2 Samuel 11:1-5
1In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.
2It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. 3And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. 5And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.”
Back in the day, in doctrine classes, we learned of the various forms and definitions of sin. There are sins of omission, where we don’t do that which is commanded and sins of commission, where we do the thing that are prohibited. There are sins of weakness, committed because of our frail humanity that is bound so deeply to sin, and sins of the will where we purposefully marched in the direction of evil without a concern for the negative consequences. This last category is the most dangerous, as we sin intentionally without regard for the will and way of God. We just don’t care. Walking in this realm (and we all do it occasionally) leads nowhere good and could ultimately end with our eternal doom. That is the situation into which David has placed himself at this point in his story. He is intentionally walking away from the God he loves.
The verse that reveals David’s heart and actions is verse 2. “. . . late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch . . .” While his army is out on the battlefield David has been taking a nap. He is lounging about, wondering what to do with his day. So, he wanders out to his roof and what should appear on a nearby rooftop below him but a beautiful woman. Did he know she would be there? The text doesn’t really say, but I believe that he did. Did he know who she was? I believe he did, as she is the wife of the lead commander of his army. But instead of acknowledging that acquaintance and looking away, he innocently asks who she is. When we set our feet onto the path of intentional sin, there is nowhere to go but down.
The other character in this drama is of course Bathsheba. We certainly cannot hold up her innocence. She could have at any time said “no”. I doubt if David would have raped her. And I doubt if she feared saying “no” to the king. At no point in his story or hers do we find indications of a brutish character on David’s part or a weak willed character on her part. So they walked together into this circumstance with eyes wide open. But I do lay most of the responsibility at David’s feet. He began his stroll into this sinful situation when he stayed home rather than going with his army into battle. Had he never sent for her in the first place, none of the following events would have taken place. But all of this unfolds inside the heart of a man who with intent walks into sin.
While we gaze in horror at David’s choices we have to realize that his story is our story. Have we never intentionally done something we knew was wrong? Of course we have – every single one of us. But fortunately for us, Jesus died for all of our sins, not just the ones committed by mistake or out of weakness. He also died for those hideous events that we created with our own imagination and will. His blood covers even the worst thing we can come up with and forgives all of our sins, intended or not. But we must be so very cautious, because those intentional sins are fraught with danger, for they lead us away from God on a very quick scale. Those sins comes from the hardness of our human hearts and it is in these areas of our lives where we must pray the Words that God gave to Ezekiel in chapter 36:
25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. 28 You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
Dear Lord, please deal with the hard places in my heart where I am unwilling to yield to Your will and Your way. Pour out Your Spirit upon me that I might flee from those sins that entice me away from You. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.