2 Sam. 11:1-13
I sold termite warranties for a pest control company for years, so I’m familiar with what termites can do to a home. When I presented the warranty to a potential customer, I always explained that termites can get into your home through a crack no more than 1/16 of an inch wide, the width of a business card. As time progresses on a new home, the constant weather changes cause the house to shift imperceptibly, causing little hairline cracks in the foundation of the home. These cracks don’t change the value of a home, but they provide an opening. Once termites find the home, all they need is moisture, darkness, seclusion and time to destroy a home from the inside-out.
There are times when I really wish that David’s biography ended in 2 Sam. 10. He was on top of the world: Every enemy either subdued or on the run, the whole nation of Israel loyally following him, and other nations bringing him tribute. He had all the money and women a man could desire, and the adulation of millions. Unfortunately, this apparently went to his head and he started believing all the hype about himself. And cracks started to form without notice.
Of course, we need to remember to be careful when reading narratives. Today’s passage doesn’t really go into David’s emotions or motivations at all. It’s almost as if the inspired writer didn’t want to look too closely at him, and tried to be detached from what was happening. But I think there's a major clue in the opening words: “In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war. . .” David sent his men out and stayed at home. Scripture doesn’t tell us why, but I'd like to think it was merely laziness instead of cowardice. Whatever the reason, it looks like the writer is indirectly indicting David for dereliction of duty.
Then he was out on his rooftop, enjoying the night air, when it happened. He happened to see a beautiful woman bathing, and a glance turned into a lustful gaze which blossomed into sinful desire. There’s no indication that Bathsheba was doing anything improper--that she was trying to lure David into adultery--but that doesn’t really matter. There’s also no indication that she put up any resistance to David’s advances, although in her defense this was the king who was summoning her, so maybe she felt coerced. We really don’t know.
We do know, however, the end result: a very unwanted pregnancy. He tried to cover it up by bringing the husband home and making him think the baby was his (Uriah’s). Unfortunately for David, Uriah was a far more honorable man than the king at this point. He refused to spend time with his wife (despite David’s best efforts), and look at his reasoning: “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my commander Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife?" It seems like every word here is designed to twist the knife a little deeper. As if David didn’t have enough reason to feel guilty!
This is how it starts—with little cracks.
Lord Jesus, I need your help. You can see things I can’t or don’t want to see. Through your Spirit, please search me out.
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