How to Stay Sexually Pure
When most people think about the story of King David, they think about two major incidences–his conquering of Goliath and his being conquered by lust.
The story of David gives us great insight into what causes the downfall and how to steer clear of certain paths that lead to temptations.
6 Things David’s Life Teaches About Purity
1. David disobeyed God before he fell into sexual sin with Bathsheba.
When you come to the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,’ you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’ Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.Deuteronomy 17:14-17
In this verse, God tells the kings to not accumulate horses, gold, silver, or wives. And when we look at David’s life, we see that he did well in most areas.
David took from him one thousand chariots, seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand foot soldiers. Also David hamstrung all the chariot horses, except that he spared enough of them for one hundred chariots.2 Samuel 8:4
And, a few verses down it also says,
King David also dedicated these to the Lord, along with the silver and gold that he had dedicated from all the nations which he had subdued.2 Samuel 8:11
However, he disregarded God’s instructions concerning having many wives:
So David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, and that He had exalted His kingdom for the sake of His people Israel. And David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he had come from Hebron. Also more sons and daughters were born to David.2 Samuel 5:12-13
David knew that God blessed him abundantly, so he went and got more wives. That may seem absurd to most of us today, but in those days, kings had the power to do as they pleased, especially in their love affairs. Having many wives was a sign of wealth because it meant the man was able to financially support all the wives and offspring they had.
In doing so, David ignored God’s commandment; and although it seemed like he got away with it, what follows with Bathsheba is an incident full of deceit, cover-up, and murder.
When we take a closer look at David’s life, we see that he had a constant desire for more women, even though he already had wives. This behavior demonstrates how lust cannot be satisfied by acquiring “more”.
Lust is a forbidden desire for things that do not belong to you.
David and Solomon are great examples of this erroneous thinking. Just like them, so many people believe, “If I could only have that person, my desire would be satisfied.” However that is not how the issue is solved, that’s only how the problem begins.
David had 8 wives. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, that’s 1000 women! And still, it wasn’t enough. You and I cannot satisfy lust because it’s never enough, it always wants more.
Lust needs to be crucified because it was not meant to be satisfied.
Love satisfies, and lust intensifies. The more sexual immorality you partake in, the more intense it becomes. David disregarded God’s commandment, and his lust intensified, which led to his downfall.
2. David was idle.
It happened in the spring of the year, 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 people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.2 Samuel 11:1
Spring was a time when kings went out to the battlefield. They wouldn’t necessarily lead the battle, but they would go behind their army. On this occasion, the Bible tells us that David had stayed back in his palace. That was not what he was supposed to do. The Lord had called David to fight the Philistines; David was anointed by the Lord to be on the battlefield, not in the palace during times of battle.
An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.
Many times, we find ourselves in a similar situation: looking for intimacy outside of marriage due to boredom because we are not involved in the things God called us to do.
Boredom can lead to sexual immorality. This is where the trap lies for many. Instead of being productive, they lay around doing nothing and satan takes advantage of that boredom to introduce his agenda to that individual’s life.
On the other hand, there are people who are so “busy” but their busyness is not producing any fruit for God’s kingdom. God does not want us to be busy, He wants us to be productive. He also does not want us to be bored and idle. God wants us to be engaged with His purposes and His calling.
Find the balance in your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your mind. You don’t want to be too bored, that you are led into traps, and you don’t want to be too busy that you’re ignoring the Holy Spirit’s beckoning for your time.
3. David did not control his eyes.
Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold.2 Samuel 11:2
There are two important things to highlight here. First, men, be careful how you look at others, especially at women. Secondly, women, be careful to not dress provocatively.
David saw Bathsheba as she was bathing, so we can infer that she was naked, and instead of bouncing his eyes, he kept looking at her. Then, he goes a step further and begins to inquire about who she is. This would have been a good moment to stop because Bathsheba was the wife and daughter of loyal soldiers, and she was the granddaughter of David’s trusted advisor. But, when David does not control his eyes, he is tempted to continue researching information about Bathsheba.
We learn from the story of Samson that the neglect of our eyes can lead to bondage and can result in the “loss of our eyes”. God wants our eyes to be pure. The first look doesn’t count because we would have to walk around blindfolded for that to never happen; however, when we allow ourselves to keep coming back and looking, that is when adultery takes root in our minds. Intimacy with somebody else always starts in the mind; sin comes in through our eyes and then settles in the mind.
Satan cannot plant lustful or adulterous thoughts in our imagination until there is an open door.
That open door is either your eyes or your ears; for most men, it’s their eyes and for most women, it’s their ears. We have to protect our eyes because they’re gates the enemy can use to plant lustful seeds in our hearts.
Men should control their eyes and learn to bounce them. And women should pay attention to the way they dress. By saying this, it does not in any way mean that men are not fully accountable for their lustful thoughts, they are; however, women still have the independent responsibility to dress in a way that glorifies God––modestly. Women should dress virtuously, and not too revealing.
If you don’t dress modestly, the chances of you attracting someone who battles with lust are much higher.
Men who are dominated by lust will turn their heads when a woman is dressed provocatively, but those who walk in love, bounce their eyes because they have learned to value things that go beyond that.
4. David had an ungrateful heart.
Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon.’2 Samuel 12:7-9
Here we see that God blessed David abundantly, yet we have insight into his lack of contentment because he coveted what another had. The Lord even tells David that if all he had was not enough, He could have given David more.
The truth is that lust makes you feel unsatisfied with what you have. At times, it may be tempting to feel as though life would be better with someone else, but secrecy feeds the lust. If you fall into that lie, not only will you be throwing away everything that God has given you but it shows an ungrateful heart towards God.
Lust cannot take root in a grateful heart.
When you are grateful for what God has given you, you enjoy your spouse, your children, time with God, and every other blessing from God. If you are genuinely enjoying life, lust will have a difficult time entering a grateful heart.
5. David committed theft.
Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him and said to him: ‘There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.’2 Samuel 12:1-4
This parable illustrates David’s sin against Uriah. Upon hearing this, David’s anger was awakened against the rich man, and he said,
“As the Lord lives, the man who has done this shall surely die! And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb because he did this thing and because he had no pity”2 Samuel 12:5-6
He did not realize it was about him, so Nathan rebuked him. David stole what was not his, he took Uriah’s wife for himself. It’s interesting to note that in the account of this incident in 2 Samuel, Bathsheba is referred to as the wife of Uriah until the death of the child she had with David. Afterward, she was mentioned by her name––Bathsheba.
Because she did not belong to David, she was Uriah’s wife; David took something that was not his.
In the same way, when you watch pornography or engage in sex outside of the covenant of marriage, you are taking something that does not belong to you.
6. David’s sin and repentance.
It all began with a glance, then he asked around, and committed adultery. David quickly covered it up and tried to make Uriah sleep with Bathsheba so that it would look like the child was Uriah’s. However, Uriah was more loyal to David than David was to God.
Uriah refused to go back to his wife, so David had the audacity to scheme Uriah’s death. If you take time to read 2 Samuel chapter 11, it displays what sexual sin does; it brings depravity and deception into your life as it did to David. David eventually wrote a letter and sent it with Uriah that had instructions for him to be at the frontline of the war. He killed Uriah, but not by his own hand.
Remember reading about David prior to this? How he was such a faithful servant of the Lord and refused to kill Saul? It seems as though we’re seeing a different man. Here, we see how cold and wicked the heart of a man can be when it takes the wife of another and then kills her husband to cover it up. Nobody caught him for about a year. During that year we can only imagine how his consciousness disturbed him. His connection to God was broken, he had lost the joy of his salvation, and his heart had become dark and callous (Psalm 51).
The sweet psalmist of Israel had become a monster, murderer, and adulterer.
That’s exactly what sin does to us. If we allow sin in, especially sexual sin, it corrupts and destroys us. It opens doors to demons by allowing other sins to creep in also. Sexual sin turns us into the people we never thought we’d become and makes us do what we never imagined we’d be capable of doing.
When David was confronted by Nathan, he humbled himself and admitted his sin against the Lord.
So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.1 Samuel 12:13
David had sinned against Uriah, Bathsheba, his family, and a nation, but I love the fact that David recognized he had sinned against God Himself.
The Lord sees your sexual life and it can either be pleasing or displeasing to Him. Sex is not just a physical act that satisfies your needs, it affects your spirituality and connection to God.
Your biology affects your spirituality. Your feelings will affect your faith.
Sex is not just a physical act that satisfies your needs, it affects your spirituality.
When David repents, he does not think of the incident as a mistake or a hiccup. David knew he had broken God’s commandments and confessed his sin. God had mercy, cleansed him, and forgave him. But there were still consequences that followed his sin.
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 adversity against you from 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 before the sun…[and] the child also who is born to you shall surely die.’2 Samuel 12:10-12,14
David was not judged for his sin; he was judged by his sin. As a Christian, the same applies to you, when you are forgiven of your sin you must understand that there will be repercussions. Your relationships will be affected, not all will be restored, the sicknesses you incur through your sin may not disappear, and your finances may also suffer.
God is merciful to forgive and reconcile our relationship with Him, but the process of restoration is painful many times.
If you are reading this and living in sexual sin, whether you are single, engaging in fornication, or married and committing adultery, God wants to forgive you.
If you confess your sin and repent, God will pardon you. However, know that there will be consequences brought upon by your sin because sin damages your life.
Sin leaves scars.
There are benefits to obeying God from the beginning. Submitting to the Lord outweighs the pleasures that sin offers. You can play with sin now and pay a price later, or you can pay the price of surrender now and enjoy walking in peace with God for the rest of your life.
I want to invite you to repentance and restoration.
I would like to encourage you to not give up in the process of restoration, regardless of how painful it may seem; God is developing you. It’s not judgment because God judged Jesus on the cross for us, but it’s discipline. God is developing godly character in us through the process of dealing with the natural consequences of our sins.
Stay pure, walk in holiness, and keep sex for marriage with your spouse.
God bless you.
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