“Where am I and how did I get here?” These can be startling questions.
Sleep-walkers, Partying majors in college, and people who lack short term memory have all asked this question. Sometimes, spiritually, this question can arise; especially when sin is involved. David had to wonder about this question. All his struggles are behind him, but now he faces depression and death…”how did I get here?” he wonders. Well it was a journey that began at home.
Sin shows up where your aren’t supposed to be. It was the spring time. A time when “kings go off to war” (2 Samuel 11.1). David had sent Joab out with the army, but David stayed in Jerusalem. The recurring theme of David’s story has been this: he was a king before he was a King. David had always acted like a King even before the title became his. Saul on the other hand had the title but not the character. When Goliath stood before the army of the Lord, it was David, not King Saul whose responsibility it was, who went out to fight. David was a warrior. His name was forged through the battles he fought, the wars he waged, and his life as a soldier. But in this case, he skipped the battle. He sat this one out. Instead of wandering among the tents of his soldiers, he wandered around the roof of his palace. The rooftops of the city spread out beneath him. There he spied a woman bathing on one of the houses in the lower part of the city. (2) Temptation presents itself. Sin arrives when we aren’t where we are supposed to be. David should have been at war, instead he is on is roof. He is on the computer at 2 am instead of in bed. He has multiple tabs open on his browser instead of just checking his e-mail. He has driven across town to the gas station near the club, when he should have gone to Walmart down the street. Sin always finds us when we aren’t where we are supposed to be. God told Cain in Genesis 4: “sin is crouching at your door.” Cain’s heart wasn’t in the right place, and soon they would head out to a field where he would kill his brother Abel. Sin is ready and waiting to get us when we veer from where we should be. David learned that lesson.
Sin thrives on curiosity. After David saw her bathing, he had a choice: forget he saw her and go on…or explore the situation a little more. David chose the latter. He sent someone “to find out about her.” (3) How different would Alice’s story be if she hadn’t followed the rabbit down the rabbit hole? David went exploring. Sin is a journey of curiosity. That is how it began right?
- “Did God really say…” (Gen 3.1)
- “You will not surely die…” (Gen 4.5)
- “Your eyes will opened…” (Gen 4.5)
- “You will be like God knowing good and evil” (Gen 4.5)
Satan’s last argument, “don’t you want to know good and evil?” sealed it. The Hebrew word, know, means “to fully experience”. Satan says: “Eve, aren’t you a little bit curious about the good and evil that God is keeping from you?” The question was sealed with a little fruit. Curiosity is what keeps the traffic continuous on porn sites. Curiosity is what feeds affairs. Curiosity is what promises excitement, freedom, and pleasure. Curiosity is what made David search out Bathsheba. Satan’s goal with Eve, with David, and with us, is to arise curiosity. Doubt is at the root of this curiosity. Can we really trust God’s word? Does God really want the best for us? Is God hiding something good from us? We doubt the holiness of God, the truth of His Word, and the goodness of His character; so we are curious about what we are missing. And sin becomes a reality.
Sin doesn’t stop itself. It is a well known fact that sin always takes you farther than you ever wanted to go. Anyone who has ever been caught up in sin can testify. What began as something small escalates to full fledged addiction. A quick glance turns into a lingering stare, a white lie into a full on story, a wish into idolatry. David indulged his fleeting glance, entertained his curiosity, and went on a journey farther than he ever wanted to go. He slept with Bathsheba and she winds up pregnant. (2 Samuel 11.4) After two attempts to get Uriah to appear to be the father of the baby in Bathsheba’s womb, David sends word to the front. Uriah carries his own death sentence to the front lines. Joab is told to pull back his troops, leaving Uriah alone, in the midst of the fighting (2 Sam. 11.16-17). This is not the first time thins thinking and this plan was undertook. If you remember, Saul wanted the Philistines to do his dirty work by killing David (1 Samuel 17.24). A glance, fueled by curiosity, produced adultery, and ended with murder and death (2 Sam 12.19). Isn’t that the story of sin? It ultimately ends with death (Romans 5.12). It takes us farther than we ever anticipated. David learned this the hard way.
Sin is the universal diagnosis of humanity. Everyone has felt the implications and the consequences. Specifically, in this story, the sin was sexual immorality. The more men I have spoken too, the more I have counsel, and, shamefully, the longer I live, the more I run into this story of David living out in my life and the men around me. The struggle of pornography, unfaithfulness, and lust have become a pandemic among the American male. I guess what David’s story is showing us is all the off ramps that we can take to avoid the destination of addiction. Stop the glance by being where you are supposed to. Starve the curiosity by filling your life with the truth. Avoid the journey, by never taking the first step. There are so many layers to this story, and this is just one. Still, the message is resounding and the consequences deadly.