THE BENEFITS OF ADULTERY“God will bless us if we divorce our mates and marry each other. It’s right there in the Bible.”

“Really?” I replied. “Please enlighten me.”

He was entangled with a woman at his church. Each was married to someone else, but now both professed undying love and devotion to the other. Each complained bitterly about their current marriages and praised God for bringing them together.

“David and Bathsheba” he said. “They committed adultery, which was wrong, but God saw their great love for each other and gave her to David as his wife. He blessed David’s life after that. He even lists Bathsheba in Matthew as one of Jesus’ ancestors. So while God is not FOR adultery, when He sees the great love a couple has for each other, He will allow them to be together and will bless their union. God will bless us just as he did them.” He did not say it smugly, just simply. The truth as far as he was concerned was so clear that there was no need for smugness.

That is when I walked him through that Bible story from first to last.

The Story, Part 1 – 2 Samuel 11

David sent Joab to lead Israel’s army in battle while he remained in Jerusalem. Unable to sleep, he walked on his flat roof and saw a gorgeous woman bathing in the moonlight. He sent for her. She came. They committed adultery.

She conceived.

When David realized that the child was his, he tried to conceal his adultery by arranging for Uriah to come give a field report. The hope was that he would spend the night with his wife and later believe the child to be his own. However, Uriah refused to go home because “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my commander Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!” (verse 11)

Did Uriah’s words about not enjoying the pleasure of his home because of his sense of duty and loyalty break the king’s heart? After all, David had enjoyed the pleasure of Uriah’s home. How did the mighty warrior of God react to this loyal man’s faithfulness?

David had him killed.

Difference in Reality and What This Man Wanted to Believe

This was not a love story that started badly and ended well. It is a sin story that starts badly and ends worse.

There is no indication that David and Bathsheba loved each other. A one-night-stand may possibly lead to a deeply felt relationship, but that rarely happens. (Ask the millions who have done it.) The only mention of what Bathsheba felt is in reference to hearing that her husband was dead; the Bible says she mourned for him. (verse 26) If she was similar to the people I work with, the guilt of being pregnant by another paled in comparison to her fear that God killed her husband because of her sin. (There is no indication she knew that David had Uriah murdered.) If she had been praying that she would not be caught and punished, feeling guilt over Uriah’s death would be nearly automatic.

Also, there is no indication that she and Uriah had a bad marriage or that she was not happy being his wife. The fact that she slept with David in a singular event (no other relationship is mentioned or implied whatsoever) certainly indicates a problem, but it may well have been with herself rather than with her marriage. Nothing in the story hints that she pursued a relationship with David, or he with her. Think about it: David focused on keeping his adultery a secret rather than on gaining her as his wife. If he had been longing for her, the first move would have been to have Uriah killed rather than trying to deceive him into thinking he had impregnated his wife. By attempting that ruse, David showed he did not intend to marry Bathsheba, but every intention of her remaining married to her husband. David did not kill him to get his wife; he killed him to hide his sin.

That is not the motivation of a man madly in love; it is the drive of a man terrified of reaping what he sowed.

Moreover, David’s taking her as a wife is better explained by a sense of obligation rather than being blessed by God to have a woman he longed for. He impregnated her. It was his fault that she had no husband to be her companion in raising that child.

The Story, Part 2 – 2 Samuel 12, 13, 18

When Nathan the prophet confronted David, he made his point using a story about a man stealing his neighbor’s lamb. Typical of those overwhelmed with their own guilt, David lashed out at the transgression of another. “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this must die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.” (12:5-6)

Stealing and eating a neighbor’s pet is terribly impolite, but it is not a capital crime. David overreacted on that point because of his own guilt. However, calling for a fourfold repayment met the criteria of the Old Testament law. Just as David decided the punishment of the imaginary lamb thief, God brought a fourfold punishment on David for what he had done.

  1. The baby he had with Bathsheba died. (12:19)
  2. David’s son Amnon raped his half-sister (David’s daughter) Tamar. (13:14)
  3. Tamar’s full brother, Absalom, killed Amnon for raping his sister. (13:32)
  4. Absalom started a civil war to overthrow David and take over the kingdom. Absalom died in the battle. (18:15)

What could David say to Amnon about the heinous rape? “Son! You don’t take a woman just because you want her!”

Amnon could have replied, “Yeah, Dad, just like you.”

What could he have said to Absalom about the murder of his brother? “Son! You don’t kill a man to solve your problems!”

Absalom could have replied, “Yeah, Dad, just like you.”

His sins – illicit sex, murder – replicated in the lives of his children. It still happens, all too often.

Do You Wish To Be David in This Story?

How did David feel about the consequences of his sin? “The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: ‘O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!’” (18:33)

When I was younger, I thought that David was saying he wished he had died in battle rather than Absalom. As I matured, I came to understand that David knew that Absalom would have been a terrible king and Israel would have suffered. He was not wishing he had died in battle so that his son could have lived; he was saying he wished he had faced the consequence of his adultery with Bathsheba at the time it occurred. The law called for adulterers to be stoned. If David had faced his actions then and confessed his adultery, he could have been executed. If he had, the fourfold consequences in the lives of his children would have been avoided.

I said to the man, “Are you willing to bury your baby boy? Your daughter raped? Bury another son who was murdered by his own brother? Have yet another son try to kill you and die in the process? Of course, I speak metaphorically, but the point is valid. How much are you willing to have people you love pay so that you can have this woman?

“Are you really that selfish? That unconcerned about the lives of people who be affected by what you do?”

More Casualties

I continued, “It will not just be people you love who will suffer. Your sin will affect others, even if you do not realize it now. Have you heard of Ahithophel?”

Ahithophel, David’s trusted advisor fathered Eliam, who fathered Bathsheba. (1 Chronicles 27:33, 2 Samuel 23:34) When David committed adultery with her, he knew that Bathsheba was Ahithophel’s granddaughter (2 Samuel 11:3).

Ahithophel turned against David, as one might expect. He convinced Absalom to rape his father’s concubines in view of all Israel. (2 Samuel 16: 21, 22) If Absalom had listened, Ahithophel’s counsel would have won the war against David. When Absalom would not listen, Ahithophel knew how it would end, and hanged himself. (2 Samuel 17:23)

David did not hurt only those who were his blood; he hurt those who had served the kingdom faithfully.

Many people paid dearly for what David had done.

The End of the Story

Did David hurt? Was he sorry?

“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me…I sinned and [have] done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.” (Psalm 51:3, 4)

“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart,” (Psalm 51:17)

If we interviewed David to ask if the pain was less because God forgave him and blessed him in the remainder of his life, what would he say? We know the answer to that, do we not?

God rescues. God forgives. However, God, as a wise father, allows us to reap what we sow. (Galatians 6:7, 8)
The question should never be, “How can I find a way to have God bless me in spite of my sin?” It should always be, “What does Goes want me to do?”

With David, the answer was simple, “the thing David had done displeased the LORD.” God wanted him to be pure.

My final words to the man who compared himself to David were, “Stop your sin. Face the consequences as they now are rather than what they will progress to be. Do it for your own sake. Do it for the sake of those you love. Do NOT trade those you love, or anyone else, for your desire.”

We specialize in helping people end affairs. We would love to help you. If your marriage is in danger of separation or divorce, call us at (866) 903-0990 to speak with someone or use the form below to request more information about our Marriage Helper 911 workshop for troubled marriages. We can help you save your marriage even in cases of infidelity, loss of trust, anger, sexual problems, and other issues. (If you’re thinking your spouse would never come, contact us by phone or the form below and we’ll tell you what others who felt the same way did to get their spouses there.) We will keep everything you tell us completely confidential. Our motivation is to help you determine if this workshop is right for your particular situation. We also offer solutions for couples who can’t attend the workshop.

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20 thoughts on “The Benefits of Adultery

  • February 7, 2015 at 1:26 am
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    Wow Joel! Many, many good points about the effects of sin, particularly adultery. So what did your friend do? Did he get it? I hope that most people in their right mind already agree with your take on the story of David and Bathsheba; I think readers would benefit in knowing that this information actually did change the heart of someone, a professed Christian, so deceived. Thanks!

    Reply
    • October 10, 2015 at 12:03 am
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      I pray my husband reads this. He was a pastor and left me for the church treasurer and honestly claimed the David and bathsheeba reason…actually calling themselves that. I pray he sees this

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      • October 16, 2015 at 5:10 pm
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        Erika, Same thing happened to me and the mistress strongly “assured” me that God had already “blessed” their union. I knew I was speaking to “the evil one” and that he would never win in the long run.
        KNOW the future…GOD wins. Be strong and have courage.
        17 years later I joyfully thank God for the events that painfully ended that marriage because HE (our Father) had an amazing story for my life and I needed to get on with it. God is good…all the time!

        Reply
  • February 7, 2015 at 3:22 am
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    God also told him through a messenger that the blood shed would not leave his house…..and it didnt……Even up to the death of Christ on the cross! He also told him that he would not be the one to build his temple! My mom always quoted the bible to me in saying ” John… Be sure of this one thing…your sins will always find you out!!! It’s so true. You cannot hide from God!!!.

    Reply
  • February 7, 2015 at 6:01 pm
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    I think that this article is very clear and good. Yet I think that an article that talks about adultery out of marriage is needed as well. Because the enemy uses this angle severely. I’ve been single since my child was born from a man who was married. And my walk and healing from this and me falling for his words that he was gonna leave her and wanted our son had a yada. He has only seen his child one time BC I had him in court. Yet from this I have been single since. Doing my best to stay out of an adulterous relationship so sex out of marriage doesn’t take place. Holding onto a standard that is Godly. And I’ve been countleasly challenged by Satan using men that only want sex not commitment or done right in the eyes of the Lord. Men really make me sick and its sad that all they want is frivioulus encounters of meaningless sex rather then something that is beautiful and God Giving to be shared between a man and a wife. Im doing all I know to correct my sin. And I know God has forgiving me. Yet my sins consequences as you stated in your article is true. My son is fatherless in the world standards his father is God the best dad he could have. Yet to of been raised in a family unit his life should have been. So denying my flesh I have done until God brings me a man that will ascept his ways and honor them!! Thank you and hope to see an article that talks about sex out of marriage and the consequences of it. In biblical backing and standards

    Reply
    • June 26, 2016 at 6:09 am
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      Not all men are that way. I wish people would stop generalizing so much based on their very limited experiences. It doesn’t help anyone.

      Reply
  • February 10, 2015 at 10:52 am
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    Wow! What a great article. I love teachings in this way. Ordinary people can understand and relate to it. This is great! I am very blessed!

    Reply
  • February 25, 2015 at 7:23 pm
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    I really appreciate your article. It is sometimes too easy to get carried away with sin, knowing God has forgiven us. Not just with adultery, but all sins. Thank you.

    PS. I’m not sure if this is a typo, but I believe GOES is meant to say GOD, is it?

    “The question should never be, “How can I find a way to have God bless me in spite of my sin?” It should always be, “What does Goes want me to do?””

    Reply
  • February 25, 2015 at 8:53 pm
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    You forgot to mention that his sin also cost the lives of 70,000 people.

    Reply
  • February 26, 2015 at 2:58 am
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    You make some great points, but in one respect you seem to contradict the Biblical text. The article says that there’s no evidence that David and Bathsheba had a long-lasting relationship, but http://ref.ly/2Sam12.24-25 indicates that David comforted her (also, there’s the whole bit about her giving birth to Solomon).

    I don’t think that this fact detracts from the overall argument you make, but it could perhaps be clarified on this point.

    Reply
  • April 25, 2015 at 11:34 am
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    Wow…people dont read the bible or got to bible study. I remember this story of David and Bathsheba and it didnt end well. Why would someone use the Bible to justify immoral behavior without researching the true essence of why the text was written? I am the one who committed adultery due to I guess limerence false love and now my relationship with my spouse is very dead to me. I would never ever use the word of God to justify my own behavior even if I felt like I was suffering in some way…smh.

    Reply
  • May 24, 2015 at 9:39 pm
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    My husband walked out on me (pregnant with our 6th baby) and 5 children…. He said it wasn’t about me it was about him… Well I since found out 9 months later his been seen with other women the week he left and I caughthim having an affair with a married woman too… He says to me when I confront him of his sin “what you think I’m doing is wrong”…or “that’s your interpretation of the bible!”
    Explain these comments to me Joe please!!

    Reply
  • June 4, 2015 at 12:02 am
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    I would point out, too, that Bathsheba isn’t mentioned by name in Jesus’s genealogy in Matthew. She is referred to as the wife of Uriah. I take that as an obvious reference that isn’t intended to accord her any honor in the fact she’s in Christ’s bloodline. I do think it attests to Jesus’ humanity and the fact that he had descended through godly men who also sinned.

    Reply
  • June 9, 2015 at 2:58 pm
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    I’m going on thirty this year, and am deathly afraid of my wife leaving, and my time with my son being altered. We’ve had an extremely rocky past few years. Calling each other every name possible, cold shoulders, lost love, the works. I’ve told her I can’t stand who she is, that she’s a terrible wife and less than motivated mother and friend, and that sometimes I wish asked disappear from our lives. I myself am FAR, from perfect, but I’ve never stepped out of our marriage, or gave myself emotionally to any other person side the day we met 8 years ago. These past few months have been so hard to cope with, I’ve had that twisted feeling that something’s wrong. Just yesterday I’ve discovered she’s been “talking” with some guy that exchanged numbers with her behind my back, constant lie after lie with no remorse. I know I’ve been very wrong, but should I continue to pursue what’s probably not salvageable???

    Reply
    • January 24, 2016 at 3:22 am
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      Justin, I have been where your wife is. It took me 4 months to realize the reality of things.now my husband says it’s too late. He has professed several times he wpuld love me forever and do anything to get me back after he found out about the affair. We too ate going on our 8th year of marriage and have 3 kids.Never lose faith. God can do anything!

      Reply
  • October 28, 2016 at 10:44 am
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    I just like to find out what I can do my husband got another girl pregnant and I ask him to choose if he wants to go on with his marriage or not and he decide to go on but he still has contact with this girl and for me it seems that he does not want to work on his marriage. is it possible that this marriage can still be saved

    Reply
    • October 28, 2016 at 4:26 pm
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      Hi Carmen!

      We believe it can still be worked out! I would encourage you (if you are not already) a member of our Save My Marriage Facebook Group to join & seek support on there! We have a few other members in similar situations.

      Blessings,

      Reply
  • February 7, 2017 at 8:53 pm
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    My husband also says his adultery is the same as david and Bathsheba he claims God ordained the child they now have so their relationship is OK in the Lords eyes

    Reply

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