2 Samuel 11:1-27 (Part 5) – It May Seem Like Fun At the Moment: The Staggering Cost of Sexual Infidelity

Posted: June 22, 2018 in 10-2 Samuel
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2 Samuel 11:1-27 (Part 5 of 5)
David Sins with Bathsheba & Arranges Uriah’s Death

The leading cause of divorce in America is infidelity, according to http://www.marriage.com. Losing trust in the sexual fidelity of your spouse is one of the most difficult things from which to recover. While other issues such as money issues can cause divorce, they are more easily recovered from than sexual infidelity. It just seems that sexual infidelity hits us at our core of who we are as a person. It rocks our world in a way that any other potential divorce issue cannot. It sends the “cheated on” spouse into a spiral of distrust, self-doubt, anger and resentment that often cannot be unraveled. Because of the nature of infidelity and its affects on trust and self-image, it is no wonder that it is the leading cause of divorce. It is because marriages rarely ever recover from it. According to an article I read recently, only about 20% of marriages will survive infidelity. That means that 80% of marriages where there has been an affair that will not survive (and that includes couples that have reconciled for a period of time). It is, thus, by far the most damaging way for a marriage to encounter trouble.

You think about it too that sexual infidelity in 8 out of 10 cases will end in divorce and it is the single greatest cause of divorce in America, the damage does not end there. You may have an affair and it seems like your favorite chip and dip combination (you just can’t get enough of it). You get to see the person at their best and in limited ways so every encounter seems power-packed and emotionally charged. But home life is day to day. It is taking out the trash. It is taking kids from here to there. It is fixing the toaster. It is mundane, day-to-day life. Affairs are the playground from real life. The fantasy of affairs is intoxicating. But it is not real life. When real life crashes into the fantasy of an affair, real life wins. Eight out of 10 marriages where there has been infidelity end in divorce. Divorce is messy, ugly and costly. Divorce makes people bitter. Divorce damages children most of all. Unless you purposefully try not to do it, one of the marital spouses will use the kids as pawns in the game of “who wins the divorce!” Kids often have to pay the price. Children of divorce require counseling and their relationship with one or both of their parents is damaged for long periods of time and sometimes for a lifetime. The fun of an affair quickly turns into a lifetime of trouble. Even if one marries the person with whom they had the affair, that relationship enters real life and it becomes mundane. Second marriages end in divorce far more often than first marriages (67% vs. 50%). So, affairs though seemingly intoxicating while they are undiscovered always get discovered.

After discovery then it leads to a bee’s nest of costs both emotional and financial for your family. The financial costs of sexual infidelity by themselves are staggering. Studies have shown that the therapy and mental health costs alone add up to over $15,000 a year!!! Nope, there was no misplaced comma or zeros. The cost is seriously 15k annually. And of course this is a lengthy process. When all is said and done if will easily cost $60,000 and likely more than that. Often, life savings are altered and growth of retirement funds are stunted by dividing them and by using them to finance divorces and maintaining multiple households. Even before a divorce, sexual infidelity has its costs when carrying out affairs such as lost days at work, hotel costs, non-business expenses on business trips, and even the cost of getting fired and finding a new job. Detection costs such as private investigators, monitoring costs, and other detection methods such as detection software. The sexual infidelity detection business is a multi-billion industry just by itself.

That was the thing that I thought of this morning as I read 2 Samuel 11 for the fifth and final of five times before we move on to the next passage – how sexual infidelity is like the myth of the siren on the shore. She seems so beautiful and you steer your ship toward only to have your ship sunk on the rocks. It is a venus fly trap to a fly. It always ends badly and not just for the participants but the whole family. In fact, the ripples go beyond your own family. Two families are directly affected. And the ripples continue out from there. Friendships are affected. Battle lines are often drawn and people must choose. Groups of friends often split over an affair even if it did not occur between two members of the group. The implications of sexual infidelity are far-reaching and go far beyond the two people who were unfaithful to their spouses.

Chapter 11
1 In the spring of the year, when kings normally go out to war, David sent Joab and the Israelite army to fight the Ammonites. They destroyed the Ammonite army and laid siege to the city of Rabbah. However, David stayed behind in Jerusalem.

2 Late one afternoon, after his midday rest, David got out of bed and was walking on the roof of the palace. As he looked out over the city, he noticed a woman of unusual beauty taking a bath. 3 He sent someone to find out who she was, and he was told, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” 4 Then David sent messengers to get her; and when she came to the palace, he slept with her. She had just completed the purification rites after having her menstrual period. Then she returned home. 5 Later, when Bathsheba discovered that she was pregnant, she sent David a message, saying, “I’m pregnant.”

6 Then David sent word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent him to David. 7 When Uriah arrived, David asked him how Joab and the army were getting along and how the war was progressing. 8 Then he told Uriah, “Go on home and relax.[b]” David even sent a gift to Uriah after he had left the palace. 9 But Uriah didn’t go home. He slept that night at the palace entrance with the king’s palace guard.

10 When David heard that Uriah had not gone home, he summoned him and asked, “What’s the matter? Why didn’t you go home last night after being away for so long?”

11 Uriah replied, “The Ark and the armies of Israel and Judah are living in tents,[c] and Joab and my master’s men are camping in the open fields. How could I go home to wine and dine and sleep with my wife? I swear that I would never do such a thing.”

12 “Well, stay here today,” David told him, “and tomorrow you may return to the army.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 Then David invited him to dinner and got him drunk. But even then he couldn’t get Uriah to go home to his wife. Again he slept at the palace entrance with the king’s palace guard.

14 So the next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and gave it to Uriah to deliver. 15 The letter instructed Joab, “Station Uriah on the front lines where the battle is fiercest. Then pull back so that he will be killed.” 16 So Joab assigned Uriah to a spot close to the city wall where he knew the enemy’s strongest men were fighting. 17 And when the enemy soldiers came out of the city to fight, Uriah the Hittite was killed along with several other Israelite soldiers.

18 Then Joab sent a battle report to David. 19 He told his messenger, “Report all the news of the battle to the king. 20 But he might get angry and ask, ‘Why did the troops go so close to the city? Didn’t they know there would be shooting from the walls? 21 Wasn’t Abimelech son of Gideon[d] killed at Thebez by a woman who threw a millstone down on him from the wall? Why would you get so close to the wall?’ Then tell him, ‘Uriah the Hittite was killed, too.’”

22 So the messenger went to Jerusalem and gave a complete report to David. 23 “The enemy came out against us in the open fields,” he said. “And as we chased them back to the city gate, 24 the archers on the wall shot arrows at us. Some of the king’s men were killed, including Uriah the Hittite.”

25 “Well, tell Joab not to be discouraged,” David said. “The sword devours this one today and that one tomorrow! Fight harder next time, and conquer the city!”

26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27 When the period of mourning was over, David sent for her and brought her to the palace, and she became one of his wives. Then she gave birth to a son. But the Lord was displeased with what David had done.

In this passage, we see that the effects of sin are far-reaching as we will see in the prophecy by Nathan in the next passage. David’s giving in to his carnal lusts would ultimately have disastrous effects on the kingdom of Israel. The consequences for David’s sins were spelled out and fulfilled precisely. Because David used the sword to strike down Uriah the Hittite, God said the sword would not depart from David’s dynasty. The sword was often employed in David’s dynasty. Intrigue would not depart as well. Ammon rapes his half sister and then kicks her to the curb. His son, Absalom, would kill another son, Amnon. Absalom would seek to overthrow David, and thus David would have to fight against Absalom and his forces to defend his kingdom. Joab would kill Absalom. Adonijah would seek to establish himself as king in David’s place, and Solomon would eventually have him executed (1 Kings 1 and 2).

David being one of God’s people and a generally wise man (except when it came to women) knew God’s law and I am sure that he had seen the effects of infidelity in Israelite society, but that did not matter to him when it came to that moment when he saw Bathsheba naked and bathing. Sexual desire can be so overpowering to us that we let it consume us and ruin us. David almost lost his kingdom over it. The seeds for the splitting of the kingdom into the northern and southern kingdom two generations later were sown here in his infidelity with Bathsheba and the family trees and troubles that it started. Just as many of us today in this society of serial marriages forget the huge financial, social and familial problems that extramarital affairs cause and plunge headlong into satisfying our sexual desires and carnal lusts. God does not condemn adultery just to be some capricious God but rather He knows full well what happens as a result. He has seen man destroy himself since the beginning of time with sexual infidelity. He condemns adultery because it has such disastrous effects on our lives.

So flee my friends from sexual immorality. It is not because it is prudish. It is dangerous and unhealthy in so many ways for you, your spouse, the one you are having the affair with, their spouse, your children, their children, your parents, their parents, your friends. Even our legal system is overburdened with the results of infidelity. Even our social service agencies are overburden with the results of broken families. It’s just not worth all the costs. God condemns adultery for these very reasons – not to hold us back from sexual freedom. God condemns adultery because it destroys families and societies.
It may sound crude but we must think with our heads rather than our sexual organs when it comes to slipping into affairs. Sure, it may satisfy some sexual curiosity or some personal worth issue or some other psychological deficiency that you may be suffering through but is it really worth it?

Lord help us to honor our spouses in our marriages. Help to be honest with them when things are not working. Help us to work through our problems rather than throwing the marriage away through infidelity. Help us to see that marriage is more than just sex. Help us to see the devastating affects of infidelity before we act upon it. Help us to learn from the mistakes of others such as David with Bathsheba. If we are suffering through the affects of infidelity in the past that caused divorce, help us to repent and restore those relationships by admitting our mistakes. Help us to forgive those who have hurt us deeply through infidelity in our pasts. Help us all to have a realistic view of the power of sex in our society and return to a biblical view of sex and of marriage. Help us to choose our spouses wisely. Help us to marry only when we know that the person that we are marrying is a person that we can be friends with in the living room as well as the bedroom. Help us to go into marriage knowing that its not all fantasyland. Help us to realize that marriage is real life and its has its highs and lows but that it is the most important relationship in the world. Help us to see our marriages as bigger than each of us individually. Help us to see our families as worth fighting for and thus be willing to work on our marriages. Help us to become best friends with our spouses. Help us with this thing called marriage.

Amen and Amen.

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