‘And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah’ (Matthew 1:6)
Read: 2 Samuel 11; Psalm 51.
When kings were meant to go out to war, to provide leadership to their soldiers on the battlefield, David was indulging himself in the bedroom. Like Eve, he saw, he took, and he ate. He abdicated his responsibilities. He abused his position of power. Why? To satisfy his sexual skin hunger (no doubt, amongst others things). Then, he lived in denial, lying and killing to hide the shame of his wrongdoing. But that didn’t make it go away. His inner being groaned with guilt. His bones figuratively wasted away. His strength dried up, and so did his joy. Only when he confessed his sins, Psalm 32:5, did everything turn around for him. Only when he owned his sin against God, not just the human beings he’d horribly wronged, Psalm 51:4-5, could he know joy, restored fellowship with God again.
Lust is stealing ‘love’ that doesn’t belong to you. The phrase ‘the wife of Uriah’ in Matthew 1:6 echoes the words the servant spoke to David when he asked about beautiful Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:3, ‘the wife of Uriah the Hittite’). Breaking with convention, the servant gave her genealogy with (instead of without) reference to her partner. ‘She’s married!’ – forbidden fruit – he was subtly shouting. God gave David ‘a way out’ (1 Corinthians 10:13) but he didn’t take it.
Are you guilty of lust: stealing ‘love’ that doesn’t belong to you, from a naked, potentially trafficked person, posing suggestively at you on your laptop screen? Have you pressed on regardless, despite sensing that check in your spirit? Have you crossed the line of noticing an attractive person in the street to looking again, and imagining yourself flirting and being flirted with by them? Maybe, like David, you’ve gone much further along this slippery slope. But if God can forgive the adulterous murderer David, he can forgive you. He is the God of unfailing love who can wash away all your iniquity and cleanse you from all your sin.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my lustful transgressions. Forgive me for stealing ‘love’ that doesn’t belong to me. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! … Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. May your grace teach me to say no to sin; help me to take the ways out of temptation you provide. Amen. (With reference to Psalm 51:1-2, 10-12)