Men, we need more frank conversation about sexual temptation.
Many knew David’s story before we fell into sin ourselves, so knowledge of this story alone is not enough to keep us from sin. Yet the story must be retold to teach us a healthy mistrust of ourselves and call upon God for grace, even now. Praise God for the past victories we have had in spite of defeats, but we should also be reminded that the fight against sexual temptation is not yet over.
1) At the return of the year, at the time when kings go out, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem. 2) At evening, David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king's house. From the roof, he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to look at. 3) David sent and inquired after the woman. One said, "Isn't this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, Uriah the Hittite's wife?"
4) David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in to him, and he lay with her (for she was purified from her uncleanness); and she returned to her house.2 Samuel 11:1-4 (WEB)
The timing of David’s sin is not recorded, but it is at least plausible that 10 minutes after David looked upon Bathsheba, he was with her in bed. We should consider that when we find ourselves standing in our own high place gazing upon a beautiful woman. We should also consider the cost David paid for his rash behavior.
11) "This is what Yahweh says: 'Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your neighbor, and he will lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12) For you did this secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.' "
13) David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against Yahweh."Nathan said to David, "Yahweh also has put away your sin. You will not die. 14) However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to Yahweh's enemies to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you will surely die."2 Samuel 12:11-14 (WEB)
The following chapters record the fulfillment of Nathan’s prophecy of God’s judgment in David’s life:
1. David and Bathsheba’s son died
2. David’s son Amnon raped his sister Tamar
3. David’s son Absalom killed his brother Amnon
4. Absalom conspired against his father David
5. Absalom laid with his father’s concubines on the palace roof in view of all Israel
6. Absalom was killed by Joab, David’s military commander
7. David wept for Absalom his son
Brothers we can calculate the risk of sin's negative effects as pragmatic Americans, but we must also remember that the most negative aspect of sin is that it displeases God and puts us off his good path. We should find whatever reasons we can to keep ourselves from sin, but remembering that there is a holy God who sees all ought to be foremost. David paid a terribly high price for his sin. We also may have paid high prices. Yet here we stand by the grace of God and we would be best to fall upon him for help to finish our race whether we find ourselves fit or bruised and battered from the sinful choices of our past.
God help us.