So, I was preparing for this weekend and the story of David and Bathsheba. As trained, I "go looking for trouble" in the story. Before even looking at the text I knew where it would be. The "hint of trouble" would be when he sees her, the "trouble" comes when she gets pregnant--or something like that. Right?
And so the section begins like this: "In the springtime, when kings go to war, David sent Joab..." I'm floored. The trouble begins at the very beginning of the story. David the mighty warrior. David the famous winner of battles, stays in the palace and watches a neighbor woman bathing from his privileged high-up window view. Lazy fascination.
How often do we get in trouble when we aren't focused on the right thing?
Following the "lazy" theme is like following the trail of all temptations. Look into the scene with me, but please cover your eyes at the appropriate times.
--David could have said to himself, "Whoa, I shouldn't have seen that. Beautiful stuff Lord, but NOT mine!" Instead, he asked about her and sent for her.
--When she arrives, he still could have changed his mind. But that would be the difficult thing. And when we have hopped into the lazy river of bowing to temptations, difficulty just doesn't seem right.
--After he finds out that she is pregnant, the hard thing would have been to call a meeting, confess his failures, and resign. The lazy thing was to try and make this look like Bathsheba and Uriah's baby; and Uriah was off to war, where David had sent him. So David does all sorts of manipulative work to bring him back and and get him in bed with his own wife. And Uriah refuses on very noble and non-lazy grounds. Even after David goes to the extent of getting Uriah drunk, Uriah refuses pleasure when the army of Israel is camping outdoors on the field of battle.
(By now this laziness of David's has gotten to be really tough work. And that's the way of laziness and temptation and wrongdoing. Laziness may not be hot pavement burning the soles of your feet, but it is rough pavement on a steep path. And changing direction would force the lazy one to fall and skin their knees, drop their web of lies, and confess their selfish pride.)
--And so now, David decides to have Uriah murdered, in a not so obvious way. And it works.
(Side note: It really bothers me that David is our hero--that David is known as a man after God's heart and the beloved of God. And that Uriah is basically not known. And that Bathsheba is considered some sort of exotic nude pin-up girl that sleezed her way into the palace, and into the linage of the Messiah--I believe. But, that's not the point, this time.)
While on the topic of lazy fascinations, I just had to give this example of huge failure. We need to be reminded that some selfless, tough work could have spared everyone some great agony. But David, who once was full of faith and full of zeal to do the heroic, became lazy and then fascinated with what was not his.
Beware of lazy fascinations. Beware of the lazy river of failure that keeps you in its warm, comfy waters. It does not lead along the narrow way.