Caught With His Pants Down

Arnold Schwarzenegger has brought new attention to high profile cheating.  The Eagle-Tribune asked, “Why do men cheat?”  However, they were challeneged because of the sexism in that headline.  Women are no longer powerless vassals who men push to misbehave ( ). There are all kinds of reasons that women and men cheat on their spouses.  However, in David’s time Bathsheba was just having a bath on her roof under the king’s window and he got excited.  As king he could have her killed, her husband killed, or just make everyone’s life miserable.  David invoked his power and tried to plot a scheme which resulted in him being exposed by God’s prophet.

What Psalm 51 shows us is the route back from adultery and murder.  Even when a spouse like Shriver understandably turns down Arny’s tear drenched pleas for clemency, God is willing to accept a truly repentant sinner.  As far as I know Arny does not have the faith to write a psalm of repentance.  He would do well to read Psalm 51.

Before we get carried away saying, “Yeah Arny.  Go read Psalm 51, you jerk!”  Let’s remember that this psalm was a public hymn.  There have been times when I have turned to it to express my horror when I realise how my sin has affected God and those whom I love.

Psalm 51

 For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

 1 Have mercy on me, O God,
   according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
   blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
   and cleanse me from my sin.

 3 For I know my transgressions,
   and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
   and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
   and justified when you judge.
5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
   sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
   you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

 7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
   wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
   let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins
   and blot out all my iniquity.

 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
   and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
   or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
   and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

 13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
   so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
   you who are God my Savior,
   and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord,
   and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
   you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is[b] a broken spirit;
   a broken and contrite heart
   you, God, will not despise.

 18 May it please you to prosper Zion,
   to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
   in burnt offerings offered whole;
   then bulls will be offered on your altar.


  1. Find the story of David and Bathsheba in the Bible and read it.
  2. According to the psalm who was his offence against?
  3. What do you think Bathsheba’s role was in the affair?
  4. What passions lead you to speak sinfully, think sinfully, or act sinfully?
  5. How can we repent of passions that society just calls normal human behavior?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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1 Response to Caught With His Pants Down

  1. kalana mei says:

    2) David sinned against God.
    3) I’ve read different things, and one that I remember talked about how she knew someone could have been watching her (it was a modesty book) and so it started with her. But I don’t think that I agree with that. Part of me, the feminist part, wants to put all the blame on the corrupt, lustfulness of men….Bathsheba could have said “no” and should have said “no”.
    4) Wow, this is a deep question…passions of wanting. I want to possess and find safety in things so that can, does, lead me to sin in actions. I think that there are passions that I have that when I let them take over me, or become my focus lead me to sin. Passions for people can become a need for approval. And that need leads to sins…a lot of them.
    5) I think that when we repent that can be a good witness because that shows we follow God’s standards not the worlds. I also think that it’s really hard. My pastor talked about Ephesians 5 today and how we are not supposed to be coarse or joke about immorality. And I even as he was talking was excusing my jokes. So we first need to recognize our sins as sins and see the gravity of the issue and then personally repent and allow your close friends and family see the change and allow your life to portray God.

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