God’s Word Is Alive
Why People Do Bad Things
THE man up front, fighting in the battle near the wall, is Uriah. King David of Israel had written Joab, the general of his army: “Put Uriah in front of the heaviest battle charges, and you men must retreat from behind him, and he must be struck down and die.”—2 Samuel 11:15.
Uriah was a good, loyal man. Why, then, would David, who also was a servant of Jehovah, deliberately have Uriah killed?
What can help us to understand this is to read the following Bible verses: “With evil things God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone. But each one is tried by being drawn out and enticed by his own desire. Then the desire, when it has become fertile, gives birth to sin; in turn, sin, when it has been accomplished, brings forth death.”—James 1:13-15.
But how, you may ask, does this information help us to understand why David had Uriah killed? To get the answer we need to examine the circumstances that caused David to want Uriah dead.
One day, while Uriah was away, David happened to be looking from his rooftop and saw Uriah’s beautiful wife Bath-sheba bathing herself. What did David do? He kept looking. By doing so he allowed a desire to have sexual relations with Bath-sheba grow in his heart. It was not God who was trying or tempting David. No, David was drawn out and enticed by his own desire.
Finally, the wrong desire within David became so strong that he had Bath-sheba brought to his palace. There he had sexual relations with her. Later, because Bath-sheba had become pregnant and David was unable to have their adultery covered up, he arranged to have Uriah killed in battle.
True, David’s sin did not lead to his losing God’s favor forever and receiving His sentence of death. This is because David was sincerely repentant, and Jehovah showed him mercy. (Psalm 51:1-14) Nevertheless, this experience helps us to understand that people often do bad things because they entertain wrong desires in their heart. So we should learn from David’s experience to avoid situations, as well as activities and entertainment, that work up “sexual appetite.”—Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5.