David Sinned


2 Samuel 11:1-15
Psalm 14
Ephesians 3:14-21
John 6:1-21


This story in Samuel—David and Bathsheba—is as straightforward as any in the Bible. David sinned.

There have been many explanations for why David took the woman he did not even know. Around 400 AD, Jerome wrote, even in his own house, a man cannot use his eyes without dangerACCS It was not David’s fault; she should not have been bathing at that time. Others have argued through the centuries that Bathsheba set out to entice David so that she could become his queen.

There is also the argument that the phrase—she had just purified herself after her period JSB—was proof that she was properly baptized and ready to unite with David, the Christ figure. This idea was labored upon about a century after Jerome by Cassiodorus who wrote, Bathsheba manifested a type of the church or of human flesh and…David bore the mark of ChristACCS

In the age of #MeToo, I don’t think this will stand up. I also see nothing in the Bible to support any such notion. Even if Bathsheba wanted to be noticed, that does not excuse David’s actions. If you argue that it was her fault, then you permit me to rape any woman I want.

Some have said that she chose to bath on her roof rather than in hiding. Again, no. Most homes had no other place to bath. People lived on their roofs, ate on the roofs, had parties on the roofs. There is no hint that Bathsheba was at fault. Think about it; if she had not been more beautiful than all his wives, he would have stopped looking and gotten back to work.

For you women readers let me explain. Men instinctively rate the women they see on their sexual attractiveness. We may or may not think about it, but it is there. But here are two important points: most men are lucky to see one Bathsheba in a lifetime, and most are willing to forgo the lust they feel or share it with their wives. Yes, the divorce rates are high, but most men do not marry more beautiful women.

We do not know how many wives David had at that time, but it was significant. (12:8, I gave you your master’s house and possession of your master’s wives.) David sinned.

We should not blame him for taking some time off from the wars or for taking time to relax on his roof. He had duties besides being commander in chief. He had the right to relax.

David had no excuse, he sinned.

Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence

Devil In A Blue Dress

If you are a conservative Christian who does not want to read swear words, you can stop reading NOW.

For the rest of us, Walter Mosely created a character with crust and grit. Ezeikel Easy Rawlins has a house in Watts just three years after helping Patton kick Heiny butt. Growing up poor in the Fifth Ward of Huston did not prepare him for the pure joy of owning property.

Making the payments became the issue when he was unfairly laid off at the factory. A friend sets him up with a short gig–finding a white girl in one of the black bars in the city. You see, Easy was black too, or to be fair to 1948, he was a Negro.

The book was first released in 1990, followed by a baker’s dozen others. Denzel Washington played Easy in the 1995 film version.

Why should you read this book?

It is a great slice of history describing the beginnings of the racial divide that has found Watts on the national news many times. I took a sociology class in the fall of 1965 in which we studied in some detail the findings of the August riot of that August–the “Burn, Baby, Burn” riots. After living through sit-ins and Selma, it was still an eye-opener for a milk-toast Kansas boy. Of course, worse was yet to come.

You should read this for the characters. None of them are righteous and none are pure evil, though you might wonder about a couple of them.

But also try to understand the complex relationships these people have with one another. Easy has friends from Huston to help him in LA, some of whom only help for money, some for friendship, some only when they benefit. Easy must walk a fine line to decide who he can really trust.

Read it because Easy is not perfect. He learned to kill people–blue-eyed German boys–but he wants to avoid killing. He did not like it in the war and he still does not like it. Still, he is surrounded by it in the story.

Many would argue that this is not a Christian novel. I disagree. It is not religious, but that is something else. It is Christian in that Easy wants to do what is right. He is willing to place himself in mortal danger to help others. He is not a cynic. He hopes to be paid, but if you read closely, he is willing to do the right thing without pay.

Easy is a product of black poverty, but he doesn’t want that history to drag him down.

I look forward to more of Easy Rawlins.

Mike Lawrence