In the course of a twenty-four hour period we make gobs of decisions. Some of these we make with a serious amount of forethought and prayer. Others we make spontaneously with little or no thought as to the consequences or impact our decisions will have—not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives are intertwined with  ours.

Have you ever thought much about how a single decision can change your life forever? Sometimes a single decision will change us for the better. And sometimes a single decision will change us for the worse.

In these blog posts I’d like to look at the one bad decision that some people in the Bible made that changed their lives forever…for the worse. By looking at ourselves in the mirror of God’s Word it’ll give us reason to stop and think about both the long-term, and short-term, ramifications of the decisions we make. Lots of forethought and prayer, I’m convinced, will save us from the pain and regret of a hastily-made decision for the worse.


King David was a mighty warrior, a brilliant General and superb military strategist. The nations of the earth trembled at his military prowess and victories. He restored a sense of national pride to Israel that had been lost during the long, dark period of the Judges. So, quite understandably, the King was very well respected and revered as a national hero. A living legend.

The winter rains had stopped. Spring was here. The flowers were in bloom. The fruit trees were blossoming. The water-logged fields were now dry. The ground could once again support the trampling of soldiers’ feet, chariot wheels, armament carts, and the countless horses of the cavaliers. It was that time of year when kings would go to war. And it was a time of war in Israel.

But the good King David, on this one particular occasion, chose to stay back in Jerusalem. Instead, he let his top General by the name of Joab lead the Israelite army into battle.

2 Samuel 11:1, In the spring, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, his mercenaries, and Israel’s army to war. They destroyed the Ammonites and attacked Rabbah, while David stayed in Jerusalem.

As it turned out, unbeknownst to the good King, this decision to stay back in Jerusalem and not lead his army into battle would change his life forever. It was the beginning of troubles that would dog him for many years to come.

2 Samuel 11:2, Now, when evening came, David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the royal palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing, and she was very pretty.

I don’t know how much you young ladies and single sisters know about the effect you have on men—on any man—whether they’re young and single, or old and married. But when a man sees the naked body of a woman it makes most men go berserk. It’d be comical if it weren’t so tragic. Seeing a woman’s skin (or her privates) makes a man do dumb, stupid, sinful things. And that’s exactly what King David did. He fetched the woman, laid with her, and had the most fantastic, memorable night with her in bed.

2 Samuel 11:3-4, David sent someone to ask about the woman. The man said, “She’s Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah the Hittite.”  (4)  So David sent messengers and took her. She came to him, and he went to bed with her. (She had just cleansed herself after her monthly period.) Then she went home.

The only problem with having such a wonderful night in bed is, (and don’t you just hate it!), night always ends and morning invariably, unstoppably, comes. In David’s case, morning came soon enough. Bathsheba had to go home. And David had to figure out how he was going to cover up his mischief.

2 Samuel 11:5-11, The woman had become pregnant. So she sent someone to tell David that she was pregnant.  (6)  Then David sent a messenger to Joab, saying, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David.  (7)  When Uriah arrived, David asked him how Joab and the troops were and how the war was going.  (8)  “Go home,” David said to Uriah, “and wash your feet.” Uriah left the royal palace, and the king sent a present to him.  (9)  But Uriah slept at the entrance of the royal palace among his superior’s mercenaries. He didn’t go home.  (10)  When they told David, “Uriah didn’t go home,” David asked Uriah, “Didn’t you just come from a journey? Why didn’t you go home?”  (11)  Uriah answered David, “The ark and the army of Israel and Judah are in temporary shelters, and my commander Joab and Your Majesty’s mercenaries are living in the field. Should I then go to my house to eat and drink and go to bed with my wife? I solemnly swear, as sure as you’re living, I won’t do this!”

Well, David’s cover up didn’t go as planned. Uriah refused to go home and sleep with his wife. Bathsheba’s pregnant and Uriah’s gonna know that he’s not the father of the child. So David gets himself into more trouble. He comes up with a devious plan to steal this married woman away from her husband and get her for himself.

To make a long story short, he commanded General Joab to take his soldiers and this woman’s  husband,  who  happened to be a soldier, to the front lines. Once there, the army was to retreat, leaving Uriah by himself at the front line to fight the enemy by himself.

Well, you know what happened. Uriah got killed. And David got himself a new wife! How happy he must have been on his wedding day! There’d be many more memorable nights in bed! I can almost hear the King shouting Yahoooooo!, as he skipped gleefully throughout the Royal Palace.

But what David did was wrong. Sin has consequences. And when you choose to sin you automatically, unavoidably, choose to suffer sin’s consequences. You don’t choose what these consequences are. The only choice you have is to sin or not sin. And when you choose to sin, you’ve chosen to suffer the troubles and heartaches that sin brings. Unbeknownst to David while he lay with Bathsheba in bed, there’d be consequences he’d have to suffer.

God sent the prophet Nathan to David. What David hid, God brought to light. David thought he could get away with sin. But he got caught. You’ll always get caught! God misses no one! David had sown his wild oats. Now it was time for him to pay up. 

2 Samuel 12:7b-12, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: I anointed you king over Israel and rescued you from Saul.  (8)  I gave you your master Saul’s house and his wives. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if this weren’t enough, I would have given you even more.  (9)  Why did you despise my word by doing what I considered evil? You had Uriah the Hittite killed in battle. You took his wife as your wife. You used the Ammonites to kill him.  (10)  So warfare will never leave your house because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.  (11)  “This is what the Lord says: I will stir up trouble against you within your own household, and before your own eyes I will take your wives and give them to someone close to you. He will go to bed with your wives in broad daylight.  (12) You did this secretly, but I will make this happen in broad daylight in front of all Israel.”

All that the Lord prophesied through Nathan the prophet came to pass. David brought civil war upon himself and the nation. And, to top it all off, the baby conceived in sin died (2 Samuel 12:14-18).

So the decision to stay in Jerusalem and not go to war with the rest of the army led David into adultery. Adultery led to lying. Then murder. A just and honorable warrior was killed. A woman sinned against husband. Then lost him. An innocent baby died. And the heretofore strong Israelite nation was subsequently weakened by civil strife. David’s sin not only affected him and Bathsheba, but it affected the entire nation! It’s amazing how ONE DECISION–JUST ONE!–CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER AND AFFECT THE LIVES OF SO MANY OTHERS.

Brethren, don’t be hasty or short-sighted about the decisions you make. Think. Pray. Make the right decision. God’s decision. It’ll save you a heap of trouble, pain, and regret. And your future will definitely be brighter! God bless you and keep you from making a bad decision.


  1. February 16, 2012 at 11:33 AM


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