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 2 SAMUEL 11:1-5

(A verse-by-verse commentary)

It's a terrible event that we study.  Yet in these tactful verses the Spirit of God has placed a number of truths to keep us all away from sin!

Let's notice them together ...

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

 

LESSON 1 ...

I wish the story the Bible is about to describe did not have to be told.  But it does!

It is recorded for our warning!  At least that's what Paul believed.  Here's what he said about such Old Testament events:  "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."  1st Corinthians 10:11)

The opening verse of the event is recorded in 2nd Samuel 11:1.  "And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem."

Now that does not sound too bad so far, does it?

And yet is is already plain to see that King David is NOT where he ought to be. Historically Kings are with their armies in times of battle!

In fact, almost always David IS with his army!

I wonder what happened to him here?

As most of you already know, this text is the opening verse in the dark Bible paragraph that relates the sin of King David with a woman named Bathsheba.  It is a dark page in the history of Israel.

Notice with me this Monday WHEN the sin occurred.

"After the year was expired."

Now for Israel (whose annual calendar began with Passover in April or so) this would have been a Spring event.  For us today the year expires on December 31st.  Either way ... WHEN this sin was committed is significant I believe.

It happened at the end of the year!

On many other occasion and at many other times King David did not stay home.  He did not lust after another man's wife.  And he did not commit adultery.  He did go with his army and win a gallant victory!

Why now did he stay home?

Here's what I am thinking.

There are certain TIMES in one's life when he or she is more apt to commit sin! Sometimes we are stronger against the enemy!  Sometimes we are weaker! Obviously this is a very weak moment for David.

I believe this is yet true today!

I strongly suspect more sins are committed on weekends that on work days!

I strongly suspect more sins are committed at night than during daytime.

I strongly suspect more sins are committed at Halloween (or Christmas) than during the middle of March or the end of September.

I believe more sins are committed at party times that at church times.

The WHEN of sin does matter!

Don't YOU sin more when you are angry that when you are reading your Bible?

Or when you are driving rather than when you are sleeping?

Or when you are discouraged rather than  when you are sitting in your chair at work?

One Christian told me years ago that he felt bend toward sin more on rainy nights than on sunshine filled days!

For some the emotional let-down that follows Christmas is a low time ... and a time when sin can easily creep into one's life!

Think, friend!

WHEN are you most tempted to watch something you shouldn't?

Or to talk (gossip?) like you shouldn't?  (Is it WHEN a certain person calls?)

Watch the "WHENS" of spiritual weakness!

Even Paul (though not in this exact context) talked about times when he was weak and times when he was strong!  (2 Corinthians 12:10 and 13:9)

If you know a previously weak time is coming ... take extra bold measures to sin not!

I know Christians who have "weak" times in reference to sin exactly a year later than a previous weak time with sin!  We may even need to learn to watch the calendar concerning our temptations!

All I know is this:  our text seems to imply that David sinned at a certain time in his life.  (A certain time of the year too!)

We need to be careful!

Again I say it.  If we know a weak time is coming ... we can be fore-armed for battle! (Memorize extra Scripture.  Go to an old fashioned Revival meeting.  Pray as never before.  Read the Psalms in a day or two.)

Paul warned us in Romans 13:14 to "make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." 

May the Lord help us today!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2 ...

I believe one of the major benefits of the Word of God is this.  It keeps us from sin!

Psalm 119:11 says:  "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."

Psalm 119:9 further says:  "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word."

The Book of God will retard our sinning!

We find proof of this fact in our text today.

King David is about to commit one of his greatest sins ever!

(One from which he never truly fully recovered!)

Here's how Scripture words it:

"And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem."  2 Samuel 11:1

Not only is the WHEN of this sin important, so is the WHERE as well!

See the words:  "At the time when Kings go forth to battle."

In David's day travel was not possible year round.  Poor roads, weather conditions (rainy seasons), duties at home plus many other things prevented Kings from warfare until the Spring of the year.  For example, the month of March is named after the Roman god Mars --- the god of war!  Do you see it?  March (Spring) was their time to plead with their god of war.  It was time to fight.

In almost every situation the King of a nation would accompany his army to battle! That was just the custom of the day!  We even see that fact illustrated again and again throughout the Old Testament.  Kings go with their fighting men.  (Especially David --- the warrior King!  The slayer of Goliath!)

BUT this one time David stayed at home!

He did not go with his men!

AND he got into trouble.  He sinned.  He sinned with another man's wife!  He committed adultery!  He did something that Solomon says:  "But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away." Proverbs 6:32-33

But, look!

Had David just been in his right PLACE ... this sin could not have happened!  At least it could not have happened at that time.  (And most other times the writer of the Psalms would have been strong enough to resist that temptation!  Read Psalm 101 to see what I mean!  Here's part of it:  "I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.  I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.")

Dear friend, hear me today.

Be where you ought to be.

On Sundays ... be in church!  (That's the right place to be!)

At night ... be in your wife's (or husband's) arms ... not in the arms of another!

On vacation ... be with your family (not alone down at the darkly lit restaurant)!

In the computer room ... keep the doors open! And locate it where the whole family can pass through at will!  (This will keep you in a public place of accountability)!

WHERE does matter in the things of God!

Remember what Abraham's servant said of his successful trip to woo a Bride for Isaac:  "I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brethren."  Had he not been IN THE WAY, the Lord could not have as easily led him!  (That's Genesis 24:27.)

Again, WHERE is important!

One can keep himself (or herself) safer by being in the right place!

What a Book this Bible is!

It does (both directly and indirectly) keep us from sin!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3 ...  (POSTED WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2004 FROM SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI)

Sometimes one can just have things too easy!

One reason David could stay in Jerusalem and not go to war with his army was that he had such good commanders!

We are clearly told in 2 Samuel 11:1 that "David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah.  But David tarried still at Jerusalem."

Joab, whose name means "Jehovah is my Father," was an experienced Commander!  And Israel did have a good army!  (In fact, Joab held the position of the leading General in the Jewish army.)  He was a bloody killer, and David knew he could militarily turn things over to him!

BUT ... here's my point!

A good army and wonderful fighters and a brilliant General all combined to make it possible for David wander (and to wonder) on his rooftop that evening! The evening he committed adultery and ruined his life (along with a whole lot of other lives too)!

Listen to me friend.

In our land today we have things pretty easy also.

A lot of sins could not have been so easily committed had there not been such things as televisions and VCR machines or DVD players!  (Or for that matter jet planes to allow us to work far from home ... with little accountability!)

Sin has been made so convenient!

We had better be careful!

Remember the Word of God!

2 Timothy 2:22 --- "Flee also youthful lusts!"

1 Thessalonians 5:22 --- "Abstain from all appearance of evil."

Proverbs 15:3 --- "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good."

Romans 13:14 --- "Make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."

Ephesians 4:27 --- "Neither give place to the devil."

Psalm 101:3 --- "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes."  (David himself said this!)

Job 31:1 --- "I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think (lustfully) upon a maid?"

1 Corinthians 10:31 --- "Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

Had David only had a weaker army!

Had his General only been a little more inept!

Had his people not been so unified and militant!

Perhaps then ... one less blot would have been recorded in Scripture!

Friend, be careful!

Sin is deadly!

                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4 ... SEPTEMBER 16, 2004

One of the most interesting things about this whole account is found in verse 1.

"And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; But David tarried still at Jerusalem."  (2 Samuel 11:1)

Would you notice something with me?

David was badly losing ground in his moral life!  (About to commit adultery!  About to wreck his soul!  About to retard his spiritual growth forever!)

Yet he was winning in another area!  He's about to become victor on the field of battle (again)!  "and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah."

David is drastically backsliding spiritually!

But David is also dramatically progressing materially and financially!

(Sounds familiar, doesn't it?)

Denigrating the spiritual side of life!

Yet emphasizing the material side of life!

(Sounds like millions of the American electorate, doesn't it?  How many times have we heard it said: "People vote with their pocketbooks!"  Yes, and they are sliding into spiritual bankruptcy also!)

Here's proof ... right here in our text!

David gained militarily the night he committed the greatest blunder in his life!

Friends, let's admit that we enjoy gaining in all areas of life when possible. But, if that's not going to happen ... be sure you are at least growing spiritually! ("But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."  Matthew 6:33)

Another lesson from David ... at his lowest moment ever!

                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5 ...

At first it just seems like an obscure verse of Scripture.

Go ahead and read it, preacher, so we can get to the next verse!

But what just a minute!

Isn't every WORD of Scripture inspired?

Yes!

Then, are there really any "obscure" verses?

No!

("Obscure" means indistinct.  Or without distinguishing characteristics.)

So let's look at that little "hidden" verse!

"But David tarried still at Jerusalem."  2 Samuel 11:1

Mighty King David stayed at home!

Vigorous, active, strong, muscular David chose not to go to battle with his troops ... but to "tarry" at the royal palace!

That verb "tarry" (in Hebrew = "yashab") means to dwell, remain, sit or abide. 

And let me tell you what else he did that terrible night.

As he tarried ... he walked upon his rooftop (no doubt lovely gardens would have been planted there on that flat surface) ... and looked at a woman ... and lusted ... and eventually committed adultery!

And where did it begin?

By his "tarrying" in the wrong place (or maybe just at the wrong time)!

I thought that this Saturday it would be good to study that word "tarry."  (We are looking at the English word now ... not Hebrew or Greek.  I do this today because I want to go to both Old and New Testaments.)

It's first Bible use in the King James Version is in Genesis 19:2.  It is used of the two angels who "tarried" all night in Sodom!  They had come to get Lot out of the city ... and bring judgment upon the city!  A city where Lot had "tarried" too long!

Christian, be careful where you tarry!  It can have some awesome consequences in your life (and the lives of your family members)!

Here's a blessed use of "tarry."

Numbers 9:19 --- "And when the Cloud tarried long upon the tabernacle many days, then the children of Israel kept the charge of the LORD, and journeyed not."

Here is God tarrying with His people!

Likely it is true that where we tarry determines to some extent where the Lord tarries!  (If I tarry in sin ... God will tarry in judgment!  If I tarry at the Tabernacle ... God will tarry in peace!)

Listen to David at a later and wiser age!  "He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight."  Psalm 101:7

By now he has decided that some folks are NOT going to be allowed to tarry in his presence!

Here's a BAD place to tarry:  "Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?  They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine."  Proverbs 23:29-30

Here's some "tarrying" Jesus recommended!  "And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high."  Luke 24:49

Tarry in prayer!

Tarry until the power of the Holy Spirit falls!

Here's perhaps one of the best places to tarry.  "And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple."  Luke 1:21

Here John the Baptist's father "tarries" in the Temple, at Worship, in God's House!

Dear Bible student friend, you can continue this study on your own (with a good concordance or lexicon or just your computer).   But on this Saturday I thought it would be wise to advise us all to TARRY at Church a good while tomorrow.  Listen carefully to the preaching and enjoy the loving fellowship and unhurriedly soak up the atmosphere.

After all we are commanded to do so!  "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another."  Hebrews 10:25

Amen!

Quickly ... one more!  And it's important too.

In Acts 22:16 Ananias asked Paul a good question! Why do you tarry here?  Arise! Be baptized!  And get busy serving the Lord!

Maybe we should quit tarrying in some areas and more diligently serve Him too!

Where are you "tarrying" today?

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6 ...

Years ago when I pastored across town I saw this often. As time came for the beginning of the preaching (after the song service had ended), I stepped to the Pulpit and read the Bible text. The exposition of the Word of God had begin. After only five or ten minutes I saw him! Really, I saw him again! For he had been doing this for months it seems.

One of our dear men ... sound asleep while I preached!

Now, donít misunderstand me. I had rather he be in church ... even while sleeping (!!!) than at home or on the golf course wide awake!

He always explained to me it was his medicine doing that! (Hadn't he ever heard of taking it at a different time of the day? At least on Sundays?)

Sleeping his Sundays away!

Iím not sure he ever heard me preach a full sermon!

All that leads me to todayís text verse.

"And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon." 2 Samuel 11:2

What a sad verse we have here!

The initial steps David took toward adultery with Bathsheba, Uriahís wife, occurred in the evening ... as he strolled upon his royal palace roof!

I have a question. What was he doing up that late on that terrible evening?

Iíll guarantee you this. Had he got out of bed at sunrise (or before), he would not have been sightseeing that late at night.

Be sure of this too. If David had been with his army ... who had been long in bed resting for tomorrowís daybreak battle ... this evening escapade would have never happened!

This is once I sure wish some night time sleeping pill had been available and had been administered to the King by the royal physician!

David ruins his life in an evening of sin!

(He never again soars as high spiritually after this event. Adultery does something to oneís soul he or she never overcomes. If you want Scripture for this ... here it is: "But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away." Proverbs 6:32-33)

Hereís my point today.

Sleep when youíre supposed to sleep.

(Now if you do shift work, thatís different of course! If you are sick, you might not be able to help insomnia either. But, overall, folks are designed to sleep at night and work in the daytime!)

Listen to Jesus in John 3:19 --- "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."

I believe far more sin is committed under cover of darkness that in the daytime. Especially is this true of the sins of the flesh, sensual sins!

Oh, how I wish David had been tired ... exhausted ... or even sick that particular evening!

Dear Christian friend, stay awake at church tomorrow!

Donít be watching anything too late on television or staying up into the wee hours of the night (or morning ... anything after 12:01 AM) either! Get some sleep.

You will sin less that way.

(Years ago in a revival meeting an old godly preacher taught us: "You canít be sinless ... but you can sin less!"  That's what we all need to do!  To sin less!)

I am typing this on Saturday evening after the revival service. I will post it early tomorrow morning on our Home Page. (Of course you know this by now.)

And since I want to be alert as I preach tomorrow morning ... Iím going to bed!

Good night to all.

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7 ...

David is in trouble.

He is about to commit a terrible sin!

Adultery ... with Bathsheba.

BUT it could have all been avoided (and the life of pain and sorrow that followed the sin too) IF David had just done one thing.

Let's look at our verse.

"And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon." 2 Samuel 11:2

Notice that first look!

"From the roof David saw a woman!"

That alone provides enough information.

At the very moment he saw her ... he could have (and should have) turned his head!

One look can't be helped.  Perhaps he did not even know she was there.

The second look (or a prolonged first look) led to trouble and a lifetime of pain!

Men, ladies, be careful where you look!

Job foresaw this problem.  There were lovely "maids" (ladies) in his day too.

Therefore he decided:  "I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?"  Job 31:1

Job had decided in advance that when such a situation arose ... he would look away!  He had an agreement with his eyes to do so!

Furthermore Jesus cautioned us about that "look!"  He taught:  "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."  Matthew 5:28

And Paul may have had this in mind when he wrote:  "Abstain from all appearance of evil."  1 Thessalonians 5:22

Even David learned this later in his life.  In Psalm 101:3 he said:  "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes."

Men, in this day of television and videos and billboards and magazines ... we had also better make some "eye covenants" as did Job!

Had David only looked away!

Oh!  One more verse. 

They say never take something away without putting something else in its place.  Well, so be it.  "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 11:2

THAT LOOK will solve all our problems!

Don't you agree?

                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8 ...

As David looked at Bathsheba that night (while she bathed) ... we are told only one thing. 

"... And the woman was very beautiful to look upon."  2 Samuel 11:2

The adjective used here for "beautiful" is a powerful one!  In Hebrew it is spelled "tob" and means good, pleasant, excellent, agreeable, beneficial, prosperous, appropriate or even happy!

Of all David's wives (!!!) she would be his favorite.

One of yesterday's national newspapers used a term that fits here.  It told of companies now that hire certain people to attend their parties to make things more lively and interesting.  These "employees" of course must be lovely young ladies or handsome young men whom the bosses call "eye candy!"  Eye candy!  Lovely to behold!  Pleasant to see!  (And of course quite friendly too.)

Such was Bathsheba.

She was David's next piece of "eye candy!"

I am telling you today there is something more to life than that!

Ladies, do not have as your goal being anyone's "eye candy!"

God recognizes a beauty that is deeper than that!

Scripture looks inside a human for his or her beauty!

(All the emphasis on the "outside" today may mean we are bankrupt of "inside" beauty!)

In fact, I'll go so far as to say this.  It may be possible for a young woman to be too pretty!  (Or to dress and appear to "accent" only the outward features of her beauty!  I'm speaking of sensual dress and behavior now.)

Here's the Lord's idea of beauty in godly woman.  In 1 Peter 3:3-4 Peter writes to ladies teaching them how to "dress" inwardly.  "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."

Do you get it?  Wear a meek and quiet and godly spirit within your very being! Now that's lovely!

Beauty within!

And no matter what the expositors say ... I still question the idea of Bathsheba's bathing outside with neighboring houses (including the royal palace) nearby!

I wonder if Bathsehba knew the King had perhaps already been "looking her way!"

This I do know.

That night her beauty was too exposed ... and it led to a lifetime of reaping and sorrow and grief!

Ladies, I am not saying for you to try to be ugly!  I am saying (while appearing neat and proper on the outside) ... concentrate more on the inside!  That's where true beauty resides.

As anyone ages ... outer beauty will weaken ... but inner beauty strengthens day by day!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9 ...

Sins have a way of binding together!  They congregate!  They "cascade!" 

Too often one sin just leads to another.

Today we see the beginning of that "mudslide of iniquity" in David's life.

Yet it all sounds so innocent!

After the great King had stayed home from war. And after he had slept so much in the daytime that he couldn't sleep in the evening. And after he saw Bathsheba but refused to turn his head. And after he refused to control his thoughts and pondered her beauty ... David "sent and enquired after the woman."

I mean ... that sounds utterly stupid, but David did so!

Here it is again.  The fact is carefully recorded in 2 Samuel 11:3. "And David sent and enquired after the woman."

It's probably right along here somewhere that David reaches the "point of no return" concerning his terrible lust.

His sins have molded themselves into a sharp flying arrow ... devilishly designed to pierce his heart and weaken his godly life.

He sent and enquired about her!

"Who is that woman!"

"The one two houses down (or wherever)?"

"Find her name for me."

"Is she married?"

NONE of these questions are spiritually legal for the great King of Israel!

This all leads me to what I need to say this Thursday.

God has drawn a line for every Christian ... an information line ... which is NOT to be crossed!

There are some things God does NOT want us to know!

For the godly man, knowledge is limited in certain areas, especially areas of wickedness!

This is first taught rather early in the Bible.

In the Garden of Eden, for example.

God there makes a statement:  "And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."  Genesis 2:9

Then God gives a command:  "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:  but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."  Genesis 2:16-17

God just limited man's acquisition of evil!  Adam, leave alone the pursuit of the knowledge of evil!

Do not learn about ... then consequently experience sin!

(By the way, this order is given to MAN, to Adam ... before Eve was ever created!  It was HIS job to teach this truth to his family.  A job that he apparently failed to do.)

Limit your knowledge of sin and evil!

Had David just seen her ... then STOPPED ... things might have been avoided!

But he did not stop!  He wanted more knowledge of an evil thing!  (And for her husband Uriah, Bathsheba was a good thing ... the best!  But for David, not her husband, Bathsheba was a bad thing, a very bad thing!)

Stop!  Before you learn the intricate details of evil, stop!

I can't emphasize that enough!  STOP!

Now here is Paul's way of telling us the same thing.

Romans 16:19 --- "For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil."

Did you get it?

Be wise when it comes to good (godly) things!

But be simple (ignorant ... untainted) when it comes to evil things! (The word for "simple" in Greek is "akeraios" and means un-mixed or un-mingled.  It was used of drinks that they often "watered down" and of metals like gold or silver that were often combined with inferior materials!)

Paul thunders:  Do not learn about evil!

Here's another "Paulism!" 

1 Corinthians 14:20 --- "Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men."

He has just taught us something concerning our "understanding," our knowledge! Be strong in the wisdom (understanding) of God.  But be "children" when it comes to malice (evil)!

Be adults when it comes to godliness! 

Be babies when it comes to sin!

And he even uses two different words here for "children!"

The first "children" is "paidion" and means young students.

The second "children" is "nepiazo" and means a baby too young to even talk yet! (Don't even be able to "talk" the language of sin and evil!)

Wow!

Dear believing friends, we had better today DRAW SOME LINES spiritually and mentally! 

Lines we never intend to cross!

If not, we may be sorry.

After getting more information about Bathsheba ... David just may have hit that "slippery slope" of sin from which he could never recover.

Be careful!

(That first Genesis passage suggests that one can get so much "knowledge" that he will miss the Tree of Life, a picture of eternal salvation!)

Eternal issues hang on "drawing that line," an information line ... about sin and evil!

Hand me a marker, please!  (A big one!)              

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 10 ...

Regardless of what anyone tells you, it was NOT God's will for David to marry Bathsheba.

Had David only been thinking, God gave him hint after hint to stay away from this wife of another man.

Several such reminders are found in today's verse.  After David had sought further information about the beautiful bathing lady, he was told:   "And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?"  (2 Samuel 11:3)

Bathsheba means "daughter of the oath!"  ("Bath" = daughter in Hebrew and "sheba" = oath!)   Her very name contained the Hebrew word "oath" (a vow or a promise)!  She was not David's to have!  She by oath and by vow belonged to Uriah her husband!  David is in serious trouble here, but he ignored God's hint!

Even her Daddy's name offered a caution.  Eliam means belonging to "The People of God!"  Everywhere there were indications that God was watching! (Even in the eveningtide!)  That fact alone should have deterred David. (Proverbs 15:3 says:  "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.")

Then immediately comes another "caution" from the Lord!

"She's the wife of Uriah the Hittite!"

Why, Jews were not supposed to marry Hittites!  That type of intermarriage (with the heathen) was strictly forbidden by God's law! 

If Bathsheba lacked the proper judgment to marry right ... would that not be a sign that she lacked certain aspects of moral discernment in other areas too?

Of course it would!  And normally David would have sensed this.  But ... that night ... he had lost all reasoning!

(Do you read of her protesting King David's invitation to the Royal Bedroom? No!  You do not!)

It is just that when one becomes "intoxicated" with sin's vapors, he no longer reads warnings very well!

In fact, maybe he just does not care!

That offers "proof" that we must keep a great distance from sin.  Sin allures and invites and attracts!  Stay out of its range!

Maybe that's why Paul told us to "Abstain from all appearance of evil."  Even the appearance!  (1 Thessalonians 5:22)

Good advice.

It's a good idea to read the "warnings" on any product you use.

Oh, that King David had done so.

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 11 ...

When you really think about it, why would David have hesitated that night with Bathsheba?

"And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?"  2 Samuel 11:3

Blame it on the times in which he lived (most all kings had many wives) or on the weakness of his flesh or simply on blatant rebellious sin ... King David seems to have rushed into this adulterous relationship with Bathsheba.

I really believe that much of my true feeling for this man is about to change, having studied this account again these past few days.

David would not be allowed near a pulpit in any of todayís godly churches!

He had infamously disqualified himself!

(In fact some great preachers ... such as Alexander MacLaren ... say that after this sin David never soars as high spiritually again ... for the rest of his life!)

David would not be qualified to be a shepherd of any Biblical flock today (the pastor of a church)!

Again, I ask, "Why would David have hesitated that night?"

The immorality in his life had been building for some time it seems!

Preachers seldom just "fall" into sin! They have been digging that hole for some time in all likelihood!

Taking another wife may not have been Davidís primary goal that terrible night. He surely just wanted a night of wild sensual delight!

But a wife he got!

But ... excuse me ... again, why would he care about that?

He already had one, two, three, four, five and so on wives, didnít he?

Why would one more matter?

I have tried to find a list of his wives and have not had much success. I am not sure they are all named in Scripture. He had a large collection it for sure!

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia helped me some. Here is their list of Davidís wives:

1.  Michal, Saulís Daughter

2.  Ahinoam

3.  Abigail

4.  Maacah

5.  Haggith

6. Then ... more wives (2 Samuel 5:13 says: "And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron.")

7.  Next ... Bathsheba!

The total is elusive!

I suggest that once a man has gone this far ... one more just may not matter.

Do you see why God requires that the Pastor be the "husband of one wife?"

That policy just puts a stop to an awful lot of problems! (Not counting the fact that one man and one woman married for one lifetime is a picture of Christ and the Church for evermore!)

Preachers, hear me today.

Stick with your mate!

Honor your marriage vows!

Do not dare get caught in the devilís web of immorality!

There begins a slippery slope that ends "who knows where?"

I know some will take great exception to what Iíve said today. I am not trying to be mean. I just believe what the Bible teaches on this matter. The same stringent qualification is surely on the Preacher as God puts on the "Widows Indeed" of Paulís day. Listen: "Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man." (1 Timothy 5:9)  Thatís as plain as it can be!  

                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 12:

I wish these words did not have to be discussed.

"And David sent messengers, and took her ...."  2 Samuel 11:4a

I guess you could use the old adage:  What David wanted ... David got!

Again, I think we have a case of things just being "too easy" for the King.

If HE himself had had to travel over to her house and make the arrangements ... things might have been a little different. Or at least they might have been delayed a little ... long enough for David to have common sense restored to his head!

But he didn't have to do a thing!

He dispatched some servants to do the "negotiating."

That word for "sent messengers" ... which is in Hebrew "malak" means to dispatch deputies or ambassadors!   It is an "official" government term! 

Furthermore the verb is an "imperfect" in its sense of timing.  He sent (or would have sent) again and again until he got the desired results!  His lust was burning and there seemed to be no turning back now.

It might have been hard for the man who had written Psalm 23 and Psalm 101 and other such beautiful hymns of worship to God ... to personally proposition another man's wife.

But David "hired" it done for him.

In fact ... this delegation not only went to Bathsheba's home (Uriah's home really), but they also "took" her back to the King.

The verb here "laqach" means to fetch, to seize, to take away or even to buy! And, as you would expect, incomplete action is again being described.  They either did ...or would have done this deed for the King again and again.

Please notice that the historian here is NOT giving us all the details.  We do not need to know them ... plus it would have put David in even worse light.

Let me pause here and make a practical application if possible. 

We today also have things pretty easy compared to millions throughout history.

It's easier than ever for a man (or a woman) to acquire the tools to look and lust and touch and even more ... in the area of moral impurity!

David's ambassadors were no more convenient to him than people's VCR's and DVD's and cell phones and filthy internet sites are today.

Dear friend, remove yourself from sin.

I recently heard of a well known preacher who years ago was in a city preaching a revival meeting (back when he was younger).  He had seen several alluring (and quite available) sensual sites and was being tempted heavily. 

This happened back in the days when motel rooms had "keys."  In fact years ago you needed that key to both get IN the room and to get back OUT of the room too. 

This young preacher was so weakened by these temptations that, fearing he would go back out and sin, he locked himself in the room ... threw the "key" over the balcony to the ground several floors below (!!!), and slept safely.

He literally cut himself off from any further temptation!

How very wise he was.

I only wish King David had done the same thing. 

But, no, he had "help" in his deviancy!

Too much help.

Be careful.  "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."  1 Peter 5:8

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 13:

I have always admired the way the Bible so discreetly presents the terrible sin of David.  No details are supplied.  Just the basic facts ... followed by a lifetime of tragic consequences!

Here it is:  " ... and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her ...." 2 Samuel 11:4b

No room there for unsanctified imaginations to run wild.

Why no more information?

Paul tells us ... even though he writes a thousand years later than David!

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret."  Ephesians 5:11-12

Don't even talk about those things!

Yet ... the wicked deed was done!

God was angered!

Judgment unsheathed her long and sharp sword!

(Here's God's promise to the adulterous David:  "Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife."  2 Samuel 12:10)

And the sword never left David's family again!

Even after he repented!

The guilt of sin can be removed ... but the consequences remain!  One reaps what he has sown!

Friend, stay away from sexual sins!

They will diminish your spiritual capacity!

("So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent. But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away."  Proverbs 6:29 and 32-33)

I say all these things for two main reasons.  First, to faithfully preach and teach the Word of God.  He will hold me accountable some day!  Secondly, to help keep folks morally pure!  You can save yourself tons or sorrow and grief by remaining chaste.

David sinned.

Bathsheba did too.

Let this NOT be said of you (at least in this deadly area of life --- the spiritual "mine field" of adultery).

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 14:

Now today's lesson may get a little "plain."

But I am just following the text in my King James Bible.

We are told that when King David has his illicit sinful sexual relationship with Bathsheba ... "For she was purified from her uncleanness."  (2nd Samuel 11:4c)

According to Mosaic law ... a woman could not have a relationship (physically, sexually now) with a man until 7 days after she had quit her monthly bleeding. This is found in Leviticus 15:19-28.  After that amount of time she could again intimately visit her husband.

So ... in our text here we are ironically told that David committed adultery with Bathsheba ... but don't worry, he did so without violating the rules of womanly purity!  In other words this terrible act did NOT occur until after the 7 days following her last menstrual cycle!

Do you see the holy "sarcasm" here?

He committed ADULTERY!

But ... wonderfully (!!!) ... he did not do so during the ceremonially unclean days!

He just happened to sin at a "proper" time.

YES ... and he paid for it the rest of his life too!

God whipped the foolishness out of him for the rest of his days!

Look what we have here today.

I call it the old "strain at a gnat ... swallow a camel" syndrome!

(I got the term from Jesus!  "Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel."  Matthew 23:24)

David swallowed a camel all right.  He committed adultery.

But he strained at a gnat too.  He followed the Levitical laws of propriety!

That's like saying I KILLED A MAN ... but I didn't do it on THE LORD'S DAY!

In other words I blew to bits the sixth commandment (do not kill) ... but I obeyed the fourth one (honor the Lord's Day)!

Have you ever heard of "the weightier matters of the law?"  Jesus used that very term in Matthew 23:23!

It's more important to not fornicate ... than it is to not touch your wife at a certain time after her bleeding ends!

Yet his "principle" of sin can be observed again and again in churches and in lives yet today!

Here's an example.

A man or woman may have 23 years of faithful attendance pins for Sunday School ... and still hate the Pastor and be trying to "kick him out" at every opportunity!  (You will need a "camel" to carry that many of those attendance awards!  So ... don't swallow your "camel!")

Let me tell you something right now.

Loving and supporting that man of God is a thousand times more important than your silly attendance pins!

Why, the devil probably has a bunch of those pins himself!  He hasn't missed a service at some Baptist Churches for years and years!  (More than 23 I think!)

Or (another example) someone who would NEVER lay a sheet of paper or ANYTHING on top of a Bible ... yet will gossip and slander and lie about a brother or sister in Christ with impunity!

You big HYPOCRITE!

Yes ...David committed adultery ...  but he did so on a good day!

I'd say any day one commits adultery becomes a bad day ... a VERY bad day.

Well, you have probably heard enough of Brother Bagwell for now.

Lord willing, more tomorrow.

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 15:

Most sin eventually (if not immediately) contains some "deception!"

No man was ever unfaithful to his wife with being a little (or a lot) "sneaky" in doing so.

Most sin simple demands some form of "cover-up!"

So was it with Bathsheba and David.

Our verse today just adds one little fact.

" ... And she returned unto her house."  2 Samuel 11:4d

After their deadly "sin" ... she went home and the King presumably went right on governing the nation ... as if nothing ever happened!

They obviously tried to cover up their wicked deed by her quickly going back home and things continuing "as normal."

Can't let the neighbors see her gone, you know!  Someone might tell her husband Uriah!  "Uriah" means "Jehovah is my Light!"  She left the Light of Jehovah for David (meaning "beloved") ... or as here, old "lover boy!"

And the lying and deceiving was just beginning too!

What sneakiness David tried as he brought Uriah home from the battle front!

Then (when that devious plan did not work) David sent Uriah back to fight ... with his own death warrant in his hand!

How "low down" can you get?

BUT, WAIT A MINUTE!

I am almost sure someone is reading these lines today who also is deceitfully hiding something in your life!

Something you wife (or husband) just can't know!

At first you felt a little guilty about such behavior.

But, no longer!

It has become just a way of life for you!

You are living a lie.

Hear me!

That's pretty good proof that whatever you're doing is SIN!

Quit it today!

Confess it and forsake it and get back to living an open honest life!

Proverbs 28:13 says:  "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy."

(David did not confess this sin to God for nearly a year!  What a load of guilt he carried!)

May God help YOU to do right.

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 16:

It's a verse that I first heard as a boy.

I don't think I knew its location ... but I was aware that it was in the Bible!

Numbers 32:23 --- "But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out."

Look at that!

"Be SURE your sin will find you out!"

David, of all people, can testify to that fact.

His SIN always was discovered!

In fact, sin is an exceedingly difficult thing to hide very long!

After David's terrible deeds regarding another man's wife ... and after all their attempts to "hide" those deeds, we are calmly told:

"And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child."  2 Samuel 11:5

Now if you believe, as I do, that God is in control of everything ... this conception on Bathsheba's part is absolutely amazing!

Even realizing that the sinning couple here had little or no means of "birth control," it is still astounding that God allowed a little baby to be formed!

It is not every day of the month that a lady can conceive a child!

And according to the 2 Samuel 11 text ... David and Bathsheba were only together that one night!

YET ... it happened!

I guess you could say that "their sin found them out!"

The wicked deed can no longer be hidden!

David is ruined.

His moral leadership and authority are gone.

His days of spiritual mountain climbing are over for the rest of his life!

Had he been alive today ... his preaching of the Psalms would have had to have been done in liberal churches!  (No fundamental conservation Church would allow him in the pulpit ... not with him being an adulterer!)

And God let it all happen this way!

In fact ... if our Lord is an Almighty God ... and He is ... He orchestrated the excruciating series of "punishments" David must now face! 

God would rather have David uncomfortable and eventually driven to repentance ... than living lavishly in hidden sin!

Friend, let me guarantee you something today.

YOUR sin and MY sin will find us out too!

If David was "gambling" with sin ... he lost!

One night in 30!  Just think of it!  One little all  night "party" can't hurt a thing, can it?  What are the "odds" of a women conceiving under those circumstances?

Until sin gets in the equation!

We all know this anyway ... but here's some good advice.

Don't mingle with sin.

It will find you out.

It will surface somehow someday!

But, preacher, what's a man (or woman) to do?

Thank God for the saving forgiving BLOOD of Jesus!

Again here's the truth about sin:

"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy."  Proverbs 28:13

God help us all to obey Thy Word!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 17:

I saw the book while in a secular bookstore.

It caught my eye.

I enjoy studying history anyway.

This newly published title discusses the history of the Kings of this world (at least for the past few hundred years) ... especially in reference to their moral lives.

Not ALL of them ... but nearly all of them ... had mistresses!  (I mean in addition to their wives, they had mistresses.)

It seems that dozens and dozens of them were immoral to the very core.

Now such immorality in the light of God's Word is WRONG!  It is a sin!

When a king has one mistress after another for his entire reign (and sometimes more than one mistress in a given time frame) ... he is sinning against God!

In case you have not figured it out yet ... a mistress is just another word for a "lover."

A unique thing I learned by reading this material is that almost without exception these women who gave (or sold) themselves to their King ended up with terrible kinds of diseases and (while rich, very rich during their "mistress" days) being very poor in the end and hated by the whole population when their little "flings" were over!

I have said all that to say this:

Then, preacher, when the Bible tells us that King David has just one "affair" (Bathsheba) ... and that afterward he married his little mistress ... and that things ended up well (Solomon being the offspring) ... then David was not so bad after all, was he?

Now listen to me carefully!

Paul tells us that we can't look at it that way!

We can't compare God's child (David) and his behavior to the lost rebellious world (history's other kings) and their behavior.  That's like comparing apples and grapes. Here are Paul's very words:  "For we dare not ... compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise."  This verse is found in 2 Corinthians 10:12.

Yes, David was a "saint" when compared to many of history's Kings ... but he also is a child of God and is to be measured by a higher standard.

Dear reader today, do not measure your lifestyle by the world!  You will think you're doing great!  Measure your actions and character and behavior by THE WORD OF GOD!  That (and that alone) will be your standard of future judgment.  ("For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."  Hebrews 4:12)

Or listen to Romans 14:10 which says:  "For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ."

Preacher, I'm OK.

I've stolen very little over my whole lifetime ... much less than the average American!

BUT what are you going to do with this verse?  "Thou shalt not steal."  (Exodus 20:15)

Or this one?  "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth."  (Ephesians 4:28)

Or this one?  This statement was made by one who just got saved!  "And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold." (Luke 19:8)

"Lord, help us to live godly lives!  Not by the world's standards of propriety ... but by the standards of God's Holy Word!  In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen."

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 18:

Here's the verse.

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."  Galatians 6:7

I believe this is true in ALL areas of life.

If a farmer sows wheat ... he will not reap beans!

If he owns apple trees ... the harvest will not bring grapes!

And if he lives a sinful life ... he will reap the consequences also!

But I need to give you a Bible example of this principle in action.

I shall do so with the life of King David!

Things were just great with our "hero" until one dark night in Jerusalem.  A night when he should have been on the battlefield with his army!

Instead David walks and looks and soon lusts and invites another man's wife to his palace.

He commits the terrible forbidden sin of adultery.  (Much more serious than we Christians have been led to believe today!)

But David was a "chain" sinner ... as are all sinners!  One sin just led to another!

The adultery was covered with deceit.  (Bathsheba just went back home.  Maybe no one will ever know!)

But soon she was "with child," expecting, pregnant!  (Talk about one's sin finding him out!)

Then David had to devise a plan (more deceit)!

He brought the lady's soldier husband home from the war and told him to go to his wife!  (A little plan based on a lie!  If Uriah sleeps with Bathsheba ... no one will know that David is the father!)

More sin!

(But Uriah has too much "class" to do so!  He refuses to relax while his unit is at war!  He did not even touch his wife!)

Then ... things get worse.

David devises a murder plot!

He will have Uriah killed (which he did)!

Ambushed!

Adultery to deceit ... to lying ... to murder!

Of course ... as soon as Bathsheba is a "widow" ... things can be managed a lot better!

Plan a royal marriage!

Have a baby shower!

Everything is fine!

Or is it?

Of course "sorrow" soon appears.  The little baby dies shortly after birth.  But that's just a foretaste of what's coming!

For about a year then David (and Bathsheba) live in relative quiet.

THEN A PREACHER APPEARS!

He preaches a scathing sermon to David ... who then "breaks" and seeks God's forgiveness for his terrible deeds!  (He was unrepentant for a year!)

That preacher (Nathan) tells David the sobbing sinner/saint exactly what God says about the whole matter!  "Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife." 2nd Samuel 12:9-10

Now watch these words.  I will "lift" them from these verses to highlight their message:  "Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house."  God promises David that what the King has sown ... he will also reap!

David killed with the sword!  Therefore ... the sword will appear and reappear in his family history thereafter!

David was sexually loose and immoral!  Therefore ... immorality and sexual perversion will follow his family all their remaining days!

And God's Word, as always, proved true ... again and again!

Here's the list:

David's son Amnon raped David's daughter Tamar!  (Tamar was Amnon's half sister!) That's a "sexual" sin, David!

David's son Absalom murdered the rapist (son Amnon)!  That's a "killing" sin, David!

In these first two events the "reaping" has already started!  (Even thought David has repented and been forgiven of God!)

David's son Absalom eventually deceives his father and leads a rebellion against the king!  (David sowed governmental deceit ... "have that soldier killed;"  AND HE REAPED GOVERNMENTAL DECEIT ... "help me overthrow my Dad's kingdom!")

Absalom (against David's command) is slain by his commanding general (Joab)! MURDER has hit home again!  (Remember Uriah, David?)

And even as David dies his son Adonijah plots to seize the kingdom from Solomon his brother!  More intrigue and deceit in the house of David!  And even though Solomon did become King ... he had brother Adonijah executed (after David's death)!

You well can say that all David's life (after that terrible night with Bathsheba) he experienced God's "reaping" program!

Now ... let me show you the REST of the great verse (in its "context" or Biblical "setting"):  "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."  Galatians 6:7-8.

Friend, DO NOT sow to the flesh!

Sow to the Holy Spirit of God!

You will be eternally glad you did!

DO NOT commit that sin!

Avoid it with all your heart and soul!

It just costs too much!

Sin comes on the "installment" plan!  You have to pay for it the rest of your life!

That's not an encouraging lesson today ... but it is a needed lesson.

A "ounce" of prevention may be worth a "pound" of cure!

"Abstain from all appearance of evil."  1 Thessalonians 5:22

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

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