He committed an affair and then had the husband killed in a last-ditch effort to cover his tracks. It was the scandal of the decade for such a high profile leader. For at least nine months he denied these allegations but eventually the news broke. No, this is not the story of some crooked politician or new crime show. This is the story of King David when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband Uriah killed (2 Samuel 11). David’s sin illustrates what James 1:14-15 warns every one of us. “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” You may say, “That would never happen to me.” David, knowing it was wrong, chose to walk down a path of sin and destruction. You would have never thought he would have gone this far. After all, he was “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). How could a Godly man, used to write the very Psalms we worship with, go this direction?
David became idle. He was supposed to be leading his troops into war but instead stayed at home (2 Samuel 11:1). He laid aside his armor as well as his purpose. Idleness isn’t just the lack of activity but sometimes is doing activity with no purpose. It seems his laying aside of physical armor also lay aside his spiritual armor as well (Ephesians 6:10-18). Because he wasn’t where he was supposed to be or doing what he was supposed to be doing he placed himself in a position of idleness. That idleness produced lingering thoughts towards a beautiful woman bathing on her rooftop (a common place for this to happen). Accidentally witnessing this was not a sin. But lingering and imagining what could be was. Jesus said you commit adultery in your mind when you look at a woman to indulge your sexual passion (lust) for her (Matthew 5:27-28). Now if he had been in battle he would have never seen her in the first place. He didn’t take those thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and his mind went to work. He could have run away since, “God is faithful and will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13). We pray to the Lord to “Lead us not into temptation” (Matthew 6:13). We should also “watch and pray so we don’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).
Have you become idle in your purpose? It could lead to saying “yes” to sinful situations. Are you idle in your spiritual life? Even those after God’s very heart and purpose can be led away by their own evil desires if they don’t resist the devil and his temptations. David knew adultery was wrong (Exodus 20:14, 17) but that didn’t stop him. Sin always hurts those closest to us. Not only was Bathsheba the wife of one of his best and closest soldiers (2 Samuel 23:9), she was the granddaughter of his favorite counselor (2 Samuel 23:34). David’s life was robbed (Proverbs 6:26), burned (vv. 27-28), and destroyed (vv. 30-33) for just a few minutes of infidelity. For those thinking something like this could never happen to them, remember the warning of Scripture: “If you think you are standing firm be careful that you don’t fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). Guard yourself against idleness. Make a covenant with your eyes (Job 31:1) and don’t linger in your look. Don’t go there when it comes to someone who’s not your spouse. If you are married (or they are married) know this: it is not cupid’s arrows but Satan’s fiery darts being shot at your life (Ephesians 6:16)! God’s graces, “teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:12).
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.