King David was a great man. His stories found in First and Second Samuel are inspiring and teach us a lot about the character of God. However, David’s fall from success came from one decisive moment in which he chose not to be alert.
When the Israelite army was in battle against the Ammonites, David chose to stay home. One night he walked around the roof of his palace and saw a woman bathing on a house nearby. He was not alert to the dangers of the lust that tempted his soul. Instead of fleeing from the temptation (as Joseph did in Genesis 39), David pursued the temptation and brought the woman to him. His inability to be alert to temptation brought severe consequences. First, she became pregnant. Secondly, David tried to cover up his sin and committed more sins by murdering the woman’s husband. Thirdly, God brought judgment on David and the child died. After that, David’s kingdom slowly spiraled out of control—rapes, murders, and treason characterizing his kingdom. He experienced all this pain because of one moment of David’s inability to be alert to the sexual temptation in his life. (2 Samuel 11)
Michael C. Lyons, Editor of Faith Outreach, Character Council, Cincinnati, Ohio