Day 129: David Commits Adultery

2 Samuel 11:1-27 Following his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba, David arranged for Uriah’s death, which freed Bathsheba to marry him. In doing so, he committed the sins of coveting another man’s wife (Ninth Commandment), adultery (Sixth Commandment), murder (Fifth Commandment); the last two were punishable by death according to the Law. (CCC 2268-2269)


1 Chronicles 14:1-17 This account is largely taken from an earlier narrative (cf. 2 Sm 5), but it adds the command of David to burn the idols confiscated from the Philistines. (CCC 2113-2114)


Ch 15:1-16:43 The glorious celebration that accompanied the procession and installation of the Ark of the Covenant into the tent of meeting in Jerusalem was an event of utmost significance in the history of Israel. Music and song were an integral part of worship in ancient Israel and are used in the liturgical worship of the Church. (CCC 1156-115)


IDOLS ARE MAN-MADE REPRESENTATIONS OF GODS used for worship. Such worship is contrary to the First Commandment, which instructs us to worship God alone. Idolatry, like all habitual sin, can have enslaving effects that separate us from the one true God. The definition of idolatry extends to any person, object, material good, or concept that replaces the worship that is due to God alone.


Psalm 32 To confess one’s sins requires humility expressed in self-knowledge and self-accusation. This virtue is crucial in taking full advantage of the Sacrament of Penance. The psalmist was tormented and weighed down by a painful sense of guilt. Finally, he made the courageous decision to confess his sin before God, who-as always-readily forgives the humble and contrite heart.


Contrition that effectively achieves reconciliation must not only include sorrow for sin but a firm resolution to avoid future sin. This is the mark of true conversion, which in turn involves keeping God’s Commandments. (Cf. St. John Paul II, General Audience, May 19, 2004)


I acknowledge...guilt of my sin: Illness, like all suffering, can be redemptive by uniting it to the sufferings of Christ. The experience of pain and weakness gives us a greater awareness of our dependence and need of God’s merciful assistance. (CCC 1502)


Be not like a horse or a mule: It would be quite foolish to ignore the counsel of the Church or of the priest in the Sacrament of Penance, which show the path to avoiding future sin.

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)


David’s Sin

  • The story of David’s affair with Bathsheba is well known.

  • Lesser known is its importance within the larger picture of the Davidic dynasty.

  • The narrative begins, “In the springtime of the year, the time when kings go forth to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him...but David remained in Jerusalem” (2 Sam 11:1).

  • The contrast is direct: kings go to war in the spring, but not David.

  • This evasion of royal responsibility opens the opportunity for the fall that will soon follow.

  • While walking on his rooftop one afternoon, David eyes the beautiful Bathsheba bathing.

  • He sends for her and sleeps with her, and she conceives a child.

  • David attempts a quick cover-up by calling her husband, Uriah, home from the battlefield, expecting that Uriah will sleep with his wife and be regarded as the child’s father.

  • Uriah’s behavior only furthers the irony of the situation, as he refrains from sexual intercourse for the sake of purity and solidarity with his fellow soldiers, even after David gives him much drink.

  • David, couched in luxury, has shown no such scruple.

  • Trapped in the vise of his vice, David arranges the death of Uriah on the battlefield.

  • David sends orders to Joab, the commander of David’s army, that Uriah be placed at the front line (thereby assuring his death).

  • Because he has witnessed Uriah’s loyalty, David trusts Uriah not to open the letter.

  • At the same time, David trusts Joab to cooperate in the murder of an innocent man, for David has seen Joab’s unprincipled behavior in the murder of Abner (see 2 Sam 3).

  • David, even in the depths of sin, is a shrewd judge of character.

  • For his own preservation, he exploits the character of both these men.

  • With Uriah out of the way, David takes Bathsheba as his wife.

  • While David’s sin escapes public judgement, it does not escape the eyes of God.

(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)


  • 2 Samuel Ch 11 So here is the first tragic word of David

  • That first tragic word is that David begins his day poorly

  • With David’s sin, it DOES NOT BEGIN with ONE AWFUL SIN

  • How does it begin?

  • At the spring of the year, when kings go out into battle, David sent out Joab and the rest of the army while he stayed back in Jerusalem

  • Remember, in the ancient world, the job of the king was NOT SIMPLY TO GOVERN

  • The job of the king was NOT SIMPLY TO MAKE DECISIONS

  • The job of the king was to LEAD THE ARMY IN BATTLE

  • The job of the king was to FIGHT FOR THE PEOPLE

  • David has already DONE ALL THIS A BUNCH OF TIMES

  • But in Ch 11, he sends SOMEONE ELSE to do HIS task

  • This is how it starts

  • This is how almost all of our BIG SINS that we fall into start

  • We look up from our sins and think, “Oh my gosh, how did I get to this place?”

  • They begin by us NOT DOING OUR DAILY DUTY

  • They begin by us NOT DOING THE TASK THE LORD HAS SET IN FRONT OF US

  • That is EXACTLY what happens to David

  • What happens then?

  • One afternoon, David arose from his nap

  • So you can imagine David saying, “I’m really busy.”

  • “I have got to be here in Jerusalem.”

  • “I’ve got a country to run.”

  • “I can’t afford to be out in the field fighting.”

  • So he stays back home

  • Not only is David NOT doing the task GOD CALLED HIM TO, to fight for his people

  • But David is giving into his comfort

  • Now, there is nothing WRONG with taking a nap (Oh thank goodness because if there’s one thing I love almost too much, it’s NAPS! 😉)

  • But David’s army, his MIGHTY MEN, are sleeping in the open field, risking their life and limb EVERY SINGLE DAY

  • And David is COMFORTING himself

  • Now, that comfort IS NOT EVIL

  • BUT THAT COMFORT CAN DULL OUR SENSES

  • It can lead us down this slope of “Ok I'm not doing what I should not be doing”

  • “Not only am I not doing what I should be doing, but I am giving into comfort.”

  • Now what happens to David?

  • He sees a beautiful woman bathing

  • This is the moment where alarm bells should have gone off in David’s head

  • He should have looked away

  • Whenever Fr. Mike, as a child, watched a movie with his parents and there was an inappropriate scene on the screen, then his parents made him look up at the ceiling, the so-called CEILING SCENE!!

  • So David should have had a CEILING SCENE when he saw Bathsheba bathing on the roof

  • He should have gone back inside, taken a cold shower (did they have showers back then? 🤔) and moved on with his day

  • But what did David do?

  • He made inquiries about Bathsheba

  • He finds out that she is the wife of one of his MIGHTY MEN

  • Her husband is URIAH THE HITTITE

  • He finds out that SHE IS A MARRIED WOMAN

  • That in and of itself should have been the moment where he STOPPED and went the other direction

  • But what does David do?

  • He stays on this slippery slope

  • This slippery slope started with David NOT DOING HIS DAILY DUTY

  • It continued with David INDULGING HIS COMFORT

  • It continued with David LOOKING WHERE HE SHOULDN’T BE LOOKING

  • It continued with David INQUIRING ABOUT SOMEONE HE SHOULDN’T INQUIRE ABOUT

  • And now David KNOWS that she is MARRIED to a man he TRUSTED WITH HIS LIFE

  • This man, Uriah, has placed HIS life on the line for DAVID and the People of Israel

  • So what does David do?

  • He sends for Bathsheba and takes her

  • So the story is partly about David’s UNFAITHFULNESS

  • He committed ADULTERY

  • But we also recognize, especially in this day and age, David is ABUSING HIS POWER

  • Bathsheba wasn’t necessarily “into him” but he is the king

  • David said to come on over

  • What could she do?

  • David was the KING

  • This is a MASSIVE MASSIVE ABUSE OF POWER

  • The Lord God ANOINTED David to be the King of Israel

  • To FIGHT for his people

  • To LEAD his people

  • To GUIDE his people

  • To GOVERN his people

  • And now, David is using that ANOINTED POWER not only to BETRAY Uriah, but also to VIOLATE Bathsheba

  • The crazy thing is it gets worse

  • Bathsheba conceives and tells David she is with child

  • So what does David do?

  • He tries to COVER IT UP

  • This is the CONTRAST of the NOBILITY OF URIAH and the LACK OF NOBILITY IN THIS MOMENT OF DAVID

  • David calls Uriah from the field and sends him home to his wife

  • But Uriah refuses and sleeps at the doorway of the king’s palace

  • David finds out and then gets him drunk the next night and tries to get him to go home to his wife

  • But Uriah refused to go home while his brothers in arms are still out in battle

  • So David started on this path by not doing his daily duty

  • He gave into comfort

  • He gave into his base instincts

  • He ends up betraying Uriah and taking advantage of Bathsheba

  • Now, he becomes a MURDERER

  • Now look at Uriah

  • Uriah is doing his daily duty

  • Uriah is doing EXACTLY what he is called to do

  • Uriah is NOT giving into comfort

  • Uriah is NOT giving into his base instincts

  • Uriah chooses CHARACTER

  • Uriah chooses NOBILITY

  • Uriah chooses THE RIGHT THING

  • David conspires to MURDER this man who LAID HIS LIFE on the line for DAVID AND ISRAEL MANY TIMES

  • It’s so interesting because it ends with David being an adulterer, maybe a rapist, and a MURDERER

  • These three things that we recognize are SO EVIL

  • ADULTERY

  • RAPER

  • MURDER

  • These are done by a man who in other contexts and places IS SO GOOD

  • KEEP THIS IN MIND

  • David DOES NOT START THERE

  • David ENDS UP THERE

  • David starts simply by NOT DOING WHAT HE KNEW WHAT HE WAS CALLED TO DO

  • David starts simply by GIVING INTO HIS COMFORT

  • David starts simply by LIVING OFF MISSION

  • When we LIVE OFF MISSION it leads to a dark dark place

  • You and I may not become adulterers, rapists, or murderers

  • But we all know that that is where it COULD end

  • When we start to live OFF THE MISSION THAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO US, WE DON’T KNOW WHERE IT IS GOING TO END

  • Tomorrow we will find out that God has to step in and convict David of what he has done

  • That’s a good thing

  • Tomorrow we will read Psalm 51, a PSALM OF REPENTANCE

  • Psalm 32 is also a PSALM OF REPENTANCE

  • FROM DAVID

  • We give God praise for the fact that we sometimes find ourselves in a place where we did not ever ever dream we would end up in

  • We never imagined we would end up in this place, being an adulterer, being a rapist, being a murderer

  • BEING WHATEVER THAT THING IS

  • We never imagined we would end up there

  • BUT IT STARTED SOMEWHERE

  • So we go back to where it started and we ask for God’s FORGIVENESS for THAT moment, and we ask for God’s FORGIVENESS for THIS moment we are in

  • It’s a very dark story

  • But it is also the story of OUR OWN HEARTS

  • We not only see the story of David

  • We also LEARN from the story of David

  • That could be ANY ONE OF US when we decide to LIVE OFF MISSION

  • That was all it was

  • It ends up killing someone that trusted us with EVERYTHING, whether it is killing them PHYSICALLY or killing them SPIRITUALLY

  • THAT IS WHAT BETRAYAL DOES

  • BETRAYAL KILLS SOMEONE SPIRITUALLY

  • FRAUD KILLS SOMEONE SPIRITUALLY

  • That’s why we need PRAYERS

  • Fr. Mike NEEDS YOUR PRAYERS

  • We need Fr. Mike’s PRAYERS

  • THIS IS NOT THE END

  • EVEN THE WORST SIN IS NOT THE END

  • THIS IS NOT THE END OF DAVID’S STORY

  • THANKS BE TO GOD

  • In your eyes, David may not be someone you can no longer EVER respect

  • AND YET…

  • In his OWN eyes, David is someone he can no longer respect when he looks in the mirror

  • BUT GOD KNOWS DAVID’S HEART

  • GOD KEEPS CALLING DAVID’S HEART BACK TO HIM

  • That’s what God does for YOU!

  • That’s what God does for ME!

  • The question is not, “WILL WE SIN?”

  • WE HAVE SINNED

  • The question is, “WHAT DO WE DO WHEN WE HAVE SINNED?”

  • WE ARE ALL BROKEN

  • WE ARE ALL BROKEN

  • SO LET’S PRAY FOR EACH OTHER

  • PRAY FOR FR. MIKE


Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and thank you. Thank you for this Psalm 32. Thank you for the fact that even in our sin we can call upon you and you hear our voice. You hear our prayer. Lord, in our imperfection, you meet us with your mercy. In our sins you meet us with your Grace. And so we are so grateful. We are so grateful because we in so many ways are like David. And we in so many ways turn away from what we know you are calling us to do and who we know you are calling us to be. And so we ask you please, renew your mercy in us as your mercies are renewed each morning, renew them in us. Because we need you and we need your mercy. We thank you and give you praise. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”