Seeking God is Important…But Obeying Him is Too

“In the spring when kings march out to war……..David remained in Jerusalem.”

II Sam. 11:1

He had to know.

He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And good rarely happens in these moments.

So why does the Bible include this story?

God chose David,

and the Bible calls him,

“a man after God’s own heart,”

yet we find him here,

sending all his men to war while he stays home.

That was bad enough.

A leader choosing not to lead.

But David stoops even lower in the very next verse.

From his rooftop he sees a beautiful woman

and decides to invite her to the palace.

It doesn’t take the gift of prophecy to know what will happen next,

and David finds himself in a complicated mess.

Women don’t become pregnant while their husbands are at war.

So David somehow finds a way to stoop even lower,

trying to trick Bathsheba’s husband into coming home and spending the night with his wife.

Does David really think covering up a sin is enough to take it away?

When his plan fails, he removes the obstacle,

having Uriah placed on the front lines and killed.

With her husband gone, Bathsheba is now free to become David’s wife.

And life can go on…………….

with no one even knowing.

Talk about sweeping a lot under the rug.

David used a huge broom,

but he forgot only so much can go under a carpet and remain unseen.

Time passes and God sends Nathan to open David’s eyes to the fact that what the world may have missed,

He has seen.

Every detail of his deception,

from skipping out on the season of war to sleeping with another’s man’s wife to committing murder.

The man who was after God’s own heart was also a sinner.

And God wanted him to know.

Seeking God is important,

but obeying Him is too.

I think David knew he had stepped off the “straight and narrow.”

He surely tossed and turned in bed at night

as he planned ways to cover up his bad decisions.

I hope he did anyway.

I hope he didn’t feel above the law,

as if being king gave him the right to do what no one else could.

Either way,

David sinned.

God wasn’t happy.

And eventually, David paid the price.

His baby died and God said,

“the sword will never leave your house,”

God took his punishment even further and said,

“You acted in secret, but I will do this before all Israel and in broad daylight.”

David got caught.

And the whole world would know.

For centuries to come.

The Bible could have left this story out.

Saved David’s reputation.

After all,

God chose David to be king,

and wouldn’t the story look better if God’s ability to choose remained as perfect as He was?

But for whatever reason,

He chose to let us know.

We know David stayed where he shouldn’t have stayed.

And while he was there, he did what he shouldn’t have done.

We also know he tried to cover up his mistakes by making even more.

David was a mess.

And his pride had made him even messier.

As I read these parts of Bible history,

I can’t help but think of my own life.

I know when my steps lead the right way,

and I know when they don’t.

I know when the words I speak bring life,

and I know when they don’t.

I’m well aware of my flaws,

and yet so many times,

I’ve embraced them.

Kept walking or talking when a dead end was in sight.

And then spent the rest of the day trying to figure out how to do a u-turn without making a scene.

Life is messy.

And I’m so glad the Bible lets us know David’s was too.

I’m thankful for a Bible that refuses to sweep under the rug what man tried to hide.

This story reminds me of something I don’t ever want to forget.

God is watching.

There’s nothing I can hide from Him.

And no matter how hard I seek Him,

I too can fall if I find myself wandering to places I shouldn’t be,

doing things I shouldn’t do.

Thank goodness His mercy never ends.

Because like David,

I can easily forget,

seeking God is important but obeying Him is too.

(Today’s reading was from Psalm 65-67; 69-70; II Sam. 11-12; I Chron. 20; and Psalm 51.)

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