David was the greatest king that Israel ever had. The 40 years of his reign are often called the “Golden Age of Israel.” From the moment he slew the giant Goliath, throughout his years of national leadership, you observe that David was a fearless soldier, as well as a humble man with great dependence on God. Once he was established as king over the entire nation of Israel, his military conquests were numerous. In fact, when David desired to build a permanent Temple for the worship of God, that was the very reason God did not allow David to build it. “But this word of the Lord came to me: ‘You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight.’” (1 Chronicles 22:8)
Aside from all the many godly features of David’s life, he did have one major defeat in his life. He committed adultery with the wife of one of his best soldiers, got her pregnant, and then arranged for her husband to be killed in battle in his attempt to cover it up. Though this one-night stand was a terrible blight on David’s record, the seeds of this failure were planted years earlier.
2 Samuel 3 tells us that early in his kingship David lived in Hebron. There he had children by six wives. In addition, before he was king, he was also married to King Saul’s younger daughter, Michal. He left her behind when he escaped her father’s attempt to kill him. In time she remarried a man named Paltiel. Later, as king, David demanded that Michal be brought to him. In spite of Paltiel’s pleas, she was taken away from him and brought to David. While there is much to emulate about David, it is my opinion that he did not have a very high regard for women and marriage.
I think having at least seven wives were the seeds that grew and bore weeds of destruction in David’s life and that of his family. Having so many wives, it’s no wonder he stared too long at Bathsheba bathing, demanded she be brought to him, and then slept with her. Just as in our day, some men use their position to elicit sexual favors from women.
Your decisions today will affect your future. Here are some suggestions to avoid David’s sin:
- Maintain a high view of women. Women are also created in the image of God and have equal worth as that of men. The Bible instructs us to treat “older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.” (1 Timothy 5:2).
- Maintain a high regard for marriage. The Bible says that marriage is to reflect the love-relationship between God and those who are Jesus-followers. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 5:31–32)
- Be careful what you look at. “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.” (Psalm 101:3). Too bad David never took his own advice the night he stared at Bathsheba. We need to be careful what we look at. Whether it be swimsuit issues of magazines, pornography, or halftime performances of major football games, we need to look away and shield our eyes from those scenes.
- Start your day by reminding yourself that your entire body belongs to God. The Bible says, “Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.” (Romans 6:13)
- Stand guard over your thought life. “… take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Today, take these five steps. Plow up the soil of your heart and plant each one of these seeds. They will grow into the tasty fruit of the Spirit. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22–23)