Bathsheba had a hold on David. Some Biblical scholars insist her entrapment of the king was deliberate. The houses in
the ancient Middle East were very close together, so logic would support the theory that when Bathsheba drew the water for her bath, she was completely aware that she would be in full view of the king’s rooftop. It is quite possible she had even noticed that he retired to the rooftop around the same time each day to take advantage of the evening breeze.
What we do know is this- David fell for Bathsheba in the worst sort of way. His lust for her obliterated his plumb line of right and wrong. It screamed so loudly that the man after God’s own heart couldn’t even hear God’s voice. The addiction of Bathsheba shattered David’s reasoning capabilities as well, convincing him that he could scheme to cover his sin.
Then Nathan showed up at his door and jarred him back to reality.
The heartbreaking song of David’s repentance is found in Psalm 51. As I was reading it again this morning, the latter half of verse 12 lingered hauntingly for me.
“…grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” (Psalm 51:12b)
Don’t you feel David here? How often have you fallen and fallen hard and in the aftermath found that though you are truly sorry, you need God to grant you a willing spirit to keep you from falling again?
I think the reason this verse is so powerful is that it is so true. It is true not just in our moments of catastrophic failure but on those days when we feel strong, together…on top of the world.
Because on those days too, we are Adam’s children, redeemed from the fall. Even when we are at our best, we need God to grant us a willing spirit to sustain us.