“In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel with him; they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. It happened, late one afternoon, when David rose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house …” 2 Samuel 11:1-2b
David stays home in the capital sending the commanders of the Army to lead the soldiers into battle, no sin in that. David walks on his roof top patio in the late afternoon, probably hoping to catch a bit of breeze to cool off, no sin in that. So what’s the problem? David is out of position; as the King and with the Ark in the field with the Army (v11), he should be with them. He is bored, all the officers are in the field with the Army, and there is no one present to hold him accountable. He doesn’t know what to do with himself, he has no one to talk to, in the past during that time of year he has been out with the Army, and he doesn’t know what else to do. In his boredom he wanders around on his roof top. In boredom comes an opportunity to become very selfish, thinking only of ways to relieve the boredom. The desire to overcome the feeling of “Oh woe is me” takes precedence. Now there is no immediate harm for a man being on the rooftop patio of his home, not ordinarily. But in this case, the man is the King and his rooftop patio is the roof of the palace at the top of the hill of the capital city. From this place the entire city is visible to him. Again, no sin in that. As long as he protects himself. Bored, no one to hold him accountable, the powerful looks down from a place of power when a woman catches is eye. Not only his eye but his desire. David then puts into motion a string of activities to overcome the boredom and to satisfy his desire. Now he is in trouble, by the time the immediate story is completed he will have committed adultery, lied, ordered the murder of an officer (the husband of the woman), involved his subordinate commander in a conspiracy to commit murder, and then attempted to cover up the entire mess. This episode will affect David’s family into future generations. Oh God, that I learn a lesson from David. That I pay attention to where I should be, what I should be doing, and who I should surround myself with. Lord keep me from being out of position, protect me from selfishness and surround me with family, friends and others who care enough for me not to allow me to get singled out and picked off.