I have always found the story of David fascinating. From his initial anointing to be king, to his slaying of Goliath, and eventually to his prosperous reign over Israel. Everything about David’s kingship was how you would imagine a God-honoring king would lead Israel. In fact, in 1 Samuel 13:14, God calls David “A man after his own heart.” Except for one glaring succession of events in his life which is chronicled in 2 Samuel 11.
2 Samuel 11 starts off by talking about how it’s the time of the year when all the kings
would go out for battle. However, David remains at home and sends out another man (Joab) to lead the army. This is the first major red flag that we see. It’s like that moment in a horror movie when the music starts to play, and you know something terrible is about to happen. Back in those days, kings would always go out to battle with their man. Can you imagine what that would look like today? David was renown for being a great warrior, that’s how he rose to fame amongst the Israelites. So it makes no sense that he would stay at home. He wasn’t being the king that he was supposed to be.
One wrong decision will eventually lead to another one. While David was at home, he looked out his window and what did he see? He saw a woman by the name of Bathsheba bathing on her roof. David thought she was beautiful. So much like we do now, he sent his friends to find out more about her. They come back and tell him that she’s married. This should be the end of that story. Adultery is and has always been against God’s design for this world. David, being a faithful man, would know not to continue to pursue this woman. However, David sends his men to bring Bathsheba to him. Then Scripture tells us that they slept together, even though she was going through her menstrual cycle purification which meant that, according to God‘s law at the time, it would make you unclean if you had sex with her.
This probably would have been the end of the story if not for the fact that Bathsheba is now pregnant. There’s no way it could have been her husband’s child because he’s off to war with all the rest of Israel’s men. Which is precisely where David should have been. She sends word to David telling him that she’s pregnant. David then begins to scheme. He has to figure out a way to get out of the responsibility of his actions. So he sends for Uriah to come home. David assumes that once Uriah is home, he will go and sleep with his wife. Thus, David could force Bathsheba to tell everybody that it’s Uriah’s child. It’s a perfect plan, what could go wrong?
What David didn’t take into account was that Uriah was an honorable and upstanding man. Uriah refused to go home because he didn’t feel that it was right for him to be at home when his brothers were out fighting. Literally the exact opposite of what David was doing. So David then decides to get Uriah drunk because he assumes that will lead him to going home and sleeping with his wife. Uriah instead chose to sleep in the servant’s quarters of the palace.
David now has to come up with a new plan. He allows Uriah to go back to the battle. He also sends word to his officers to put Uriah on the front lines and when the fighting starts, they are to pull back all the man and leave Uriah there to be killed. The officers follow their command and Uriah died fighting for his king. Then, David marries Bathsheba and protects his reputation
That’s an insane story! David goes above and beyond to protect himself. He saw something he wanted and took it; it didn’t matter who he hurt along the way. I hope that you’re disgusted by David’s actions when you hear that story. David abused his power to take advantage of Bathsheba and eventually murder her husband. This was supposed to be “A man after God’s own heart.” Instead, we see a man who just repeatedly gives into his temptations.
If I’m honest though, I see a lot of myself in David. Not that I’ve committed adultery or murdered anybody, but I can see how he fell down that rabbit hole of sin. It all starts out with one bad decision. He decided to not go to battle with his men but instead stay home. That one decision led him to make another poor decision which led to another wrong decision and before he knew it, he was in too deep. All he could focus on was how to get himself out of the situation.
There was a prophet at that time by the name of Nathan. He confronted David about what has happened. He tells him a story about a wealthy man who used his power to take something from a poor man. David was furious at hearing the story and demanded that the rich man should put to death. Nathan then dropped the bomb on David and told him in 2 Samuel 12:7, “You are the man!” Nathan is risking his life by confronting the king.
At that moment, David realized what he had done. I’ve been there, and I’m sure you have to. That moment when you know that you’ve messed up. It’s not a fun feeling. I can even imagine David’s facial expression when it all finally clicks. He has now come face-to-face with his sin. I know the exact feeling he had in his gut at that moment.
Have you ever found yourself in that situation, where you were confronted face-to-face with your sin? Now, David’s example is extreme, but we all fall into that rabbit hole of sin. We can’t even see what we’re doing because we’re so consumed with ourselves. Who knows what would’ve happened if Nathan never confronted David. I hope that each of us has people in our lives who are bold enough to confront us with our sin. If you don’t, I suggest that you find somebody. Somebody who knows you as well as you know yourself. The caveat is that you have to listen to them. It does no good to have that person if you are just going to get angry at them and ignore them. Find somebody and partner up with them to be each other’s Nathan.
Once David wraps his mind around all that he did he cries out, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13). At that moment, David repents of all that he did. How does God respond? 2 Samuel 13 tells us that, “The Lord also has put away your sin.” God forgive David. David still has to deal with the consequences of his sin on this earth, but he is forgiven. That very same forgiveness that was offered to David is offered to you and is offered for all. Are you down a rabbit hole sin? Are there things in your life that aren’t lining up with God’s design? Don’t go any further, cry out like David did, repent, and be forgiven. Do you know somebody whose life is being consumed by sin? Be their Nathan and be bold enough to have that conversation with them. There is plenty of forgiveness for them too.
Let David be a reminder for you that there is forgiveness offered to you through Jesus Christ, our Lord.