Skip to Content

David and Bathsheba



This week, we see the fall of the chosen King David. Ben warns us of specific steps we can take to not fall into the same pattern of destruction and ends with the encouragement of the joy that comes with forgiveness and living as God’s beloved.

Key Takeaway

Sin always starts small, but it's costs are massive. Where sin is concealed, it compounds. God gives us ways to avoid the temptation of our own flesh and the destruction of others. When we completely repent, there may be consequences, but we will be found with complete forgiveness.

WARNING: How to avoid having an affair/any sexual immorality

1. Be a student of your environment. Notice where you linger.

David was in the wrong place with a dangerous amount of leisure. Usually, a violation of personal values begins when we neglect productive activity. All sin starts small, but our conveniences become our greatest source of compromise. David had little missteps along the way in conjunction with his successes that ought to have been a warning.

David should have been out to war, leading his men, drafting up plans. Instead, he is lingering at home, bored and with nothing to do.

2. Steward your curiosity. Make a good use of time.

David was lingering, lying around, and laziness leads to lust. Most of our choice is not what we want but where it is. David wasn't intentionally looking for Bathsheba, she was simply taking care of herself, but in his line of sight. So he became curious about her. Curiosity is a gift and often the precursor to innovation. The enemy will take that and twist it, leading you down a dark path. David isn't malicious when he goes out on the rooftop, but he is careless. Weariness + opportunity = failure.

3. Be submissive to accountability. Listen when they speak up.

David had accountability, but he didn't listen. His servant did everything he could with respect to both of their positions to warn David. David ignores it. The build-up is slow, but the act is quick. He thought about it and inquired, and this is where he should have stopped, but he didn't. When he decided to move, it unfolded quickly. He sent, she came, they slept, she left. He's so self-involved at this point that he completely dehumanizes her and doesn't even use her name. If we linger and allow sin to parley in our hearts, it will more easily manifest in our lives. Take care of it at the thought and consideration level.

4. We get to control inputs. We can't control outcomes.

Little compromises lead to big consequences, and people get hurt. Keep in mind that much has been made about the motives of the others involved in the narrative, but the author does not focus on that. He singly lasers in on David's actions because that is what matters the most in this context.

David thinks he can concoct plan after plan to hide his sin. He is controlling the input, but he has no control over the outcomes. Bathsheba sends word that she is pregnant. David has a choice to confess and repent, but he wants to keep things in the dark, so he calls Uriah, which means "the Lord is Light," home from the battlefield and suggests he eat, drink, and lie with his wife so it will appear as if he is the father. Uriah the Hittite refuses and thus shows his devotion to God. The irony is that the foreign-born solder is more faithful to God than the natural-born chosen King. David speaks constantly of peace while simultaneously destroying it. So, again, David can confess and repent, but instead, he gets Uriah drunk and sends him home to lie with Bathsheba, but Uriah sleeps at the King's gate.

Conviction will come even when we don't ask it to. When we are in sin, there is nothing more annoying or unnerving than the integrity of others. When sin is concealed, sin compounds. David has yet another chance to confess and repent, but he again refuses and sends Uriah to the front lines to be killed. (James 1:15) Our sins don't stay locked up. They always involve other people. Uriah was killed in a needless battle, and others died needlessly beside him.

So David takes Bathsheba as his wife, as her redeemer, it'll be expected that he raise the child and all will be well. He thinks no one will know otherwise. However, David displeased the Lord, so all is not well.

Nathan confronts David heavily through a story of a poor man who had an innocent lamb that was like a part of the family. It ate, drank, and lay in his arms (the exact same thing David tried to force Uriah into). But a rich man came and stole the lamb and killed it for his own fleshly pleasure. David is rightly incensed and gives an emotional response, saying the rich man deserved to die. He also gave a ruling and said that the rich man owed the poor man fourfold. Nathan rebuked David, saying, "You are the man!"

5. Repent without excuse.

The choice is to confess our sin or have our sin exposed. We can willingly confess or God, in His love, will expose it. Confess, forsake, find mercy, but don't think you can belong to the Lord and hide your sin. David finally confesses without excuse or justification. He owns it.

There are consequences David cannot avoid. He, himself, will pay fourfold. He has four sons die: one innocent, one sexually perverse, one murderous, and one power-hungry. However, God does not remove His promises from Him. The verb for "passed over" means transferred. David's sin was transferred in mercy.

In the same way, our sin has been transferred as well. Jesus took all our sin, guilt, and shame and bore it upon himself, nailing it to the cross once and for all so that we can live forever in the victory of His resurrection. There is always hope. David and Bathsheba would go on to have a son named Solomon, which means peace, but God called him Jedediah, which means beloved. There can be peace, and you can be beloved by God even after devastating sin. Christ's work was enough.

Corruption begins where contentment ends. Beware of entitlement. Practice gratitude.


"Do not linger in dangerously isolated positions."

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Discussion Questions

Share message

Message Topics

Scripture References

  • 2 Samuel 11-12
  • Deuteronomy 17:17
  • James 1:5
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21
  • Isaiah 53:6
Ben Stuart Ben Stuart is the pastor of Passion City Church D.C. Prior to joining Passion City Church, Ben served as the executive director of Breakaway Ministries on the campus of Texas A&M. He also earned a master’s degree in historical theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Donna, live to inspire and equip people to walk with God for a lifetime.