"Then it happened, in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle..."
2 Samuel 11. I hate this chapter. It sits there as the watershed event in the life of David - after this, things go downhill. He was doing so very well - chosen by God to lead Israel because he was a "man after God's own heart." Oh, how I want to be such a man! But he was just a man: vulnerable. human. deficient.
After living his life in utter nobility, in righteousness, and walking humbly with his God, David became complacent and opened himself up to temptation. He was supposed to go out to war against the Ammonites. He shouldn't have been there, on that roof, up at night, watching Bathsheba bathe.
But he was. He was exactly where he didn't need to be. Where he should not have been. And he knew it.
I don't know much about Bathsheba. She's been thrown under the bus by some. It's not her fault she was beautiful. Maybe everyone bathed on their roof? I just don't know. But I don't blame her. The Lord doesn't seem to place any upon her so neither will I. But I blame David. He did what was evil in the eyes of God. Then he covered it up with more evil. Cause a woman to have an affair, then kill her husband to cover it up? A husband so pure, so noble he almost gleams off the page of Scripture. Kill your best to cover your worst. All this from a man after God's own heart.
I hate this chapter. But it's in there. God put it in there. And I have so very much to learn by studying it. I am young. And too often stupid, rash and foolish. David was a man unique in history for his love of God. He loved the Lord so truly. Trusted Him so fully. Yet the autumn of his life was misery because of his sin. God spared his life but not his consequences.
The reality of life is that I cannot ever be OK with sin. I cannot ever think, "Oh, one little taste won't hurt". Because it will. Because sin crouches at the door. Waiting to be invited. Waiting to pounce. Like Hobbes waylaying Calvin after school, sin takes people out, blasts them clean out of their socks. Sin wants death as payment. Death of trust. Death of relationships. Death of good.
But I worship a King who was tempted just as David, just as me, and did not falter. Did not waiver. Did not fail. Jesus is my king. He sits on David's throne. He is without sin. He died and took my bill from me - took away my debt that I so very much owe - and paid it with his own life. Then he mocked death by dying and becoming alive again. Where is your victory, o sin? Where is your sting? It's in the risen hands of my Lord, in his side, on his brow. He defeated that which defeats us all so that in him we can all have life: real life. Abundant life. Life that can fail and yet matter, because Jesus loves us enough to finish what we cannot.
I hate this chapter. But I need it. I need it to remember. To reinforce. Reinvigorate. I need it because so many suffered because of what David did that I do not want to disregard so massive a failure and doom myself to repeat it.