Reading: “But David tarried still at Jerusalem.” 2 Samuel 11:1
David’s adultery with Bathsheba and subsequent murder of her husband, Uriah, all began very “innocently.” Great falls into sin can almost always be traced back to a series of lesser falls (e.g., Peter in Mark 14:66–72). This truth teaches how all the more we must “watch and pray, that
Notice David’s neglect of business. 2 Samuel 11:1: “But David tarried at Jerusalem.” What an ominous interjection the writer makes here! Although David sent Joab and his servants to battle, he decided to stay behind. He reminds us that when we are out of the way of duty, we are in the way of temptation. The important principle for the Christian to lay to heart here is that David had taken off his armour and was therefore without protection when the enemy assailed him. He faced an enemy of a very different kind, of course, and as it turns out, one which was much more dangerous.
Notice also David’s wandering eye. From the roof David “saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon” (2 Samuel 11:2). Consider the prayer he would later record in Psalm 119:37: “Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity.” His love of ease and indulgence of comfort as we infer from the fact that he “arose from off his bed” at “eveningtide” (2 Samuel 11:2) was the beginning of a very deep and harmful sin.
May God help me to pray that the little foxes that spoil the vine might be taken out of my life (Song of Solomon 2:15).
There he had dozed away the afternoon in idleness, which he should have spent in some exercise for his own improvement or the good of others. He used to pray, not only morning and evening, but at noon, in the day of his trouble: it is to be feared he had, this noon, omitted to do so. Idleness gives great advantage to the tempter. Standing waters gather filth. The bed of sloth often proves the bed of lust. —Matthew Henry