“Then it happened – in the spring when kings go out to battle. but david stayed at jerusalem.” 2 samuel 11
The last time we looked at David he was at the pinnacle of his life as a powerful and merciful king and a just and righteous administrator and giving God all the glory. (2 Sam. 8-9) Now we’ll see this same man of God go from the height of goodness and mercy to the pit of adultery, murder, coveting and cover up and pay a great price for the rest of his life. David chose the “passing (fleeting) pleasures of sin” (Heb. 11:25) rather than the eternal and lasting pleasures of God. (Psalm 16:11) God is not against pleasure, just sinful pleasure.
Sin is never a blowout but a slow leak. As someone said, we need to be filled (controlled) by the Holy Spirit anew every day because we leak. When did David start leaking? “After he left Hebron, David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem, and more sons and daughters were born to him.” (2 Sam. 5:13) He had at least eight wives and many concubines and this is against the clear Word of God in Deut. 17:17 “He (the king) must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray (i.e., from God).”
But fleshly lusts – sex, alcohol, drugs, love of money, can never be satisfied but needs more and more until we are addicted. David’s many wives and concubines didn’t satisfy his sexual lusts, it only increased his sexual drive. Hence he now picks the forbidden fruit – his neighbor’s wife. And Uriah was one of David’s loyal friends, one of his mighty men. (2 Sam 23:39)
From the passing pleasure of sin “and he slept with her” to the “death” of consequences, “I am pregnant.” “Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:14-15) Temptation goes from desire to deception (enticed) to disobedience (conceived/sin) to death. Death in the Scriptures means separation both from God (broken fellowship for believers) and from others. The flesh is the most subtle deceiver as it speaks in the first person and lies. (Rom 7:14-25)
David goes from bad to worse by not immediately confessing his sin to God and Uriah and asking for mercy; shades of Watergate and Monica Lewinsky. This leads to the horror of murder, death of the baby, Absalom’s rebellion, etc., etc., etc. The high cost of sin. “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” (Prov. 29:25) It is true that David had a lot to lose in admitting his sin. He was greatly loved and respected by all of Israel and God’s law said that he and Bathsheba were to be put to death. (Lev. 20:10 specially says “your neighbor’s wife”) Yet David had experienced God’s mercy for he had seen both God’s hand of mercy and His Sovereign protection to bring him from the sheep pen to the palace. Surely his sexual lusts had led his heart astray from the Lord as the Lord said it would if he took many wives.
It is true that God has a plan for our lives (Eph. 2:10) but it is also true that Satan has one too. He “comes to steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10). If Satan could take you out (of God’s plan) where would he most likely do it? The Bible says that we are not to be ignorant of Satan’s schemes and to be sober and alert for he is seeking to devour us. (2 Cor. 2:11; 1 Peter 5:8)
What are Satan’s schemes regarding sexual sin? Tom Eiseman in Temptations Men Face, shows the gradual slide into adultery (or fornication for singles) by listing the 12 steps that lead to the fall and how we can fight against this: 1) emotional readiness- unresolved marital problems and a growing away from each other; the “hidden sin” of pornography; 2) alertness or awareness of a particular woman in our web of relationships – even one at church; 3) innocent meetings where some flirtation begins; 4) intentional meetings at least on your part where you “happen” to run into her at work or places you know she frequents; 5) public lingering – one-on one talks in the midst of others may feel innocent and safe but personal sharing begins to happen; 6) private lingering – staying after work together or after a recreational activity; 7) purposeful isolating – asking the woman to stay late and help you on a project, etc. 8) pleasurable isolating – touching begins and rationalization saying, there is nothing wrong with being good friends; 9) affectionate embracing; rationalization continues, if we stop short of intercourse it is o.k. an added danger here is alcohol which will move it quickly to the next stage; 10) passionate embracing – but still no intercourse and thus rationalization continues; 11) capitulation – intercourse; 12) acceptance and an on-going affair and or divorce. And no they don’t live happily ever after. Ask David. After the infatuation wears off they begin to discover all the imperfections in each other they never saw before. Real life goes on and now the cancer of a hurt and angry wife and hurt and angry children and blending with the new family and the fear that if he/she cheated once he/she will do it again.
The two major steps to fight against this slide into sin and its consequences is to build a deep and intimate relationship with the Lord and with your wife. As Joseph showed us we should fear hurting our Lord and “flee” from sexual sin. (Gen. 39.9; 1 Cor. 6:18) And the best investment we can make in human relationships (and it takes hard work and sacrifice) against loneliness and an unhappy ending of life is to do what our Lord said in Ephesians, “He who loves his wife loves himself.” (See Eph. 5:25-32; Eccl. 9:9)
Discussion Questions FOR APPLICATION OF GOD’S WORD
What was David’s first step toward the progressive nature of sin seen in James 1:14-15 above and how could he and we abate the process – nip it in the bud. How did Jesus do it? Matthew 4:1-11
If Satan could take you out (of God’s plan) where would he most likely do it?- sex, alcohol, drugs, love of money, power, selfish ambition, etc. Are you aware of his schemes in your life, his plan for your life?
How healthy is your relationship with the Lord and with your wife? What would your wife say? What steps can you take to deepen your relationship with the Lord? With your wife? What steps would she suggest?
If you or someone you know struggle with pornography, heed God’s Word and “flee from sexual immorality” before the slow leak becomes a flat tire. Contact Troy Haas at [email protected] or Nathan Shattuck at [email protected] for their accountability groups for men struggling with pornography.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:22-25) It is in doing God’s Word, not in just hearing it, that we are blessed. What action will you take to apply these truths to your life?
Scripture memory verse: “Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:14-15)