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February 13, 2021 12:01 am
King David was a man after God's own heart. How can we explain his tragic pursuit of Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah? Today, R.C. Sproul discusses how David's great sin presents a grievous picture of our own corrupt hearts.
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King David had engaged in a sinful act but instead of repenting. He tried to cover it up to see how one's sin leads to another, from the act of adultery. Next comes the lies, the deceitfulness and then after the deceitfulness now the ultimate plot is to murder the hospital we exhibited extraordinary bravery and killing Goliath. The rose to power as king of Israel, and more than once we told that he was a man after God's own heart.
Dip one of the most famous chapters in his life is also the most tragic today on Renewing Your Mind, Dr. RC Sproul recounts David's dissent into horrifying sin, we have an axiom and our language goes like this power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Now that little saying is not 100% accurate because when we think of absolute power. The only being who exists that has actually absolute power is God himself. If it were true that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. And all of them in categories that would mean that God would be absolutely correct. But, of course, when that axiom was first uttered it was not. With reference to deity, but rather had as its viewpoint human beings operating in this world and it's in that context that we talk about the corrupting influence of power if we would go to our blackboard today and list the rogues gallery use of the most criminally corrupt people in the history of this world. The names that we would get from any poll would include people like Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin and the Emperor Nero and people of that ilk. And the reason why, of course, these people stand out for the radical degree of corruption that they exhibit in their lives was that those who are in positions of exalted power and authority have much less restraints upon them than the average person. We may have the same predilection for evil that a Nero had her that Hitler had, but we don't have the power to carry it out. These men who were leaders of nations became as it were, at least within the limited scope of their own territorial rule laws unto themselves and so they had the means and the opportunity to be engaged in on bridled evil, but were not concerned about looking at the great men of corruption that we usually think of in terms of world history were studying the life of David and at the beginning of our study of the life of David. We pointed out that David excelled in so many different arenas, and in so many different areas of achievement that I said that he should probably get the title that is usually reserved for Alexander, namely David the great who was far greater in my estimation than Alexander the great ever dreamed of being.
But when we looked at the various areas in which David excelled and displayed greatness in the area of music and literature in government and military exploits, and so on. We also mentioned that David was a great sinner that when David send, he did it in a big way. He didn't do it halfway halfway measures, but his corruption when it became manifest was dreadfully wicked to say the least. But when we think of the sin of David, we think, inevitably of the shameful episode that marred his monarchy in his illicit relationship with Bathsheba when Hollywood makes movies about David. That's where they focus their attention because it's that salacious aspect of his life that brings the crowds the record of it is found in second Samuel in the 11th chapter and want us to review this narrative, so that we can get an insight here into what happens in the internal decay that affects David after his problems are solved. After Saul is dead after the Civil War is over. After David consolidates his power and becomes king over all of the nation into second Samuel chapter 11 beginning at verse two we read this account and then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king's house and from the roof he saw a woman bathing and the woman was very beautiful to behold and so David Sansone inquired about the woman and someone said, is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Ely and the wife of Uriah the Hittite. So now the first thing that David does. He's walking about.
Perhaps he can't sleep is on the roof of the palace and he looks across the way and he sees this fabulously beautiful woman bathing in the moonlight. Presumably, and David is instantly smitten with this woman's beauty when a word he goes temporarily insane by the gorgeous character that he beholds a limited stop for a second here and state as a parentheses. What difference this story gives us from the episode in the life of Joseph when Joseph was approached by a woman intent on seduction. A woman of great beauty and of great power and when Joseph was employed as the house servant of Potiphar, the guard of Pharaoh, Joseph was approached by Potiphar's wife and we remember on that occasion that Joseph resisted and he fled from her presence and all of the seductive power that she brought to bear on that occasion and Joseph said to her. How can I do this thing and sin against God. Joseph immediately saw through the situation and recognized that to succumb to this kind of physical temptation would not only be a violation of the woman of her husband of his master, but ultimately a sin against God, and it was his consciousness of obedience toward God that restrain Joseph from his sin. Now here we have another man. Centuries later when the Scriptures describe as a man after God's own heart, but he doesn't have that same level of purity of conscience that motivated Joseph when David saw Bathsheba and was instantly smitten. And this is not a case of Bathsheba is coming to David's palace, and trying to seduce him. She's thinking that she's privately bathing the king is acting as a voyeur in the circumstances, he gets all excited and he comes around, and he starts making inquiries about this woman. Now I say that for this reason, the New Testament, as well as the old, not only clearly prohibits illicit sexual activity but also lists lost as a serious sin. When Jesus gives his exposition of the Decalogue of the 10 Commandments and gets to the commandment prohibiting adultery. He broadens the scope of that law of God. To say that even if a person is guilty of lost that that person who lusts after another person has broken the spirit of the law, at least of adultery. And when the Scriptures speak of lost.
It speaks of not just a passing attraction, but an attraction that becomes a fixation in somebody's mind.
They dwell on it. They daydream about they fantasize over it and pretty soon in so many cases, the fantasy moves over the line into reality.
Martin Luther once was asked how he dealt with the problem of lust that assaults most men at some point or another in their lives. And Luther acknowledged that he was not blind to the charms and the beauty of members of the opposite sex, but he said here is where you must control your thinking and use this illustration so I can't help if birds fly over my head but I can stop them from building a nest in my hair is now once a person conceives of an erotic association or relationship with someone that is not their wives and begins to contemplate it and dwell upon it. Building nests in their hair they have given themselves over to this pattern of lust that is so destructive and that's what's going on here. This could have been just a momentary slip of the mind. David not planning to find this woman happens the walk out on his roof and looks over and sees his bid woman taking a bath he could've shot away in embarrassment, hit his eyes gone back, take a shower and go to bed. Instead, he becomes obsessed with this woman and the image that he has in his mind about her and so the text goes on and says that David sent, and inquired about the woman that means he's planning some sort of relationship with her when he discovers that the woman is married, but she is the wife of Uriah the Hittite. David is still not restrained.
Instead he sent messengers and took her and she came to him, then he lay with her and then she returned to her house again. The Scriptures kind to us by being brief and not going and all the sordid details of this relationship, but it certainly gives us as much information that David sends a messenger to Bathsheba, invites her to his palace.
I don't know how much guilt Bathsheba carries in this, but she was certainly smitten by this invitation from the King but I don't care whether he was a king or a movie star.
The great warrior that he was. She was a married woman, and by even answering this summons and the obvious intent of it. She is already entered into a romantic conspiracy that is a violation of her own marriage files so they have their time together and it results in the pregnancy with Bathsheba, the woman conceived were told in verse five, and so she sent and told David and said I am with child. I just wonder how David felt at that point he was the king. Now he's made another man's wife pregnant with his baby so David sent to Joab that's interesting that as soon as David now realizes the trouble he's in and the obstacle that he has to processing this woman that he's crazy about the first thing he does is not the call for the priest. He doesn't cope to the temple. He calls for his general he's going to handle this problem by use of military power is going to consider it a problem of damage control if you will, and so David said to Joab, saying, send me Uriah the Hittite and Joe absent Uriah to David and when Uriah had come to them. David asked how Joab was doing and how the people were doing and how the war crossed the sea, the machinations are going on here.
David now brings in Bathsheba's husband, who has no idea of what's going on and David place little games he's being very solicitous towards Uriah, how's things going, you're in the Army you're serving with Joab's everything I can do to help you out. You need some supplies you need some provisions here is probably 100. Well, what did I do to get the eye of the king. I'm just a private in the Army in areas wining and dining me in the palace and the David said to Uriah go down to your house, wash your feet and this is not an insult. David is not saying to the man looked on coming to my palace with 30 feet. You need to go home, take a bath know he saying take the day and enjoy yourself. Uriah home have some fun, take shower, dressed up and take some R&R so we read in the Uriah departed from the king's house and a gift of food from the king followed to see the insincerity here.
David was they were trying to do other than the Sioux. The guilty conscience already. He has violated his servant Uriah in a way that is the lowest form of violation.
A king can ever make of one of his subject. He has taken the man's wife, but now he's trying to be his path and be benevolent to Uriah gives him food to take him thousand take the day off, but we read in verse nine of chapter 11 second Samuel that Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. So when they told David saying Uriah did not go down to his house.
David said to Uriah, did you not come from a journey, why do not go to your house and Uriah said the David the work in Israel and Judah were dwelling in tents in my Lord Joab in the service of my Lord, are encamped in the open field. So I then go to my house to eat and drink and to lie with my wife as you live in as your soul lives. I will not do this thing.
Obviously, David is trying to cover up his sin he wants Uriah to go to bed with Bathsheba, so that when she begins to show that she's pregnant. David will not be playing because Uriah has been away for he comes home if he doesn't visit his wife and a couple of months later she says I'm pregnant. He's going to know instantly that he's not the father of this child because he can count. He can he can do the math. He knows that he was out serving the king on the battlefield. When all of this was taking place. So David is desperately trying to get him to go all take some time off but Uriah is faithful to the king he wants to go home. He's crazy about Bathsheba to he can't wait to get home, but his duty is to guard the king and so he sacrifices his own pleasure in his own enjoyment is on domestic tranquility in order to sleep on the steps of the palace to be there. In the event of an attack upon the king. It's like Uriah working for Joab would be like a member of the Secret Service in America, whose job it is to guard the president and David said to Uriah wait here today.
Also tomorrow I will let you depart. So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next and now when David called him. He ate and drank before.
Many made him drunk and at evening he went out the lion's den with the servants of his lord, he still did not go down to the house so everything that David tries is frustrated. So finally he comes up with the final solution. The ultimate plan to escape the wrath of a husband it's been violated because in Joab and he said Joab I want you to go to the front lines and I want you to take Uriah the Hittite with you and when the battle heats up. I want you to retreat without letting Uriah now so that Uriah will be slain in battle to see how one sin leads to another, from the act of adultery. Next comes the lies, the deceitfulness and then after the deceitfulness now the ultimate plot is to murder the hospital and this task is accomplished in short order we read in verse 16. So it was well Joab deceives the city that he assigned Uriah to a place where he knew there were valiant men and the men of the city came out and fought with Joab and some of the people of the servants of David fell and Uriah the Hittite died also and Uriah is now removed as an obstacle for the king power corrupts great power corrupts greatly and so often we forget that in the sin of David. It was, not merely a sexual sin not merely an act of adultery but David compounds the felony by committing murder by proxy. He virtually orders the death of Uriah and orchestrates the death of Uriah in such a way as to make it seem that Uriah simply fell in battle and David had nothing to do with but it was sent.
He set him up. What kind of a man would do that in order to remove arrival for the woman of his own affections. This does not sound like a man after God's own heart, but it sounds like a man who has lost his conscience like a man who at least temporarily has gone morally insane, and David. I'm sure at this point in his life did what every other human being does when they're involved in this kind of sordid affair. He makes excuses. He does everything in his power to rationalize his actions and he even gets to the places we will see in our next session that he has so deadened his conscience that is not even losing any sleep over the depths of his own treachery. David's conscience was seared Dr. RC Sproul said today. David had gone morally insane. He plotted murder and went through with it. What a dark chapter in the life of a man. We count is a biblical hero. I believe Webb and were glad you joined us for Renewing Your Mind on this Saturday every week will return to this in-depth look at David's life for the first few chapters were glorious.
It seemed that the David could do no wrong. But as we saw today he forgot his place as a servant of God. We can learn so much from David's life and I think our resource offered today will be a great help to you as well. When you contact us with a donation of any amount would like to send you the special edition adductors ProSeries duster glory and 57 messages.
RC explores the themes and events of the Bible from Genesis all the way to Revelation that we provide you with an extra disc containing the study guides for the series so request duster glory. When you go to Renewing Your Mind.org or when you call us at 800-435-4343, the Christian life is a matter of thinking and living biblically. Our monthly resource table talk magazine is committed to helping Christians do just that. Each issue contains thoughtful articles from gifted teachers, along with daily guided Bible studies so invite you this new year and beyond to make table talk part of your daily reading, you can subscribe it. Table talk magazine.com this is a wonderful resource to understand and apply the word of God. Now here's RC with a final thought for us in our quorum Dale thought for today I remind you that by looking at this incident in David's life that it reveals not only the heart of David, but it reveals the heart of man. This is what sin looks like. Not just with the particular act, but in the complex of behavior that precedes it and follows it. This is how we behave as sinful people not only do we sin, but in many cases we sin, planning our sin in advance and then after we commit the sin we go to great pains to conceal that sin to cover it up to hide it from public view, or scrutiny. And it doesn't stop with are trying to hide it simply from others, but we try to conceal it from ourselves. We begin to tell lies not only to those outside but would begin to tell lies to our own conscience, our consciences what St. Thomas Aquinas once said, is that inner voice of God that either excuses or excuses us and we can't stand the burden of an accusing conscience and so we seek to create a rationale that will excuse our own sin so that we can silence the voice of the conviction of the Holy Spirit don't hear the story of David and think that it is a story of one man's isolated sin. It's my story and it's your story. David's situation did seem hopeless. We will be reminded next week that because God love David so much he would not leave them alone. He needed to face the truth. Please join us for a message titled Nathan's confrontation next Saturday on Renewing Your Mind