David and Bathsheba, Balcony Attitude – David was a strong king, but was about to become a weak person. When he knelt to pick up five smooth stones, he was never stronger. This evening, he walked around his high balcony as the king, the highest official with the highest power. He had a balcony attitude, but, as we are about to see, David was never weaker.
By Delbert Young
David and Bathsheba – Balcony Attitude
David and Bathsheba – Balcony Attitude
Scriptures: 2 Samuel 11:1, 2-4, 26-27, 1 Corinthians 10:11-12, Mark 10:44, Proverbs 16:18, 8:13, 16:5, 2 Samuel 12:1, 5-6, 7, 11-12, 14
2 Samuel 11:1 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, DAVID SENT Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. BUT DAVID REMAINED IN JERUSALEM.
The verse alone tells us much of the problem David is about to face. He feels he is too important to go to war.
David was in his 50’s and living high. He climbed high and the higher we climb, the more distorted are the things below. It doesn’t take a great deal of height to get where you can’t make out faces. People become tiny/insignificant. Voices also become more difficult to hear and David was much higher than that. Also, the higher you climb the further you may fall. Oh, did I mention he had seven wives and more concubines than the Bible counts. David was living high.
David conquered kingdoms. He expanded the nation. David was a feared foe to the known world and guarded his nation with diligence, but left his own heart unguarded. David was a strong king, but was about to become a weak person. When he knelt to pick up five smooth stones, he was never stronger. This evening, he walked around his high balcony as the king, the highest official with the highest power, but, as we are about to see, David was never weaker. David had balcony attitude.
2 Samuel 11:2-4 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and DAVID SENT someone to find out about her. The man said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” Then DAVID SENT messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her.
David was powerful enough to summon a beautiful woman, but too weak not to. Not long after the balcony attitude night, Bathsheba sent David word she was pregnant (v 5). David schemed to cover the pregnancy by bringing Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, home from war to sleep with his wife. The scheme didn’t work and became darker. David instructed Joab, the war general, to position Uriah in the battle to be killed. Joab did. Uriah was (v 14-25). Then we read…
2 Samuel 11:26-27 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. BUT THE THING DAVID HAD DONE DISPLEASED THE LORD.
Remember that last sentence. We will come back to it shortly. A balcony attitude will always displease the Lord.
The Bible does not only paint the triumphs of its characters, it also paints the dark sides. The dark side… we all have one, even a man after God’s own heart. We should be somewhat relieved the Lord completed his cannon of Scriptures. I would hate for all my vices and failures to be read, discussed, preached, and made into books and movies for generations to exploit. How about you? How would you like all your “mess ups” to be public domain?
Other than perhaps the sin of Adam and Eve no sins, nor sinners, in the Bible are spoken of more than David and Bathsheba. We can’t exploit the story. That’s been done sufficiently, but we can and must hear its warning. It’s the story about a balcony attitude.
1 Corinthians 10:11-12 All these events happened to them as examples for us. THEY WERE WRITTEN DOWN TO WARN US… If you think you are standing strong, BE CAREFUL, for you, too, may fall into the same sin.
The warning to us all is to take great care. What David and Bathsheba did was horribly wrong. Everyone knows that. It went beyond adultery. It went beyond cover up. It went to murder. More than that, it went to God’s judgment/consequences. BUT THE THING DAVID HAD DONE DISPLEASED THE LORD. You know about the sins. I want to focus on (1) the primary cause that brought the sins and then (2) the judgment of God, or consequences. If we are aware of the cause and consequences, maybe we will avoid the judgment.
First, David did a lot of “sending” in this narrative. He sent someone to find out about Bathsheba (11:3). Hesent someone to get her (11:4). He sent word to Joab to send Uriah home (11:6). Twice David sent Uriah to Bathsheba (11:8). He sent a letter back with Uriah instructing Joab to have Uriah killed. David sent for Bathsheba to live with him. My point is by doing all this “sending,” we see David experienced a feeling of superiority to everyone from his balcony position. He could summon. He could send. He could demand. He simply sent a letter and had someone killed. David suffered from altitude sickness, or, if you will, “balcony sickness.”
I know that most of us feel the extent of our “sending” power is to send out for pizza, but how is your attitude with the delivery guy when the pizza is 30 or 45 minutes late? My point is we all, at some point and time, feel “superior” to someone.
Years ago, I had a situation with the collection department at a hospital. My dad lived with us and had surgery. Between the insurance and him, I paid the bill in full keeping all the records. However, I continued getting statements saying he/I had not paid. I would call, explain, give the necessary information, and they assured me I was correct and the bill a mistake… That is until the next month and the process began again. This went on several times and I developed this balcony… “You Dummies,” attitude sickness. “Serve me, I am right and you are wrong” attitude. Well, this wise guy called me from the hospital and he got to me. I lost it. I told him I was sick of their mess and he yelled back a challenge to me. I told him I would be there in a few minutes and he and I would personally work this out! He said, “Come on!” I flew out the door, squealed tires from the parking lot, and fueled a flaming mind all the way. I nearly ran into the area I thought him to be. I was ready to get it on, but to my dismay… a line, a long line. I stood in line with my balcony attitude boiling, looking for my true objective, the man on the phone, but all I saw were women working. Eventually, the line got to one person in front of me, and as it would be, this elderly woman kept asking the same questions over and over and over. You know that woman, right? I was thinking, “Can’t you understand anything, lady?” I was angry and agitated. Finally, she stopped yakking, put her papers in a folder, collected her pocketbook, turned to walk away, and dropped her papers all over the floor at my feet. I wanted to say, “That’s what you get, you silly old woman,” but I didn’t. I stooped and helped pick up her thousands of papers. She smiled and thanked me. Then I stood to express my balcony, high-minded, over the top attitude and ask for my man from the phone. As I was about to blast out my first word, the woman behind the counter looked at me and said, “Hello Pastor Young. I’m sorry you had to wait. What can I do for you today?” My mouth snapped shut trapping that balcony word. I processed to myself, “She said ‘Pastor Young???’ She knows who I am!” Then I said, “…uhhh, do I know you?” She said, “No, but I watch your church program on television.” She went on to tell me how much she enjoyed the teaching and wanted to come visit the church one day. My balcony attitude vanished. Instead, I simply explained my situation. She actually took care of it and I never heard about it again. I think I said something about a man calling me. She said, “Oh, that’s just a service we use. They don’t work out of the hospital.” I thought to myself, “I need to work on my balcony attitude.” Sadly, I wish that was the last time my “balcony sickness” happened. My wife doesn’t even want to be around when I address anything when experiencing “balcony sickness.” She says I get mean and treat people badly.
My point is, we can easily and, sadly, frequently get a “sending” “demanding” “superior” “balcony sickness” attitude. It causes us to look down from our balconies at people. It causes us to send… send phone calls, send e-mails, send conversations we shouldn’t send. We don’t need to look at a beautiful woman or handsome man to sin. It’s ok to have the power to send. The Lord wants us to advance, but sending is not godly power unless you have the ability to not send. David didn’t.
We haven’t talked about David’s harem. We don’t like to call David’s wives a harem, but it was. David saw a beautiful woman as curves and commodity. That’s how he saw Bathsheba. He didn’t love Bathsheba. He didn’t know Bathsheba. The Bible never says (that I can find) David loved Bathsheba. He used Bathsheba. He didn’t see a married woman. He didn’t see a faithful husband. David saw faceless, voiceless commodities from his balcony.
From what level do you see people? Do you see people who NEED you or people BENEATH you? Are you superior, or a servant?
Mark 10:44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
Jesus said you are not high unless you look up at people.
I want us to see the story of David and Bathsheba is a story more about power than about lust. It’s a story about how David treated and used people for his purpose and pleasure. Had David not had the balcony attitude, he would not have fallen into balcony lust, which led to balcony murder, which led to balconyconsequences that brought David to a balcony fall.
Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, a HAUGHTY SPIRIT BEFORE A FALL.
Proverbs 8:13 …I HATE PRIDE AND ARROGANCE, evil behavior and perverse speech.
Why does the Lord hate pride and arrogance? He hates to see “Bathshebas” used. He hates to watch “Uriahs” hurt and killed. He hates it when people he loves and love him fall from their balconies. Nothing good comes with a balcony attitude.
Proverbs 16:5 The LORD despises pride; BE ASSURED THAT THE PROUD WILL BE PUNISHED.
Ouch! It’s better to climb down from the balcony than to fall down. David never completely recovered from that fall. It crippled him the remainder of his days. God didn’t kill David as the law commanded. That’s God’s mercy. God forgave David, but the punishment and consequences…! David forever regretted the night he walked out on his balcony. That’s one night he would burn, if possible.
I want to ask you a question. “If a box of video tapes existed documenting every event of your life, which tapes would you burn?” We all have tapes we would destroy. David would destroy the balcony video.
At this point in the David and Bathsheba story, a new character is brought in… God! He was not mentioned in all the activities and “sendings” of David. God’s been quiet and it seemed David’s cover up worked. However, now it’s time for God to send.
2 Samuel 12:1 THE LORD SENT Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor.
Nathan was the prophet of God and a trusted friend of David. Instead of blasting David, Nathan tells David a supposedly true story. A poor man had one little female lamb. He raised and loved that lamb. It even slept in his arms. There was also a rich man who had a wealthy friend visit him. Instead of the rich man taking one of his many sheep to kill and BBQ, he took the poor man’s one little female lamb. Nathan asked David what should be done?
2 Samuel 12:5-6 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die! He must pay for that lamb FOUR TIMES OVER, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”
David never saw it coming. I think David’s response was important… by your words you are justified, by your words you are… the man who did this deserves to die! He must pay for that lamb FOUR TIMES OVER… Don’t forget that. I will show you why shortly. Nathan responded with four, three letter words.
2 Samuel 12:7 Then Nathan said to David, “YOU ARE THE MAN!
David surely went pale. He had no reply, but God was just beginning to talk. Nathan said, “Thus saith the Lord…” The Lord told David how he anointed David as king, protected him from Saul, gave him a palace, wives, and the kingdom. If that were not enough, he would have given David more. Then God gave his judgment/consequences.
2 Samuel 12:11-12 “This is what the LORD says: ‘Out of your own household I AM GOING TO BRING CALAMITY UPON YOU. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.'”
David brought Bathsheba into his household, so from his household judgment would come and come it did. More about that shortly. That wasn’t all the effects their sin brought. Here’s the part we struggle to understand.
2 Samuel 12:14 But you have given the enemies of the LORD great opportunity to despise and blaspheme him, so your child will die.”
Sins of parents have a tragic, even deathly affect on the children. The innocent baby died because of David’sbalcony attitude.
We will talk more about David’s household in future lessons, but allow me to fast forward David’s life to a FOUR TIMES OVER judgment. (1) Next chapter, one of David’s sons, Ammon, raped his half sister, David’s daughter, Tamar (2Sa 13). (2) Absalom, another son of David and Tamar’s brother, had Ammon killed. (3) Eventually, Absalom plots a conspiracy to overthrow his father David and actually laid with David’s wives on the rooftop in daylight (2Sa 16:22). Joab killed Absalom. (4) Another of David’s sons, Adonijah (I love these names), staged a coup to take the kingdom just before David died (1Ki 1), of whom, Solomon executed. That’s a quick FOUR TIMES OVER major judgments overview. They each included hundreds of consequences and that’s the point. In fact, every remaining day of David’s life filtered through David’s balcony experience… every single day!
Consequences! Every day of our lives filters through consequences from the decisions we made in the past. Tomorrow, each of us will live in the consequences from decisions we make today. We create our worlds and create our futures and, too often, our futures come from balcony sickness. David’s did.
What have we learned today? Climbing high is great if you have the ability to continue to look up at people. Looking down at people from our high balconies is very dangerous. God will not allow people to become a commodity. It’s far better to climb down from the balcony than to fall down. Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. How many people live the remainder of their days filtered through one balcony decision from a balcony attitude? How many children does it affect? How many people does it affect? The consequences are astronomical.
Other Related Sermons:
Max Lucado, Facing Your Giants, p. 142