No Such Thing As Private Morality.

Tomorrow we finish a series I have loved us going through at Ivy, all about David. We’ve been in his life for months and learned a lot.

But as we draw a close on his life, I’m left wishing he finished better – and praying that I will finish well.

David was a man after God’s own heart. But as we track through his life we know that David’s heart was often broken. All of our hearts are broken by sin. By wrong things we’ve done and things done to us. Last week we saw how at times, temptation won and sin reigned in David’s heart and controlled him.

If you want to check out my video teaching on that fall with Bathsheba it’s available free on ‘Ivy Player’ on now

Now while David was forgiven of that because he turned to God in repentance, consequences came back to bite him. That’s something we often forget ahead of our sin, or even post confession.


There were consequences with regard to how much God could bless him, because that was linked to how much God could trust him. Ouch.

God effectively said to him, ‘I’d have done so much more through and for you…’ But David’s legacy was limited because of his sin.

And of course there were massive consequences in his family.

As I have observed it, people who go their own way and ignore God’s advice and commands about marriage, relationships and sex INVARIABLY end up with much more complicated lives.

All kinds of consequences. Mixed up, messed up families.

There’s no such thing as private morality.

‘Well what goes on in private doesn’t matter to anyone else.’


It doesn’t just affect you – it affects generations of people, it affects society. David was told in scripture really clearly that a King should not ‘multiply wives.’ One’s more than enough! But he thought ‘I know best, and I have these needs, and I’m the special one…’ so he added lots of wives. Seven official ones, some count eight. He probably lost count too, what with all the concubines as well.

Then Bathsheba, someone else’s wife. And twenty children. Talk about complications!

The Bible pulls no punches in describing the murky gory detail of what went on with David’s kids, following his sin with Bathsheba. The terrible example he had set, his private contrition but public abdication of responsibility as a father; it’s X rated stuff at times, Game of Thrones has nothing on these power games and lies. Everyone’s in bed with someone or wanting to be.

To say the family ends up a mess as the years go on is a massive understatement.

So in the week a new prince was born, tomorrow we finish the series with the story of King David and a prince called Absalom in a royally messed up family. You’ll be able to listen to the talk on our website free podcast next week if you like.

But I want us to reflect on the families around us. To pray for and think about our own families. Families in our culture. What does that even mean these days?

Because David modelled sin to his kids as they grew up, then ended up as a passive father while they went from bad to worse. Probably because of his own failure, because of guilt and shame, because he’d set such a bad example, he was frozen solid as a dad. He didn’t engage with his wives because he had too many, he didn’t step up, discipline or confront his family as it went more and more dysfunctional.

Why? It seems David needed to be liked by his children more than he needed to be a Dad to them. He cried a lot and got pathetic around them but he wanted to be a pal not a parent.

He kept telling himself, ‘It’ll be okay, it’ll be ok.’ It was not okay!! The snowball was just getting bigger and bigger and bigger…

Problems don’t go away just because we want them to, or ignore them long enough. Resentments grow stronger. Patterns get deeper. Rifts become wider. That’s why God wants us to deal with and discipline sin, not deny it! He wants us to see sin for what it is and the damage it causes. To confront it and take action.

Before private sin leads to public shame.

Help us Jesus.