“In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.
It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house.” (2 Samuel 11:1–4 ESV)
David had defeated the Syrians and was now concentrating on Rabbah. Something is wrong, though. Kings normally go out to battle, but David stayed back. David was enjoying leisure (he arose from his couch) while his men were out fighting. The sin started long before Bathsheba. He should have been out with his men, leading them in battle. Idle hands are dangerous. We were not built for idleness, we were built for work (Genesis 2:15). To be idle is to be disobedient. This, of course, does not mean healthy rest, but far too many men are content to be bored and idle in life.
During David’s idleness, he saw a beautiful woman bathing on her roof after her menstrual period. David knew that she was married to Uriah the Hittite, but summoned Bathsheba anyway. It is doubtful that he made his intentions clear to her because he sent messengers (plural). He probably disguised it in concern for her wellbeing and for her family. That was not the case, of course, the lust of David’s heart – despite having multiple wives to fulfill his sexual desires – ruled the day and he took Bathsheba and they had intercourse. She became pregnant.
So what happened here? What drove this offense? It did not start with adultery, it started with coveting. David wanted that which was not his. It started by breaking the 10th commandment (Exodus 20:17), which led to breaking the 7th (Exodus 20:14), which ultimately led to breaking the 6th (Exodus 20:13). Sin ALWAYS STARTS IN THE HEART. Sin says, “God is not good and that He is depriving us of something good because He is oppressive.” It elevates us above God – determining right from wrong in our own eyes. It puts us in a place where we believe that we have a clear view and absolute perspective. We don’t. Sin always uses created things to tempt us. That is what Satan used in the garden to tempt Adam & Eve – a created thing. External strategies like bouncing eyes, porn filters and accountability are all good things, but they are powerless to free the heart from the grip of sin.
Jesus came to set you free; a life that is free from sexually acting out but is still ruled by lust is not free. Whatever we stare at and ascribe ultimate worth to is the object of our real affection. When you worship sex, you will be ruled by lust. The answer is to see Jesus as the risen and reigning Lord and that knowing Him is far superior to any lesser desires. Lord, give us eyes to see and ears to hear.