On Wednesdays this summer, we have connected the Ten Commandments with Psalm 19 in which David declared God’s glory and the beauty of His law. He prayed, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer” (19:14).
If we just stay here in this beautiful poetry, we think of its author as an innocent, harp-playing lad who hung out with sheep and then rather miraculously became a stone-slinging warrior for God Almighty. But this is a weighty prayer from a man who knew the ugliness of his sin against a perfect God and the people made in His image. This is poetry of longing to respond rightly to God’s perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, and true law.
In II Samuel 11, the account of David’s affair with Bathsheba, we read how David blatantly broke each of God’s Ten Words and are prompted to evaluate our own sin.
#1 Instead of saying no to the god of pleasure, David inquired about the rooftop beauty and asserted his authority as king to take her for his own pleasure.
Where have I asserted my authority or allowed someone or something to become a false god in my life?
#2 Bathsheba became an idol to David, and instead of turning away, he went after her and tarnished his good name and hurt the lives of many people.
What have I allowed to become an idol in my life?
#3 David, who was described just a few chapters earlier as a man after God’s own heart, maligned the character of God with his choice to heap sin upon sin.
Am I reflecting God’s character in the choices I’m making each day?
#4 We see in David’s choice to stay home from battle (verse 1) that he wasn’t living according to God’s rhythms, so it’s not a far stretch to think that David wasn’t honoring God’s holy days, too.
Where am I failing to live inside God’s plan for me?
#5 By entangling himself with a married woman, David was not only dishonoring the name of her husband, he was dishonoring at least one elder in this story — Bathsheba’s father, who is mentioned by name in verse 3.
How have I dishonored the elders in my life through the choices I have made?
#6 David is a murderer as he calls for Bathsheba’s husband to be placed in harm’s way.
Where have I not valued the lives of those around me?
#7 When he calls Bathsheba to his bed, David physically commits adultery, but as Jesus would say in the New Testament, even David’s lingering look of desire on the roof broke God’s law.
Where have I allowed my eyes to linger and thoughts grow into unholy desire?
#8 When David sent messengers to take Bathsheba from her home, he became a thief.
When have I taken someone or something that belonged to another person?
#9 This account is seething with lies both voiced and silent, especially as David keeps his sin from Uriah and tries to get him drunk enough to abandon his military duties and sleep with Bethsheba.
Where do I practice deception in my life?
#10 Even if David had never pursued this beautiful woman, he would have broken the tenth commandment as he coveted his neighbor’s wife.
What do I desire that belongs to another?
Does David’s prayer — “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer” (19:14) — feel a bit more impassioned now that we’ve reviewed his sin in II Samuel 11?
Has this prayer become your own as you’ve reviewed where you’ve transgressed the laws of God?
Let’s wrap up our time today with Psalm 51, David’s prayer after the prophet Nathan confronted David about his affair with Bathsheba. May we make this our prayer as well.