As imperfect human beings, we all commit mistakes or error. As we live our lives, we sometimes do things which we think was right but in God’s eyes it was a sin. Mistakes may vary, it may be a small mistake which amounts to nothing, but there are serious mistakes which will affect our lives and the life of others, not only in the present but also in the future. Today we will be talking about those mistakes which have been committed by famous or prominent Bible characters which serves an example for us to learn.
I. The Indolence of David and his Fall (2 Sam. 11:1-4)
1. David could have stayed in the battle field as his soldiers besieged Rabah.
2. Instead he stayed in Jerusalem.
3. His temptation, he saw a woman washing herself and the woman was very beautiful.
4. He lusted and coveted after the woman even when he came to know that she was the wife of Uriah the Hittite, one of his loyal and valiant soldier
5. He took the woman (Bathsheba).
6. He slept with Bathsheba and committed the sin of adultery.
7. To cover his sin he orchestrated the death of Uriah so he can take Bathsheba as wife, since she is already pregnant.
Of course David was repentant and he was forgiven by the Lord but the consequence of this sin is grievous. The baby died, his daughter Tamar was raped by his half-brother Amnon, who was in turn killed by Tamar’s brother Absalom. Later Absalom staged a “coup d’ etat” to take over David’s kingdom, lays with David’s concubines and finally got killed. For a moment of passion, a lifetime of regret. We reap what we sow. Lots of Christians have committed adultery including famous preachers like Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, Ted Haggard who have sexual relations with a homosexual and many more which I cannot mention due to lack of space.
II. Solomon’s love for women and Backsliding. (1 Kings 11:1-6)
1. Solomon as everybody know was gifted by the Lord with wisdom and riches. He was the wisest and the richest man in his time.
2. He started his ministry right but by the time he became old he drifted away from the Lord
3. He love God but worshipped God in the wrong way (1 Kings 3:3). See 1 Kings 11:1-4 also for his disobedience.
4. Solomon has seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines (1 Kings 11:3)
5. Solomon’s wives turned away his heart from the Lord.
6. Solomon worshipped and served other gods whose names are not worthy to be mentioned here.
7. By his idolatry or spiritual adultery, he has forsaken the Lord.
Solomon’s punishment was severe, his enemies prevailed against him (1 Kings 11:14-22, 23-25, 26-40). He began his reign at the age of twenty, reign of just forty years, which means he died at the age of just 60 years. He could have lived more, for long life was promised to him (1 Kings 3:14) if he will obey and follow God’s statutes and commandments. Years before his death, his heavy taxation of the people brought unrest and discontentment (1 Kings 12:4). Jeroboam, a young leader who had the support of Egypt, led ten of the twelve tribes out of Israel to the North. When Solomon’s son reign after his death, Jeroboam returned to lead a successful civil war against him. The result was a division of the once united kingdom into two separate nations, the southern kingdom of Judah and the northern kingdom of Israel. Despite of his wisdom, Solomon did little to promote Godliness to his people. Is he repentant? I think so for in the conclusion in the Book of Ecclesiastes which he wrote, implies it.
III. King Uzziah’s unholy ambition and Fall (2 Chron. 26)
1. Uzziah was the ninth king of Judah and was also called Azariah (2 Kings 14:21; 15:1-7).
2. He reigned at the age of 16 and reigned longer than any previous king of Judah or Israel – 52 years.
3. He was a wise and faithful ruler “He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord (2 Chr. 26:4).
4. He has a successful military career, and enjoyed prosperity at home and abroad. His success were directly related to his spiritual sensitivity, because he sought the Lord through a prophet who encouraged him to honour and obey God (2 Chr. 26:5).
5. At the height of his career, his pride was lifted up. He was not satisfied to be just a mortal king. He wants to be a divine king.
6. Blinded by his ambition for more power, he did not yield his will to the Lord. He ignored God’s command in Num. 18:7 that the priest’s office belong to Aaron and his descendants only.
7. He became so proud that he believed God would make an exception for him. When confronted by Azariah the high priest and 80 associates he responded in anger instead of repentance.
God’s punishment for Uzziah was quick and severe. The result of his sin was three fold. First, he lost his health, he become leprous, second, he lost his throne. Technically he was still the king but lepers are not allowed to be near people so he had to turn control of his kingdom to his son Jotham (2 Chr. 26:21). Third, he lost his privilege of going to the temple to worship. The Bible is filled with examples of men with unholy ambition. Nadab and Abihu who offered a strange fire to the Lord (Lev. 10:1,2). Dathan and Abiram who defiled the authority of Moses and was swallowed when the earth opened its mouth (Deut. 11:6). Miriam the sister of Moses who felt she had much authority with Moses (Num. 12:2) was struck with leprosy (Num. 12:10). The most popular of all those who have unholy ambition is of course the angel Lucifer who became Satan. He said to himself “I will be like the most high” (Isaiah 14:14). What a tragedy, losing a prominent position just for unholy ambition.
The three kings we have mentioned here were all blessed by the Lord, committed serious mistakes and was punished. David was repentant, and so is Solomon. Regarding Uzziah, God only knows. Pray that we will be able to resists the sins these people have committed. We can only do this by the help of the Holy Spirit. Come to Christ and have an intimate relationship with Him for without Him we can do nothing.