1 Bad Choice by King David

When you read this title, you may jump to the assumption that we are going to talk about David and Bathsheba, however, it may be more about the choice he made that led up to that point.  However, let’s first review the context of the passage.

Let’s go to the text in 2 Samuel 11:1-5 where the story is told and interrogate the text.

“In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.”

5 W’s and an H

Q: When did these events take place?

A: According to verse 2, this was in the spring during the time when kings go out to battle.

Q: Where was King David?

A: David chose to stay in Jerusalem.

Q: What did he choose to do?

A:  He sent Joab and his servants instead of going himself.

Q: What did David choose to do while he was home?

A: Verse 2 says that when the evening came David got out of bed and walked around on his roof.

It is amazing to think that one seemingly innocent choice led to such devastation.

David is looking down on the city rooftops and sees Bathsheba.  He desired her, so he chose to summon her to his chambers.  This unwise choice resulted in Bathsheba becoming pregnant with David’s child. When David found out, he tried everything he could to hide his sin and in the end chose to have Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, murdered.  However, the Lord knew his heart and choices.

It’s not always right or wrong

The first time I understood this lesson was probably the third or fourth time I was going through the 40 Minute study, “How to Make Choices You Won’t Regret”.  I was a sophomore in college in the midst of a lot of busy-ness. As college went on, I was beginning to realize that I was having a problem. I couldn’t seem to say “no” and set priorities.  The list of things I was choosing to do each week was getting longer and longer.. The pattern I was beginning to see was that I would choose to do all the things I wanted to do before the things I needed to do. I was choosing selfishness and each night I wondered what happened to my time?

The consequences of my example may be considerably toned down compared to King David’s. However, I can’t help but imagine that David may have asked the same question I did every night that year, “How did I get here?”  Whether we are at a point where dire consequences have hit or we have simply gone off course a little, the starting point is usually a seemingly inconsequential decision.  It is usually not a decision between right or wrong, but a decision informed by the understanding of success and failure with the gospel.

Succeeding or Failing with the Gospel

In the months following, I chose to pay more attention to priorities on my schedule.  I realized that the moments of hesitation before leaving for the library, were temptations that would sometimes turn into hours spent doing unproductive things. These unproductive times would often lead to other temptations.  In King David’s case, he chose to stay at home during a time when kings went with their men to battle, and he was put in a situation where temptation overcame him.

Many times, our choices become about setting ourselves up for success or failure for overcoming temptation and living in the freedom of the gospel.  A glimpse at my choices in how to spend my day revealed to me that, without acting intentionally in each moment, there were times that the gospel became difficult to live out.  I would venture to guess that the same could be true for you? So, the challenge for both of us is:

Are we making wise choices every day that help us proclaim the gospel and God’s glory in our words, actions, and thoughts?

Zach was an intern for Transform in 2013. He is no stranger to Inductive Bible Study, Precept, or Transform Student Ministries. Zach goes to the University of Tennessee where he is active in the Baptist Student Ministry. 

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