Read 2 Samuel 11:1–5; 12:7–9
The fruit of the tree was . . . pleasing to the eye.Genesis 3:6
David Petraeus is a highly decorated, four-star general who has commanded American troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Though a respected military leader, he resigned his position as director of the CIA last November when news broke of his affair with Paula Broadwell, his biographer.
The Petraeus scandal reminds us of the scandal involving David and Bathsheba. The ancient political and sexual scandal recorded in 2 Samuel 11 and 12 involved not just an extramarital affair, but also a murder plot. King David had stayed behind when the spring military campaigns began, sending Joab instead. One spring afternoon he saw a woman bathing—a beautiful, naked woman.
David may very well have already known this woman’s identity, for both her father, Eliam, and her husband, Uriah, were part of an elite group of soldiers referred to as David’s mighty men (see 2 Samuel 23). But whether he did or did not recognize Bathsheba at that moment, David had sufficient time to prevent his moral lapse: between seeing the woman and making inquiries about her, he could have considered his actions and their potential consequences.
Unfortunately, moments of temptation don’t always provide that kind of necessary mental clarity. When we are seduced by beauty as David—and Eve—were, we are caught into a stranglehold of desire that feels almost too strong to resist.
What may have rescued David from his fall into sin might have been his grateful recognition of the good and beautiful gifts that God had already provided for him. When the prophet Nathan confronted David, he accused him of both despising God’s Word and despising God’s gifts. Had it been too little, God would have given more.
Apply the Word
Psalm 51 details David’s inner thoughts after Nathan’s confrontation. What David realized is that all sin is a failure to worship and honor God. Though our sin injures others—no doubt King David wreaked havoc on Bathsheba and her family—our sin primarily offends God. Growing deeper into a life of grateful worship is strong protection against temptation
Pray with Us
Students are starting their spring break today. Please pray their time away from campus is safe, especially as they continue to minister and serve the Lord at home, at work, and on short-term mission trips.