Ellen G. White Writings

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Beginning of the End, Page 362

David’s Sin of Adultery and His Repentance

This chapter is based on 2 Samuel 11; 12.

The Bible has little to say in praise of human beings. All the good qualities that people possess are the gift of God; their good deeds are performed by the grace of God through Christ. They are only instruments in His hands. All the lessons of Bible history teach that it is dangerous to praise people, because when we lose sight of our entire dependence on God, we are sure to fall. The Bible teaches distrust of human power and encourages trust in divine power.

The spirit of self-confidence and exaltation prepared the way for David’s fall. Flattery, power, and luxury had their effect on him. According to the usual customs among Eastern rulers, crimes that were not tolerated in common people were overlooked in the king. All this tended to lessen David’s sense of the exceeding sinfulness of sin. He began to trust in his own wisdom and might.

As soon as Satan can separate a person from God, he will arouse the unholy desires of man’s carnal nature. The work of the enemy does not begin with something sudden and startling. It begins in apparently small things—neglect to fully rely on God, the tendency to follow the customs of the world.

Before the end of the war, David returned to Jerusalem. The Syrians had already surrendered, and the complete defeat of the Ammonites appeared certain. David was surrounded by the fruits of victory and the honors of his wise rule. Now the tempter seized the opportunity to occupy his mind. In ease and self-security, David yielded to Satan and brought upon himself the stain of guilt. He himself, the Heaven-appointed leader of the nation, chosen by God to uphold His law, trampled on its precepts. By his own act, he who should have been a terror to evildoers strengthened their hands.

Guilty and unrepentant, David did not ask guidance from Heaven, but tried to disentangle himself from the dangers in which sin had involved him. Bathsheba, whose fatal beauty had become a trap to the king, was the wife of Uriah the Hittite, one of David’s bravest and most faithful officers. The law of God pronounced the adulterer guilty of death, and the proud-spirited soldier, so shamefully

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