July 26: David and Bathsheba

Read 2 Samuel 11:1-27

“But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.”

That was the description of God’s response to David’s actions in the chapter you read today. God’s displeasure is not something that any one of us wants to experience. No, I am not trying to make us fearful of some kind of lightning bolt experience where God imposes judgment. To be sure, He has every right to do that. But there is the flipside of His displeasure over sin, and that is the grace He is willing to extend to forgive it. But the reality of His forgiving grace was never intended to be a rationale for continuing in sin. None of us should make sinful decisions with an “oh-well-God-will-forgive-me” attitude. (See Romans 6.)

The single verse cited above also describes what it was that evoked the displeasure of God. It was “the thing that David had done.” All that David did in this chapter is summed up here as a single “thing.” Certainly, David had sinned and compromised on multiple levels. Yet, in the eyes of God, it was one big tangled mess…one plate of spaghetti comprised of a bunch of individual noodles. That is the way it often is with adultery and its sister sins like lust, pornography, and sex apart from marriage. The tentacles of these sins are far reaching. Any one of these “things” can cause us to:

  • Make poor decisions about where we place ourselves (v. 1)
  • Linger too long on the wrong images (v. 2)
  • Further fuel a temptation (v. 3)
  • Express our sin in internal thought and personal action (v. 4)
  • Cover up our sin (vv. 5-25)

When we are guilty of this “thing,” God is indeed displeased. His personal holiness is the standard that we are striving for (1 Pet. 1:14-16), and our failure to attain it is cause for His displeasure. While the opening paragraph of this devotional may have seemed to discourage the use of His grace in the face of our sin, that is not true. When we have displeased Him, His forgiveness is as near as our confession (1 Jn. 1:9). Once we have experienced His forgiveness, the challenge is to “go now and leave your life of sin” (Jn. 8:11).


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