roots the biblical text in its historical and cultural context, offering readers a framework for better understanding the people, places, and events recorded in Scripture. With editorial oversight from Dr. John Currid (PhD, University of Chicago) and Dr. David Chapman (PhD, University of Cambridge), as well as contributions from a team of field-trained archaeologists, the Archaeology Study Bible assembles a range of modern scholarship—pairing the biblical text with over 2,000 study notes, 400 full-color photographs, 200 maps and diagrams, 200 sidebars, 15 articles, and 4 timelines. These features bring life to the ancient texts, helping readers situate them in their historical context while recognizing the truth that the eternal God became flesh entered human history at a specific time and in a specific place.
If your life has not yet imploded, my prayer is that the Lord will use the first half of the book to serve as a warning and the second half of the book to motivate you with His grace. If your life has imploded, my prayer is that you will walk away from the book with a helpful view of what happened to your heart and be filled with hope for your future (Geiger, 16).
Just as demolition experts place explosives inside of buildings so they will weaken and implode, there were three explosives on the foundation of David’s life that led to his implosion. These three explosives can lead to your ruin as well. They are easily hidden from those who watch us from a distance, but they threaten to destroy the foundation of our lives.
The three explosives are isolation, boredom, and pride.
First, David was alone. He was isolated. It was the time that kings go off to war, and David remained in Jerusalem. He sent his community away. Friends who would have held him accountable were gone. Friends who would have stopped him from pursuing Bathsheba were nowhere around.
Second, David was bored. He got up from his bed in the middle of the night looking for something, anything. The Lord, on that night, was not enough for Him. He wanted something else, something else to look at, something else to conquer, something else to pursue.
Third, David was filled with pride. When he was told that Bathsheba was Uriah’s wife, David instructed the servant to get her anyway. “I am the king and I get what I want.” In his mind, David deserved whatever he desired. Pride corrupted his heart.
Isolation. Boredom. Pride. They must not be taken lightly. They will ruin a life. (Geiger, 45-46).
“Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun’” (2 Samuel 12:10-12 ESV).
We would all do well to notice here that the God Who delivers us from sin when we repent and turn to Him is the same God Who does not deliver us from the consequences of that sin. With the help of Crossway’s new Bible, I watched the curse of the House of David unfold chronologically. Get this:
- Bathsheba’s son dies (2 Samuel 12:19) and
- Amnon rapes his half-sister, Tamar (2 Samuel 13:10-14) and
- Absalom kills Amnon for raping Tamar (2 Samuel 13:28-29) and
- Absalom escapes to a foreign land for three years (2 Samuel 13:38) and
- Absalom returns (without any recognition from David) to Jerusalem and dwells there for two years before seeing David(2 Samuel 14:28) and
- Absalom steals the hearts of the people deliberately and rebelliously. Also tries to overthrow father(2 Samuel 15:6) and
- David has to leave Jerusalem, with the mass of the people against him (2 Samuel 15:14) and
- Absalom sleeps with ten of David’s concubines (2 Samuel 16:16-22) and
- Absalom dies in battle in the forest of Ephraim, defeated by David’s forces (2 Samuel 18:6) and
- Even as David lay on his deathbed, his son Adonijah attempts to take the throne by force, and is later executed as a traitor (I Kings 1:5; 2:25)
- First and foremost, the words in this passage create a general and true characterization of David’s life. Consider this: Job was human and therefore not without sin, yet Scripture describes him as “blameless and upright” (Job 1:1); David’s life was likewise without the major fault of turning away from God.
- Second, look at the context surrounding the passage. This commendation of David is neither absolute nor is its meaning intended to stand independently apart from that context; rather, the passage is relative to the plethora of sins that Abijam commits (see 1 Kings 15:1, 3). With the glaring and consequential exception of his sins involving Bathsheba, Scripture shows that David truly did seek to do “that which was right in the eyes of the Lord” (1 Kings 15:5).
- Further, as reliable sources like the ESV Archeological Study Bible reveal, there’s the matter of the exception clause. The phrase, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite,is actually absent from a number of early Old Testament manuscripts. Its absence, many scholars argue, further suggest that the original statement was made as a general commendation of David.
- Next comes an examination of the passage’s phrase that David had not turned aside from God. In its original Hebrew language, the tense and wording of the phrase indicates that God is speaking of the generally steadfast direction that David’s life has taken as opposed to referencing every specific sin David committed. This is an important factor to take into account when considering a reason for David’s other sins going unmentioned here. The suggestion is that these sins did not take his life off-course in terms of his service to the Lord up to that time.
- This idea leads, in turn, to a final point and important take-away from David’s life. David sinned, yes, but when confronted by God through Nathan the prophet, he did what was right. Grieved not because he was facing consequences, but because he had rebelled against and grieved the heart of the righteous and holy God, David repented genuinely and immediately, turning deliberately from his sin (see 2 Samuel 12:1ffand 1 Chronicles 21:8).