Written by: Christopher Sernaque
The entirety of chapters 11 and 12 of 2nd Samuel chronicle the account of King David’s affair with Bathsheba and his subsequent repentance. The basic account is that David, instead of being at battle, was on his rooftop because he could not sleep. Upon walking around on his rooftop balcony, he catches more than a glimpse of a woman bathing. Rather than turning away from the sight of her undress, David inquires of her identity from servants, who inform him that she is the wife of Uriah an Israeli soldier and has her brought to his palace to have intercourse with him. David then attempts to conceal his act by calling Uriah back from war, intoxicating him, and making several failed attempts to encourage Uriah to sleep with his wife. Despite Uriah refusing to enjoy the comforts of home while his companions were at war, David instructs Joab to arrange the troops so that they would fall back on Uriah and leave him exposed to die in a heated battle. This underhanded operation is successful, and thus we leave chapter 11 with David now wedding the widowed Bathsheba and the Lord severely displeased with David’s wickedness.
Now we enter chapter 12. Nathan, the prophet, was sent by God to confront David. Nathan used a very powerful psychological practice when speaking to David. Rather than out rightly condemn David for his actions, he illustrated David’s actions in the form of a parable of a rich man who robbed a poor man of his ewe lamb and allowed David to convict and pronounce his own guilty verdict. Ellen White states that the “true principles of psychology are found in the Holy Scriptures.” (1 MCP 10.2) As a general rule, if you want someone to learn something, rather than directly informing them, allow them to reach the conclusion themselves. David sentences the rich man to death, only to find out the story is an analogy, and David is the rich man worthy to die! As soon as David realizes the depth of the iniquity he perpetrated, he repents without excuse or qualification. The first infant that Bathsheba and David had perished, and they had another son Solomon, who loved the Lord and was loved by the Lord. Now that we have the account summarized, let us look at the account as a practical analysis of how to get victory over sin.
The Bible opens and closes with the theme of obtaining victory over sin. (Gen 3:15, Rev 12:11). Christ, who is the Word, came to give His children victory over sin. (Jn 1:1, Matt 1:21). Let us look at David’s account, and see how we can avoid falling into sin over and over again. Let us examine the 7-steps of David’s downfall:
1. David was not where he should have been. He should have been out at battle, like it was expected of kings at this time of year. (2 Sam 11:1)
2. Not only was David not where he should have been, he was not doing what he should have been doing, or much of anything for that matter. (2 Sam 11:2)
3. Because David was not fulfilling his responsibilities, his life was devoid of meaning, and thus he had trouble sleeping. (2 Sam 11:2)
4. It is obvious, or at least it can be inferred, that David did not pray, or that his evening prayers were a formality because he did not have peace in the evening. (2 Sam 11:2)
5. David, upon seeing Bathsheba unclothed, did not turn from temptation, he rather enquired of the temptation and then invited temptation into his home. (2 Sam 11:2-3)
6. David, instead of stopping his sin in its tracks, tried to cover its tracks. (2 Sam 11:6-13)
7. The sin of adultery gave way to the sin of deceit, which gave way to the sin of murder. Sin begets sin! (2 Sam 11:14-27)
Thus, we see that David was already on the path of perdition before he even committed adultery. Ellen White has perfect counsel in light of this subject, “We should learn wherein we fail, and then guard ourselves on that point.” (1T 308) (Additional reading: MS 24, 1887; AY 56.1; 1SAT 208.3; 1SM 89) Satan tempts people to sin much like how lions hunt. The lion will not select the strongest animal to hunt down, but the weakest. Likewise, Satan will attack you whenever you are weak. (1 Pet 5:8). Thus, take note of what words, thoughts, actions, places, individuals etc. make you weak. Here are a few practical steps that you can take that way you can strategically find out when you are prone to sin that way you can avoid sin.
1. Take note of how your day is going and take each day one at a time. (Matt 6:34, Deut 33:25)
2. Take note of how you are responding to the day, either with a victory or a setback.
3. Take note of what you were doing within the last 24 hours, yea even within the last hour, that lead to a victory or a setback.
4. Take note of your temperament, or not only take note of what you were doing that led to a victory or setback but think about what thoughts lead to the actions you took prior to the victory or setback.
5. As you do this daily over the course of a few months you will notice a pattern of what conditions lead to either a victory or a setback.
6. Remember that setbacks are not wipeouts unless you let them devour you.
7. Thank God for the victory that He has given you through His son Jesus and ask Jesus forgiveness for your temporary setbacks. (1 Corinth 15:57, 1 Jn 1:9)
Make a covenant with your senses and keep your eyes on Jesus. (Job 31:1, Hebrews 12:2)