A Tragic Chapter in David’s Life

Krista Williams

Day: 42 | Plan: 1-2 Samuel

Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 11

2 Samuel 11:27b (NIV) “But the thing David had done displeased the LORD.”

None of us are immune to temptation, and all of us are prone to sin.

Even King David.

David was “a man after [God’s] own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). A man of noble character who was kind, loyal, humble and compassionate. He was a powerful king who administered justice and righteousness to all people and fought bravely for God’s people. (2 Samuel 8:15; 2 Samuel 10:2, 10:5, 10:12, 10:19) David truly was a great man, but even great men aren’t free from sin. 

2 Samuel 11 reveals the whole sordid tale of lust, adultery, cover-up, lies, deception and murder. It is a horrifying story of even the most godly individual’s potential for sin. The entire account is tragic and painful to read. Honestly, it’s hard to believe this is a chapter from David’s life. But it is.

The sequence of events leading to David’s devastation unfolds very rapidly. He sees. He inquires. He sends. He takes. David’s deed of self-indulgence happens quickly and before he knows it, Bathsheba is pregnant.

Immediately David devises a strategy to deal with the consequences of his sin, but the plan fails as a result of Uriah’s integrity. Then David sinks even deeper as he engineers a murderous scheme.

David’s deceitful heart deludes him into thinking he has the wisdom and power to protect himself and cover up his sinful mess. For a moment it seems the plan may have worked as Uriah died in battle. David marries Bathsheba, and they have a son.

But David’s destructive and dishonorable behavior displeases the Lord. (2 Samuel 11:27b) In the original language it means the thing David had done was evil in Yahweh’s eyes.

The devastating news of King David’s failure reminds us of how suddenly and fatally any of us can fall.

Our hearts share the same “disease” David had: sin. None of us are immune. (Romans 3:10; 1 John 1:8) We may prefer a more optimistic, positive view of human nature, but we fail to see ourselves as we really are. If David, the one after God’s own heart, can slip into a cycle of sin and deceit, you and I are equally vulnerable to fall into the quicksand of sin.

David’s example reminds us not to run or hide or try to cover up our sin, but instead to turn immediately to God in repentance as soon as we are conscious of sin. And may we also remember to seek God’s help and strength during times of temptation. (1 John 1:9; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Hebrews 4:16)

Prayer: Lord God, I confess my heart is fatally flawed just like David’s. I’m desperately weak and can make foolish choices too. Thank You for the cleansing power of the precious blood of Jesus Christ that brings forgiveness to my sin sick soul. Thank You for Your measureless mercy and grace. Purify my heart today and fill me afresh with Your Holy Spirit. Lord, guard and guide my every decision today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

More Moments:

As this chapter closes, it appears that perhaps David’s schemes have worked. God is... Read More

Download the First 5 app to get the full experience

Join the Community