It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful.
2 Samuel 11:2
I don’t know about you but chasing attractive men and flirting unabashedly has gotten me into some weird situations before. And, I do mean weird. Unfortunately.
Misadventures and Mayhem
I grew up in a very, very small town where everyone knows everyone. When I was in high school, my best friend, Jasmine, and I had already dated several of the cute boys in our area and we were bored with our options. Actually, we hadn’t dated that many boys so that tells you how picky we were in the first place. We were both freshly out of relationships with our “first serious boyfriends” and she was on the rebound… I was still pouting over mine, but I was along for the ride. Let’s just say, Jasmine and I had some life-learning to do.
Anyway, we were aimlessly riding around town one day, listening to sad songs and dreaming about romance, when all of a sudden we laid our eyes upon two incredibly handsome men.
I’m not joking when I say that these guys we saw were stunningly attractive… And, to make it better, they were walking into a church! We thought we had stumbled upon the holy grail. We caught their eye and they definitely caught ours. They smiled, we smiled, and we sped away with squeals and giggles. For about thirty seconds, I stopped crying over the love of my life and she forgot all about hers.
Where had these boys been hiding all our lives? Why hadn’t we met them before? We didn’t even know this little church existed, and that was strange because we had always lived close by.
The sign in the church yard labeled the denomination, and it was one we hadn’t heard of before, so we assumed it would be a little different than Southern Baptist, Methodist, or Assembly of God, but the apostle Paul’s church was probably a little different than our home churches, too, so we weren’t concerned. After some investigating, we found that these boys were some of the pastor’s homeschooled sons.
How were we going to meet them if they didn’t go to school nearby, wouldn’t be at any of our sports events, and attended a church we didn’t know anything about?
So, we devised a plan. Our parents would expect us to go to our family churches on Sunday morning, but Sunday night was free and clear! Yes, you guessed it… We were going boy-shopping in the house of God. (Don’t judge me. I’m judging myself hard enough!)
The Night We Learned Our Lesson
Sunday evening finally rolled around, and Jasmine and I were dressed to the hilt. Our skirts were modest enough, but we hitched them about as high as we thought Jesus would approve of, then covered ourselves in makeup, glitter, and perfume. Our hair was curled, and our heels were high. We were ready to catch ourselves a couple of handsome, God-fearing men. Surely that would make us forget all about the ex-boyfriends we were still whining over. (Spoiler alert: it did not.)
Stumbling up to the church about ten minutes late (because my hair wouldn’t curl, and Jasmine couldn’t find her car keys), we were ready to make our grand appearance. The church doors swung open, and we waltzed in and found a pew right in the front.
The silence was nearly deafening as the congregation stared at us in shock and awe…but not the good kind. Those boys smiled from ear to ear, but their mama looked at us like she was madder than an old, wet hen.
That’s when we noticed how out of place we were. The other ladies were wearing skirts that dragged the floor, long-sleeved tops buttoned to the collar, hair neatly in a bun, and no makeup at all. They were the epitome of godliness, but I could barely see them through the glittery eyeshadow floating in my eyeball. As subtly as we could, we tugged our skirts down just a bit so our knees were almost covered.
“Uh oh,” I whispered to Jasmine. She pinched me and I shut my mouth.
Settling in and trying to focus our attention on the preaching, we soon realized we weren’t prepared for quite how different their church was from ours. SIX HOURS LATER, it was getting close to curfew and the pastor was still yelling about hellfire and brimstone. There was even some dancing in the aisle for about an hour. (We knew how to pop, lock, and drop it, but this was not that kind of dancing.) We found ourselves regretting our mission and wishing we had gone to the Baptist church down the road instead. The members of the congregation yelled, “Amen!” and Jasmine squeezed my arm like she was scared for her life.
I just knew, at any moment, they were going to bring out rattlesnakes for us to handle, and I was trying to work up my faith. Taking up serpents seemed like a big commitment to catch a cute guy, but I was willing to make it happen or die trying. Thankfully, no snakes were brought out to test our faith, but I’ll always be prepared now when trying new churches in the south.
Now…let me say this, those folks were on fire for the Lord, and I appreciate a good revival. We just weren’t expecting it. We were there to catch a hot date and The Lord provided a hot sermon instead. Needless to say, those boys didn’t give us the time of day and we attended our own churches the following Sunday evening.
The moral of this story is that chasing after someone you’re attracted to that you know absolutely nothing about can get you in a lot of trouble. Jasmine and I learned that lesson the hard way…but not as hard as King David had to learn it.
King David’s Sin
“It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful” (2 Samuel 11:2).
Uh oh, again. Now, we’re talking about sometime a little before 990 BCE rather than 2005, so Bathsheba probably wasn’t wearing glittery eyeshadow in an attempt to entice anyone. She was simply minding her own business, taking a bath, but she caught David’s attention.
And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.” (2 Samuel 11:3-5)
But it gets even worse. Not only was Bathsheba a married woman, her husband, Uriah, was away serving the king as a soldier in battle while King David was pursuing Bathsheba, resulting in her pregnancy. Besides the fact that Uriah the Hittite was one of David’s soldiers, he was well known for being great at his job. He was actually famous for being one of David’s most elite warriors known as “the thirty.”
Regardless of Uriah’s devotion to him, David came up with a very deceitful plan. The king sent for Uriah to come from the battlefield, go to his house to wash up, and then spend some “quality time” with his wife. The king expected Uriah would be intimate with Bathsheba so that when she gave birth, he would assume the child was his own, and no one would be the wiser about David and Bathsheba’s scandalous evening together.
However, loyal Uriah refused to go home. He slept at the door of the king’s house. The next night, David got even more crafty. He enticed Uriah to drink until he was drunk, thinking he would surely go home and see Bathsheba then…but he refused again.
So, David resorted to an even more sinful plan. He sent Uriah back to the battlefield and tasked him to carry a letter to Joab. This letter, carried by his own hand, was practically a death sentence and he didn’t even know it.
“In the letter he wrote, ‘Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, that he may be struck down, and die’” (2 Samuel 11:15).
And that’s exactly what they did. So, innocent Uriah had been killed.
Listen to what happened next:
When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she lamented over her husband. And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD. (2 Samuel 11:26-27)
A typical mourning period was seven days, so it’s highly probable that Bathsheba went from being married to Uriah, widowed, and remarried to King David in a short very timeframe. I’m sure she was a little overwhelmed, but I can appreciate the efficiency. When you know, you know, I suppose.
David’s Own Lesson
Now that the deed had been done, and David’s scandal had been covered up, he probably thought he was off the hook. However, David had sinned greatly—lust, adultery, deceit, and murder! God wasn’t happy about it, and He didn’t let David go without rebuke. God, in His incredible wisdom, knew exactly how to get King David to learn this lesson.
And the LORD sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”
Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the LORD lives, the man who had done this deserves to die, and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because had had no pity.”
Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.” (2 Samuel 12:1-10)
At that time, David realized how wrong he had been.
I’ve certainly never had anyone murdered before, but I’ve done things I felt terrible about, so I can imagine David was terrified of God’s judgment, ashamed of his actions, and consumed by guilt. Yet, God still had plans for the king.
David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die” (2 Samuel 12:13).
See, David had sinned greatly. God had every right to be angry. The king had lusted after another man’s wife, committed adultery, and enticed her to do the same, conspired against an innocent man, committed murder, and then brought Bathsheba home as if nothing had ever happened. God could have struck David down immediately. He could have killed Bathsheba, David, and David’s entire family with a plague and found a new king to sit on the throne.
God did punish David and Bathsheba for their sin. The baby born of their affair passed away. As a mom, I can’t imagine anything worse! However, as heartbreaking as their punishment was, God didn’t hold a grudge against them once the consequence of their sin had been executed.
“Then David comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her, and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. And the LORD loved him” (2 Samuel 12:24).
David and Bathsheba’s future child, Solomon, grew up to take David’s place as the king. He was wise, successful, and blessed by God. His parents met through lust and started their relationship with an affair. His father had an innocent, loyal man murdered just so he could marry his mother. They went through the loss of a child together and a lot of heartache. Yet, Solomon was greatly loved by God. Although his parents’ relationship began through sin, Solomon was no accident. He was planned by God and loved by Him. It’s worth mentioning that Jesus was born through Solomon’s lineage!
David and Bathsheba might have been with someone else for a time, but ultimately they were MEANT-TO-BE TOGETHER.
They might have been brought together by sin and adultery, but it was a lesson they both needed to learn, and ultimately God wanted them together. God can use anything, even our wrongs, as a blessing. Bathsheba wasn’t meant to be with Uriah forever. She was meant to be King David’s wife and the mother of the future king.
As far as David’s sinfulness, if God had reserved the throne for someone who never sinned, the throne would have remained empty until Jesus was born. If God only loved perfect people, none of us would be loved by Him. God forgave David for his sin, and He forgives us of ours.
God forgives Adultery.
God forgives Conspiracy.
He even forgives Murder.
No sin is too big for God to forgive–not lust, not adultery, not conspiracy, not deceit, not murder, not a lack of accountability, and not any other sin that you or I have ever committed. (And again… if you’re busy judging someone else for their sins, big or small, you better check yourself before you wreck yourself.)
Questions to Ask Yourself
Have your eyes ever caused you to sin? My advice–don’t literally pluck them out…but, the closer you look at God the harder it will be for shiny objects to distract you! Focus on Jesus.
Have you ever done something wrong and attempted to hide it or cover it up, making matters even worse?
How has God convicted you of sin in the past? Maybe you have a Nathan of your own, or maybe He spoke to you from His word, but remember that the guilt you feel or the punishment you incurred isn’t because God is against you. He corrects those He loves.
And, if you’re still wondering how God could possibly forgive you of your sin, remember, God forgave David and He can forgive you too!
P.S. – It’s also worth mentioning that Jasmine and I made it home from our boy-hunt by curfew, barely, and we were right back to obsessing over ex-boyfriends and new boyfriends soon after.