Don’t violate your conscience or compromise your principles to succeed. God is able to give you much more.
By the start of 2 Samuel chapter 12, King David has already committed adultery with Bathsheba, and she is pregnant with his child. He devises a plan to cover his sin and calls Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, off the battlefield.
Uriah was one of David’s mighty men. The Bible gives us a very short list of those who were renowned heroes within the ranks of David’s soldiers. And Uriah, the Hittite who converted to Judaism, was one of them.
And, he was also the husband of Bathsheba, which obviously was an issue. Here is how the story unfolds in 2 Samuel chapter 11: David got Uriah drunk and encouraged him to go home to his wife before returning to the battlefield. But Uriah was so honorable that he slept instead at the palace entrance with the king’s servants.
When David heard about this, he questioned Uriah, “Why didn’t you go in to your wife?” (paraphrased, v. 10). Uriah responded, “My comrades are out on the battle-field, and there is no way I’m going to go in and enjoy my wife when they are out risking their lives for Israel” (paraphrased, v. 11).
Infuriated and realizing that his liaison with Bathsheba may soon come to light, David sent a note— by Uriah’s hand—to the commander. The note asked the commander to put Uriah in the hottest part of the battle and withdraw from him (vv. 14–15). David knew that Uriah would surely not survive this …
David had him murdered.
Moving onward with his plan, David then took Bathsheba to be his own wife and did not repent of the sin for nearly a year. He lived in broken fellowship with God for that entire time. We pick the story back up in 2 Samuel chapter 12 where Nathan—a prophet sent by the Lord—came to confront David. Take a moment and read 2 Samuel 12:1–6.
At this point, Nathan told David the story about the rich man who stole the sheep from the poor man who only had the one little lamb to his name. And David—being a shepherd—got mad and said, “Any man who would do such a thing deserves to die!” Nathan then said to him, “You are that man, David. You did this with Bathsheba.”
We read in 2 Samuel 12:7–8 (emphasis added), “Then Nathan said to David, ‘You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel: “I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more!”’”
Think about what God has stated to David through Nathan: “You have wealth; you have influence; you have power; you command armies; you have the palace; you have all of Israel, all of Judah. You are famous, you are popular! You’ve got it all! And I would have given you much more than this, David.”
I don’t think God has a problem with us having things, but He does have a problem when things have us. David let his greed and lust get the better of him, and he used underhanded means to possess this woman that he wanted, Bathsheba.
We must guard our hearts against greed and lust because they will beckon us to use whatever means necessary to obtain things—regardless of conscience or consequence.
Let me reiterate: I truly don’t believe God has any problem with you having things. Stuff doesn’t really mean a whole lot to God. Did you know that? He doesn’t mind whether you drive an old truck or whether you drive a brand-new, top-of-the-line BMW or Mercedes.
It’s all junk to Him. He’s going to burn it all up one day. He’s going to make a new heaven and new earth—this one gets all burned up. All the silver, all the gold, all the diamonds, it doesn’t mean a lot to Him. What concerns God most is your heart and my heart toward those things.
He said in verse 8, “David, you had all of this stuff. I would have given you much more.” But David used despicable craftiness and did something he shouldn’t do to obtain something that didn’t belong to him.
I had a gentleman in church, a faithful member, come to me one day and say, “Pastor, I got a job.” I knew he had been looking for a job. He was very skilled in the area of sales and landed a great job with a great paycheck. And there was also a lot of room to make a lot more money through his sales. He would get a commission on top of a very fat salary. Then, he said to me, “But, Pastor, I just quit.”
I was surprised to hear this. We had been talking and praying together, but so soon after he got the job, he quit. He went on to say: “After I took the job, they told me how to make the presentation. And I went to the boss of the company, and I said, ‘We are misrepresenting this product. You are having me say some things about it to the customers that aren’t true.’ “And the boss said, ‘You got a problem with that?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, actually, I do because it’s making me a liar. I know these things aren’t true, and you know these things aren’t true. Yeah, you are going to sell a lot of product if you represent it that way, but it’s wrong.’”
The boss then said to him, “If you want to work here, this is the way we do it. Otherwise, there’s the door.” So he took the door. He told me, “Pastor, I quit. I wasn’t going to violate my conscience.” He put his trust in the God of much more. It wasn’t long before he had a better job with better pay where he didn’t have to lie to people.
Friend, whatever we compromise to keep, we will eventually lose.
You do not have to compromise to succeed. God is able to give you much more. Don’t violate your conscience; don’t violate your principles. Don’t be like David in his choices surrounding Bathsheba. There are consequences to that. Instead, look to God. He can give you much more.
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