Thus far in considering this noble character in Jewish history, we have been calling attention to those noble traits which marked him as a righteous, just, godly man – a man of high attainments, both morally and intellectually, and one whom God was pleased to honor and bless and to make a chosen instrument in His service.
But with all his attainments, with all his wisdom and skill and sound judgement, and with all his humility and godly reverence, the poor fallen nature of even this great and good man succumbed to temptation.
Evidently this fall of David into gross sin was not altogether sudden. The process being gradual and each wrong thing searing the conscience more and more, until finally two of the basest crimes were at length committed. The sin of David was adultery and murder as described in 2nd Samuel, Chapter Eleven.
The woman that King David became involved with was the wife of one of his warriors and the daughter of a member of his cabinet. Her husband Uriah was away, fighting in the army of Israel. The result of that she became pregnant. In an effort to conceal their sin and to avoid a scandal or worse, David sent to the front lines to have Uriah come home to report the news of the war and to spend a night or two with his wife. But David’s plan didn’t work. Uriah came to Jerusalem, he reported to the king, but he didn’t go to his wife or even to the comforts of his own home. He didn’t feel it was right for him to enjoy himself when his men were encamped in open fields. When he returned to the fighting Uriah carried a sealed letter from David to his commanding officer which ordered Uriah to the forefront of the hottest battle and to retreat and leave him there to be killed.
When Bathsheba heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him, and when the time of mourning was past she became the wife of David and bare him a son.
But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.
Why are these stories showing God’s servants in a bad light in the Bible? The Bible is a book of truth, it is true and there are lessons to be learned from the good and the bad experiences of God’s people.
David was a faithful believer, he was therefore justified in God’s sight. His desire was to do the will of the Lord. In this respect we are like he was. Poor fallen human nature! How weak it is, and how prone to sin, even at its best state! Truly there is no safety from the power of sin except in a close and constant walk with God and with a resolute purpose to continually avoid and resist the intoxicating influences of the spirit of the world.
David had been walking with the spirit of the world for some time. He wasn’t as careful as he should have been. He got to thinking he had a right to the privileges of other kings. He took to himself multiple wives which was forbidden in the law of God. David had children by six different wives before he even got to Jerusalem. If he had been living close to God’s law he would never for a minute thought that he had a right to Bathsheba.
We must not think that we have the right to do the things that are acceptable in our society today. The fact that everybody does something doesn’t make it right. The things that are acceptable as being normal in the world will destroy the Lord’s people.
As King David should have been an example of Godly living to all of his people, especially to his family.
Our Leaders and Leaders especially but everyone of God’s people should have be an example. “Open Epistles read of every man.”
If in this manner even such a man as David failed and therefore was overcome by the power of temptation, let every child of God take heed and profit by the lesson of his folly. The word of God must be the daily companion, instructor and guide to everyone who would be kept in the path of righteousness, be he little or great.
The truth is given to us to study and feed upon, that it’s principles may be incorporated into our being, molding our thoughts and guiding all our actions.
We would like to believe that none of us could ever practice unrighteousness to the extent that David did, yet we have been taught by our Lord Jesus that all sin has it’s beginning in our minds. If the evil thoughts were continued, they will grow and if they are not stopped, they will result in sinful acts. The person who lusts is guilty of adultery. The one who hates is a murderer.
It could be possible that we like David could be displeasing to the Lord.
We know that “the wages of sin is death”, but thank God, there is such a thing as repentance and remission of sins. And although David has sinned grievously, and God was angry with him, yet in his wrath He remembered mercy.
The first step toward repentance is to recognize that we have sinned and King David had his sins brought to his attention by Nathan the prophet who was sent by the Lord.
Nathan began very carefully with his errand, telling David a parable about a rich man who owned great flocks and herds but who unjustly took and killed the single sheep that was the only possession of a poor man. David became very angry at his injustice and said such a man should be killed because he did this thing. “Thou art this man.” and Nathan continued with God’s word to David. “You were but a keeper of your father’s sheep. I anointed thee, I delivered thee. I made thee King of the house of Israel and Judah and would have given you anything you needed but you despised my commandment and have done evil. You did these things secretly but you will have to live openly with the results of your sins.”
This was a critical moment for David. There were but two courses before the king: one was repentance, confession and reformation: the other was to deny any wrong doing and plunge deeper into sin by claiming the right of kings. Would he serve the world that looked up to him or the Law of God which condemned him?
David said… “I have sinned against the Lord.”
And now finally David recognized the error of his ways. He realized how terrible his sins were. He Knew why he was feeling so badly. It was because he had lost the close relationship he had always before felt with the heavenly Father. He wanted to whatever was necessary to make an atonement for the awful sins he had committed. According to the divine law the full penalty of David’s sin was death under two indictments, but in view of his repentance the Lord remitted the death penalty.
Nathan told David, “The Lord hath put away thy sin, thou shalt not die.”
You have been forgiven your sin against God but you will have to live with the trouble your sins have made for you and your family. You will have to be punished so all the people will know God treats everyone equally under the law.
David made a humble public confession for his sins. He resolved to make the example of his repentance as far reaching for good, as his sin had been for evil.
So, in overcoming the pride and selfishness that had taken deep root in his heart, David proved himself a greater hero than even in his conflict with the giant of Goth, Goliath!
King David came to the realization that the Lord is pleased with a broken and contrite condition of heart. So too, we learn that nothing we give the Lord, even after our acceptance in Christ, has any value in his sight until first of all we have given him ourselves. – our hearts, our wills.
We should always remember that a broken and contrite heart the Lord never despises, will never spurn. Therefore into whatever difficulty any of the Lord’s people nay stumble, if they find themselves hungering for the Lord’s fellowship and forgiveness, if they find their hearts contrite and broken, let them not despair, but remember that God has made it possible for them to receive forgiveness.