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is dangerous.

2 Samuel 11:1–9

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, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

It happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold. So David sent and inquired about the woman. 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, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house. And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, “I am with child.”

Then David sent to Joab, saying, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah had come to him, David asked how Joab was doing, and how the people were doing, and how the war prospered. And David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah departed from the king’s house, and a gift of food from the king followed him. 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.

Verse one here, and 1 Samuel 21:5, tell the whole story of what’s going on.

Then David answered the priest, and said to him, “Truly, women have been kept from us about three days since I came out. And the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in effect common, even though it was consecrated in the vessel this day.” — 1 Samuel 21:5

Verse one shows how very wrong David is. He’s supposed to go to battle with his troops. He should have never been in a position to see Bathsheba bathing in the first place.

1 Samuel 21:5 shows the rule that sex makes you unclean and thus unable to go to battle without going through purification. This explains why Uriah wouldn’t sleep with Bathsheba. It also adds to David’s sin. His sleeping with Bathsheba precludes him from going to war quickly should he be needed.

Suddenly, David is anything but the mighty warrior king he’s known as.

So, as we pause here, in the middle of this well-known story, David is under incredible pressure. The combination of his actions threatens to expose him as a phony.

But David isn’t a phony. His behavior here is out of character. In his commentary on this section in the Encouraging Word Bible, Max Lucado describes this as altitude sickness.

“He’s been too high too long. The thin air has messed with his senses. … Too long at the top will do that to you. Too many hours in the bright sun and thin air leaves you breathless and dizzy.”

Few things in this life are as dangerous to the soul as success.

These weekday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Saturday ones are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe click here:

The weekly study guides, which include questions for discussion or meditation, can be downloaded here:

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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