Summary: This is about David’s affair with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah.
Have you ever heard someone say, “Oh, the Bible is so boring. It’s just a bunch of ‘begets’ and ‘begots’ and a bunch of stuff that happen thousands of years ago”? Our passage today certainly cannot be considered boring. We have a sex scandal at the highest levels of government. There are several attempts at deception. Then we have the murder that seems to cover everything up.
The story of David and Bathsheba is well known. Often we focus on the outcome of what happened. We look at how David responded to the sin. Today, as we look at this passage we are going to see how this could have been avoided.
To focus on the after effects, which we will do the next couple weeks, is kind of like closing the barn door after the horse has run away. There are several things we can learn from David’s actions that can prevent us from winding up in a place like he did. David’s prayer of repentance, as recorded in Psalm 51, is certainly beautiful, but he life would have been much less complicated if he had avoided sin in first place.
One of the great dangers in looking at history is asking those “what if” questions. If this had happened then this wouldn’t have happened. We are not going to do that. I am not sure what David’s life would have been like had he avoided this sin, but we can take some principles and apply them to our life to avoid sin.
Turn with me to 2 Samuel 11.
Read 2 Samuel 11:1-15.
The first problem that David has is that he is idle. After waking up from his nap, he aimlessly wanders around on the roof of the palace. This is instructive if we are going to avoid the road that David took.
I. We must REFRAIN from idleness.
There is an old German proverb that goes, “Mussigkeit ist aller Laster Anfang.” That can be translated several ways. It means, “Idleness is the beginning of all sin.” There is a Russian proverb that states, “Idleness is the mother of vice.” An Irish proverb goes, “Poverty waits at the gates of idleness.” The saying that I remember hearing as a kid is “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” Proverbs 19:15 states, “Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.”
Just about every culture in the world agrees that idleness is not a good thing. Idleness leads to all sorts of problems.
A. Idleness opens the door to TEMPTATION.
As stated earlier in reference to the proverbs of various cultures idleness has been called “the mother of vice,” “the beginning of all sin,” and “the devil’s workshop.”
It is clear from these sayings that idleness can lead to all sorts of problems. It is an open door through which the devil hurls temptation our way.
Before we go any farther, we should be clear about what idleness is and what it is not. Rest is not idleness. Our bodies require rest. Rest is something that is vital to our health. Resting for the rejuvenation of the body is not idleness. Rest when we are sick is not idleness.
Idleness is that state of being where we are not occupied by meaningful things. Idleness in the biblical sense is being lax or slack. When I was a teenager, one of the popular things was to call someone a slacker. “Hey, you’re a slacker.” A slacker was someone who would be described as lazy. When we slack off, we open ourselves to temptation. When we have nothing better to do, we wind up in mischief.
That was David’s problem. There was nothing wrong with David taking a nap. It was quite customary for people in that culture, and in many hot climates today, to take an afternoon nap while the temperature was at its peak. The problem occurred when he slacked off after his nap. He lounged around on the roof, and noticed a beautiful woman bathing. This set his mind to running. His idleness opened the door to temptation.
B. Godly pursuits reduce TEMPTATION.
When David woke up from his nap, he should have gotten back to the work of being king. There was business to conduct. After all, the country was at war. There were matters of state that needed to be tended to, but he remained idle.
When we focus on godly pursuits, we reduce the risk of temptation. That doesn’t mean that we read the Bible and pray constantly. Work is a godly pursuit. The Irish proverb I mentioned earlier goes, “Poverty waits at the gates of idleness.” Proverbs 19:15 says, “An idle person will suffer hunger.” Work is a legitimate godly pursuit. Rest is a legitimate godly pursuit. We cannot neglect either of these areas.