13. Pride Comes Before Fall

Scripture: 2 Samuel 11

David has never been higher.  The wave of his success crests at age fifty.  Israel is expanding.  The country is prospering.  In two decades on the throne, he has distinguished himself as a warrior, musician, statesman, and king.  His cabinet is strong, and his boundaries stretch for sixty thousand square miles.  No defeats on the battlefield.  Loved by the people.  Served by the soldiers. Followed by the crowds.  David is at an all-time high.  

Never higher, yet never weaker.  David stands at the highest point of his life, in the highest position in the kingdom, at the highest place in the city – on the balcony overlooking Jerusalem.  He should be with his men at battle but he isn’t.  He is at home.  It’s springtime in Israel.  The nights are warm, and the air is sweet.  David has time on his hands, love on his mind, and people at his disposal.  His eyes fall upon a woman as she bathes.  David looks and likes what he sees. So he inquires about her.  A servant returns with this information: “That woman is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam.  She is the wife of Uriah the Hittite” (11:3).

The servant laces his information with a warning.  He gives not only the woman’s name but her marital status and the name of her husband.  Why tell David she is married if not to caution him? And why give the husband’s name unless David is familiar with it?  David knew Uriah.  The servant hopes to dissuade the king.  But David misses the hint.

What has happened to him?  He’s been too high too long.  The thin air has messed with his senses.  He can’t hear the warnings of the servant or the voice of his conscience.  Nor can he hear his Lord.  Did David see Bathsheba?  No.  He saw Bathsheba bathing.  Did David see Bathsheba, the human being?  The wife of Uriah? The daughter of Israel? The creation of God? No.  David had lost his vision.  Don’t make his mistake.

Pursue humility.  Humility doesn’t mean you think less of yourself but that you think of yourself less.  

Embrace poverty.  We are all equally broke and blessed.  “People come into this world with nothing, and when they die, they leave with nothing” (Eccles. 5: 15).

Reference:  Facing your giants:  God still does the impossible by Max Lucado

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