In 2 Samuel 11, we see the story of David’s great fall. We can all learn a lesson there from how he fell. “It happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle….” Kings did not go to battle in the winter when it was cold, but did so in springtime. In every battle, David was always the leader, leading the armies of Israel to fight their enemies. But this time David felt he should relax. It is when we stop fighting and relax in the battle that we start sinning. It’s when we’re not in the place where God wants us to be, that we fall into sin. David’s place was on the battlefield. Instead he was sleeping in the palace. If he had been on the battlefield that day, he might never have fallen thus.
It’s when things are going well with us and we stop fighting the Lord’s battles and start sending our juniors to do the Lord’s work that we have problems. Many Christian leaders are sitting like kings in their palaces and making their juniors do all the hard work in the fields.
I always want to be a junior brother till the end of my life. I want to be out in the field working for the Lord when I am 90 years old. I want to be on the battlefield till the end of my life. I hope you want to be there too. There is no danger on the battlefield. The dangers are in the palace. David was perfectly safe as long as he was on the battlefield. He was in danger only in the palace.
Do we fall into sin when we are facing trial and pressure and sickness and financial difficulties? No. It is when things became easy for us and we have plenty of money, when our businesses are prospering, and nobody is sick at home – that is when we sin. That’s the time you must be more alert.
David stayed at home at Jerusalem (11:1). He was not like Moses who prayed while Joshua was fighting. If David had been praying for Joab who was out on the battlefield fighting, then he would have been safe. But he was sleeping. “In the evening David arose from his bed.” I don’t know whether he had been sleeping the whole morning and woke up only now, in the afternoon. He got up from his bed, and instead of praying first, he walked on the roof of his palace. That’s when he saw this pretty woman, Bathsheba, and was tempted. If he had nipped the temptation in the bud, right then, and stopped it at the first stage, he would never have reached the final stage.
When he looked and was tempted, he could have turned away saying, “This is dangerous. Let me be careful”. He could have gone and spent some time in prayer for Joab. Then when he enquired and discovered that she was someone else’s wife, he could have stopped himself at least then saying, “O I can’t possibly have her”! If he had prayed for Bathsheba that God would make her a pure, holy wife for Uriah, that prayer itself would have prevented him from sinning. But in that moment, he forgot all about the God who had made him a king. He was now a powerful monarch who could have anyone he wanted. And so he committed adultery with her.