"Lessons from a Sin"
2 Samuel 11:1 - 12:25
(Delivered Sunday, October 14, 2001 at Bethany Bible Church. All scripture quotes, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version.)
We're going to do something this morning that is - for some - a favorite pastime. We're going devote ourselves to examining someone's sin. Don't worry though; we're not going to single-out anyone here today. The person whose sin we'll examine is King David - the sweet psalmist of Israel, and the greatest earthly king of all its history. And his sin was that of adultery with Bathsheba, and of the subsequent murder of her husband. And our motive will be to learn some important lessons about how to avoid the pitfalls he fell into, and the things he suffered as a result.
It's absolutely right for us to study David's sin this morning. The Holy Spirit has preserved this unpleasant story for us in the Scriptures precisely so that we would study it. The Bible tells us this about the Old Testament; "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope" (Rom. 15:4). And of the moral failures of the people of the Old Testament, we're told, "Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come" (1 Cor. 10:11).
And what's more, we must study David's fall in sin, because we ourselves are in danger of falling as grievously as David did. One of the truly remarkable things about King David's fall into temptation is that the temptation came upon him as a complete surprise. It came at a time when such a temptation was least expected.
At the time, David was a tremendous success as a man uniquely blessed of God. God had removed disobedient King Saul from his rule over the kingdom of Israel, and set David over it in his place. And then, once God established David's rule, He entered into a very remarkable, eternal covenant with him. God promised him that
When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever (2 Sam. 7:12-16).
God was promising David that a child would one day be born in David's family line who would be an eternal King. And this, of course, is a promise of the coming of none other than David's descendant, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Not only that, but God then granted remarkable success to David over his enemies. God gave him key victories over the Philistines, over Moab, and over a Syrian confederation, over the Edomites, and over the Ammonites. He was blessed with great success as an administrator as well. God granted him a mighty army; and also a skilled leader over that army in the person of his brilliant general, Joab. God gave David marvelous military leaders, and priests, and chief ministers. God gave him all the wealth of the house of King Saul, and the rule over both Israel and Judah. David was feared by all his enemies, and respected by all the surrounding nations as a political genius, a wise and just ruler, and a devout psalm writer and spiritual leader. He was, in every respect, a blessed and successful king.
And it was right then, at a time when it was least expected, and when such a thing seemed most unlikely, that he experienced a moral train-wreck. David fell horribly into sin. God's grace was surely greater than David's sin; but his fall into grievous sin cost David dearly for the rest of his life.
Before we look at the details of this sin itself, let's pause to consider one of the lessons it has already presented to us: temptation can come when least expected. It can come at a time when we think that we're strong, and that nothing could possibly happen to us. The devil wont give us a "courtesy call" to let us know that a temptation is coming. He is a skilled tempter, with thousands of years of experience in tripping-up people like you and me. He can set a trap for one of God's saints that springs forty years after he or she thinks that everything is safe.
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You have an opportunity now - this very day - to learn from David's sin, without having to pay the dreadful cost David paid. Of course, it might be that you've already learned the hard way, and are already convinced of the dangers. In that case, you have an opportunity for a refresher course. Either way, we can all benefit from looking together at what happened to King David. As one of the Puritans put it, let's receive a beating today on the back of another. Let's learn the lessons God wants us to learn from David's sin.
As we look at this passage, we find first of all ...
I. LESSONS FROM HIS SURRENDER TO TEMPTATION (11:1-5).
The story of David's unexpected fall began this way;
It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. 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. So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, "Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house. And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, "I am with child" (11:1-5).
It was a warm spring evening. And for whatever reason - perhaps David was weary, or over-confident - the king chose to send Joab to manage his battles while he stayed at home. Apparently he was restless in his spirit, and couldn't fall asleep this particular night. And so, tired, agitated and vulnerable, he found himself strolling the walking path that ran along the roof of his palace.
And it was then, from the roof, that he saw Bathsheba taking a bath. Perhaps it was an accidental glance at first; but the Hebrew word used to describe how David "saw" her suggests an intense, lingering gaze. And perhaps it was a careless indiscretion on Bathsheba's part to be bathing in a place where she could be watched. But it may be, too, that Bathsheba was guilty of seeking to seduce the king. After all, if he could linger in his gaze upon her from his roof, she must have been able to see him as well. However it happened though, her immodesty enabled the restless king to see her; and his glance upon her soon became a persistent gaze that fed his lust.
Many years ago, a good friend of mine and I studied this passage together. Somewhere in all this, David - God's anointed king - crossed a point of no return in his lust; and we wondered what that point was. And when we read those words; "So David sent and inquired about the woman ..."; we both looked up at one another and said, "There it is." It wasn't that David had merely seen the woman; because that might have been an accident. Nor was it that he felt tempted by what he saw; because such a temptation is only natural and can be immediately resisted by turning away. Nor was it that he sent the messengers to go and get her; because, by that point, he already knew then that she was another man's wife and was pretty far along on the downward slide. No; the point of danger was crossed, and real substance was given to his lust, when he chose to send someone to find out who she was. That was when his lust took active form; and that's when he stepped foot on the irreversibly downward skid.
None of us can help being tempted at times. But there's a definite point in which we deliberately choose to "take the bate" of temptation; a point in which we cross over from merely being tempted in our sinful passions, to a deliberate choice to move toward the actual gratification of those passions. It may seem like a minor movement at the time. It may feel like something that we still have control over - something that's still within the safety zone. But it very quickly and unexpectedly spins out of our control; and before we realize what's happening, we've fallen into the very sin we had merely flirted with. The apostle James wrote about this. He said;
Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death (James 1:13-15).
As James teaches us, a discernable chain of events is involved when we fall to temptation. First, we're drawn away and enticed by our own desires - desires that may, in and of themselves, be perfectly normal and natural to have. But then, second, we cross a decisive point when lust "conceives" - that is, when we choose to take some action toward the satisfaction of that lustful desire. We may never have intended to take that action very far; but the temptation suddenly snatches us by our own desires and pulls us away. Then, before we even know what hit us, desire "conceived" brings forth sin; and sin, fully grown, brings forth the unwanted result of death.
In David's experience, this chain of events was quite literal. His sinful lusts took him so far as to literally result in a "conception"; a conception that literally resulted in a "birth"; a birth that literally led to death and loss. Some scholars have suggested that James was actually thinking of David's experience when he wrote these words.
We can't help being tempted at times; but we've got to remember the promise of God's word: "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (1 Cor. 10:13). As someone once said, we can't help it when the birds of temptation fly over our head; but we can prevent them from building a nest in our hair.
We can't always help it when we accidentally see something on television that is sexually explicit, nor can we help it when such an image arouses lusts within us. But that lust "conceives" when, instead of taking the way of escape, we choose not to turn the television off; or when, if we turn it off, we then turn it back on to watch more.
We can't always help it when something explicit appears on our computer screen, nor can we help the fact that lust is aroused in us by what we might see. But lust "conceives" when, instead of taking the way of escape, we choose to linger over the image, or download it onto our hard-drive.
We can't always help it when someone else at the office is attractive to us or flirts with us, nor can we help the desires that such a thing might arouse in us. But lust "conceives" when, instead of choosing God's way of escape for us, we deliberately arrange our schedule to be around that person, or when we flirt back.
Let's learn from David's experience. Let's learn that our time of greatest vulnerability to temptation is when we think we're the least likely to fall prey to it. And let's commit ourselves to not allow sin to have an opportunity to be "conceived" in us by a decisive choice of action; "that we should obey it in its lusts" (Rom. 6:12). Instead, let's choose to take God's promised way of escape. It's always there in every temptation, if we'll just take it.
* * * * * * * * * *
David had a chance to escape; but sadly, he chose not to take the opportunity. Instead, David chose to give in to temptation, and to gratify his lust. He asked about the woman, sent for her, and slept with her. And as a result, he had made the wife of another man pregnant. He had an unwanted scandal on his hands. This leads us to ...
II. LESSONS FROM HIS COVER-UP OF SIN (11:6-27).
Once David heard about Bathsheba's condition, he stuck upon an idea of how to hide the fact that she bore his child. He would make it look like the woman's husband was the father instead.
But the story of David's attempts to cover-up his sin is a study in frustration. No matter how hard David tried to hide what had happened, it's as if God Himself wouldn't allow it to be swept under the rug. It's a story that would almost be funny; if it weren't for the fact that it was all so very, very tragic.
Then David sent to Joab, saying, "Send me Uriah the Hittite." And Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah had come to him, David asked how Joab was doing, and how the people were doing, and how the war prospered. And David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house and wash your feet." So Uriah departed from the king's house, and a gift of food from the king followed him. But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. So when they told David, saying, "Uriah did not go down to his house," David said to Uriah, "Did you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?" And Uriah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields. Shall I then go to my house to eat and drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing." Then David said to Uriah, "Wait here today also, and tomorrow I will let you depart." So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. Now when David called him, he ate and drank before him; and he made him drunk. And at evening he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house (11:6-13).
Imagine how mystified Uriah must have been in all this! Why was the king showing so much attention to him? Uriah was a great soldier. In fact, he was one of David's most cherished and honored soldiers (2 Sam. 23:39). And yet, he must have been perplexed over the way the king was buddyin' up to him like this! Imagine how surprising it must have been for the king to ask him - a mere soldier - such questions as how good a job General Joab was doing, and how the soldiers were getting along, and how the war was progressing! And what's more, imagine how increasingly frustrated David became as - at every turn - Uriah was proving to be a more righteous and honorable man than he. In God's rather striking irony, Uriah was even so bold as to ask David, "Shall I then go to my house to eat and drink, and to lie with my wife?"
Obviously, David's attempts to get Uriah to sleep with his own wife, and to make it appear that the child was not his, were all failing miserably. Perhaps God was giving David yet another chance in all this to come clean; but once again, he chose not to take it.
Now; at this point, I'd like to suggest another lesson God is seeking to teach us in this story. Whenever we deliberately harbor unrepeated sin in our hearts by trying to cover it up, our heart condition doesn't simply 'plateau out'. That's what we hope will happen. We assume that we can just cruise along and make life work, with secret sin hidden within us. We know that we really wont get any better until our sin is dealt with. But we figure that, if we don't do anything, things wont get any worse either - and we can live with that. But that's not what will happen at all. The fact is that we will either give up the attempt to hide our sin, and turn to God in repentance; or our hearts will harden into even deeper, more grievous sin. Don't deceive yourself; there's no "plateauing". It's either up or down.
There certainly wasn't any "plateauing" for David. All attempts to find a substitute for confession and repentance had failed. And as he laid in bed, his heart - already hardening in unrepentance - hatched a plan that took him on an even more deadly spiral downward.
In the morning it happened that David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. And he wrote in the letter, saying, "Set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him, that he may be struck down and die." So it was, while Joab besieged the city, that he assigned Uriah to a place where he knew there were valiant men. Then the men of the city came out and fought with Joab. And some of the people of the servants of David fell; and Uriah the Hittite died also. Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war, and charged the messenger, saying, "When you have finished telling the matters of the war to the king, if it so happens that the king's wrath rises, and he says to you: 'Why did you approach so near to the city when you fought? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? Who struck Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Was it not a woman who cast a piece of a millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you go near the wall?' - then you shall say, 'Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.'"
And the messenger said to David, "Surely the men prevailed against us and came out to us in the field; then we drove them back as far as the entrance of the gate. The archers shot from the wall at your servants; and some of the king's servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also." Then David said to the messenger, "Thus you shall say to Joab: 'Do not let this thing displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another. Strengthen your attack against the city, and overthrow it.' So encourage him"
When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. And when her mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son (11:14-27a).
Can you see what terrible things David's unrepentance and cover-up him led to? He not only murdered the woman's husband; but he also caused several others of his own innocent soldiers to die in the attempt. David had become not only an adulterer; and he not only involved others in a conspiracy to murder; but he also betrayed the trust of his own people, and abused his God-given position for selfish ends! In the final analysis, his one sin, unrepented of, led him to become a sinner many times over! Who would have ever thought that David's simple act of voyeurism upon the roof would take him so far down?
* * * * * * * * * *
The Bible warns us, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life" (Gal. 6:6-7). The brothers of Joseph, as they stood before him in Egypt, cried out, "What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how shall we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants ..." (Gen. 44:16). Moses warned the tribes of Israel that settled East of the Jordan against any sinful motives; telling them, "... Be sure your sin will find you out" (Num. 32:23).
And this leads us to yet another lesson in the experience of David. With the death of Uriah, and with the allegiance of Joab and Bathsheba secured, he felt that the matter had - at last - been put to rest. But it wasn't to be so. The closing words of the following verse show us why ...
But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD (11:27b).
Hiding our sins from the eyes of men, and seeking to cover them up, is never the way to deal with them. We can't hide them from the eyes of God; and God has guaranteed that any cover-up attempts will fail. As it says of Him in Hebrews 4:13, "... There is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account." All sin is harmful; but in the end, more harm is caused all around by covering our sins up, than could ever be caused by confessing them to God, and making whatever restitution we must make to other people. The idea behind "confession" is that we say the same thing about our sin as God says about it. Cover-ups are attempts to flee from reality; and confession is when we finally come back to reality.
It was after all these horrible events that David wrote Psalm 32. There, he says to God, "When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer. I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,' and You forgave the iniquity of my heart" (Psalm 32:3-5). God is ready to forgive us whenever we've had enough of bashing our heads against a brick wall, and finally choose to give it up.
Dear brother or sister, are you hiding secret sin in your life; and are you attempting to cover that sin up? Then I beg of you to learn the lesson from David's sin. Save yourself all the heartache and pain, as well as the danger that comes from further hardness of heart. Don't put it off any longer; come clean with God this very day. Sure; it will be hard at first, but God has already promised that things wont get better for you until you do. You'll be very glad, in the long run, that you finally confessed and repented.
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David's story teaches us that sin always has consequences. People sometimes talk about "safe sex"; but there is no such thing as "safe sin." We never break God's commandments; we only break ourselves against God's commandments. David found this to be the case in a very tragic way. And so, this leads us, thirdly, to learn ...
III. LESSONS FROM THE CONSEQUENCES OF HIS SIN (12:1-23).
It may have been as much as a whole year since David had murdered Uriah. And from a strictly human standpoint, the cover up had been a success thus far. His sin had been kept from public knowledge. No one seemed to have seen anything suspicious in how quickly he took Bathsheba to be his wife. And those who knew anything about the murder were sufficiently implicated to keep quiet about it. Psalm 32 suggests that David was inwardly tortured with guilt and shame. But outwardly, he was able to keep up his "king face"; and life went on through life to a tolerable degree.
And God was waiting. And waiting. And waiting.
Finally, God sends a prophet to tell a story to David - a story particularly designed to arouse a sense of righteous indignation in the heart of a former shepherd-boy like David.
Then the LORD sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: "There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own heard to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man's lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him." So David's anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, "As the LORD lives, the man who has done this shall surely die! And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because He had no pity" (12:1-6).
This story affected David deeply. Perhaps he was so deeply affected by it because he, as a boy, had kept a little lamb as a pet. Perhaps this story was reported to David as if it were a piece of local news; and it aroused the king's sense of the injustice of it all. Perhaps something like this even once happened to David's own family. There may be a very good reason why David reacted so passionately to this story.
But little did David suspect, at first, that the story Nathan was telling him - perhaps with holy tears - was David's own story. And it was then, in the face of his passionate anger, that God revealed David himself was the story's villain.
Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel: I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.' Thus says the LORD: 'Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun'" (12:1-12).
My personal belief is that David separated himself from Nathan for a time after hearing those words. But there's no doubt that his words had hit home, and that David broke down before God. It would have been sometime between verses 12 and 13 that David wrote Psalm 51; "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgression. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight - that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge" (Psalm 51:1-4).
David deserved to die for his crime. And yet, he cried out to God for mercy and forgiveness; and God granted it fully. It's the same with any of us sinners who cry out to God for mercy. He always grants it through the shed blood of His Son Jesus.
So David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die." Then Nathan departed to his house (12:13-15a).
But even though David was pardoned of sin, his sin nevertheless brought about irreversible consequences. And while the wound of sin can be healed; the scars that remain can never be taken away. That's the same with us too.
And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bore to David, and it became ill. David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. So the elders of his house arose and went to him, to raise him up from the ground. But he would not, nor did he eat food with them. Then on the seventh day it came to pass that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead. For they said, "Indeed, while the child was alive, we spoke to him, and he would not heed our voice. How can we tell him that the child is dead? He may do some harm!" When David saw that his servants were whispering, David perceived that the child was dead. Therefore David said to his servants, "Is the child dead?" And they said, "He is dead." So david arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate. Then his servants said to him, "What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food." And he said, "While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, 'Who can tell whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?' But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me" (12:13-23).
David, it seems, accepted willingly his punishment from God. But why was it necessary that this innocent baby had to suffer and die for David's sin? I wish I knew the answer. I am certain that God always does what is right, however. And it's my belief that this little baby went immediately into God's presence; and that the blood of Jesus - that would one day be shed on the cross - was redeeming atonement for him. I believe that this little baby has been in heaven ever since, and beholds the face of Jesus even today. And who can say but that, in this way, God spared that little child from some further tragedies and sorrows as a result - tragedies and sorrows that are known only to mind of our wise and good God?
But this, again, illustrates to us one of the awful lessons we must understand about sin. I say this carefully; because I would never want anyone to think that the death of a baby is always the immediate result of someone's sin. But the lesson here is this: our sin does, in fact, hurt innocent bystanders, and always brings about unwanted and tragic consequences. We simply cannot sin in a vacuum. We ultimately cause harm to other people- as well as ourselves - whenever we try. Perhaps that's one more reason why God hates sin so much.
* * * * * * * * * *
God was merciful to David. And then, we read;
Then David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in to her and lay with her. So she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. Now the LORD loved him. And He sent word by the hand of Nathan the prophet: So he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD (12:24-25).
God restored a son to David and to Bathsheba; and it was a son unequally loved by God. He was given the name "Jedidiah"; a name that means "Beloved of the LORD". And it was this very son, Solomon, who was the fulfillment of God's covenant promise to David - the promise of a son who would sit on David's throne after him. And what's more, it was through this son that God provided the promised King from David who would sit on his throne forever - and that son was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise God that our sins cannot undermine His good purposes and plans for us.
David's sin didn't cancel out God's ultimate plan for David; but it certainly did put that plan on a dreadful and unwanted detour.
* * * * * * * * * *
For as long as I live, I'll never forget hearing about a particular minister who fell some time ago into a sin like David's. He left his wife and family, and ran away with woman on his church staff. Someone finally caught up with the two of them and confronted him about his sin. And what he said in response to their rebuke still makes me shudder to this day. He defended himself by saying, "Well; King David had his little fling! Why can't I have mine?"
Okay, then; let's take inventory what David's "little fling" cost him. He lost his purity; and a whole year's worth of personal peace; to say nothing of a whole year of fellowship with God. (Imagine the damage a king can do - or any one of us, for that matter - during a whole year's worth of being out of fellowship with God!) In addition, he lost his integrity with his general, with many of those close to him in leadership, and - to some measure - with his own people. He lost a devoted and top-notch soldier, and a brand new son - both to tragic deaths. Eventually, he lost the happiness and peace of his home; because one of his own sons committed a horrible act of incest with his own sister, and was subsequently murdered by another son. Then he lost this son to rebellion against his kingdom, had to stand helpless while this son raped his own wives, and had to suffer the tragedy of his own general killing this son in battle. David also lost much of the peace of his own kingdom; and left a legacy for his children that haunted them until the day they died. He is recognized in Scripture as a truly great king; but this sad and shameful chapter of his story - and all the damage caused as a result - has been recorded forever in the Scriptures, and told over and over throughout the centuries.
It cost David so very much; how could anyone but a complete fool want a "little fling" like that? I never heard what became of that fallen minister who tried to justify his own sin by pointing to David; but I'm sure that he lived to regret deeply his failure to learn the lessons of David's sin.
Let's you and I be very sure that we don't fail to learn them.
(copyright 2001 by Pastor Greg Allen and Bethany Bible Church. Reproduction without permission, in whole or in part, is prohibited.)
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