By Nathan Washburn
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Greenbrier
The story of David and Bathsheba is well known because of its seemingly stark contrast to the rest of David’s life. It seems so wrong for something so scandalous to unravel the character of such a good king. One moment he’s leading and ruling well, the next he’s bloated with pride and slacking on the job — the perfect storm for a lustful, murderous plot to unfold. While it’s easy to ask how this could happen to King David, all we need to do is to look to Scripture to understand that we are all sinful (Romans 3:10, 23) and our flesh is exceedingly wicked (Romans 7:18), every good king included.
We must savor the victory of Christ. David — as good a leader and as godly a man as he was (and indeed he was) — was not the ultimate king of Israel. His sinful actions bore this out. The true King would come much later, and the true King would never sin. Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness (Matthew 4:1) and the tempter threw everything at Him that he could muster (Matthew 4:3-11). Jesus never budged. Satan took Him up on a high mountain and made all the kingdoms of the world pass before in all their glory. Jesus never bowed down. He never lusted after them. He never lifted up Himself in his own eyes. Instead, He entrusted Himself to his Father’s will, stayed the course, and succeeded in righteousness where every other human has failed.
We must smother the vileness of sin. God’s grace towards us in Christ is transforming. It changes what we love and what we hate. We used to love the darkness and hate the light (John 3:19-20). By being born again, however, our affections change and we love the light and hate the
darkness (John 3:21). Jonathan Owen offered this in regards to hating the darkness and fighting our sin: “Do you mortify? Do you make it your daily work? Be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you.” We are never neutral toward sin. We are either actively seeking to avoid temptation and put sin to death, or it is actively seeking to destroy us. Only one will succeed.
We must see the value in others. We were made for the Lord. When God formed us, He created us with His image imprinted within us. Because of this, every person is of inestimable worth. When Christ transforms us, we look at others with this value in mind. No longer do we see people as means to get what we want, but we see people with compassion and as opportunities for Christ to love through us as we abide in His love (John 15). As we see them this way, we will not seek our gratification, but their good, and all to the glory of Christ.