Just cant say no? How do we deal with lust? We have a case study. David and Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11-12.
“Don’t let this upset you, these things happen”
The most striking words in the story, for me, come in 2 Samuel 11:25.
David had committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband Uriah and he is still in denial trying to cover up his shame. Do these things just happen?
Let God’s adventure satisfy
It’s springtime; it’s the time when kings go off to war. But David is not at war (vs 1). David is kicking back, shooting the breeze, picking flowers, having a detox, listening to Abba and drinking herbal tea. Is this the same David that rushed out to meet Goliath in battle because he defiled God and the armies of God? Has something changed in David?
David is looking for adventure outside of the purpose of God. You were made for adventure. Men in particular live for adventure. That’s why you like James Bond, that’s why young men do dangerous things like drag races, that’s why sport gets taken so seriously. We are made for adventure, but ultimately for God’s adventure. David should have been fighting with God for God, but instead he has lost his passion for God’s glory. His God centered disposition has been replaced by self-centeredness and he is looking for adventure outside of the plan of God for his life. You have one life and only what is done for Jesus will last. Have you chosen the right adventure?
Kill unborn sin
He hasn’t done anything wrong yet. There just happened to be a very beautiful naked woman bathing on a roof (vs 2). Sometimes we are just thrown into a situation. In our culture sex sells everything. Music, clothes, coffee, motorbikes, deodorant, shampoo, power-tools. Our culture aggressively places temptation before us. But what should David have done? He should have destroyed the unborn desire (James 1:15).
But instead what does he do? Notice the verb “sent” and who is doing the sending.
3 and David sent someone to find out about her…
4 Then David sent messengers to get her…
6 So David sent this word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.”… he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”
This didn’t just happen as David would have us believe. He made it happen. He is in control. He was tempted and he nurtured his lust and this little seed of lust flourished into adultery and murder.
Tim Keller illustrates this point. An acorn has the potential to grow into an oak tree. And that oak tree spawns more acorns that could start a forest of trees. Essentially a little acorn has the potential to be a forest! It’s much harder to destroy a forest of oak trees, than to destroy on oak tree, and it’s much easier to destroy an acorn than a single oak tree. Kill the sin before it kills you.
Who, reading this blog can claim to have more faith than David the giant slayer, or more revelation about God than the Psalm writer or when was the last time God said to you ‘man after my own heart’? Lust is a tidal wave that sweeps the most steadfast from their feet. Kill the sin before it kills you.
Find a Nathan be a Nathan
A year has gone by and David hides his sin. It’s a hard year though. In Psalm 51 he speaks of what it was like during that year. He felt dirty, defiled, depressed, he couldn’t even worship God. Guilty people have no joy in the Lord.
So, he spends a year in this unrepentant, anxious, shame-filled state until God sends the Prophet Nathan to him. Why does Nathan come to David with a long story (12:1-6)? Why doesn’t he just say it like it is? Because God is always more interested in restoration than in condemnation. How can you be sure of this? How can you be assured of forgiveness? How you be washed cleaner than snow? Jesus. He died in your place for your sin to purify you from a guilty conscience (Hebrews 10:22).
God sends Nathan for David’s good, not to condemn him. Just like he sent Jesus for you. David says to Nathan ‘this man must die’! And the Bible says “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). But when Jesus appears before Pontius Pilate it’s very similar to David before Nathan. Nathan says to David “you are the man”. Pronouncing guilt. Pontius Pilate says to the crowds about Jesus “Behold the man” calling the innocent man Jesus guilty. Nathan says to David ‘you will not die’ but Pontius Pilate has Jesus hung naked on a cross, left to die alone, in your place for your sin.
Let God’s adventure satisfy you, kill unborn sin, be a Nathan and find a Nathan, but most importantly thank Jesus. As Piper puts “God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in Him”. It all stands or falls with your response to Jesus. Love and praise and worship of Jesus and let the joy of the Lord be your strength.