Summary: Using David as an example of how sin separates us from God and others, destroying our life in the process.
Through the summer we have been looking at the life of David. We have seen how God chose this unlikely boy to be the next king because he had a heart for God. As a teenager David stepped out in faith to kill Goliath against all odds, he faithfully served under a king who tried to kill him. For many years David had to travel from city to city, living in caves and remote regions to avoid king Saul. But eventually King Saul died, and David became king. By the time we get to our passage this morning David had been king over the tribe of Judah for seven years, and then the nation of Israel for six years. He was probably in his late forties early fifties. Everything was going great for David. God blessed David greatly with military victories over their enemies, their territory was expanding to include virtually all the land God had promised Abraham and Moses hundreds of years earlier. Life was going great for David, he was on top of the world. And then with one incident, one temptation, David’s perfect life began to unravel, and he suffered the consequences of his choice the rest of his life.
I. We Are All Vulnerable to Temptation
Here was David, a man with a heart for God, more successful than any Israelite king before or after him (perhaps with the exception of his son Solomon), anointed and filled with God’s Spirit, and yet he fell to temptation. Which I believe demonstrates that no matter how much we think we’ve got it all together, if you are sold out for God, a spirit filled born again Christian, and yet we are still vulnerable to temptation and sin.
Even as Christians each one of us has at least one chink somewhere in our armor, a weakness, a place where Satan will try to poke and prod us, to exploit us and get us to fall, and it only takes one time to ruin the rest of your life.
For David his weakness was a common one among men, lust. David struggled with lust even before this incident with Bathsheba. How do I know? Tucked back in the book of Deuteronomy, written by Moses over four hundred years previously, God spoke of the day the Israelites would become a nation and they would desire a king:
Deut. 17:14 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, "Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,"… 17 He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray.”
How many wives did David have? I counted at least seven. The reason I believe David struggled with lust long before this incident was because David knew this passage, and yet he had taken advantage of his position as king and continued to accumulate wives for himself. Why? Because David was a passionate person (whether for God, in battle, in music or writing poetry), and with that came a passion or lust for women. David fed his lust by having wives, which was culturally acceptable, but still wrong in God’s eyes.
The lie Satan wants us to believe is that if we feed our desires, our temptation, it will curb our appetite. The way we say it today is, “if it feels good, do it.” When enough people fall for this lie, it becomes the norm in society, and then we begin to think, “everybody else does it, so how could it be wrong.” The problem is that by yielding to our desires it doesn’t satisfy them, it intensifies them, it makes our desires increase, and it opens the door for more temptation and more sin. Even before this situation with David arose, he had already been feeding his temptation and it made his desire stronger. Our first danger is to feed our desires with temptations trying to convince ourselves it is okay because everyone else is doing it. For example, I’ve noticed young people seem to fall into the temptation of sex and living together because our culture now says there is nothing wrong with it, it’s is perfectly normal. It is culturally acceptable but God says it is wrong, it is a sin. In reality our sin continues to open the door wider for more sin.
First, you have to be honest with yourself and ask what is the chink in my armor, what temptations am I most susceptible to: lust, anger, jealousy, greed, power, out of control spending? Have I opened the door wider by feeding my temptation even if it is with something culturally acceptable? Would Jesus be doing this? Would Jesus be watching this?
II. How We Fall into Temptation