There has been an apprehension in studying chapter eleven of 2 Samuel. It is the well known story of David and Bathsheba. As I’ve been reading and studying the first ten chapters, I’ve been uplifted and encouraged by David’s exemplary life. He is shown as a man without flaw. A perfect man. A man after God’s own heart.Sure, we realize that he wasn’t perfect in that he had no sin or problems; but the author of First and Second Samuel writes as if to say: “here is a man in tune with God, a man whose life is above everyone else. Yes, a man of the highest character and honor.” In fact, there are countless symbolic parallels between David and Jesus throughout Scripture. Yet, here we find in 2 Samuel 11 the downfall of this man, a man after God’s own heart. The symbolism between David and Jesus is now gone. The life of heroic Christianity has crumbled. What remains is a life wrecked and plundered by sin.
How could David do such a thing when he was a man after God’s own heart – when his focus was completely on God? Some point to verse one as the answer: “It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.” David is probably in his fifties at this point, the beloved king of Israel. But instead of going off to battle as was expected, he remained in Jerusalem. While his army was living in tents upon the hard earth with little food, he was feasting at the royal table and sleeping in his feather bed within the protection of his palace. Which presents an interesting contrast: David is living in luxury while his army lives in lack. David sends his army to protect the country but ends up destroying it and its people from inside. The very inhabitants the army goes out to guard, protect, and keep safe are the same inhabitants the king ravages, destroys, and plunders. But the fact David stays in Jerusalem is only a symptom of the real problem.
Biblically there are three main ideas for the word “right,” but let’s look at just one. There is a correct, righteous, upright, sincere, honest, godly, just, pleasing, straightforward, proper way of things – it’s the “right” way. We often say: “it was right in my own eyes,” meaning it was correct, honest, pleasing and proper according to our view point. However, there are times, though it appears “right” in our own eyes, we find out it was completely wrong. But God’s way is ALWAYS right. When you see circumstances and life through His eyes it ALWAYS is the correct, righteous, upright, sincere, honest, godly, just, pleasing, straightforward, and proper way – it is RIGHT. We find in 1 Kings 5.15 that “David did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.” There’s the crux. David always lived in the “rightness” of God. He continually lived through the eyes of the LORD, never turning aside to his own way of thinking or what he thought was right in his own eyes. Except. A word we wished did not occur in this passage. You see, there was this one time when David turned into himself and saw life through his own “rightness” – what he thought was correct and proper … he WAS the king, you know. He could do what he wanted, right? Yet the one time David turns into himself, sources his own thought process, his own rightness, his own thinking – he found himself completely wrong and in the throngs of sin, death, and hell. It was the matter concerning Uriah the Hittite … and his wife, Bathsheba. David turns within himself and his own rightness and we read what transpired in 2 Samuel 11 and its continuing results throughout the rest of the book – the downfall of a man, the death of another, the destruction of a nation, the demise of a baby, the disintegration of a royal family. All because one man turned within himself and sought to source his own actions.
What a picture of self-sourcing! I am here to tell you that you CAN live in continually victory and triumph – a man after God’s own heart – being sourced by God and living in His rightness. But the moment you think you can handle it, you think your way is better and “right,” that moment you turn within and begin to source your life, you find yourself, like David, in sin. Why? Because sin at the very basic level is nothing more than self sourcing. And the only way to ever have victory is to rely and depend solely upon Jesus. It is in the indwelling of His Spirit that He becomes our victory and triumph in every temptation, situation, and circumstance.
There is only one way that is truly correct, righteous, upright, sincere, honest, godly, just, pleasing, straightforward, and proper – and it is not yours. Would you turn to Jesus and allow Him to source your life, your thinking, your attitude, your victory, your everything?
Read the other Bible Studies in this series:
The Downfall of David
The Rightness of 2 Samuel 11
A Chiastic Displeasure – 2 Samuel 11.27
You Are the Man – 2 Samuel 12.1-7
Despised – 2 Samuel 12.9