David and Bathsheba

Open Your Bible

2 Samuel 11:1-27, 2 Samuel 12:1-25, Psalm 51:1-19, Isaiah 42:1-4

Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 11:1-27, 2 Samuel 12:1-25, Psalm 51:1-19, Isaiah 42:1-4

The sins that tend to shock us most are the ones committed by those who know better.

When we’ve walked with God a long time, learned from Him, depended on Him through dark valleys—when we’ve tasted and seen that the Lord is indeed good—and then choose sin instead, our fall feels twice as far and three times as hard.

If anyone were immune to moral failure, you’d think it would be the boy-turned-king who watched a giant fall at his feet. The one whom God miraculously spared from death and handed a kingdom. The one who wrote dozens of songs about his devotion to God, and God’s devotion to him. The one whom God specifically chose for his loyalty and obedience (1 Samuel 13:14; Psalm 89:20). But even great faith doesn’t inoculate us against temptation.

When it comes to sin, we’re never more than a couple bad choices away from our worst moment. Humility must rule our hearts. Boundaries must guard our choices.

David’s sin, much like many of ours, began as a slow slide. “In the Spring when kings march out to war,” David was home instead (2 Samuel 11:1). Apparently he felt his kingdom was secure enough that his right-hand military man, Joab, could take care of business on his own. Maybe he suffered from vocational boredom or spiritual apathy. Maybe he had a mid-life crisis, or he was just feeling lazy and lax. That’s when temptation came. Then justification. Then trespass.

David’s sin left a wake of consequences that affected not only him, but Uriah, Bathsheba, an innocent baby boy, and an entire nation. But even with all that collateral damage, the real weight of David’s story wasn’t in his failure but in his restoration. God confronted, then offered forgiveness to, the man who undeniably “knew better.”

The implications are too beautiful to ignore: we may have to face natural or divine consequences for our sin, but God never refuses to forgive.

But there’s even more good news woven through this story. One sin—even a whole season of bad choices—doesn’t have to define our lives. Yes, David sinned. He sinned big. But long after David’s body turned to dust, God still measured other kings’ successes or failures by David’s heart (1 Kings 14:7-8; 2 Kings 14:3, 16:2), blessed generations for his sake (2 Kings 8:19, 19:34, 20:6), and made good on His promise to bring the Messiah through his descendents (Psalm 89:3-4; Ezekiel 37:25; Luke 1:69).

David’s life was marked by faith and obedience—not just in spite of his biggest mess-ups, but also because of how he repented and walked through them.

Once again, God’s grace weaves through lives that seem beyond redemption: through David’s story, your story, and mine. But we can rest assured that He is bigger than our greatest failures.

Thanks be to God.


Jessie Minassian is an author, blogger, and speaker, who prefers to be known for her ability to laugh at herself, a weird obsession with nature-ish stuff, and a penchant for making up words. Learn more about Jessie and her ministry at LifeLoveandGod.com.

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36 thoughts on "David and Bathsheba"

  1. Diane Gelok says:

    What stands out to me tonight about this familiar story is that, right before this, David was experiencing great victories in battle and seemed to be “all good” with God. Yet, he was still tempted and committed sin. I think it is easy for me to think that I am “safe” from sinning because I am doing everything that I “should be” doing and am connected to God. We must always be vigilant against sin and temptation because we don’t know how it will present itself. David was just taking a walk when he saw Bathsheba for the first time.

  2. Laurent says:

    I stumbled on this series by chance. I have been searching for a devotional I can connect with. Even though I am weeks behind, this reading hit me like a ton of bricks
    What perfect and painful timing! I have been suffering through the consequences of one of my many sins and failings due to lack of spiritual boundaries and being at the wrong place.

    Even though going through it is painful and it felt like David morning the illness of his child, I hope and know God will guide me through this and use me inspite of my sins. Please help me pray for strength through this period!

  3. Sarah says:

    As a mom struggling to help a young teen deal with issues of purity and failure, the phrase that even great faith cannot inoculate us against temptation is a powerful one. I will be sharing that with him — and keeping it in mind for myself.

    Also, David’s words about God’s delight in truth and Him teaching wisdom In the secret heart sounds like a great verse to start with which to start our school year. Thank you for this wonderful study!

  4. Jennifer Peck says:

    2 Samuel 11:1

    “In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war…” And so begins one of the most tragic stories in all of scripture. We’ve walked with David from the pasture field, tending sheep to the battlefield slaying giants. We saw David extend incredible kindness to Mephiboseth in 2 Samuel 9 and defeat a powerful enemy in chapter 10 and then chapter 11 hits like a ton of bricks! David’s fall did not begin with Bathsheba. It began with being at the wrong place at the wrong time. As king, David should have been out leading his army but instead found himself bored and complacent on his rooftop. If we are not careful we too can fall into temptation and sin because of idleness and not engaged in the work and ministry God has for us. David’s life teaches us how essential it is to continually and intentionally pursue God. We never “arrive”. The earthly reign of Saul and David point to the imperfection of human leaders and our need for a perfect savior ultimately found in Jesus Christ. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” May we declare the blessedness of Christ our savior as David did in Psalm 32

    “Blessed are those
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
    Blessed is the one
    whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”

  5. Kristin Micks says:

    David’s assurance of God’s grace blows me away. He was a man after God’s own heart and knew God in a personal way. David arguable commits one of the worst sins, adultery and murder all in one. I can look at myself and think “well I have never done anything that bad” but the truth is i am just as bad in my heart. And God specializes in the heart. David sin and he knew he had betrayed God. But what’s amazing is that David KNEW the grace of God. Even after this enormous sin he says “purify me and I will be made clean, wash me and I will be whiter than snow”

  6. Karen From Virginia says:

    Although I have read this story many times, today I sat with fresh eyes. Fresh eyes that see how wrong David was, but glory in amazement at how restorative God is. David was confronted and his only response was I sinned against the Lord. I want to have that response when I am convicted.
    I was also blessed when I read about Solomon being born and that the Lord loved him. To me, this reflected truly God had forgiven and moved forward to bless. How thankful I am I do you see God blessing David after this really difficult bad time. So often it is easy to dwell on our mistakes or the mistakes of others when forgiveness is already happened. It is full of hope to realize that when we fail and we go astray, God is there to forgive, to restore, and to continue the calling that he has for us. What a God that we love!