In the spring, when the kings normally went out to war, David sent out Joab, his servants, and all the Israelites. They destroyed the Ammonites and attacked the city of Rabbah. But David stayed in Jerusalem.2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of his palace. While he was on the roof, he saw a woman bathing. She was very beautiful.3 So David sent his servants to find out who she was. A servant answered, “That woman is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam. She is the wife of Uriah the Hittite.”4 So David sent messengers to bring Bathsheba to him. When she came to him, he had sexual relations with her. (Now Bathsheba had purified herself from her monthly period.) Then she went back to her house. (2 Samuel 11:1-4 NCV)
We live in a day and age where we are constantly being told of our personal greatness. Many of the hip-hop artists today spend time boasting about how great they are, what they have, what they can do, and so on. When we have conversations with our friends, we can fall into the trap of speaking highly of our abilities, possessions, and accomplishments. It is good to celebrate success. It is good to acknowledge a job that is well done. But all of us are subject to something that if left unchecked, will ruin us all. Pride: everyone’s Kryptonite.
Pride causes us to overestimate our talents and strengths, and underestimate our weaknesses. We become careless and even reckless because of pride. Life is filled with stories of people that had drug relapses, alcoholic binges, and setbacks of all sorts because they felt that they had achieved a certain level of living that no longer required the same effort as before to maintain a clean existence. So it is with us. And so it was with King David.
David was the greatest king of Israel. He was a war hero, songwriter, husband, father, and worshipper of God. In this passage, David took time off when it was time to work. It was no coincidence that Bathsheba was bathing at this time. Our temptations take place when we are tired, when we are not focused, when we are idle, and when we let our guard down. They take place after times of great success and after times of crushing defeat. Until we leave this world we will always have temptations to contend with. That is not the problem. The problem is when we follow the temptation into action. David saw the woman, asked who she was, made arrangements for her to come to him, and had sex with her. His pride entered in because he a) behaved as if he was above temptation by not going to war and; b) behaved like a big shot in calling for Bathsheba to come to him. He acted like “Hey! I AM the king. If I say have sex with me, you have sex with me!”
In this battle against pornography there is no room for pride. We live in a society that is over-saturated with sexual images. I just went into a store today and was surprised at the anatomical emphasis that the store mannequins had. When we flirt with pornography it will burn us. Acknowledge the fact that it is a struggle, that at times it has overwhelmed you, and at times it has been out of control. You can be set free and live a porn-free life. However you must never forget what it was like to have your life ruled by porn. There is a common saying that goes “Those who don’t remember their past are doomed to repeat it.” So the question is will you remember, or will you forget?