My hero David fell. Why he wasn’t in battle with his men is anyone’s guess. Regardless, he rose from his afternoon nap and stepped outside to survey the city. And while he was there, he saw a knock-out gorgeous woman taking a bath on her rooftop. His gaze lingered, and his lust commandeered his brains. (2 Samuel 11)
The woman – Bathsheba – was married. The afternoon fling resulted in pregnancy and eventually led to her husband’s murder and the deaths of several innocent soldiers as David tried desperately to cover his tracks. It didn’t work; God saw everything, and He was not happy.
This is the stuff of which soap operas are made. It’s a story filled with unfortunate drama, fear, panic, lust, murder, and justification. But it’s also a story that carries a warning for those of us who think we’re better than David.
David was considered a man after God’s heart, and yet he fell into temptation and sin. If it happened to this godly man, it can happen to anyone. Thankfully, we’re all given a choice. When faced with temptation such as this or any other, for that matter, we can choose to flee – to beat it outta there as fast as our legs can carry us, like Joseph did when his boss’ wife tried to seduce him.
When we’re tempted to watch a video or TV show that’s questionable, we can turn it off and find something else to do. When invited to participate in juicy gossip, we can respectfully say we’d rather not talk about so-and-so behind her back. When tempted to take credit for something that someone else did, we can choose instead to defer all compliments toward the person who deserves them. When tempted to say something out of anger, we can choose to leave the room, take a deep breath, count to 10, and pray for self-control instead.
How should we respond when tempted? I believe Psalm 119:59 says it well: “I pondered the direction of my life and I turned to follow your statues.” David’s biography would have read much differently if, after catching his first glimpse of Bathsheba, he’d pondered the direction of his life and then turned to follow God’s statutes. He would have saved himself and many others a lot of grief.
Let’s learn from David’s life. When tempted, let’s not fall. Let’s flee and follow God’s statutes instead.