I've always thought of David as a faithful man, full of praise for God. After all, he wrote lots of the Psalms that we continue to read and study today! I always thought he just 'fell into' sin and 'made a mistake.'
But did he?
Today I'm thinking about something new. WHY wasn't David out on the battlefield? Was he tired? Did he think he deserved a rest? Did he think he was above God's rules? Did he no longer trust God to protect him? Did he think he was better than the other soldiers and too good to risk? Was he prideful?
Did that carry over to his encounter with Bathsheba? Did he consider himself above the laws that the 'regular' people were to live by?
Did David have an attitude problem?
Throughout this story, we see him acting as if he were somehow above God's laws. He stayed behind when his armies went to war (2 Samuel 11:1). He committed adultery (2 Sam. 11:4). Upon finding out that Bathsheba was pregnant, he manipulated others to cover up his sins (2 Sam. 11:6-13). Something else struck me about that today - was he willing to give up his child just like that? ... but that's a whole 'nother tanget. He manipulated others to the point of murder - several times over (2 Sam. 11:17).
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. ~ Col. 3:16-18
David's attitude shifted from one of thanksgiving and praise to one of pride. He took his focus off God and put it on himself, and he slid off the path God prepared for him in the process.
Fortunately for us, the story doesn't end there. David eventually confesses and is reassured of God's forgiveness. My favorite part, though, is how David goes on to praise God in the midst of this storm:
Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me. ~Psalm 51:10
David recognized his attitude problem and asked for God's help putting it back on track. God obviously loved David and He gave him the help David requested.
But the good news? When we let our heart's guard down and things get messy, God will help us. He loves us, too.