While staying home from battle, King David observes Bathsheba bathing and succumbs to the temptation to commit adultery with her (2 Samuel 11:2-4). She becomes pregnant and in an effort to cover up his sin David tries to get Bathsheba’s husband Uriah to come home from the battlefield and engage in sexual relations with her (2 Samuel 11:5-13). However, this plan of David’s doesn’t work. In a last ditch attempt to cover up his sin, David will have Uriah sent to the front lines of the battlefield and then have his army withdrawn from him leaving him to die by the hands of the Ammonites (2 Samuel 11:14-17). Uriah dies alongside of some other Israelite soldiers as David’s plans come to fruition. David is guilty of adultery, lying, and murder!
David then goes and marries Bathsheba. She bears the child. Everyone probably assumed it was Uriah’s child. It appears David has been able to cover up his sin. However, God knew what David had done, “But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord” (2 Samuel 11:27).
David had been a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 16:7; Acts 13:22). However, he wasn’t acting like it at this time. His heart was growing hard. He heart begins growing hard as continue to allow lust to grow in his heart as he observes Bathsheba bathing, takes a second look at her, calls on her, and engages in adulterous relations with her. His heart grows harder and harder as he tries to deceive Uriah and gets Uriah drunk. David’s heart further hardens as he has Uriah and other innocent men murdered on the battlefield and then says to his servant, “Do not let this thing displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another” (2 Samuel 12:25). David’s hardening heart culminates as he then marries Bathsheba and acts as though nothing wrong had happened!
Thankfully, God sent Nathan to David to confront David about his sin as the opening verses above indicate (2 Samuel 12:1-9). To his credit, David’s heart was not so hard that it could not be softened by God’s rebuke. When his sin was pointed out to him, David said, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13). God would forgive David of his sin, but the consequences of David’s sin would bring tragedy for David and his family (2 Samuel 12:10-14).
When I consider how this great man of God departed from God and allowed his heart to grow hard, I am greatly humbled because I realize how easily the destructive effects of sin can enter my life. I need to flee temptation (1 Timothy 6:11; Titus 2:22) and not give it a “second look”. I know I will continue to struggle with sin, but when I do succumb to temptation and commit sin, I need to quickly repent of it so that my heart does not begin to grow hard (1 John 1:8-9). Today, I rejoice that God knows my weaknesses and offers me forgiveness when, like David, I fall into sin. I will strive to not let my heart grow hard through the deceitfulness of sin!
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin” (Psalm 51:1-2).