Are You Tied Up in Knots?

Of all the David stories, the two most famous are the accounts of David and Goliath, and David and Bathsheba. In one, he slays a giant. In the other, he falls to a greater enemy, his lust.

Paradoxically, the story of David’s sin with Bathsheba reveals his greatness and why God called him “a man after His own heart.”

With his nation at peace, enjoying the prosperity of victory, David did what many do in the midst of God’s blessings. Succumb to the weakness of our flesh.

It was spring, “the time when kings go out to battle.” Israel’s armies were busy defending the nation, but David, for some reason,“tarried at Jerusalem.” When his armies were fighting, David was usually with his men.

One evening, David strolled along the roof of his palace. When he looked across the flat rooftops, he saw a “very beautiful” woman bathing.


He sent for her, had intimate relations with her, and she became pregnant.

Bathsheba was the only wife of one of his most loyal soldiers, Uriah.

One unconfessed sin begets another. David had to get rid of Uriah, so he contrived a plot to have him sent into the heat of battle, where he was killed.

Adultery and murder. Now he was guilty of two heinous crimes—and a cover-up.

God had given him everything. He was a blessed man. But lust is a powerful lure.

David married Bathsheba, and she gave birth to a son. A year passed of unreconciled sin, and the memory of Uriah haunted his conscience.

Finally, the king’s counselor, Nathan, confronted David’s deception.

As Nathan unrelentingly recounted David’s sins, the king fell deeper under the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

Judgment was passed. “The sword shall never depart from your house...the child who was born to you shall surely die.”

David’s sin inflicted sorrow and pain on everyone around him.

“I have sinned against the Lord,” he lamented.

No excuses. No pointing fingers at someone else. David confesses, acquiesces, repents.

I am guilty! I have sinned against the Lord!

Nathan’s response was also immediate: “The Lord has also put away your sin; you shall not die” (2 Samuel 12:13).

When confronted, David had the power to deny Nathan’s rebuke, even to have the prophet killed. But David humbled himself before the Lord and repented. He accepted the consequences of his actions, with humility. Sin exacts a high price. He grieved and sought forgiveness.

And he was forgiven, as an example to us all.

The origin of the word forgive is to untie a knot. How did David feel when his sin was out in the open and confessed? No more hiding, covering up, or wondering who knew what.

He must have felt as if a thousand knots had been untied.

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (Acts 3:19).

Forgiven, cleansed, and refreshed, with all the knots untied. That’s the way to live.