“Then Nathan said to David, ‘You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel: “I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon”’ (2 Samuel 12:7-9).
While staying home from battle, King David observed Bathsheba bathing and succumbed to the temptation to commit adultery with her (2 Samuel 11:2-4). She became pregnant and, in an effort to cover up his sin, David tried 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attempt to cover up his sin, David had Uriah sent to the front lines of the battlefield and then had his army withdrawn from him leaving him to die by the hands of the Ammonites (2 Samuel 11:14-17). Uriah died alongside of some other Israelite soldiers as David’s plans came to fruition. David was guilty of adultery, lying, and murder!
David then went and married Bathsheba. She gave birth to the child. Everyone probably assumed it was Uriah’s child. It appeared David had 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 didn’t act like it at this time. His heart was growing hard. His heart began growing hard as he continued to allow lust to grow in his heart as he observed Bathsheba bathing, took a second look at her, called on her, and engaged in adulterous relations with her. His heart grew harder and harder as he tried to deceive Uriah and got Uriah drunk. David’s heart further hardened as he had Uriah and other innocent men murdered on the battlefield and then said 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 culminated 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). I rejoice that God knows my weaknesses and offers me forgiveness when, like David, I fall into sin. Today, 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).