LESSONS ON SUCCESS
Most people would like to be able to say they are climbing up the ladder of success. But very few of us would ever say that we are climbing down the ladder to failure.
You may be surprised to discover that there are a few people whose stories are told in the Bible chose to climb down the ladder of failure. I’d like to turn your attention to one of these. His story is found in II Samuel chapter eleven. Please open your Bible with me to II Samuel chapter eleven.
There’s a lot in your Bible about King David. But here’s what you find when you read his life carefully. David saw great success. But did you know at one point in his life he decided to climb down the ladder to failure?
We’ve been taking our time to consider the message of the Book of II Samuel over the past few months. Today I want to alert you to the simple fact that today’s decisions can change the course of your life forever. As you know, the Bible tells the truth; and, I might add, it tells the unvarnished truth. Such is the case with King David and his relationship with a woman named Bathsheba.
Now, you are about to see a man, King David, seemingly at the peak of his success, making a moral decision that affects not only the rest of his life, but changes his relationship with his children for generations to come.
II Samuel chapter eleven, verse one. II Samuel 11:1 “And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem. (2) And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
(3) And David sent and inquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
(4) And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.
(5) And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.”
When you read the Bible, especially the OT, remember you are reading history. And whether you are someone who loves history or cringes when you have to read it, I want to clue you in to the fact that there is one person who truly loves it and that is the LORD. He clearly recorded for us a lot of history, going all the way back to the beginning of the world. But Bible history isn’t just a record of events. It’s a story of the lives of human beings; especially the lives of people in their relationship with the LORD. And everyone loves a good story.
Here’s the story. In chapter ten we read about David sending a group of ambassadors to the King of Ammon to comfort him after his father’s death. That turned sour. The Ammonites insulted David and his ambassadors by cutting their robes and shaving their beards. A huge battle ensues and many people died as a result of this insult. Now, II Samuel 11:1. The winter is past (the winter is actually the rainy season in that part of the world) and King David sends Joab out to conquer the Ammonites.
But there is a huge story inside the story of the Israeli army attacking the Ammonites.
While Joab, the Captain of the Israeli army is out doing battle and gaining victory over the Ammonites, David is at home fighting and being defeated by his own personal sins.
Now very few people would really want their biographies recorded for the world to read; especially the quote poor decisions and the dark parts of our lives. II Samuel eleven is one of those chapters in the life of King David that we can be sure he wishes had never been recorded.