The thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord.
2 Samuel 11 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem.
2 Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance. 3 So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4 David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house. 5 The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, “I am pregnant.”
6 Then David sent to Joab, saying, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David asked concerning the welfare of Joab and the people and the state of the war. 8 Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house, and wash your feet.” And Uriah went out of the king’s house, and a present from the king was sent out after him. 9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10 Now when they told David, saying, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?” 11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? By your life and the life of your soul, I will not do this thing.” 12 Then David said to Uriah, “Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will let you go.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 Now David called him, and he ate and drank before him, and he made him drunk; and in the evening he went out to lie on his bed with his lord’s servants, but he did not go down to his house.
14 Now in the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 He had written in the letter, saying, “Place Uriah in the front line of the fiercest battle and withdraw from him, so that he may be struck down and die.” 16 So it was as Joab kept watch on the city, that he put Uriah at the place where he knew there were valiant men. 17 The men of the city went out and fought against Joab, and some of the people among David’s servants fell; and Uriah the Hittite also died. 18 Then Joab sent and reported to David all the events of the war. 19 He charged the messenger, saying, “When you have finished telling all the events of the war to the king, 20 and if it happens that the king’s wrath rises and he says to you, ‘Why did you go so near to the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? 21 Who struck down Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Did not a woman throw an upper millstone on him from the wall so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?’—then you shall say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.’”
22 So the messenger departed and came and reported to David all that Joab had sent him to tell. 23 The messenger said to David, “The men prevailed against us and came out against us in the field, but we pressed them as far as the entrance of the gate. 24 Moreover, the archers shot at your servants from the wall; so some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.” 25 Then David said to the messenger, “Thus you shall say to Joab, ‘Do not let this thing displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another; make your battle against the city stronger and overthrow it’; and so encourage him.”
26 Now when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. 27 When the time of mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house and she became his wife; then she bore him a son. But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord.
In today’s text David was guilty of coveting another man’s wife. He was guilty of adultery and then in his effort to cover his sin, he was guilty of causing the death of Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba. The text ends with the words: But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord. Like David, regardless of what people have done, it is the things which are evil in God’s sight. God does not judge people as evil, He sees their actions, the things they do as evil. If God were to judge every person by what they did, by their sin, who would be left? Romans 6:23 rightly says: The wages of sin is death. The result of sin, the consequence of sin, the penalty for sin is death. Yet David was spared. He did not die for his sin. God judges sin not sinners. The rest of Romans 6:23 says: The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Jesus died for our sins so we don’t have to. David’s sin was before the sacrifice of Christ, yet God in His great compassion and His great wisdom, spared David and it was even through David and also through his union with Bathsheba that Christ Jesus, the redeemer was born. The redeemer was born for and from those who needed His redemption. The line of Christ is traced to David through Solomon born from the redeemed marriage of David and Bathsheba; what a beautiful picture of redemption rather than judgment.
David was spared because God does not judge people, He judges sin. Jeremiah 17:10 says: "I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.” God also searches and judges our hearts. When He judged the heart of David He said: 'I HAVE FOUND DAVID the son of Jesse, A MAN AFTER MY HEART, who will do all My will.' (Acts 13:22) David was spared because God knew his heart. We too are spared of the judgment against our actions if we believe in our hearts that Jesus died for our sins. Romans 10:9-10 says: if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Yet even now, after Jesus has died for our sins, it is still true that the wages of sin is death. When we sin something dies. With David’s sin the child born of the sin died. It was neither the child who was guilty nor was judged, yet death resulted from sin. It is true that Christ died so that we would not have to. Yet when we sin something still dies. Sin separates us from God. When we sin we bring death to the relationship and fellowship we have with God. That too is why Christ died, that we might be reconciled to God, that we would be restored to all that He planned and intended for us. God says: I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11-13) God will not judge us for our every action, but He will judge our actions and our hearts.
In Matthew 7:1-2 Jesus says: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” We should not judge people and we are incapable of judging their hearts. Yet even we are called to judge sin. God says: Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20) In Matthew 5:17-19 Jesus says: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” If we have been redeemed by Christ then our hearts, our actions and even our words should reflect and confirm the light and the life of Christ in us. Like David who himself needed to be redeemed, and yet redemption came through him. As we have needed and received redemption ourselves, redemption should come from and through us to others.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit; thank You that I am not judged by my actions but rather I am redeemed through the action of Jesus Christ on the cross. May my heart truly reflect the life and light of Christ, given to me to be seen through me. Like David may You say of me that I am a man after Your own heart. Amen.