Beware of Idle Hands!

feminine desk layout with hands poised over computer

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:17 ESV

The story of David, Bathsheba, and Uriah is often told as a cautionary tale. At a time when all the kings of the land were at war, David remained at home and sent his army ahead to fight under his commander, Joab.

One day, he happened to be on his roof when a woman was bathing and he was intrigued. He sent people to discover the woman’s identity and learned that she was the wife of one of the men in his army.

The fact that she was married should have been a deterrent. That she was married to one of his soldiers should have been doubly so. But that’s not what David did.

Then David sent messengers to get her; and when she came to the palace, he slept with her. She had just completed the purification rites after having her menstrual period. Then she returned home. 2 Samuel 11:4 NLT

But the story doesn’t end there. That illicit encounter resulted in a pregnancy and King David made the decision to try to cover up his sin rather than confess it.

He went through several elaborate maneuvers to get Uriah to sleep with Bathsheba. But when they failed, he made the decision to have Uriah killed instead.

But here’s the thing, David didn’t kill Uriah with his own hands, he elicited the assistance of Joab who followed the king’s command likely without knowing the reason.

Uriah was sent into the heat of the battle, too close to the city walls. And Uriah didn’t die alone. Several other soldiers died with him (2 Samuel 11:15-17).

Here are three lessons we can learn from this encounter about sin:

  1. You’re more likely to be tempted when you’re not keeping yourself busy for the kingdom.
  2. You’ll engage in increasingly more sinful activities as your conscience becomes dulled by the number of sins you committed.
  3. Sin is not containable. You impact other people with your sin.

That third point is further illustrated in 2 Samuel 12 when Nathan is called in to discipline the king. The consequences of his sin with Bathsheba and against Uriah continued to have consequences throughout David’s reign. (2 Samuel 15-19).

If David had been where he was supposed to be, doing what he was supposed to have been doing, things would have turned out different for a number of people. 

Now, I don’t want you to get caught up thinking about the impact your mistakes can have. When we confess our sins, God is willing to forgive us (1 John 1:9). Instead, I want you to focus on what you’re supposed to be doing.

Has God called you to do something? Has He given you a specific task to accomplish? Have you found yourself being distracted from that task?

My friend, the devil is good at distractions. He has had thousands of years to hone his skills and he has targeted you. Keep your mind and hand focused on the task God has given you so you don’t fall into temptation.

Prayer

Father, help me to focus on the task at hand. Don’t let me become a tool for the enemy. I want to do only those things that You want me to do, in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Pause for Reflection:

  • Are there tasks or assignments that God has given you that you are not actively working on? If your answer is no, why not?
  • Do you need to recommit your talents and skills to the Lord?

Other actions you can take:

Beware of Idle Hands