There is a story behind David’s sin with Bathsheba. Whenever you hear of a moral calamity, such as we have here, there is always a back story. These things don’t just happen out of the blue at random.
The back story in David’s life is clear: “David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron, and more sons and daughters were born to David” (2 Samuel 5:13). He already had more than one wife and concubines.
That was what kings commonly did in these days, but it was a direct violation of the clear command of God in Deuteronomy 17:17, where God says that the king among his people is to be different. Through the mouth of Moses God made it very clear that when he appointed a king later on, his king was to be different: “He shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away…”(Deuteronomy 17:17).
That could hardly be clearer, but David had carved out an area of compromise in his life that had never been submitted to the Lord. And that area of compromise lay at the root of his sin.
David clearly had a problem with lust, and the more he gave way to it, the more it controlled him. The sin he accommodated in his life grew until one day its power overwhelmed him.
The Bible makes it very clear that this is how sin works. It builds a position in your life over time as you compromise with it. “Desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (James 1:15).
The more room you give to an evil desire, the more powerful it will become in your life. W. G. Blaikie says, “When an evil desire has scope for its exercise, instead of being satisfied, it becomes more greedy and more lawless.” Here is the way sin works. It tells you, “Just give it a little space.” But sin is greedy. It always wants more.
So guard your heart, because if you allow sin to capture your imagination, it will not be long before it masters your soul. God has preserved this story for us in the Bible as a warning, so let’s apply this to ourselves.
The roots of every kind of sin lie in the flesh of even the most godly believer. Are you realistic about what you are up against? Do you think that you can live this year with integrity if you do not seek the help of God in prayer, and draw strength from his word? Do you think that you can keep some area of your life un-submitted to the lordship of Christ and not have that destroy you? Let anyone who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall (1 Corinthians 10:12).
[1. W. G. Blaikie, The Second Book of Samuel, p. 159, Hodder & Stoughton, 1892]
This sermon clip is taken from Pastor Colin’s sermon “Sin” in the series, The Life of David