2 Samuel 12:7
And Nathan said to David, You are the man. Thus said the LORD God of Israel, I anointed you king over Israel…
I. THAT NO MAN IS PLACED BEYOND THE DANGER CF PERPETRATING THE MOST ATROCIOUS CRIMES — crimes which are equally offensive to God, injurious to society, and destructive to the criminal. This observation is strikingly confirmed in the instance of David, the king of Israel. There was no advantage on the side of virtue and religion which he did not possess. What ought to operate as a preventive of wickedness, which did not distinguish this man at the very moment when he consented to become the most guilty of his species?
1. Shall rank, wealth, and glory be pleaded as a security against the perpetration of evil? David possessed them all. How extensive was his range of lawful gratification! In the figurative language of the prophet, "he had exceeding many flocks and herds." The occupiers of thrones have too frequently been as notorious for their vices as conspicuous for their stations. Blessings tainted by depravity are curses in disguise.
2. Genius of the highest order, learning of the most useful kind, taste exquisitely refined, and capable of the purest satisfactions — will not these preserve the character, at least, from the foulest blots of iniquity? No; dead and living illustrations prove the contrary.
3. May we not confidently hope that the sobriety of mature age, no longer subject to the fervours of youthful passion, will present an effectual barrier against the inroads of crime? The time had long passed away when it was said of David that "he was a youth, and ruddy."
4. But surely long habits of the strictest virtue, founded on principles of genuine and long cultivated piety, will place an individual on a pinnacle too high for temptation to reach. This good man, even when grown old in religion, was guilty of deeds which many habitual sinners, though prompted by youthful passion and unrestrained by the fear of God, would still have abhorred, But, indeed, when once we allow ourselves to go wrong we can neither know nor guess the consequences. That sin, indeed, with which David began is peculiarly ensnaring and pernicious. The lower degrees of immodesty lead on imperceptibly to the most unlawful familiarities. These entangle in a variety of difficulties that ensure at last the commission of the vilest and cruellest acts imaginable. And to specify no more particulars, mere indolent omissions of religious duties, public or private, leave our sentiments of piety to languish till we become utterly unmindful of our eternal interest, and perhaps at last profane scoffers.
II. THAT MANY OF US, WHO LEAST SUSPECT OURSELVES, ARE CHARGEABLE WITH SIMILAR OFFENCES OR TENDENCIES TO THOSE OFFENCES WHICH WE MOST SEVERELY CONDEMN IN OTHERS. We lift up our voice, End justly, against the perjured, the ungenerous, the insulting adulterer; the wretch, who robs his neighbour, perhaps his friend, by one fatal act, of his dearest treasure, and his peace of mind; but have we pondered well the saying of him who declares, "Whoso looketh upon a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery already in his own heart?" The will, before God, is the deed. Do we regard with exemplary strictness the law of equity? If we do not grossly defraud, do we not go beyond our brother, and take advantage of his ignorance or weakness? In order to shorten human life, it is not necessary to employ the pistol and the dagger. Servants may be easily brought to an untimely grave by stinting them with respect to their necessary food, clothes, lodging, or fuel; or by a repetition of tasks unnecessarily burdensome. The pleadings in this case might be greatly extended, and the mask torn off from many whose criminality is perhaps still hidden from themselves.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;