I've always liked David. Partly because he's got a great name, partly because he was apparently not very tall (1 Samuel 16:7), but mostly because he was considered 'a man after God's heart'. He was a warrior, but also a worshipper who wrote many of the Psalms. He was rugged, and he appreciated beauty...I like that!
David became very close to God, and it seemed that everything he touched, God blessed. He became the King of Israel and oversaw its expansion in power, size, wealth and influence. He was widely regarded as a great king!
...so why'd he do it?
Why'd he risk all of that for one momentary thrill?
Read about it in 2 Samuel 11. He commits adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah...then he tries to cover it up...then, when that doesn't work, he conspires to murder Uriah...then he takes Bathsheba as his wife.
This is NOT what I expect from a guy like David!
How did it happen?
I wonder...the chapter starts with "In the Spring of the year, when kings go out to make war, David stayed behind..." I wonder why?
Was it because he was tired? Was it because he was getting full of himself, and just wanted to 'phone it in', instead of doing what he'd normally do--which was to be involved in the fights? Is it possible that he had seen Bathsheba earlier and he arranged this situation so that he just 'happened' to be walking on the roof while she bathed? It's certainly possible that it was simply an unexpected temptation that he gave in to.
I'm not sure...
...but here's what I DO know:
1) We 'play' with temptation quite a bit...instead of dealing with it forcefully right away and moving on, we sometimes let ourselves mess around with the temptation, lying to ourselves and saying we 'can handle' it...until it's too late; and 2) We don't usually 'fall' into major sin like this...rather, we walk into it, one step at a time. (True, that last step may be a 'fall', but the truth is that there were many steps leading up to it.) See James 1:13-14
David certainly COULD have gone off to war...he could have been busy with the work of the Kingdom...he could have been worshipping God...there are LOTS of things he COULD HAVE done...but he chose to walk around his roof, looking at what was going on in other people's houses...as the saying goes, "Idle minds are the devil's workshop."
There are many lessons to learn from this story...one is that, just as David should have been busy serving the Lord in some way (instead of walking around on his roof).
What is the equivalent for YOU? What is the area that you find yourself 'playing with' temptation, hoping for the best, saying 'I can handle it'? What is the "walking on the roof" moment for you?
When temptation comes, let's not play with it! Rather, let's go with the teaching of 1st Corinthians 10:13 "The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure."
It's best to avoid those compromising situations altogether, but if you're in one, remember that God ALWAYS provides a way out...take it!
...and from now on, stay off the roof!