Journey Through The Scriptures

David, Part II

Lesson 6: David and Bathsheba

(Scripture to Read: 2 Samuel 11:1–27)

The story of David’s sinful encounter with Bathsheba is, doubtless, one of the most infamous moments in the entire Scriptures. Interestingly, it comes immediately on the heels of David’s triumphant venture into battle at the head of his army as Israel routed the Arameans. This time, however, David sent Joab to defeat the Ammonites again — another of Israel’s enemies. David remained at home instead of going to battle and in a moment of weakness yielded to temptation with Bathsheba.

Perhaps the most surprising part of this account is not David’s fall, for he was all too human. What is hard to reconcile is his determination to conceal his sin even to the point of ordering the certain death of Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband. David was, after all, the man after God’s own heart. But his refusal to admit his sin serves as a reminder not only of the frailty of conscience to which we humans are subject, but also the capacity for deceit and the desire to protect our own interests whatever the cost. David might have succeeded in his plan, but for two factors: his own guilty conscience, and the ominous note on which the chapter ends: “The thing David had done displeased the LORD” (v. 27).

Study Questions

  1. How did David come to see Bathsheba and desire her?
  2. Why did David recall Uriah from the battlefront and urge him to go home and be with his wife?
  3. Why did David feel the need to kill Uriah?
  4. According to Psalm 32:3–4, how did David feel during the time he tried to hide his sin from others and, most importantly, from God?

Something to Think About

Sometimes it takes just one act of indiscretion to leave a long-term negative impact on us.

When things are going well, it is even more critical to keep our eyes on the Lord, so we do not become misled either by our own self-confidence, or by the things we see around us that may be outside God’s will for our lives.