Summary: This narrative sermon details step by step David’s fall into sin with Bathsheba. It then explores the anquished cry for forgiveness in Psalm 51.
The God who Forgives – David and Bathsheba
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About every 18 – 24 months I like to teach and preach from this heart wrenching Psalm. Why? Because I think that it describes a human dilemma not uncommon for most of us. And if it is uncommon, it may become common sometime in the future.
Turn to Psalm 51 and before we read it, let me tell you what preceded these powerful words, this cry of agony from David’s heart who desperately wanted to be forgiven and given another chance because everything precious to him was taken away.
It all started one spring evening when the air had that certain smell of freshness that just excites your senses…it was the first really perfect day of the year.
Things were good for David.
- he had a powerful kingdom which he ruled
- he had a spiritual life that was the envy of many – it sizzled
- he had a fine family
- he was highly respected and honored because of his integrity.
This story is once again going to prove that verse in 1 Cor. 10:12 Take heed when you think you stand, lest you fall.
On that beautiful spring evening David was bored after a lazy day and went to the rooftop of his palace to enjoy the waning hours of the day when his eyes caught sight of something.
What he saw was a real knockout of a woman bathing on her roof – she was carefully secluded from all eyes except the eyes of David high a top his palace wall. Her name was Bathsheba…
…now I happen to believe that this wasn’t the first time David was up on this roof and it wasn’t just a coincidence that he was up there at this specific time, he knew what he was doing. And it may even be that Bathsheba, lonely with her husband gone, was herself playing a coy game with David pretnding not to notice him looking. I always knew when my next door neighbors would be in the house nbaked!
David glanced, then looked again, then stared, then had his binoculars brought to him so that he might ogle.
Right then David could have said, “ Lord, I am having some impure thoughts right now, this isn’t right, and I ask that you give me power to remain pure”…but he didn’t.
We could say…”Lord I was switching the channels when I saw…”
You see, that is how it all starts, an “innocent” unplanned meeting that is just coincidental, a second look, a touch of the hand, a second thought, a barrier that is erected by God mainly our conscience saying “NO,” but we cross that barrier.
Maybe we have a sense of entitlement and think we deserve a little sin because of all the good we have done.
David doesn’t turn his head, he continues to look, looking turns to lust. Lust is using someone to meet your needs, it is doing in your mind what you want to do with your body.
David desires, he wants something that isn’t his, he rationalizes and justifies his choices…”God made women beautiful…God made me a highly sensual man, God made her move next door, it must be his will.”
Have you ever played those kind of mind games? Like, “if my wife was more responsive to me needs…”
Right then David could have said, “Lord, you know what I am thinking right now, and this isn’t right…it is way out of bopunds, and I am about to make a stupid decision…” But he didn’t!
Now David does the unthinkable. He calls for Bathsheba to come to his house, he “just wants to get to know her a little better, maybe witness to her.” What he is really doing is playing with fire, but by now all that matters is what he wants.
It is at this point that the HS is screaming at him and us to turn back, but we think, we have already come this far we might as well go the rest of the way. It is at this point that devil is saying, “you can be forgiven…”
David is about to throw the dice and gamble everything, life, health, kingship, God, family, future, integrity…everything for a brief sexual encounter.
Think about it…would you take your pension, your savings, your retirement income and gamble it all on one throw of the dice?
Maybe for you it isn’t sexual at all. Maybe the gamble is a taking money that doesn’t belong to you, or friends you shouldn’t be with, or alcohol.
David is about to knowingly and willingly walk through a door, not a bedroom door, but a spiritual door called sin. It is a door with a huge flashing sign at the entrance but with a little well hidden door for an exit.