It can happen to anyone. But the fact that it happened to David is an eye-opener. He was a man after God’s own heart; devoted in his faith, passionate in his worship, upright in his righteousness……and blinded by his lust and sin like anyone else.
The life of David thrills me as it gives me a living example of priorities and passion. I am a practical person so I love the “how to” of examples in the Word. David excelled at loving God with his whole being. Worship seemed to be the heart of who he was. From reading the Scriptures, it seemed that if you knew anything about David, you knew he held fast to his God.
But his life also teaches me that as upright as he was, he fell hard and fast into sin. I learn that there is no protective spot in faith where I am immune to my own fleshly desires. As close as David felt with the Lord, and as many trials as he had persevered through while remaining obedient to God, he let all of that go to grab hold of what was not his. In the blink of an eye, as he gazed at what intrigued him on that rooftop in 2 Samuel 11:2-27, he gave way to a path that would lead to scandal.
He was the King, the leader and example of the Lord’s anointed for the nation of Israel. He not only led the kingdom, he was a very public leader in faith to their LORD. He upheld the commands of God, encouraging the people to follow them. He always had his mind on what was right and needed to be done in accordance to what pleased God. Until that one evening…….
As I read through this portion of the Bible, I learn another valuable lesson from David; to be on my guard after a great blessing or time of prosperity. David did not seem aware of his potential to sin so greatly nor was he on guard after the wonderful experience of bringing the ark back into Jerusalem. He seemed to have checked off another bucket list item as he was settled as the King in his kingdom, victorious over surrounding enemies, and now he had brought the ark back. He was happy and satisfied. No more threats or problems rearing their ugly heads to him. What a time of rest and contentment!
And that is exactly the moment his most dangerous enemy struck, while he was unaware and unguarded. David neglected to be mindful of the devil, the one enemy who never tires at trying to derail the faith of believers. As David strolled on that rooftop fat and happy, the devil was laying his trap and David stepped right into it.
I can’t help but compare this scene of temptation with Luke 4:1-13 where Jesus is tempted after having been baptized. He was full of the Holy Spirit and led into the desert for 40 days of temptation from the devil. I find that detail worth noting, that Jesus was not tempted once or twice, but for 40 days! Yet unlike David, Jesus did not fall victim to the trap of the devil.
In this passage of Scripture, Jesus was victorious over the schemes of the enemy because of the way he responded to each temptation. Jesus met each moment of weakness or intrigue, the thought of what could be His for the taking, with the Word of God. Each time the devil tempted, Jesus remembered what God had already said in His Word that warned him and gave authority concerning that issue. Jesus was victorious each and every time He met temptation because He was not unaware or unguarded. He knew His potential because even though He was the Son of God, He was also the Son of Man.
Jesus triumphed over this round of temptation but also what was to come. It says in Luke 4:13 that the devil left him after all this tempting until an opportune time. This means that Jesus was continually tempted and he stood firm each time! How do I know this for sure? Because of 2 Corinthians 5:21, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Now that is what we could call a scandal of grace! From one man came the scandal of sin for the nation to experience and the other the shocking relief from such bondage of sin!
I learn much from comparing these two scenes of temptation, from these two men. It is so beneficial to use Scripture to interpret and give insight to other Scripture. I am able to learn both from the failures and the victories of others. This educates me, equips me to better walk the path of faith so that I won’t be left unaware or unguarded.
I have seen way too many friends and family that have been left devastated by the scandal of sin, walking away from their faith and continuing on this path without repentance. There is too much to lose to remain unaware and unguarded. And I learn from David that there is not a moment in my life of faith where I am not equally vulnerable so it is critical that I learn and apply as much as possible. But oh the relief of knowing Christ as my Savior, where His scandal of grace meets my every failure when I repent and look to Him through faith! I know this amazing grace because He has saved me from my own devastating sin, so that now I too become the righteousness of God. Oh what a Savior!