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.
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
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
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
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