(Read 2 Samuel 11)
Today I will continue with “Faith and Patience Volume 5 – Greater is Coming!” I only have a few more messages for the year, so I have been praying about them. As I close out the story of the life of David, I cannot do so without mentioning his infamous encounter with Bathsheba. Let’s get into it.
The three main authors of the Bible — Moses, David, and Paul — are all products of God’s grace. All three were murderers. By acknowledging that three men who were used by God to pen the majority of God’s Holy Scripture were also men who committed heinous and unholy acts, we can do nothing but appreciate the Grace of God.
After sending Commander Joab and his brother Abishai to fight the Arameans and the Ammonites (in the last chapter), all the fighting forces returned home for the winter or rainy season. In that region of the world, during this time period, battles were not commonly waged during the winter because of the rain and the cold. So, by the “return of the year,” or the commencement of spring, Soldiers were ready to do battle. During the springtime, it was customary for kings who were engaged in war to open their campaign by leading their troops into battle. The Bible does not say why, but David decided to send Commander Joab to lead his forces in another attack against the Ammonites, and he remained home in Jerusalem.
The decision to stay home when he should have been leading his men was a strange one. David was not sick, he was not too old, he was still in his prime, and the favor of God was clearly on him, but he decided to stay home when he should have been leading his troops. To be clear, this was not like the previous chapter when David sent out a portion of his army. David’s entire army went out to battle, and he remained home. David was a man of war. He had been accustomed to leading men in battle for decades, but this time he decided to forgo the fight, and this decision would cost him.
Since David was not with his troops, he had idle time on his hands. He took an afternoon nap. After his nap, the king decided to walk out onto the roof of his palace. I am sure he had done this hundreds of times. The view from atop the palace was undoubtedly remarkable. As David looked out over Jerusalem, something caught his eye. He saw a woman naked, taking a bath. The woman clearly did not know anyone was watching, and while she was performing a seemingly mundane task, the King of Israel was peering down on her naked body like a perverted ‘peeping Tom.’ David could have done the right thing and looked away. After all, David was a man of God. God had been exceptionally good to David, and he had been walking with God most of his life. The same God who delivered David from the mouth of the lion, the paw of the bear, the grip of the giant, and the sword of his enemies, was watching David as he peered down on this unexpecting woman.
David had to make a decision. At that moment, while he was looking down on the woman and God was looking down on him, he could have looked away, shook it off (men, you know what I mean), and went back inside his palace. After all, David had several wives, and if he had worked himself up, he could have easily called for one of them. But this woman was not his wife, and I believe that added to the intrigue. Not only that, but the Bible says she was a woman of “unusual beauty.” I am sure Bathsheba was gorgeous, but surely, a man who had fought so valiantly against lions, bears, giants, and warriors could easily win the battle in his own mind. Couldn’t he? I am positive he could, but at that second, at the critical moment when a decision is made, with the thoughts of both going after the woman or leaving her alone flooding his mind, David decided to pursue sin and instead of righteousness. You know the story. He called for the woman, had sex with her, found out she got pregnant and then called her husband home from the frontlines to trick him into having sex with his wife. But her husband was honorable. He did not want to have sex with his wife while his troops were in contact. So David sent them man back to war, with instructions to have him killed. David committed premeditated murder, but God still honors him in scripture.
So what does this mean for you today? There is a lot to unpack here.
1. The safest place in the world is IN the will of God. You are not a puppet, and the Lord is not pulling your strings. You are a free moral agent. You can do what you want. The Lord wants you to make decisions that line up with His will for your life, but God will not stop you from sinning. This puts the onus on you to make decisions that are both careful and prayerful. When you make decisions that line up with God’s will, you enjoy the blessing of being aligned with Him. When you don’t, you run the risk of suffering the consequences of poor decisions. David’s decision to stay home, when he should have been with his troops in battle, wound up being a terrible decision, and it cost him greatly. Make no mistake, your decisions and actions matter.
2. When you are in the wrong position, you are exposed to the wrong things. When you position yourself where God wants you to be, you have the right conversations and interactions with the right people. However, when you are out of position, and you are not where God wants you to be, you expose yourself to people and situations that may hurt you in the long run. It pays to be led by God’s Spirit in all things.
3. Idle time is dangerous. David was out of position, and he had idle time on his hands. As people say, ‘idle time is the devil’s workshop.’ David did not have anything to do. During his time with no focus, he saw Bathsheba, and he almost wrecked his life and legacy. So, as you enter this day, make sure you focus on what God wants you to do. This does not mean that you must never have downtime. Downtime is necessary, and God will bless your downtime. But downtime is not idle time. Don’t schedule idle time because idle (unproductive) time will open you up to things you should not be involved in.
4. Your preparation will show up in your performance. Everyone is tempted. David was ordained of God to be king, he had been walking with God for decades, and he was still tempted. It does not matter who you are; temptation will come knocking at your door. The issue is not that the temptation will come, because it will come. The issue is: what are you going to do when you tempted to sin?
When the temptation to do wrong comes, it is too late to attempt to get ready for it. At that moment, you are either ready, and you resist the temptation, or you are not ready, and you succumb to it. You can’t get ready in the moment. Therefore, you must prepare yourself daily, prior to these critical moments, so that you will be ready when they come. And believe me, they will come.
5. Spiritual warfare takes place in the critical moment when a decision is made. When you are facing a critical decision — a decision that will either please God or disappoint Him — don’t think that the decision will only be mental. There is a spiritual aspect to our walk with God, and the devil will do everything he can to bring you down. Spiritual forces will be at work, prompting, prodding, and poking you towards the bad decision. But if you are “prayed up,” you have filled your heart with God’s Word, and you already committed your day and your way to the Lord, Angelic protection will also be at work to shield you from the enemy. The point is this: in the moment when you have to make a critical decision, don’t overlook the reality of spiritual forces. Paul said, “Don’t be ignorant of the devil’s tactics.” (2 Cor 2:11).
6. Sexual sin has consequences on many levels. Not only does sexual sin have spiritual consequences with God, breaking the intimacy you have with the Father, but it also has natural consequences in this world, opening yourself up to pregnancy, STDs, soul-ties, and etc. Although our God is a God of grace, He still requires us to walk in holiness!
7. It does not take long to wreck your life. The decision David made to sleep with Bathsheba happened just a few minutes after awakening from a mid-afternoon nap, and the entire incident only took a few hours. David had spent decades building his life and legacy, and he almost lost it all for a few moments of fleeting pleasure. Don’t make this mistake.
8. If you give the devil your attention for five seconds, he will have your mind for five minutes. When David saw Bathsheba’s naked body, he should have looked away immediately. Once he entertained the thought, then he was hooked. You can’t give your attention to satan or your own lusts because once you do, it is only a matter of time before those lusts give birth to sin.
9. Grace is not a license to sin.
Sexual sin has been the downfall of many powerful men. People have forfeited fortunes and legacies for a few seconds of pleasure. The few moments David enjoyed with Bathsheba almost cost him everything. Although I do a great deal of teaching on the grace of God, I want to be clear that grace is not a license to sin. Grace means we are FREE FROM sin, not FREE TO sin.
10. God specializes in grace.
The fact that David committed such terrible acts and then repented and recovered, coupled with the fact that the New Testament is kind to David (calling him a man after God’s own heart in Acts 13:22), gives us hope. This is just another reminder that God is in the business of making holy garments from flawed material. Our holy God forgives, and He is willing to work through imperfect people. This means I qualify. Guess what? You do too!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for Your Word and the reminder this morning to remain focused in all things. I know how dangerous being outside of Your will can be. Therefore, I will make every effort to hear from You and to make decisions that line up with Your will. You are Holy and Perfect, and You know that I am not. I am only righteous because of Jesus. I am only holy because You have cleansed me with the Blood of Your Son. But as a Born-Again believer, I make every effort to live right and blameless in Your sight. I seek to be led by Your Spirit daily.
I know there is a devil, and I know he will tempt me with evil. The enemy will do all he can to get me to go astray. But I won’t wait until the moment of temptation to attempt to get ready. I get ready now. I put Your Word down in my heart daily. I hide Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You. By putting Your Word through my “eye gate” and “ear gate,” I am getting Your Word down in my heart. I do this to prepare myself for those moments when I must make critical decisions that will either take me towards or away from Your will. I also pray daily, and I invoke angelic protection over my family and me so that we are shielded from the hand of the enemy.
Lastly, Father, if I make a mistake and sin, I am quick to repent, to receive forgiveness, to forgive myself, and to move on. I know I am under grace, but I don’t see grace as a license to sin. I see grace as empowerment to live free from the power of sin. I am alive, free, whole, blessed, and holy. GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!