Summary: Bad behavior and the consequences thereof may be far-reaching but in coming clean we find the grace of God to be equally far-reaching.

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20150802 10th Sunday after Pentecost B Web Site

Title: Behaving Badly

Text: II Samuel 11:26-12:13a

Thesis: Bad behavior and the consequences thereof may be far-reaching but in coming clean we find the grace of God to be equally far-reaching.

If this text were to be funneled through the College Board Advanced Placement U.S. (Biblical) History Standard people, it would likely be perceived as being too negative and in need of a revised positive spin. It does little to advance the idea of Biblical Judeo-Christian Exceptionalism. This is just one of many historical Biblical accounts that do not reflect well on God, the people of God or the human condition. Fortunately God has the integrity to be authentic rather than white-wash the way we are. So we have stories like David and Bathsheba woven into the Biblical narrative.


Public shaming is all the rage now. Parents use shaming to embarrass their teenagers. Pet owners hang signs on the collars of their pets that read, “I was bad while mommy was at work.” The idea behind shaming is to point out legitimately horrible behavior and the posting of their shameful behavior on public media is supposed to be a deterrent… after all, who wants to be publically shamed?

Walter Palmer is currently experiencing the effects of public shaming for having paid $55 K for the privilege of shooting Cecil the lion just outside the boundary of a Zimbabwean Conservation area. Apparently his big-game hunting guides tied a dead animal to the back of their vehicle and lured the lion from the conservation area so they could make a legal, albeit unethical kill.

Dr. Palmer is something of a big-time game hunter and he has the means to buy a safari from professional guides that assure him of a trophy kill. If he was unaware that his guides had not acquired the necessary permits and that Cecil had essentially been baited for the kill and that there was a deliberate attempt to lure the lion from the conservation area… he most certainly was aware that Cecil was wearing a tracking collar and party to the attempt to destroy and hide it.

And so it is, Dr. Palmer is at the center of a public shaming media storm.

Can you imagine what kind of media storm King David would stir up today?

I. David was blind to his hardening heart, II Samuel 11:1-27

The challenge is the tension between spiritual awareness and apathy.

This text begins rather innocuously but it unfolds very quickly to reveal a developing crisis.

David was…

A. He was Disengaged

It was the spring of the year, when Kings normally go to war. David sent Joab and his army to fight the Ammonites, however, David stayed behind. II Samuel 11:1

B. He was Distracted

…he noticed a woman of unusual beauty taking a bath. He sent someone to find out who she was. II Samuel 11:2-3 (He sent for her and slept with her…)

C. He was Deceitful

When David found out Bathsheba was pregnant, he sent word to Joab, “Send me Uriah…” II Samuel 11:6

His hope was to get Uriah home so he could sleep with his wife and would never know the child she carried was not his but when that scheme did not work David upped the ante.

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