2 Samuel 11

David was a man after God’s own heart—yet he fell into deep sin. Can a child of God sin? Yes. Can a child of God sin and not suffer? No.

The Causes of David’s Sin


“It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him...But David remained at Jerusalem” (2 Samuel 11:1). David was not doing wrong; he was failing to do right. (See James 4:17.) If you are doing nothing, you get into trouble. (See Proverbs 24:33-34.)


David fell at his point of strength—integrity—because he got careless. An unguarded strength is a double weakness. (See Proverbs 4:23.)


He saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold. …And someone said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her (2 Samuel 11:2b-4a).

Often, sin is a combination of: 1) an undetected weakness, 2) an unexpected opportunity, and 3) an unprotected life.


“The woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, ‘I am with child’” (2 Samuel 11:5).

David thought, “I’ll bring her husband home. He will think it’s his child.”

But Uriah said, “I can’t be with my wife when my soldiers are on the battlefield.” (See 2 Samuel 11:9-11.)

So David wrote to Joab, his commander-in-chief: “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him, that he may be struck down and die” (2 Samuel 11:15b).


David went one year without repenting. (Read 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13.) Some of you are the same—you stubbornly go on, hoping God will forget.

The Cost of David’s Sin

“The thing that David had done displeased the LORD” (2 Samuel 11:27b). When a child of God sins, the Holy Spirit rebukes, convicts, and pressures him. (See Psalm 38:1-2.)

David’s sin wearied, weighted, wounded, worried, wasted, and weakened him. (Read Psalm 38:3-7.) In the next verses of Psalm 38, David speaks of being blind, deaf and dumb—blind to blessing, deaf to danger, no longer singing praise to God.

The Challenge to David’s Sin

God takes four steps to challenge a man living in sin.

Step 1: Conviction

God only wants a change of behavior. “We are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world” (1 Corinthians 11:32b).

But suppose conviction does not work.

Step 2: Chastisement

God will carry you to the woodshed. “For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 12:6). God is more concerned about your righteousness than your reputation.

Step 3: Confrontation

God sent Nathan the prophet to say to David, “Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in His sight?” (2 Samuel 12:9a).

For you, maybe the confrontation will come from the Holy Spirit, or your spouse, pastor, or friend. But you will know that you are on the threshold of being judged.

Step 4: Consummation

“So David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die’” (2 Samuel 12:13). Had David not repented, God would have killed him. (See 1 John 5:16.)

If you are living in sin and God is not dealing with you, you need to get saved. If you are living in sin and God is dealing with you, you need to get right with God. (Read Psalm 51.)

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