Thursday, August 8, 2019

David's Great Sin

"The woman [Bathsheba] conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant” (2 Samuel 11:5).

God made David king and placed him as guardian of the kingdom, just as He made Adam the first guardian of a garden. Similarly, just as Adam fell by seizing forbidden fruit, so David fell from his high estate. Just as Israel sinned at the golden calf after the Mosaic covenant was set up, so David sinned with Bathsheba after the Davidic covenant was established (2 Samuel 7, 11).

David’s adultery with Bathsheba and his murder of her husband to cover it up were serious enough. But because David was king, and due to his position in the new Davidic covenant, his sin was far worse than that of an ordinary layman.

In 2 Samuel 7, David wanted to build a house for God. God had sent the prophet Nathan to tell David that he would not build such a house; rather, God would build a house for him, and He would dwell in it with his sons. This was the unique gift of the Davidic covenant. When David sinned he defiled his house and God therefore left. David’s sin threatened to destroy the new covenant that God had just made.

David knew the three laws of kingship (Deuteronomy 17:16–17), which were: no large war machine, one wife, and low taxes. David had known since his youth that he would be king, for Samuel had anointed him. The king, more than anything, was required to be monogamous. Yet, in 1 Samuel, David collected numerous wives. His first and proper wife was Michal, Saul’s daughter. Soon, however, he added Ahinoam and then Abigail to his harem (1 Samuel 25:42–43). Other wives followed (2 Samuel 3:2–5). Wise as he was in other areas, David was foolish and disobedient in the area of sex, and he set a pattern in his life that almost destroyed the kingdom.

David had gotten away with disobeying God’s law for some time. Second Samuel 11:1 and 11 show that David had grown bold in his sin. Callousness had gradually caused his heart to lose its sensitivity to the things of God. When judgment came, it was meted out in sufficient strength to break both his sinful cycle and his hardened heart.

Two factors in David’s crime were (1) a history of sinful habit, and (2) a failure to work diligently at what he was called to do. These are things that can sneak up on any of us. Examine your heart to see if repeated sin has caused it to become calloused. If you struggle with such a sin, ask God to break it before it is too late.