Summary: Normally the King would lead the armies in battle. But instead, King David sends out Joab and he stays behind at the palace.
The title of this message is “How to not be a man after God’s own heart.”
So, if you want to follow God and love God and live for God, just do the opposite of everything in 2nd Samuel chapter 11.
There are two incidents that are the most famous in David’s life. The first is of course David’s classic battle with Goliath. Everyone knows that one. Even most non-Christians know that one. But second to David and Goliath is the incident we’ll be discussing today, David’s battle with Bathsheba.
David won the battle with Goliath. David lost the battle with Bathsheba. But it wasn’t really Bathsheba he was fighting. He was fighting himself, fighting his own nature. His own temptations. And he lost that battle.
He made a terribly evil decision. Then he made it worse and worse and worse.
It says in 2nd Samuel 11 verse 1, “In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.”
They’ve gone through winter, and now it’s spring, and Israel goes out to fight the ammonites, to continue the wars that were raging in the previous chapters, to defeat and subdue the enemy kingdoms surrounding Israel.
Normally the King would lead the armies in battle. But instead, King David sends out Joab and he stays behind at the palace.
First point today, we all know how important it is to stay busy, to stay active in our work, to stay engaged in our mission. When we get bored and we just sit home everyday, we stop going out, that idleness becomes a danger to us. Pretty soon we’re making some bad choices, and headed toward addictions, sins, and disaster. Stay active in your life. Stay on mission. Get out of your house and do things with people. Work a job. Volunteer somewhere. Exercise regularly. Share your faith actively. Don’t sit on your hands. Because bad things can happen very quickly when we get bored.
Next, in verse 2, “One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful…”
Have you ever looked at a woman, or a man (ladies), and been suddenly very smitten with them? You’re overcome by her beauty. You’re overcome by how handsome he is. And the feeling is surprisingly powerful. I’ve experienced that before. I’m sure you have too. You don’t even know the person. But you become overcome with emotion over them. You become almost obsessive.
Sometimes this happens, and someday we’re married to that person. But what about after we’re married to someone and we become smitten by someone else we see walking by? Or a friend?
It can be very dangerous. Because we’ve made a commitment to someone else. And now our emotions are surging over another person. That’s why we as humans can’t allow ourselves to be controlled by our emotions. Our emotions will betray us. Our emotions will lead us into trouble. We have minds, an intellect, to override our emotions when our emotions are wrong.
Point number two today is this: Don’t be led by your emotions and desires, allow your intellect and conscience to override your emotions.
But it is astonishing to see how many people simply do whatever feels good. And this attitude leads to disaster. It leads to affairs. It leads to hell. Fight off that desire, with your mind, with your heart, and with your conscience.
Only a child is ruled by their emotions. Adults are guided by their conscience and their intellect.
Now David, being married already, should’ve said, "Well, I’ve just noticed this beautiful woman. She is beautiful. That’s cool. And now I’m going to move on with my life."
But he doesn’t do that. He begins to take actions to go after her.
In verse 3 it says, “...and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.”
David finds out from his messenger that this woman is married to Uriah. Again we have another opportunity for David to make the right decision, to think to himself: "Oh no, this woman is married, I can’t go after her. Time to end this before it even begins."
We sometimes hear about people who have affairs on their wife or husband. And when they replay the series of events, they can’t quite figure out what went wrong. Suddenly we were in bed together. No, there was a string of events that took place. Bad choices were made, one after another.
They started flirting with you. Now it’s easy to signal to someone in conversation, to back off. But instead you started flirting back. You enjoyed the attention. The flirting got you excited, pretty soon your emotions started taking over. Then you decided to meet up together for coffee. Again, you could’ve easily said no, I can’t do that it wouldn’t be appropriate. And step by step, the compromises start coming.