was with the armies. Had he been where he belonged, this tragedy with Bath-sheba and Uriah would not have happened.
11.2-4 Keys to Moral Purity
- One pattern of attack on our moral purity comes through the improper glaze that lodges in the mind.
- Guard your eyes! Be warned that a lustful gaze will often lead to lustful thoughts and can result in immoral action.
11:3-17 Steps to Dealing with Sin
- The story of David and Bath-sheba provides a negative, albeit poignant, object lesson on the importance of avoiding, repenting of, and forsaking sin. Its witness is consistent with the whole counsel of God: Confess and forsake sin quickly or it will prove to be our undoing.
11:3 The powerful Hittite Empire ended about 1200 B.C. Uriah the Hittite was from one of the small groups of ethnic Hittites still remaining in Syria and Israel. He is also listed as one of David’s 37 mighty men (23:39), which makes David’s infamy even more appalling.
11:4 Purified from her uncleanness: According to Lev. 15:18, this involved ceremonial bathing and a period of ‘uncleanness’ until evening.
11:6 Here begins the series of ploys, lies, and intrigue, especially shocking because of the great integrity shown by David in his dealings with Saul. This illustrates how quickly the entertaining of sin can pollute the heart of even the most noble of God’s people.
11:8 The Hebrew custom was to wash their feet, take refreshment, and rest after returning from a long journey.
11:9 Door to the King’s house: Another building adjoining the palace where the court servants lived.
11:11 The contrast is clearly drawn between David, who should be in the field with his troops, and Uriah, so committed to David and God that he will not even sleep one evening in the comfort of his own home with his wife.
… to be continued_
Janet Irene Thomas
Bible Stories Theatre of
Fine & Performing Arts