Sin never affects only us. Whether done in private or in public, sin always spills over and stains the lives of those around us.
When David sinned with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11) it began with a look, a quick glance. The glance turned into a lustful stare and the stare led to a summons and the next thing you know Bathsheba is pregnant and Uriah, one of Davids Mighty Men, is being murdered.
This sinful chain of events didn’t just affect Bathsheba and Uriah and David. Yes those were three key players but there was a whole slew of people affected. Those who warned David, those who went and called Bathsheba to come to the Palace, those who helped David try to goad Uriah into going home and sleeping with his wife to cover up David’s sin, Joab who had to enforce David’s death wish on Uriah, and the list goes on. Sin is deceptive, it downplays how bad your sin really is.
In this post we are going to examine how David’s sin affected those related to Bathsheba. You see, Bathsheba was part of a very connected family, a family that was deeply involved in David’s government and military. So when David asks who she is, those around him simply drop the names of her family members in hopes that once he hears who she is related to, he will stop his pursuit. Let’s take a look.
“Is this not Bathsheba the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah?” (2 Samuel 11:3)
1) We find out that Bathsheba is the daughter of Eliam. Later in 2 Samuel we find out that Bathsheba’s dad, Eliam, was one of Davids Mighty Men. (2 Samuel 23:34) So Bathsheba’s dad is one of David’s most faithful and trusted men. A warrior. A man who fought for and with David. A man who probably hid and protected David when Saul was pursuing him. At this point, David should have taken a moment to stop and set his mind on things that are true and pure, to put off his lustful thoughts and put on thoughts of purity and righteousness. Red flags should be waving and sirens should be going off alerting him to the danger he is inviting, but they don’t.
We need to learn from David here. Do not be like David in this situation. When others are warning you and your conscience is screaming at you to stop you need to stop. Don’t let sin cloud your thinking. Mortify your sin. Kill your sin before it kills you.
2) According to 2 Samuel 23:34 the father of Eliam is Ahithophel. This makes Ahithophel Bathsheba’s grandfather. Again, red flags, sirens and blinking lights should be going off at this point! Ahithophel was one of Davids closest counselors. It is said of Ahithophel that his counsel was so good it was “as if one inquired of the word of God” (2 Samuel 16:23)
But after the defiling of his granddaughter (Bathsheba) and the murder of his grandson-in law (Uriah), he turns against David and helps support Absalom’s revolt and seeks vengeance against David until the day he dies.
In 2 Samuel 16:21 Ahithophel seemingly tries to get specific shaming revenge on David and says to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines, whom he has left to keep the house; then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself odious to your father. The hands of all who are with you will also be strengthened.” No doubt Ahithophel is trying to pay David back for what he did to his granddaughter. This also happens to fulfill what God told David would be a consequence for his sin (Samuel 12:9-12)
Ahithophel never gets his revenge and ends up becoming so depressed that he commits suicide. A sad end. David is not first hand responsible for this but he certainly played a part. This is a good reminder that not only does sin blind and cause us to do insanely stupid things but it also causes those we sin against to do things that are foolish and insane. Sin is bitter. Sin is deceptive. Sin is deadly.
3) Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, was also one of Davids Mighty Men (2 Samuel 23:39). As we saw with Bathsheba’s father Eliam, Uriah was a faithful active duty soldier for David. In fact, while David was lounging around the palace, Uriah was out doing battle for David. And yet David was so blinded by his sin that he takes Uriah’s wife and sleeps with her and ends up killing this faithful and loyal friend. Sin clouds our thinking. Sin is a liar. Sin is a deceiver.
So when they tell David “Is this not Bathsheba the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah?” they are really saying “Isn’t that Bathsheba the granddaughter of Ahithophel your great counselor? And isn’t that Bathsheba the daughter of Eliam one of your Mighty Men who has faithfully stood by you through all these years? And isn’t that Bathsheba the wife of Uriah who is also one of your Mighty Men and who is out fighting in one of your battles this very day?”
It’s startling how blind and stupid lust made David, he was able to ignore all that he knew and all the people who would be hurt who had been so loyal. Sin is so deceptive.
The same thing happens to you and I. Be on guard. Hate sin. Kill sin. As John Owen says “Be killing sin or sin will be killing you.”