King David was an exemplary man, of whom God had said, “I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my own heart, who will do all my will.” [Acts 13:22]. He defeated Goliath, was chosen by God to be His anointed King; he defeated many enemies and was loved by his people. Through all this, he remained faithful and obedient to God; he was a humble man with a shepherd’s heart who praised and extolled the holiness and beauty of the Lord in song; this zealous King humbly declared his devotion and need for God: “Keep me as the apple of your eye, hide me in the shadow of your wings” [Psalm 17:8]. David’s hunger for the presence and protection of God was profound.
But this perfect man fell. He lusted for Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah and while her husband was fighting on the battlefield, David took her for himself. She became pregnant and a web of lies and deceit followed, ending in Uriah being sent back to be killed in battle. It was the lust of his eyes and the idolatry of beauty that tempted him. What happened to David’s faith? How did he slip? What had beguiled and blinded him? How did this happen? David’s way of escape from this temptation should have been the Law. Bathsheba was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness when David saw her and wanted her. God’s Law provided David with protection, with a reminder that this woman should not be touched, but lust overcame him, and he took her. It is hard to imagine why his own words did not save him: “Transgression speaks to the wicked Deep in his heart; There is no fear of God before his eyes. [Psalm 36:1] David failed to resist temptation; he ensnared Bathsheba in adultery and his sin ruled over him. As a result, his child died, and his son Absalom later rebelled against him.
When Christians are tempted, the Spirit of God is alive in us to remind, to warn and to rebuke. God’s help and instruction to us is clear: “watch and pray that you do not enter into temptation”; [Matthew 26:41] We can and must resist and rule over sin because Jesus has not left us alone as orphans. Unlike David, we have the Comforter who lives in us and therefore the knowledge of the truth is buried deeply in our heart, mind and soul: “Because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father and ye in me, and I in you.” [John 14:19-20]. If we are tempted, our Comforter will always point to the way of escape; sin does not have power to rule over those who are born again by the Spirit of Grace. “Let not sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourself unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” [Romans 6:11-14] Amazingly, when we refuse to obey sin, God is our strong tower, to which we can run. He is our hiding place from sin. He is the one who loves us and in the time of need, through His Grace, we can overcome.