But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord. [11:27]
From Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance we learn, “The idiomatic phrase, to be evil in someone’s eyes, means to displease.” Many Bibles translate this verse as follows, But the thing David had done displeased the LORD. [11:27 NIV, ESV, KJV]
Consider Him Who Was Displeased
What is the thing David had done to displease the LORD? Well, David’s actions are blatantly obvious, but a closer look at the Hebrew language used broadens our understanding. Again from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, “the verb translated had done in the Hebrew is defined as: a verb meaning to do, to make, to accomplish, to complete. This frequently used Hebrew verb conveys the central notion of performing an activity with a distinct purpose, a moral obligation, or a goal in view.”
It is reasonable to deduce the thing David had done was a predetermined goal purposed by David.
Perhaps the thing began long before he noticed and sent for a bathing woman.
- It began when as king, he should have gone…
- Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem. [11:1]
- It continued when he went where he should not have gone…
- Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance. [11:2]
- It was sustained when he asked someone he should not have asked…
- So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” [11:3]
- …and sent one he should not have sent…
- David sent messengers and took her, [11:4]
- It began when as king, he should have gone…
And the thing culminated in adultery, murder and the great cover up.
But the thing began within David; the thing was not merely his outward actions.
And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. 23 All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.” [Mark 7:20-23]
He Was and Is Displeased by what proceeds out of man. The LORD Was Displeased by David’s “goal in view, his distinct purpose” and the thing conceived in his heart enslaved David, obliging himself to his own immoral desires rather than to pleasing his God.
How do we respond to Him Who Was Displeased?
Our actions do affect our witness and can either bring Him glory or give opportunity to dishonor the LORD.
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. [Matthew 5:16]
However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, [2 Samuel 12:14]
But it’s always a matter of the heart; the heart is where the thing begins. Imagine if David had stopped to ask God about Bathsheba, to allow Him to search his heart, to show him the thing he was falling into.
We must recognize we are in a spiritual battle and the enemy is crafty. We must depend on the power of the Holy Spirit to make us aware of the enemy’s schemes.
…so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes. [2 Corinthians 2:11]
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. [Ephesians 6:10-11]
We must come before Him in humility daily, and ask Him to search our hearts for the thing that will Displease Him.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way. [Psalm 139:23-24]
When He reveals any ways that are Displeasing, may we be so grieved that we would repent quickly to know and experience the joy of His salvation.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit. [Psalm 51:10-12]
May we grow in our faith and desire to walk in His light and truth that we would live with a goal to always Please Him. Now, that’s a worthwhile New Year’s resolution.
…for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. [Ephesians 5:8-10]
Let’s Grow Together in the New Year!