Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
2 Samuel 11:1 (NIV)
In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 11:1 (MSG)
When that time of year came around again, the anniversary of the Ammonite aggression, David dispatched Joab and his fighting men of Israel in full force to destroy the Ammonites for good. They laid siege to Rabbah, but David stayed in Jerusalem.
“Then it happened in the spring, [a]at the time when the kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all [the fighting men of] Israel, and they destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.”-AMPLIFIED
It was spring time. The time when kings went off to war with their armies. Scripture tells us that the Ammonites were still trying to stir up trouble with Israel; though they no longer had the support of the Arameans. But where was David? Not with his men this time. Instead he had chosen to stay behind in Jerusalem.
Here is where David’s problem of sin began. He was neglecting his responsibilities as king by not going with his troops to war. We are not told why David stayed behind, but by doing so he opened himself up to temptation. For instead of focusing on his kingly duties as commander-in-chief he had so much time on his hands that his mind had time to wander and dwell on things that it had no business dwelling on.
“One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” -2 Samuel 11:2-4 (NIV)
David’s temptation and succumbing to sin is a good illustration for us in how sin works. James the brother of Jesus wrote this warning to the followers of Jesus. “Everyone is tempted by his own desires as they lure him away and trap him. Then desire becomes pregnant and gives birth to sin. When sin grows up, it gives birth to death.” –James 1:14-15 (GW)
David was tempted to sin and he gave into that temptation. He slept with that beautiful woman, Bathsheba. “So David sent messengers and took her. She came to him, and he went to bed with her. (She had just cleansed herself after her monthly period.) Then she went home. The woman had become pregnant. So she sent someone to tell David that she was pregnant.” -2 Samuel 11:4-5 (GW)
David used his place of authority for something sinful and ungodly. This man after God’s own heart was still susceptible to temptation and sin. David abused his position of power for personal satisfaction and as usual there were still consequences to sin; even for a king. David slept with a woman who was not his wife; she was another man’s wife (Uriah’s) and she became pregnant. (What a mess of things we make when we allow our attention to dwell on things that it should not be dwelling on.)
David has now put himself and Bathsheba into a difficult position. By right’s they both should be put to death according to Hebrew law. When Bathsheba sent the message to David to inform him that she was pregnant she basically left the decision up to him on what the next step would be; for everyone knew that her husband Uriah was out on the field of battle. What David does next is hopefully not what we choose to do when we have given into temptation. He tries to cover up that sin and deceive everyone. Instead of admitting that he had sinned, instead of trying to make things right, he tries to cover things up. David had forgotten that there was no hiding your sin from the Lord.” …behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.” –Numbers 32:23 (KJV)
Tomorrow we will address how David tried to cover up his sin. Today let us take with us the reminder that we are all susceptible to temptation and sin; not one of us is above it. Even Jesus was tempted, but He did not sin. Too many Christians today have fallen into the lie of pride that tells them that they do not or cannot sin as a child of God. For shame! We are all sinners, but as a child of God we are sinners saved by God’s grace. Just because we are children of God does not mean that we are no longer tempted or cannot sin. “Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.” -1 Corinthians 10:12 (MSG)
God also promises us that when we are tempted he will provide a way out for us. “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.” -1 Corinthians 10:13 (MSG)
Sin brings with it sorrow, but God can bring you through that temptation victorious!
Lord, help me to keep my eyes and heart firmly focused on you; so that when those temptations come my way I am not even inclined or enticed to consider them. You have promised that you will not test me beyond more than I can bear, but you will make a way out. Help me to remember your to use your Word to fight off those attacks of the Enemy. Help me also remember that you are always with me and will never forsake me. Thank you, God.