David and Bathsheba. 2 Samuel 11
David and Bathsheba
2 Samuel 11
Related passages: Psalm 32, 51
Last week we took a look at 2 Samuel 6. In that passage- in one of his first official acts as king over all
Israel- David brought the Ark of the Lord to Jerusalem. What David did there was very commendable for it
spoke of his desire to put God first in his and the nations life.
As great a man as David was, and as passionate as he was for the things of God, he did not always live
before God as he ought.
Twice in David's life he backslid quite severely. The first time was when he was on the run from Saul and
decided to join the Philistines (That lasted almost 1.5 years). The second time is recorded for us in 2 Samuel
11. In this passage David commits a series of despicable acts- first sleeping with one of his best soldiers
wife, then having him killed in battle, followed up by making himself look good by taking the "grieving widow"
and marrying her.
There is a lot for us to learn from the life of David and 2 Samuel 11-- but first let's read the text
A quick overview of David's despicable deeds
Over the last few years two movies called "Despicable me" have been produced. While these movies were
amusing, there is nothing amusing or funny about what David did
a. He was in the wrong place-- He was king, he should have been with his troops, fighting with them. Instead
he was at home
b. While at home, following an afternoon siesta (which was a normal act-- except during war) David (probably
having the tallest house in the city), sees a woman bathing. Noticing her beauty and obviously struggling
with lust, he sends his servants to inquire as to who she was.
c. When David's servants return they tell him that the woman's name is Bathsheba and that she is the wife of
one of his best and most loyal soldiers (for Uriah mentioned in the list of David's famous soldiers-- 2 Samuel
23:39). In a huge act of betrayal, David sends his servants back out to get her and bring her back that he
might have sex with her. This is despite the fact that David had at least 8 wives and 10 concubines-- all of
whom were available to him.
d. Shortly after his spending time with Bathsheba (for she was just a one night stand for him) David heard
that she had gotten pregnant. Knowing that his sin would be found out David sends for her husband and has
him return from the front line. Using polite language (v.8) David all but tells Uriah to go home and party with
his wife- hoping to cover up what he had done with her.
e. Being more righteous than David at that point Uriah- a foreigner who David had welcomed in to the
community, refused to go home to his wife - arguing that for him to do so would be a betrayal of the men he
was serving with and ultimately of God
f. David tried a second time to get Uriah to go home, getting him drunk the next night. Again Uriah doesn't
go home to Bathsheba
g. Panicked that his plans to cover up what he had done had failed, David decides to have Uriah killed and so
in one of the more perverse acts recorded in the Scriptures David writes a letter instructing and conspiring
with Joab (who David did not have a high regard for because of his violence and the murder of Abner in cold
blood) to put Uriah in the front line and then withdraw from him while he wasn't looking. David puts this
letter in Uriah's hand and sends him back to the battlefield and his death.
h. David's murderous plan worked. Joab, now in a conspiracy of evil with David, sends a letter back to David
telling him that Uriah was dead. Upon hearing from the messenger David proceeds to say a very calloused
and telling thing. Tell Joab "Do not let this matter displease you, for the sword devours now one and now
i. Our account ends with one final evil act-- an act that in the public eye looked righteous- David marries the
grieving Bathsheba. Yet note what the final sentence of chapter 11 says ; "But the thing that David had done
displeased the Lord."
LESSONS,OBSERVATIONS, PRINCIPLES OF THE TEXT
1. SIN IS OFTEN COMPOUNDING IN NATURE
Compound interest on our money is good-- compounded sin is not.
As we see in this account, one sin of David leads to another, and to another, and so on.
Strangely enough, sometimes we think we have to "sin". That's what David thought. I need to cover this up...
Further: There is no such thing as a "small" sin
When it comes to sin, we must be quick to confess it and take it Christ. 1 John 1:8-9 says; "If we claim to be
without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and
will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Rather than trying to cover our sin up, we need to confess it, cast ourselves upon the grace of God, take our
"lumps" - the consequences, and move forward.
2. WHEN WE SIN THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES
One of the principles that comes out of 1 Samuel 11 is this "Be sure your sin will find you out" (Numbers
32:23b)-- for God sees all that we do and He is our Judge
Romans 6:23 says; "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in
Christ Jesus our Lord."
By the look of things in chapter 11, David must have thought he had committed the perfect crime. The last
verse tells us that he hadn't "But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord."
While God forgave David for his sin "And Nathan said to David, "The Lord also has put away your sin; you
shall not die." 2 Samuel 12:13. David paid a heavy price for what he did with Bathsheba and to Uriah.
Because of his sin- the child born to Bathsheba died, war and bloodshed dogged David for the rest of his life,
his own son rebelled against him and slept with his wives in public view.
We are fools if we think that we can do what we want and not face any consequences.
A false sometimes by Christians "God's forgiveness includes the wiping away of earthly consequence"
While God does not treat us as our sins deserve. Psalm 103:10 (PTL) the forgiveness of sins, while taking
away the eternal consequence of Hell and judgment, does not mean that all earthly consequences are
Application: There is always a price associated with willful sin. We should not be of the sort to rush into sin.
In Psalm 19:12-13 David prays; "But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your
servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great
3. As it regards our battle with sin and temptation- WE NEED TO GUARD OUR HEARTS
The NIV version of Proverbs 4:23 says; "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
The NLT version of Proverbs 4:23 says; "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your
To keep ourselves from sin and our descending into, we need to guard our hearts and minds.
David- for some time had not been guarding his heart
How do we know this?
Committing adultery and murder are not sins that one just does on a whim. For David to do what he did,
some spiritual rot had to have been taking place a long time before.
Indicators that we not guarding our hearts
How we talk
You can tell a lot about a person- and what they are up to - by how they talk
Mark 7:21-23 says; 'For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft,
murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil
things come from within, and they defile a person."
We have firewalls for our internet. We have passwords for our bank accounts and phones. We have locks for
our doors. We guard the contents of those- how much more do we need to guard our hearts and minds!
How can I guard my heart? Why should I guard my heart and mind?
-don't surf porn
-take care as at regards the music you fill your head with
-Be more discerning as it regards the novels and magazines, movies, and tv shows we watch
Keep in the Word! Meditate upon Christ and his commands. Pray for strength and the filling of the Holy Spirit
In Psalm 119, which David wrote, it says in v.9 "How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living
according to your word."
A good song "O be careful little eyes what you see, ears what you hear, feet where you walk, hands, what
4. WHILE A HARD HEART IS A BAD THING, PRAISE THE LORD, IT CAN BE FIXED
Sometimes we meet people are cold, indifferent, hard hearted, who don't seem to have a caring bone in their
bodies (unless of course its for animals), who probably don't care if we are dead or alive. These are not
We are always in danger of becoming hard hearted- and it's something we have to push back against.
Over the course of his life, for the most part, David had an incredibly tender heart-- and that's good.
Remember when he was in the cave and when Saul was in there going to the toilet and he snuck up and cut
off the corner of his robe-- Remember how his conscience was stricken and how he rushed out of the cave to
confess it to Saul. What a shining moment of righteousness and tenderness of heart.
Pretty much everything David does in 1 Samuel 11 reflects hard heartedness-- especially the words "The
sword devours one as it devours another" v.25
Praise the Lord though-- a hard heart can be fixed. It can be tenderized again!
In Chapter 12 God, about a year down the road, sends the prophet Nathan to David. Nathan, by way of a
story that connected with David's heart, falls under the conviction of God for his sin and he finally repents.
For more info check our Psalm 32, 51
A good prayer for us: "Create in me a clean heart of God, renew a right spirit within me"
5. GREAT NEWS!!!!! Lust, adultery, covetousness, murder, deception, betrayal, conspiring with the
wicked, pretending to be righteous and good, having a hard heart, dereliction of duty-- it is for these
sins and more that Jesus came and died on the cross
Why did God become a man? Why did the Son of God come down from Heaven? Why did Jesus die on the
cross as a sacrifice? To save us from our sins and the judgment to come.
He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Great news: For whatever sins you have committed or are committing-- You can be forgiven
What is required: The confession of your sin as sin. Repentance-- resolving to not do what you are doing any
more. Faith in Christ-- who alone can take away your sins.
1 John 1:9 says "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from
Closing song: Create in me a pure heart or Jesus Messiah
Communion: Psalm 32