“And when the 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 11:27)
After Saul disobeyed God and was removed from the kingdom, David stepped into his place. He first gained fame from his famous fight with Goliath, and he quickly became a great warrior in Israel. His people loved him; his enemies feared him. Saul was so afraid of him that he tried to kill him multiple times, knowing that God had chosen David to take his place. David was forced to go on the run, hiding from Saul while continuing to fight Israel’s enemies. But through it all, he still trusted God. No matter how hard things got, David knew that God was in control and that everything would happen according to His plan. We know him as the author of the majority of the Psalms, where his love for God is evident. Indeed, God called him a man after His own heart.
But David was not perfect—not by a long shot. He had a bit of a temper, and he had at least eight wives. But what we remember as his most notorious sin is his adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of one of his most trusted warriors. To cover up that sin, David tried all kinds of deceit and eventually resorted to killing the man. He later repented of his sin and was forgiven, but the consequences would remain with him for the rest of his life, affecting even his descendants.
Now, wait a minute here! This is David we’re talking about, the great poet and warrior, the man whom God said was after His own heart! How could he do something so terrible?
Well, that’s just it. You may be a great follower of God, but until the day you die, you’re still going to struggle with your sinful nature. When you trusted Jesus to be your Savior, He freed you from sin and forgave you for rebelling against Him—but He didn’t make you perfect. No matter how long you’ve known God, no matter how much you want to follow Him, you’re still going to be tempted by sin. According to the Apostle Peter, our “adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8b) Because of that, we have to constantly be on our guard. After we’re saved, Satan can’t keep us from God, but his new mission is to do all he can to keep us from being good servants of God. He’s going to be working like mad to coerce us into sin. As David learned to his eventual grief, sin is never far away. We have to be wary, alert, always aware that we have an enemy. We have to keep running to God, always seeking His will and being willing to do it. Even good people can do terrible things; the only way to keep from it is to earnestly seek after God, doing what He says, no matter the circumstance. He’s telling us what He wants; are we willing to listen to Him?