David is considering what to do about Bathsheba. She clearly looks good to him while she is taking that bath. He asks about her and finds out her name, her husband’s name, and, obviously, the fact that she is married. David knew enough about The Covenant with The LORD to recognize that adultery (sleeping with another man’s wife) is wrong. It was on the top ten list. Sleeping with Bathsheba is rebellion against God.
Beyond that, I made a statement in my previous post that was pretty strong. I sad that God would have definitely told David not to marry all of his current seven wives. How can we know this with confidence? It’s simple. David had The LORD’s covenant available to him. In fact, last week’s story showed us all the work David did to return the Ark of God’s Covenant to the center of Israel. Had he read this covenant, he would have found many instructions about marriage and sexuality. One whole section is dedicated to who are and who are not possibilities for a mate… (Leviticus 18:1-30, 20:10-21). As far as we can tell, none of his current wives would have been forbidden by these instructions. With David, though, there are a set of instructions that apply specifically to him as king of Israel.
"You are about to enter the land the LORD your God is giving you. When you take it over and settle there, you may think, 'We should select a king to rule over us like the other nations around us.' If this happens, be sure to select as king the man the LORD your God chooses. You must appoint a fellow Israelite; he may not be a foreigner. "The king must not build up a large stable of horses for himself or send his people to Egypt to buy horses, for the LORD has told you, 'You must never return to Egypt.' The king must not take many wives for himself, because they will turn his heart away from the LORD. And he must not accumulate large amounts of wealth in silver and gold for himself. (Deuteronomy 17:14-17 NLT)
David is not supposed to have many wives. He’s supposed to stick to just one. Had David read the Scriptures of his day, he would have known this. “Yeah, but, is that really realistic to expect,” you might ask. “After all, David went from being a shepherd to battling Goliath, working for Saul, running for his life, and then becoming king of Israel. It’s not like he was raised by a priest who would have taught him all this stuff.” Well, you bring up a good point and I would agree with you had I not read the rest of the passage we stared above. Look at what it said.
"When he sits on the throne as king, he must copy for himself this body of instruction on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. He must always keep that copy with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the LORD his God by obeying all the terms of these instructions and decrees. (Deuteronomy 17:18-19 NLT)
Let’s say that, in order to get a job, you were required to go to your church, sit down in front of your preacher, and create your own copy of the Bible by writing it down word for word. Would you know what was in that bible? Let’s add to it the next instruction. You are told to read it every day. Would that remind you what it said?
There are 1,189 chapters in our current (protestant) Bible. That’s spread across 66 books. Reading a mere three chapters a day would get you through the Bible in under a year. David only had the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) along with Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. (He was living the book of Samuel at the time.) This means he had 8 books in his Bible with 235 of our chapter breaks. Reading three chapters a day would get him through his Bible in less than three months. He would be reading his Bible 4 (almost 5) times per year. Would you know what the Scriptures say then? Had David read the Scriptures, he would remember what God already said.
How about you? Do you read the Bible? Do you read it daily? Have you read through all the Scriptures? Do you remember what God said?