1. How could David so easily go from victory and magnanimity to cold-blooded murder?
The answer lies in the unimaginable power of sexual temptation. Believe it, that there is a level of titillation that all of us would find irresistible. Surely we must ask ourselves, “Just what would it take to bring me down?”
David was at the apex of his power and prestige. Only recently had he danced in the street before the Lord, and had shown unprecedented generosity toward Jonathan’s crippled son, Mephibosheth. (2 Samuel 6:12-15; 7:1, 2; 9)
Could it be that David’s towering success brought about complacency, (he was lounging when kings routinely go to war), pride, and a false sense of security? “If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don‘t fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:12) (See Proverbs 11:2; 16:18; 18:12; 28:14; 29:23; Isaiah 2:11; Daniel 4:30-37)
2. How could David maintain a religious facade, while leading a double life?
When Nathan the prophet related a story of injustice to David that mirrored his own heinous sin, his immediate response was one of “righteous” rage, “David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die! He must pay… four times over… ‘” (2 Samuel 12:5, 6a)
I am reminded of Paul’s indictment of phony religious types, “People will be lovers of themselves… having a form of godliness but denying its power… ” (2 Timothy 3:1a, 5a) (See Matthew 23:25-28)
3. How could David be so blinded to the long term damage to his family and nation?
It appears that David secretly believed he could get away with leading a double life. Yet he paid dearly, thus bearing out the Scriptures’ warning, “You may be sure that your sin will find you out… Many are the victims she (the immoral woman) has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng… ” (Numb. 32:23a; Proverbs 7:26) (See 2 Samuel 12-20)
So, how can we ensure that we will not fall into sexual sins, as did David? Here are four suggestions:
1. Regular exposure to, and application of the Word of God, allowing it to impact our lives at the deepest level. (Hebrews 4:12, 13; James 1:22-25)
2. Daily soul-searching, repentance, and brokenness. (Matthew 5:3, 4; Psalm 139:23, 24; 2 Corinthians 13:5)
3. Learning what it means to walk moment-by-moment in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:16; Romans 8:2, 12-14)
4. Careful observation of others who have fallen in order to learn from their mistakes. (Proverbs 1:20-22)