Tag Archives: sin
As we conclude our study of 2 Samuel 11 and the rape of Bathsheba, let us read over the text and then make a few comments:
Several further observations of this text:
David has to move to Plan C. He failed to get the godly soldier Uriah to go home for some R&R. Although David got him drunk, Uriah slept on a mat with his master’s servants. He verbally protested that he could not enjoy life-as-normal while Israel was at war!
Plan C is to have Uriah murdered. The letter of execution that explained how Joab is to sacrifice Uriah for David’s sins is carried by Uriah himself (v. 14)! Either Uriah was illiterate (which was very possible) or David knew that Uriah would not read that communique!
The plan is simple: Joab is to put Uriah out front where the fighting is the fiercest — and then abandon him so he would be killed (v. 15). Joab obeys King David, and Uriah and some of the men in David’s army are killed. This was not a military blunder or miscalculation on Joab’s part. It was a premeditated, treacherous scheme to get Uriah out of the way!
Joab sends a messenger to David and says that the king will be angry about the military defeat, but the messenger is to say, “Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead” (v. 21). The servant gives the report to David (it appears he embellished the details of the battle a bit), and David is relieved to hear that Uriah is dead. Shockingly, David says to the messenger, “Tell Joab he should not be too upset — ‘the sword devours one as well as another’! Say this to encourage Joab!” (v. 25).
What horrible words! How conniving and cruel is David’s aphorism. He has been the devourer — not war!
“Uriah’s wife” (the text doesn’t say “Bathsheba”) hears her husband is dead and she mourns for him. After a period of mourning, David has her brought to him and she became his wife and bore him a son. Then we read, “But the thing David had done displeased the Lord” (v. 27).
Some takeaways for me:
1. God’s leaders are capable of great evil. We need God the Holy Spirit to hold us back from the deceitfulness of sin and our ability to rationalize our evil desires and actions.
2. Others are harmed by our sin. There is great “collateral damage” in David’s case. Sin randomly spreads its destructive power.
3. Words of “encouragement” can be used wickedly to cover up one’s transgressions.
4. Of all the beings in the universe, the One I do not want to displease is the Lord! You?
Our passage for today has got to be one of the saddest in all of Scripture! King David, the man of God, falls and falls greatly. Like many unfortunate spiritual leaders, he gives in to the dark side of his sexuality. His sins are not just against Bathsheba and Israel and Uriah. The worst, as we will read, is that he “displeased the Lord.” But let’s read through the text first:
Several observations of this text:
1. Apparently David was not where he should have been (v. 1). He is not off engaged in some God-ordained war against his enemies, even though it was the spring “at the time when kings go off to war.” But he is at war nonetheless —with his own temptations.
2. In his leisure David goes up on the roof and sees Bathsheba bathing (v. 2). Nothing in the text suggests that she is being intentionally provocative. As we men know, women don’t have to be for our minds to begin to race. Someone has said, “all the woman has to do is show up!” The temptation is in David’s mind, not in Bathsheba’s inappropriate conduct.
3. Bathsheba’s beauty causes David to send someone to find out about her (v. 3). Incredibly, the servant not only learns her name but says to King David, “she is . . . the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” David knew the law. He knew the texts which forbade adultery.
4. But he turned away from what he knew was true and gave in to what he wanted. He “sent messengers to get her.” (v. 4). One comes to the king when one is “invited.” This was no innocent invitation. This was a rape in the making.
5. David sleeps with Bathsheba at a time that she could quite conceivably conceive (v. 4). And she sends David word, a message of only three words, most feared by many men: “I am pregnant” (v. 5).
6. Now David has a problem. Her husband is off at war (where David should have been). He has Joab, the commander of Israel’s army, send Uriah the Hittite back home to David (v. 6). (to be continued)
A few takeaways for me:
1. Not being where one should be + an abundance of leisure time = the possibility of overwhelming temptation!
2. We should look for warning signs sent by God to keep us from sin!
3. All of us have a measure of power. We must be careful how we use our power and authority.
4. As someone has said, “Sin will out!” In other words, sin has a way of not remaining private.
Hamartiology — the doctrine of sin! Jesus had a lot to say about this area of theology. We read in Mark 10:45 that the Son of Man “did not come to be served, but to serve. And to give His life a ransom for many.” He came to pay the ransom price to redeem us from our sins.
As we continue with our experiment with these posts, we are asking, how do the teachings of the Lord Jesus fit into the divisions of systematic theology? Systematic theology is a logical way of organizing the data of Scripture into categories which summarize the important truths all Christians everywhere should affirm.
When it comes to the area of SIN, Jesus did not sugarcoat the truth. Man is broken; the universe is fallen; and a Redeemer is needed! He came as that Redeemer for the least, the last, and the lost. We are all sinners, as He illustrates with the woman caught in adultery: “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8). [I recognize that there’s a textual problem with this story, but the content is consistent with Jesus’ leveling of the self-righteous Jewish leaders].
Jesus’ sabbath controversies sometimes focused on the issue of sin. For example, His visible miracle of giving sight to the man born blind could not be seen by the Pharisees who had concluded that Jesus was a sinner because He broke their idea of the Sabbath (He made mud which was work). Lectured by the healed man, the Pharisees viciously accosted him verbally and said, “How dare you lecture us? You were steeped in sin at birth!” Yes, he was. We all were.
The Lord often fought about the issue of externalism, pointing out in Mark 7 that it is “What comes out of a person [that] defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” The heart of the problem was the problem of the heart.
Jesus gave clear instructions how to deal with sin, either that which I’ve committed against someone else (Mt. 5) or that which has been committed against me (Mt. 18). God desires that we repent of our sins and get restored to God’s people. Or get expelled from the fellowship.
There is a sin that will not be forgiven. Jesus speaks of the “unpardonable sin” in Mark 3, Matthew 12, and Luke 12. The specific circumstances giving rise to that issue was that the teachers of the law had decided that Jesus’ power was from Satan, not from God. Jesus said they were guilty of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and “will never be forgiven” (Mk. 3:29). In fact, they had committed “an eternal sin.”
Matthew 12 says that words spoken against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but “anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” (v. 32). Luke 12 reiterates this point when it says, “10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.”
Sin is no small matter. Sin cost the Son of God His life. All sin can be forgiven, except the sin that labels Jesus as possessed by Satan and rejects the Spirit’s testimony about God the Son. As one preacher put it, “There are no small sins against a great God.” This great God, the Lord Jesus, gave Himself to save us from our sins. (to be continued)
The Bible uses a variety of terms for sin: “transgression”, “iniquity”, “rebellion.” How did the Lord Jesus define sin? Read through one of the gospels and write your answer in the Comments section below.
“The heart of the difference between cheap-grace doctrines of guilt-free existence and the Christian gospel is this: Modern chauvinism desperately avoids the message of guilt by treating it as a regrettable symptom. Christianity listens to the message of guilt by conscientious self-examination. Hedonism winks at sin. Christianity earnestly confesses sin. Secularism assumes it can extricate itself from gross misdeeds. Christianity looks to grace for divine forgiveness. Modern consciousness is its own fumbling attorney before the bar of conscience. Christianity rejoices that God himself has become our attorney. Modernity sees no reason to atone for or make reparation for wrongs. Christianity knows that unatoned sin brings on misery of conscience. Modern naturalism sees no need for God. Christianity celebrates God’s willingness to suffer for our sins and redeem us from guilt.”
― Thomas C. Oden,