The Heart Within

Reflect

2 Samuel 11:1-27 It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. 2 Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold.

3 So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4 Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house.

5 And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, “I am with child.” 6 Then David sent to Joab, saying, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 When Uriah had come to him, David asked how Joab was doing, and how the people were doing, and how the war prospered.

8 And David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah departed from the king’s house, and a gift of food from the king followed him. 9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house.

10 So when they told David, saying, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Did you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?” 11 And Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields. Shall I then go to my house to eat and drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.”

12 Then David said to Uriah, “Wait here today also, and tomorrow I will let you depart.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 Now when David called him, he ate and drank before him; and he made him drunk. And at evening he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.

14 In the morning it happened that David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him, that he may be struck down and die.” 16 So it was, while Joab besieged the city, that he assigned Uriah to a place where he knew there were valiant men.

17 Then the men of the city came out and fought with Joab. And some of the people of the servants of David fell; and Uriah the Hittite died also.18 Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war, 19 and charged the messenger, saying, “When you have finished telling the matters of the war to the king, 20 if it happens that the king’s wrath rises, and he says to you: ‘Why did you approach so near to the city when you fought? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall?

21 Who struck Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Was it not a woman who cast a piece of a millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you go near the wall?’—then you shall say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.’ 22 So the messenger went, and came and told David all that Joab had sent by him. 23 And the messenger said to David, “Surely the men prevailed against us and came out to us in the field; then we drove them back as far as the entrance of the gate.

24 The archers shot from the wall at your servants; and some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.” 25 Then David said to the messenger, “Thus you shall say to Joab: ‘Do not let this thing displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another. Strengthen your attack against the city, and overthrow it.’ So encourage him.”

26 When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. 27 And when her mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.

2 Samuel 12:1-23 Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds.

3 But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him.

4 And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”

5 So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this [a]shall surely die! 6 And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.” 7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul.

8 I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! 9 Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight?

You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. 10 Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’

11 Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.’ ”

13 So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14 However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.” 15 Then Nathan departed to his house.

Genesis 3:1-8 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”

4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. 8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

Discuss

What surprises you from the Bible verses?

What do they teach you about people?

What do they teach you about God?

Is there a command to obey?

Who do I need to share this message with?

Study Notes

Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me”

One spring evening, King David paced the roof of his palace. He should have been with his army on the other side of the Jordan. He should have been leading God’s people to defeat the Ammonites bringing peace to the kingdom…but he wasn’t.

Instead, choosing to remain in the comfort and safety of his palace, David saw a “very beautiful woman” taking a bath on her roof. Captivated by his sinful impulses, that evening, he slept with the rooftop lady (Bathsheba), who was the wife of his trusted army officer.

David tried several ways to cover his sin but without success.

Desperate, David reverted to “remote control” assassination to cover his actions. Imprisoned by his own actions, good news was not too far away. God sent a prophet that would not only bring judgment, but freedom.

2 Samuel 12:1–10. How did David try to cover his sin?
Notice the lengths God is willing to go to free an individual from their imprisoned mindset.

Nathan knew of David’s highly developed sense of justice and integrity and told a story that he, a former shepherd could understand. In a sense, Nathan set a trap that David walked right into.

When David pronounced his judgment on the events unfolded in the story, Nathan told him, “ ‘You are the man’ ” (2 Sam. 12:7, NKJV). There are different ways of saying “You are the man.” One can shout it, one can accuse and stick a finger right into the other person’s face, or one can express concern and care. Nathan’s words must have been laced with grace, for at that moment, David must have felt the pain that God feels when we step outside His plan.

Something clicked in David’s mind. Something tore in his heart that arrested his attention and called him to repent.

“The prophet’s rebuke touched the heart of David; conscience was aroused; his guilt appeared in all its enormity. His soul was bowed in penitence before God. With trembling lips he said, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ All wrong done to others reaches back from the injured one to God.

David had committed a grievous sin, toward both Uriah and Bathsheba. But infinitely greater was his sin against God.”

It’s one of those strange dichotomies – admitting our complicity in an act brings with it an awareness of our guilt and sin while at the same time, confession brings freedom to our heart and mind.

In response to his actions, David wrote Psalm 51 and publicly confessed his sin. David didn’t try to excuse or gloss over it, but petitioned God for several things.

Read Psalm 51:7–12.

David’s reference to cleansing with hyssop utilised terminology known to every Israelite who had visited the sanctuary.

As he referred to the ritual acts of cleansing described in the Law of Moses (Lev. 14:4), he recognised the power of a sacrifice—the Sacrifice— who would come to take away the sins of the world to replace it with the ultimate freedom

David also went on to ask for “joy” and “gladness” in the face of the enormity of his sin.

Perhaps it may be helpful to read this paraphrase: “Tell me I am forgiven so that I may enter the sanctuary again where I can hear the joy and gladness of those worshiping you.”

David did not want to lose the consciousness of living in the presence of God for he recognised that in His presence, there was true freedom.

David also realised that without the Holy Spirit he was powerless.

He knew that as easily as he slipped into sin with Bathsheba, he could slip into sin again.

His self-confidence was shattered.

In the future, freedom from sin and shame would not come from him; they would come only from God as he depended totally on Him for his mind, power, and strength.

Living the victorious Christian life is not all about us. It is however, all about Jesus.

We yearn for His presence; we crave His Spirit; we want His joy of salvation.

We recognise our need for renewal and restoration.

Look at the connection between Psalm 51 and 1 John 1:9?

What hope does this give you in light of your life and decisions and how will this free you from the bondage of sin?

“David’s repentance was sincere and deep. There was no effort to palliate his crime. No desire to escape the judgments threatened, inspired his prayer. . . .

He saw the defilement of his soul; he loathed his sin. It was not for pardon only that he prayed, but for purity of heart. . . .

In the promises of God to repentant sinners, he saw the evidence of his pardon and acceptance. . . .

‘The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.’ Psalm 51:16, 17.

 “Though David had fallen, the Lord lifted him up.”

Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 725, 726.

FINDING FREEDOM IN REST