I found it jarring to read 1 John 3 immediately after our 2 Samuel passage. Our NT passage talks about loving each other - and our OT passage could hardly get further from that concept!
David - the same man who lived on the run for years in order to wait for God's timing, the same man who trusted God against all odds when he fought the giant, the same man who refused to kill the evil king because He knew it was God's responsibility to cause kings to rise and fall - sins in some of the most serious ways imaginable.
Uriah was a soldier in David's army. And he wasn't just any soldier. He was one of David's mighty men - among the top 30 in the entire army. He was not just a warrior of incredible skill, he was also a warrior of integrity. And David betrays this faithful warrior in the most intimate way possible. Then, in an attempt to hide his sin, he tries to send Uriah to sleep with Bathsheba, but Uriah's integrity derails that plan, and so he ramps things up to murder.
How did this happen? How does one man go from a heart of faithfulness and complete trust in God, to adultery, betrayal, lies, and murder?!
We don't get an exact explanation. Likely his position and power gradually caused his heart to turn astray. It's like the Casting Crowns song "Slow Fade". People don't crumble in a day. You don't go from enjoying an intimate relationship with God to such overt acts of betrayal in 24 hrs. It's a slow progression. It's becoming complacent. It's forgettting to remember our past sins and God's past forgiveness of those sins. It's forgetting God's faithfulness. It's forgetting to be active in pursuit of holiness.
And truly, there but for the grace of God go we.
As long as we remain on this earth we will still struggle with sin. Yes, Christ defeated sin and death on the cross, and when we become believers we too are no longer slaves to sin. But we are also not immune to it yet. And when we take it lightly, we will fall.
But there is this verse in our 1 John passage....
6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning
David committed several serious sins when it came to Bathsheba and Uriah. But when he was confronted by the prophet Nathan, he humbled himself, and genuinely repented of his sin. He was restored to relationship with God, but he did not escape the consequences of his sin.
It's almost unbelievable that a true believer could commit the sins that David did. But what differentiates a true believer for a non believer is their reaction when confronted with their sin. True believers do not keep on sinning - not according to 1 John. This doesn't mean we are perfect - far from it! But it does mean that will not continue in a pattern of sin after becoming aware of it. And this is where we need fellow believers to come alongside us and confront us about our sin. So many Christians (and non-Christians) have misinterpreted the phrase "Judge not" to mean we are never to say anything about people's sin. But passage after passage in the Bible refutes that interpretation. Of course, there is a right way and a wrong way to confront people about their sin. We need to be humble, we need to make sure we're not committing the same sin or mired in a different sin, we need to make sure we take the log out of our own eyes first, but when we have done that we are to talk about the speck in our brother's eye with the goal of restoration in mind.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: 2 Samuel 14-15; 1 John 4