Life Lessons from David and Bathsheba

If you have ever been in church, than you have probably heard the infamous account of “David and Bathsheba”, that is, the adultery of David and Bathsheba and David’s eventual murder of her husband. Clearly this event in David’s life is warning against adultery and its grave consequences. It is a clear example of how even David, the “man after God’s own heart” traumatically fell into sin. All of these things are true, but what does this episode really mean for my life? What life lessons can I learn from David and Bathsheba.
In this blog series we are going to take a deep dive into the affair between David and Bathsheba and the real, relevant and practical life lessons we can learn from this.

Idleness Leads to Temptation

“[It happened] In 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.”- 2 Sam 11:1 ESV 
David had been made King by God and at the time, it was expected that the King lead his soldiers in battle. For one reason or another, David neglected his duty. Relaxation is not wrong, but when relaxation becomes priority over God’s work, we can become idle. Just like David, it is only a short sequence from neglecting our duty, to relaxation, to idleness to temptation and then to sin. 

Sin Consists of a Series of Willful choices

So what made up David’s affair? He desired and lusted after Bathsheba (which crept in while he was idle at home). The adultery of his heart progressed into actionable curiosity. Finally, David had her brought into the bedroom, David committed the act, then he sent her home as if nothing happened. David’s affair consisted of intentional, willful choices throughout the entire process. At any given point he had the opportunity to stop and repent, but he chose to keep going. 

The Consequences of Sin are Unavoidable

David had sent Bathsheba home from his bedroom, as if nothing had been done wrong. Within a short time, David heard word that Bathsheba was pregnant. Sooner or later, David would have to deal with the consequences of his actions.Even while intoxicated with wine, Uriah’s loyalty shone and he slept at the palace and not at home with his wife. Then David became desperate. The consequences of his sin would soon come to light. He did not confess of it, he did not repent of it. David’s single focus was hiding his sin and if Uriah would not cooperate, then he would need to be removed.

God Will Punish Our Sin, even though He May Spare us from full judgement

David had sinned and was punished accordingly. David’s entire family would be affected by his sin. David would experience violence for his violence and taking wives for his taking of a wife; the fruit of his sin his son died, seven days later. Despite all of this God kept his love for David. God acquitted David of the rightful punishment- execution. ‘

Be weary- while by God’s grace we may be spared from our rightful punishment of death, we will still get what “we deserve”- God believes in justice and will enact his retribution according to our deeds.

Only God Can Change Our Hearts

David’s prayer is full of asking God to do things. David fully recognizes that in order to get the effects of cleanliness and restoration, God must be the cause. There was nothing that David could to right the wrongs he had done. Furthermore, after his repentance David committed himself to a greater degree of obedience. David’s repentance is a model for all of us. No matter how far we fall from God, God will always take us back- not on our own merit, but wholly on his goodness. 

Sin Can Change Everything For the Worst

 In violence, David fought with his son for control over his throne, much like he committed violence against Uriah. In the process he lost two sons (Amnon and Absalom), had a shamed and scarred daughter (Tamar) and devastating physical and reputational damage to David’s kingdom. A dramatic shift in the narrative, all because of David’s sin.
Much like the sins in our lives, God can spare us from the rightful punishment- death. God can keep the promises and blessings he has given us, but still execute justice. David experience irreparable suffering through this rebellion. That is why sin can never be allowed to rise in the first place. Even if God does not give us the punishment we deserve, there will be consequences- even after repentance. 


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