VIRTUOUS REALITY SERMON SERIES
WINDOWS ’95 – DAVID & BATHSHEBA
OCTOBER 15, 1995
The world watched as media mogul, Bill Gates, unveiled Windows ’95, the most intensive and extensive computer program organizer to date. It caused quite a stir in the computer industry. Today I am going to unveil a new version of Windows ’95. It is called Windows 995. 995 BC. Today this new version of Windows, I promise you, will cause quite a stir in your life as well.
We have been looking at the Biblical character of David for the last few weeks. David is going to make a mistake in this excerpt of scripture that we are going to look at. This mistake almost cost him his entire career. We have seen David through some great moments, how he handled opposition, his response to true friendship, his response to revenge. Today, though, we see him at a weak moment. We are going to see how to respond to sexual temptation. How do we respond to sexual temptation? And we are going to learn, not by following David’s example, we are going to learn from his example. We are going to see several responses that we need to apply in our lives when we are faced with sexual temptation. I didn’t say if we are faced with sexual temptation but when we are faced with it. I don’t care who you are, we all deal with this temptation.
Let’s jump right in. If you want to respond properly to sexual temptation, the first thing you are going to have to do is beware of boredom. Beware of boredom. Boredom gives the evil one a great opportunity to tempt us in the realm. The Bible says in II Samuel 11:1. “In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war….” The spring was a beautiful time in Palestine, it was a time when people got into battles because the roads were dry, the rainy season was over. At the time David had been on the throne for about two decades, he was in his early 50s, at the peak of his career, spiritually a man after God’s own heart. Politically he had brought the twelve tribes together, they were focused as a nation. The man was worth millions and millions of dollars. He was number one, riding the crest of the waves. “David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army.” Here is where he got into trouble, though. “…but David remained in Jerusalem.”
An idle mind is a dangerous mind. David should have been on the battlefields, but he abandoned his purpose and he kind of put his mind into neutral. A couple of years ago I was fishing with a friend of mine in Port O’Connor, TX. We were fishing in a ship channel. We would cruise up near some rocks, put the boat in neutral and the engine would idle. He told me to keep a look out for the giant ships coming through the channel because, if I didn’t notice a ship early enough, the wake thrown up from the ship could knock us into the treacherous rocks. I am going to tell you something. If you hang out, if you just become stagnant, if you always are bored, that situation is going to give Satan an opportunity to get at you. David, the Bible says, remained in Jerusalem. He was probably thinking about the past, all the victories, all of his successes. Maybe he spent time in his trophy room looking at all those great physical things that he had brought back from battle, Goliath’s sword and things of that nature. On afternoon David was bored and fell asleep. When he got up he walked around the top of the palace, which obviously was the tallest building in Jerusalem at the time. And David, I’m sure, was taking in the sights of Jerusalem. He was thinking to himself that he was the man that brought all of it together. He began to pat himself on the back and this is where the temptation hammered David.
Number two. After we are aware and watchful of being bored, we have to turn from temptation. David was not able to do this, turn from temptation. The Bible says this in II Samuel 11:2-4. “From the roof he saw a woman bathing.” Now some of you are saying, “Hey wait a minute. What is this girl doing taking a bath on top of a roof where people could see her. Give me a break. Was she doing some nude sunbathing as well? That is kind of odd, isn’t it? There are not very many people who take baths on their roof tops.” It was common in Biblical times for women to take baths on top of the roof in the afternoon, because most of the men were either in battle or they were in the fields. Cisterns were located on the rooftop to catch rainwater which the afternoon sun would warm. It was like taking a hot bath. David should have been in battle. And the Bible says that he saw a woman bathing. The temptation was just beginning to crystalize itself. David hadn’t messed up here. He just saw a woman. And we see many members of the opposite sex who are attractive. That is not the sin. Here is where the sin began to occur.
“The woman was very beautiful.” This word beautiful in the Hebrew is a very interesting word. It comes from two Anglo-Saxon words which are rendered Sharon Stone. Just kidding. This word beautiful, honestly, is an intensive Hebrew word. It is found only this one time in the entire Bible. The woman was very beautiful. And here is where David started getting into trouble. He saw her. He should have turned from the temptation but he looked again and saw she was very beautiful. He began to paint pictures in his mind of this woman, then of this woman and King David getting together sexually. That is when the sin began to occur, in the mind. She was beautiful. “And David sent someone to find out about her.” He could have stopped at any stage here but he played with it, he thought about it, he focused on it.
We have twins who are fifteen months and they play in our driveway constantly. The driveway slants and if they don’t watch out, the twins playing in their little cars could start going down the hill, and while they can stop at the top of the hill pretty easily, further down the hill they would get in trouble. We have to run and grab the car so that the car will not go out in the alley where either one might get hurt.
When sexual temptation starts, the best time to stop is when it begins. It is to turn away from the temptation. It is not good to entertain it, to focus on it, to play with it, to send it on down the hill and then when you are half-way there declare that you need to stop. More often than not things are going too fast, and it is difficult to stop. David sent someone to find out about her and he found out her name was Bathsheba, and he found out that her husband was named Uriah. Uriah was one of David’s main men, one of his hand-chosen thirty five, a man who had been in every battle with David. Uriah was a man who loved David, who was loyal to him, a man who was, at that very moment, on the battlefield. Then David sent messengers to get her and he slept with her. You read the life of David. David prayed about everything, he prayed before he walked into battle, he prayed before he developed a friendship, he prayed before he established a capital city, he prayed before he chose a leader. He didn’t pray about one area of his life and this area took him down, his relationship with women. In all of David’s writings, in all of the Psalms, you read about him throughout the Old Testament, he never prayed about his relationship with the opposite sex. When I first read this I thought why didn’t Bathsheba say no. She was married, she could have said no that she was not going to go to bed with him. She could have spun on her heels and walked home. But, back in Biblical times, if Bathsheba would have said no, David could have killed her on the spot. Dead. Thus, she slept with David.
Look at II Corinthians 10:5. You saw the drama today. “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Do you do that? Do you take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ. Satan is a master painter. He paints pictures in our minds and the pictures he paints in our minds are not evil. The pictures he paints in our minds are not sin. It is what we do with the pictures that turns it evil or into sin. If we look at that picture and realize what he is doing, and we take it captive, rip it apart, see who is actually painting it and throw it out, that is what the Bible says we should do. Conversely, if we take that picture and say it is a pretty good looking picture, Satan, here is some more oil paint, here are a few more brushes, make it a little bit more detailed, put a little music with it. It is a matter of time before we actually are putting flesh on the canvas and then we are living it out. So we have two options, either to rip up Satan’s canvas or to give him some more supplies.
I Corinthians 10:13. “And God is faithful, He will never let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” That is a comforting verse, isn’t it? To stand up under it. If we get into a tempting situation, God will make an escape route available to us. The problem is, we get into these situations and we see the escape route and say no, no, no. Men, you can’t go to a topless club, women, you can’t read romance novels day in and day out. You can’t go to those R rated movies with explicit sex scenes and wonder why you fall into sexual sin. It seems like just one day, wham it happened. It doesn’t happen like that. David didn’t get up and say, “Today I am going to commit adultery, I’m going to ruin my life, I’m going to have sex with Bathsheba.” It was a slow thing. You see, Satan does not move us by yards, or by feet, he inches us along. Just let down you morals a little bit, Ed, just watch that show just for a second. Just a little bit. And one day you were in one place and you wake up way over there, and you are committing sexual sin. Turn from temptation.
Number three. Confess and come clean. David’s worse nightmare became a reality because in a couple of months Bathsheba sent him a little E mail and it said, “David, I am pregnant. Hugs and kisses, Bathsheba.” Oh, oh, watch out King David. David was brilliant though. Remember he had the musical capability of an Elton John, the poetic giftedness of Shakespeare. Name anyone who was gifted in the arts and David was that good. Even athletically, he was an artist plus a great athlete, he could split a hair at 30 feet with either hand with a sling shot. He killed and bear and a lion with his bare hands. This man had it all. He was smart. He decided to do the Watergate thing, to cover it up. So David sent word to Joab, the general, to send Uriah to him. He brings Uriah in and sits him down for a talk. After the talk he tells Uriah that it is getting late and that he needs a second honeymoon with his spouse, Bathsheba. “Go home for the night and let everything take it course.” He thought he had the perfect plan, he thought he had covered it up. Uriah, though, was so loyal he didn’t go home. Uriah slept outside with David’s servants because he said that he could not think about making love with his wife when all of his men were out in the field fighting for Israel. David couldn’t believe it, he wondered where Uriah had learned such loyalty. Of course, Uriah had learned loyalty from David.
David moves to Plan B. He invited Uriah over to eat and got him drunk. He ordered his servants to help Uriah home. Regardless of being drunk, Uriah still would not approach Bathsheba and slept outside with David’s servants again. Uriah drunk was better than David sober.
Then it says in II Samuel 10:14-15 something that is staggering to read. “In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. In it he wrote, ‘Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.” That is exactly what happened. Uriah, and many of David’s other men were killed because David had to rub Uriah out. It was making him look bad. There is always something true about sexual sin. Sexual sin effects and harms and destroys, always, the innocent bystander. Always, always. You can’t have pre-marital sex and have it be just a sexual thing. You can’t commit adultery and have it be just a sexual thing. I have talked to too many couples, too many singles, too many high school students and they all tell me the same thing. “Ed, if I could only turn back the clock, man, I wouldn’t do it. My children, my spouse, this girl I dated back in high school or in college, or I am with now. I wish, I hadn’t done it.”
After I am aware of my boredom, I am turning from temptation, I need to confess my sin and come clean. David should have confessed his sin. The Bible says in I John 1:9, “If we confess out sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us for all unrighteousness.” You see David sinned greatly before God and God wanted to forgive him greatly. Later on he did. David should have come clean. He should have confessed his sin, but he didn’t, he kept it a secret. He committed adultery with Bathsheba, Uriah was dead, he married her and for twelve months he thought he had gotten away with the perfect crime. Until one day David’s close friend, Nathan, walked into his office and asked if David had heard the story about the little sheep. He knew that would get David’s attention because David loved sheep, he was a shepherd for years and years. He told David that there was a rich man with a bunch of sheep, and a poor man who had one little ewe lamb. The little ewe was the pet of the family, slept with the children, was fed out of a bottle. One day the rich man had an important business associate come to town and he invited him over and instead of killing one of his lambs for a meal, he took the little ewe lamb from the poor man and killed it. David became violently angry. He said that man should pay the poor man four times over, or even be killed for his action. Then David locked eyes with Nathan. Nathan took his hand and pointed to David and said, “You are that man. You are that man, you committed adultery and you have killed Uriah the Hittite.” You talk about really being rattled and rocked and brought to your knees. David experienced that. Confess and come clean.
Number four, consider the consequences. You see when David was tempted, he should have thought about the consequences, he should have looked past the temptation to what was going to happen, the coverup and then those consequences that never left his house. God will forgive sin, but He will not remove the consequences of sin. Here is what happened because of David’s sin. The Bible says in II Samuel 12:10, “Therefore, the sword will never depart from your house.” Let me tell you what that meant to David. God cleansed him and forgave him and forgot his sin, but the child born to David and Bathsheba died at three months of age, David’s son Amnon raped his half sister, then Absalom, another of David’s sons killed Amnon and to top that off, Absalom tried to take the throne from his father and he was killed in battle. “The sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.”
II Samuel 12:13. “Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.'” Do you see that? Every time you sin, no matter what it is but especially sexually, you sin against the Lord. So when you have sex outside the marriage bed there are always three people involved, you, the person you are having sex with and the Lord. He is always there. And when you think about that, when you think about putting Jesus with you in the bed of adultery, when you think about putting Jesus with you into the bed of premarital sex or homosexuality or lesbianism, that will change entirely the way we live.
David said, I have sinned against the Lord. Then Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin.” The Lord easily at this point could have turned his back on David but He didn’t and this is the grace and the beauty of God. Four points, four responses to sexual temptation.
Now let’s bring this whole message down to the practical side of life, let’s bring it down to where we live. I want to give you some guidelines, some specific guidelines, concerning sexual temptation. First, monitor your media intake. One movie that has an explicit sexual scene can feed lustful thoughts for weeks. “But the movie was so good. I love Michael Douglas. Sharon Stone has something else about her. I really don’t think about it. I’m married.” Who are you trying to fool? I was born at night, but not last night. God knows. How about the channel surfing? Different talk shows, the made for TV movies, Showtime, HBO, Cinemax. Any exposure to pornographic materials is like throwing a lighted match into a pool of gasoline. Romance novels? Monitor your media intake.
Secondly, choose your friends carefully. The first place where adultery begins is usually with close friends. The second place adultery and sexual sin begins is usually in the work place, since everyone is dressed up, looking nice, often with expense accounts. The third place adultery happens is usually with the relatives of the spouse. Choose your friends carefully.
The third and final suggestion, set some guidelines that will keep you away from much of the temptation that Satan will bring up in your life. Now I want to share with you very candidly and carefully some of the guidelines I have set up. I have shared these with you before and I will share them with you again. One. I will never meet another woman privately or publicly unless she is my wife. I will never go out to lunch with another woman. I never counsel a woman alone in my office. Never, ever, ever. Two. I never ride alone in a car with a woman. Three. I don’t travel alone. These are some guidelines that I have set up in my life because I want to remove myself from any area that could cause temptation, any area that could give Satan a chance to get a toe hold. And if we keep ourselves out of those situations, we have knocked away most, not all, most of his artillery. I have been faithful to my wife, Lisa, since we were married and I plan on being faithful by God’s grace until I go to be with the Lord. Both of us were virgins when we got married. There are people who say there is no way you can be a virgin. That is a bunch of junk. Because if I can do it, and I am a normal man being involved in a very secular world like I was and am involved in, you can do it too, but only though God’s grace.
You see, committing adultery and sexual sin really scares me and it scares me because I love Jesus Christ so much. I really do. I love God. Another reason that committing adultery frightens me is because I don’t want to do anything to hurt my relationship with Lisa nor with all of my children. I shudder at the thought of being able to look at them and confess that I sinned sexually. A third reason that I am really frightened is because I fear God. I fear Him. Now a lot of people, myself included, we love to memorize positive scripture verses about God, the forgiveness, the grace, the love, the compassion, the mercy. But how about this one I put down on your outline. Hebrews 10:31. “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of God. That is talking about the wrath of God. That is talking about the judgment of God. Because God is a God who is fair. If I got involved in sexual sin, I am not sure what God would do to my ministry, to my family, to my life. Just read through the Old Testament. Moses took all this garbage from the children of Israel for forty years and he got mad at God, struck the rock and God said that He would not permit him to enter into the promised land. David had a one night stand with Bathsheba, killed her husband. The sword never left his household. A couple of other people were irreverent and He struck them dead. I am not sure what God will do. And it always scares me when people say, “Well I know what God will do and what God will not do. Well my loving and forgiving God would never, ever do anything like that. Plus, I know someone at work, Ed, this guy jumps from sack to sack to sack, he is making money, he is doing well, he even drives a Mercedes.” You know God doesn’t always settle His account in seven days or thirty days or forty days or five years or ten years. Sometimes he waits until the throne to settle His account. You see I don’t want your blood on my hands. I don’t want you to stand before a holy God and have God say, “You mean you were not taught? Yes, you were taught I was loving, that I was forgiving but you were not taught I was a God of wrath, too, a God of judgement too?” I don’t want your blood on my hands. I want to look at God one day and say, “God, I taught them, I told them, here it is.” This is not my most popular sermon, this is not my favorite thing to talk about but this stuff is real. The great news is, don’t miss it. I don’t care if you are the most spectacular violator of sexual sin, the great news is, if you confess your sin, if you come clean, if you consider the consequences and turn from those sins, I don’t care where you are, God will forgive you and forget your sins and He will change your life. But, He is not going to remove the consequences.
The choice is up to you. The choice is up to me. Sexual temptation is there. Will we abide by these principles and precepts? Will we respond like God wants us to respond? Will we take every thought captive? Or will we feed those mind pictures and let Satan inch us and inch us and inch us. Hey, let me tell you something, twenty minutes, an hour worth of passion is not worth a lifetime of misery.