And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 1:1
David followed Saul as ruler of Israel. He was chosen during Saul’s second year following Saul’s disobedience in offering a burnt sacrifice.
We pick up David’s story in the spring when it was customary for kings to gather the armies and march to war. David had reached a point of prosperity where most of the nation’s enemies had been defeated. As king, his place was at the front of the army but he had become comfortable and chose to stay home.
It is very dangerous to become comfortable in the place God has set us. This is what happened to David. He became comfortable and, in choosing to stay behind, opened the door to sin.
This story provides us with several additional keys. The first involves the danger of becoming comfortable in our Christian journey.
It is easy to neglect our relationship with God when things are going well. We go to church on Sundays but rarely think of God until it is time to attend the next service.
We live in a time where Christians seem to be focused more on prosperity and healing than on a relationship with God. Church leaders work to ensure that people attending their services feel uncomfortable by the message.
I believe that God desires for us to prosper and walk in divine health. This is taught in Scripture but these are not the reasons I choose to serve God. They are just benefits of walking in the plan of God as enablers who can reach others with the love of God!
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
God sustains His creation with His Word. We can choose to treat God like an ambulance service or we can choose to pursue Him with our whole heart. This is not a one-time choice.
David is known as a man who pursued the heart of God. He was still human and capable of making mistakes. This is something we must keep in mind to keep an open mind and avoid becoming critical when reading about his mistakes.
David had led the armies and fought in a lot of battles. He had gathered some very capable leaders around him and decided to let his generals lead the army to war in his place. This opened the door for temptation to enter his life.
2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
2 Samuel 11:2
Here we see that not only had David stayed home but that he was also spending the day in bed! He got up at the end of the day, walked to his roof, and saw a woman bathing nearby.
The proper action at this point was for David to turn away and respect the woman’s privacy. It is obvious from the account that this is not the path he chose to pursue.
There is a saying I’ve heard over the years. It is “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop”. David should have been with the army but instead had stayed home and spent the day in bed. He had become comfortable in his position and was letting the generals fill his spot at the front of Israel’s army.
The woman David saw was Bathsheba. Her husband, Uriah, was one of his mighty men. Uriah was with the army fighting for his nation while David was home sleeping with his wife.
6 And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David.
7 And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered.
8 And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king’s house, and there followed him a mess of meat from the king.
9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house.
10 And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from thy journey? why then didst thou not go down unto thine house?
11 And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing.
12 And David said to Uriah, Tarry here to day also, and tomorrow I will let thee depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow.
2 Samuel 11:6-12
David sinned with Bathsheba. He could have chosen to repent but instead chose to hide what he had done by calling Uriah back from the war. His hope was for Uriah to sleep with his wife to eliminate any suspicion in the event Bathsheba was pregnant.
Uriah was an honorable man. He refused to sleep with his wife while his comrades in arms were fighting the nation’s enemies.
13 And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk: and at even he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house.
14 And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.
15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.
16 And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were.
17 And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also.
2 Samuel 11:13-17
Uriah’s refusal to sleep with Bathsheba frustrated David. He drank with David, got drunk, and still refused to sleep with her!
David wrote a letter to Uriah’s commander that was essentially a death sentence. He is called a man after God’s own heart but still had fleshly desires and fell to temptation.
The account of David’s sin provides an important key for us in our quest to unlock the plan of God. David was a godly man who allowed himself to become comfortable. Our greatest vulnerability will often manifest when we reach any level of success in the plan of God.
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