In 2 Samuel chapters 11-12, we read the story of David committing adultery with Bathsheba. And then, to cover up his sin, he found a way to have Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, killed. Finally, God sends the prophet Nathan to challenge and rebuke David. In the end, David is forgiven because of God’s amazing grace, though he still experiences some consequences for his sins. There are a lot of good lessons for us in this story that apply to the sins that we struggle with such as crossdressing. The most important lessons are at the bottom of the post, so be sure to read to the end. Let me copy to you the passage first:
2 Samuel 11:1 – 12:14
11:1 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3 and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Thena she went back home. 5 The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”
6 So David sent this word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent him to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going. 8 Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him. 9 But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house.
10 When David was told, “Uriah did not go home,” he asked him, “Haven’t you just come from a distance? Why didn’t you go home?”
11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my master Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open fields. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and lie with my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!”
12 Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 At David’s invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master’s servants; he did not go home.
14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15 In it he wrote, “Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”
16 So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were. 17 When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.
18 Joab sent David a full account of the battle. 19 He instructed the messenger: “When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle, 20 the king’s anger may flare up, and he may ask you, ‘Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you know they would shoot arrows from the wall? 21 Who killed Abimelech son of Jerub-Beshethb? Didn’t a woman throw an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you get so close to the wall?’ If he asks you this, then say to him, ‘Also, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.’ ”
22 The messenger set out, and when he arrived he told David everything Joab had sent him to say. 23 The messenger said to David, “The men overpowered us and came out against us in the open, but we drove them back to the entrance to the city gate. 24 Then the archers shot arrows at your servants from the wall, and some of the king’s men died. Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.”
25 David told the messenger, “Say this to Joab: ‘Don’t let this upset you; the sword devours one as well as another. Press the attack against the city and destroy it.’ Say this to encourage Joab.”
26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27 After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the LORD.
12:1 The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.
4 “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”
5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”
7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’
11 “This is what the LORD says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’ ”
13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”
Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt,a the son born to you will die.”
Lesson 1: When we are not using our time to do what we are supposed to be doing, we can make an opening for temptations to come our way. King David was not doing what he was supposed to be doing. As a King, he was to lead Israel in battle. The passage itself subtlety critiques David, pointing out that he was sitting around at home when other Kings were off in war. David was shirking his duties as king. We don’t know if he was tired, or lazy, or just wanting the comforts of his palace. But if he had been doing what he was supposed to be doing, he would not have experienced the temptation to commit adultery (or rape) Bathsheba.
I know in my own life, many of the times I have given in to crossdressing, it was because I was being lazy and avoiding work that I was supposed to be doing. But during times of my life that I am working hard at my job, looking for opportunities to serve others, and doing the things that God has called me to do, the temptations that come are far fewer and much less potent. When I’m busy doing the things God created me to do, it is far less likely that I will be distracted by temptation. But I think back to times that I was being lazy, procrastinating, or just bored with nothing pressing, and those are often the times that I failed in the past. Let us learn from this. We should keep our focus on God, our work, and our families, and if we have very little work to do, we should look for ways to be productive with our time, reading books or serving others or helping the community.
Lesson 2: Don’t flirt with the idea of sin. Don’t give it a second look. Don’t ponder the idea of sinning. Shut it down at the beginning. When David noticed Bathsheba, he should have shut down his lustful thoughts, not looked back, and left her alone. But he wanted to ponder the idea. What a terrible idea to send someone to find out more about her. Perhaps he was hoping she was single and he could add her to his other wives, even though God had commanded Kings should not have many wives. And when he found out that she was already married, the idea of being with her had already taken root and perhaps he had had sex with her in his mind several times already by the time the messenger came back.
I know for me, most of the times I ever failed with crossdressing in actual life, or crossdressing through fantasy on the computer, were times that I had never planned or intended to fail. Instead, a thought came into mind, or I saw an article about crossdressing, and then instead of shutting down such thoughts, I let the ideas take root. I clicked on the article knowing that it was a bad idea. Or I did a seemingly harmless google search even though I knew where such searches often led. 30 minutes later it would no longer be harmless google searches, but crossdressing fiction sites. We must shut down the thoughts and activities that are not sinful in of themselves, but which we know lead us to sin because of our weaknesses. For some of us, there are certain news articles we just should not look at. For some of us, we need to avoid google and youtube. Know your triggers and avoid them. Avoid the second look.
Lesson 3: Even God’s people are sinful. We all know this, yet we often don’t really let this truth sink in. All the people we sit with in the pews at our churches are sinful. All of our respected government leaders are sinful. And even all the people who preach to us every Sunday are sinful. David was a man of God, who loved God and trusted Him, but he committed the terrible evil actions in this passage. It would not be a stretch to call his actions rape and murder. He, a man of God, was evil. The Bible teaches this repeatedly. Look at Solomon’s idolatry and polygamy. Look at Gideon going from victory into idolatry. Look at Peter going from following Jesus to denying him. We do not all struggle with sexual sins, but we struggle with pride, addictions, selfish hearts, and we disobey many of God’s commands. We will struggle with sin until Jesus returns and makes us new. Because of this we should be careful in our judgments of other Christians saying that they aren’t true Christians. It’s possible to be a true Christian and still struggle with sin. Furthermore, when someone’s sin is discovered, we should be quick to have mercy knowing that we have our own secret sins.
The knowledge that David committed this great sins should give us strong warning. If someone as great as King David, a man after God’s own heart, the man who killed Goliath through his strong faith in God, if he could commit such horrible sins, we can easily do so as well. We must be on our guard. Even though I can claim great victory in my life over crossdressing, I must remain vigilant. Sin is still with me until Jesus returns or until I did and am with Jesus in Heaven. I must be ready for temptations whenever they might come.
Lesson 4: Watch out for the slippery slope of sin. I do not mean the slippery slope in the sense of the logical fallacy. I mean that sin escalates. Often when we commit one horrible sin, we keep committing even more sins to cover it up. King David started with the sin of adultery. But then he had to deal with the consequences. He was desperate to protect his false public image. In the end he had lied, he had tried to get Uriah to think the child of Bathsheba was his by manipulating Uriah to sin by getting drunk, he then had to get Uriah killed when that didn’t work, and in the process he involved another person, Joab, in his terrible sins, and got many other Israelite soldiers killed over his sin. We see in 11:25 that David’s descent into sin has gone to such an extent that he did not even care about the lives of his lost soldiers.
I know from talking to many of you that a lot of us have committed some pretty awful sexual sins. But let us learn from King David. It is far better to stop our sin now, confess to others, and face the consequences, then to keep lying and trying to cover it up, only adding more sin to our lives. How many crossdressers, instead of confessing to their wives about their problem, keep it covered up for years? Then the wife founds out about it some day and instead of only having to deal with the sin of crossdressing, the wife has to deal with the broken trust of having a deceptive husband for years. The emotional damage from these situations cannot be quantified. Confess your sin now and face the consequences. The only other alternative is facing the escalating nature of sin, adding sin to sin until things get out of control, and you cannot even separate your own lies from the truth.
Lesson 5: Sin can lead to painful consequences. In the story, we can see how David’s sin not only hurt himself but destroyed the lives of many other people. From chapter 12 we can see that even when David finally repented, he still had to face consequences for his sins of losing a child and having the sword never departing his house, that is having a family full of violence. The rest of the book of 2 Samuel shows the horrible dysfunction and violence among David’s children. It’s not clear if God actually caused these disasters for David, or just allowed David and his family to naturally experience the consequences of David’s sins and bad parenting.
For us, when we sin, we will also experience painful consequences. Even if God does not directly punish someone for crossdressing, we face the natural consequences of not living rightly. To obey God always brings freedom and joy, even when it is difficult. To sin means to head towards physical death and spiritual death, to walk away from true life. Sin always always hurts us, even if we want to convinces ourselves sometimes that it doesn’t. It will bring pain in our soul, draw us further away from God, and hurt those around us. Just take a look at the comments scattered around this blog and on the page for the wives of crossdressers. The natural consequences of crossdressing addiction have included destroyed marriages, alienation from children, lost jobs, wasted time through addiction, gender confusion, mutilation of healthy bodies that was later regretted, and much more.
Lesson 6: WE CANNOT HIDE OUR SINS! This to me is the most astounding and shocking lesson from this passage. King David thought he could hide his sins, and he was actually successful or so he thought. He was able to hide his sins from people. But he could not hide his sins from God. And since God is God, and can do whatever he wants, God has the ability to reveal our sins to other people, which is what God did. God revealed David’s sin to Nathan so that he could challenge David. In the end, David’s sin has become known to billions of people like us throughout history.
Most of the time as crossdressers or porn addicts, we think we are covering our tracks well. We try to hide the clothes well. We delete internet history. But even so, people eventually find out. It’s really really hard to hide everything. I’ve written on this before – Fool! You will be caught! We have little chance of keeping our addictions secret forever. But if those natural ways of people finding out are not enough for you, ponder this, if God is real, he can reveal what you are doing to other people through his Holy Spirit, or through dreams or visions. God has the same power today that he had when Nathan and David were around. We CANNOT hide anything from God. He always sees and always knows, and knows our deepest thoughts better than we know ourselves.
God can either orchestrate events in your life so that your sin will be found out naturally, or he can reveal the truth directly to someone. I view God doing this as an act of grace. Rather than letting us destroy ourselves, he can reveal our secret to someone else so they can challenge us, wake us up from our fantasy lives, and help us to repent and change. God will do what it takes to save us because he loves us. He doesn’t want us to run away from him or destroy our lives in sin.
My challenge for you is to do what I did. Don’t wait for God to reveal it to somebody else. This is quite painful even if it’s necessary for God to rescue you. But what you can do that is less painful, is to be the one to stop your sin and confess to someone now. Repent, receive grace, and get help from other people to quit. Don’t wait for your wife to catch you in the act. Confess to her now, repent, and commit to getting help and working on your addiction.
And please for all of us, let’s remember that if God uses us to be a Nathan to someone else, that we should be firm on our stand against sin, but also be full of mercy and grace, just as we have received unimaginable mercy and grace from God through Christ. When people confess and repent, acknowledge that they have done the only right thing they can do. Forgive them and love them. Point them to Christ. Help them to put the sin in their life to death. Encourage them and walk with them.
Lesson 7: God’s grace is amazing. The song, Amazing Grace, is true. God’s grace is amazing and full and beautiful and wonderful. Look at all the atrocities that David committed and yet God still forgave him. He had some painful trials to go through as a result of his sin, but he was forgiven, and he will be in Heaven with us. Actually, I think that David was a man after God’s own heart, not because of his righteousness, but because he was repentant, and he trusted in God’s grace. He was not perfect, by far, but he relied on God’s mercy and grace. This is what true Christians do. True Christians are not perfect, but they keep repenting, keep fighting against sin, and keep trusting in God’s mercy through Christ.
For those of you who have been living a life away from God, whether crossdressing or homosexuality or pornography or adultery or whatever you’ve done, there is grace for you, if only you repent and put your trust in Christ. He lived a perfect life, the one that you did not live, and if you trust in him, his perfect life of righteousness will be counted as your own. He took the punishment that we all deserve. It’s time to repent. It’s time to finally have joy and peace and forgiveness for your sins. It’s time to experience the amazing love of God. Repent and confess your sins. Stop giving in. Just stop. It’s time to instead look to Jesus and experience abundant life. No matter how much crap we have done in our past, if we come to Jesus and trust in him, all that will be wiped clean. You can experience relationship with our God and live the life he has planned for you.