21. The Falls and Recoveries of David

Reaching a new high as king, David’s integrity takes a deep dive. After a shining start, he faces a sudden fall and eventually a stuttering recovery.


2 Samuel, 1 Kings 1,2

  • Objectives
  • A Shining Start
  • A Stunning Fall
  • A Stuttering Recovery
  • Video
  • Recap
  • Discussion

In this journey...


  • Realize that the most faithful believer is vulnerable to fall
  • Understand the tripping points in David’s life and avoid them
  • Realize what is irrecoverable and what can be recovered in a fall

A Shining Start - Feared the Lord

In 2 Samuel 6, we see that Uzzah dies when he irreverently touches the ark. David’s anger turns to reverence because he fears the Lord.

We see this reverence for God throughout his life.

A Shining Start - Forgave Enemy

In 2 Samuel 1-4, we see that David:

  • Wept over Saul’s death and avenged it (ch 1)
  • Kept his promise to his friend Jonathan (ch 4)
  • Avenged the death of Ishbosheth (ch 4)


A Shining Start - On fire for the Lord

In 2 Samuel 6, we see that David is so ecstatic to see the ark of the Lord back at the capital, he danced before the ark of the Lord, oblivious of self – ch 6:14,15.

David’s passionate heart for God is reflected in his psalms. His passion continues throughout his life.

A Stunning Fall - Cover up/ Deceit

David’s deceit appears small at the start but catapults into huge sins. It:

  • Started with Abimelech as he lies that he’s on the king’s mission to get food (1Sam 21:2).
  • Continued with Achish as he feigns madness (1 Sam 27:9-11)
  • Culminated with Uriah whom he murders to cover up his adultery (2 Sam 11:10)

A Stunning Fall - Carnality to Covetousness

He lusts after many women. Here are some:

  • Abigail (1 Sam 25:39-41) – after her husband’s death
  • Michal (2 Sam 3:14) – while her husband was alive
  • Multiplied concubines and wives (2 Samuel 5:13)
  • Uriah’s wife (2 Sam 11:4) – after causing her husband’s death

A Stunning Fall - Cruelty/ Murder

  • On one occasion he was “angry enough to kill Nabal” (1 Sam 25: 22, 39)
  • On a later occasion, he actually got Uriah murdered (2 Sam 11:17)

A Stunning Fall - Census

The same David who faced the giant and the entire Philistine army gradually starts relying more on schemes. Eventually, it culminates in him numbering the people to ascertain his power (2 Samuel 24) invoking God’s punishment.

A Stuttering Recovery

God offers him three punishments for conducting the census. David’s response, as always is inspiring. He says,  in 2 Samuel 24:14 – “It is better to fall into the hands of God than into the hands of man.”

A Stuttering Recovery

David’s Response – When confronted, his focus remains on:

  • His sin, not God’s punishment Ps 38:4
  • His hope, not arguments/ questions Ps 38:14,15
  • His confidence in God’s vindication, not doubt (Ps 38:20)

David’s Restoration:

  • His kingdom is established (Present and future)
  • He dies in honour
  • He is immortalized as a “man after God’s own Heart”

Is recovery from big sins always possible?

For someone who does not know Christ, they can be saved by true repentance. A Christian should be veering away from such sins. If not they may not really be born of God.

1 John 3:9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.

Dangers of Rationalizing Sin Today

  • David may have fallen hard because He did not experience the cleansing blood of Christ.
  • Also He was David, the chosen one, the man after God’s own heart.
  • We don’t see new testament apostles falling in such sins.
  • God’s children cannot afford such sins which usually indicate they are not really God’s children as per 1 John 3.

True Repentance

In Jesus’ day many society sinners were repenting whereas those who thought they were good enough without Jesus stumbled.

Christ’s blood is adequate for the worst sinner. However, once we are washed in that blood the Holy Spirit enters. If this has truly happened, we will progressively become more like Christ. Addictions will fade. Attractions will loose their hold on us. There is no excuse for sin.

As we build on to our relationship with Him, the old nature starts falling off just like oild leaves from a tree.


Read 2 Samuel. 1 Kings 1 and 2.

    1. King David showed his passion for the Lord by dancing. How do you show your passion for the Lord?
    2. Large sins are usually a result of small ones. How do you battle some of your small sins.
    3. Most people do not recover from large sins. How do you help them deal with small sins in their lives?

Related Posts

26 Esther, Queen of Persia

King Cyrus permits exiled Jews to return. The remaining choose to remain in exile. It is God’s hand upon these Jews under the Persian rule that is described in this story. Read Book of Esther Background Timeline The King, Queen and Empire On God’s watch Esther, the...

25 The Legacy

True to God’s word, Solomon’s excesses and lack of alignment with God dissipate the family and soon after his death, the kingdom is headed for division.Read 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles. The Rapid Decline of the Kings God’s Warning Division Triggered Kings of...

24 A Royal Love Story – Song of Solomon

At a first glance the book looks like exchanges between lovers. At a deeper glance, it contains a wealth of wisdom from what is probably one of the last writings of the wisest king. Key players are three lovers – two men and a woman.Read book of Song of Solomon...

23 Royal Wisdom Proverbs, Ecclesiastes

King Solomon, the wisest king ever along with others known share their journey of wisdom. His quest is, however, more a reflection of failure as he realizes that worldly wisdom has cost him spiritual wisdom. The life of King Solomon The learnings of King Solomon To:...

22 Royal Verses – Psalms

Why do the wicked seem to prosper while the righteous apparently suffer? The book of Psalms provides a perspective. The first two psalms provide an essence of the entire book Objectives Introduction Psalm 1 – The Righteous vs. the Wicked Psalm 2 – Satan vs. Christ...

20 David’s win-win

Pursued by the king and his armies he demonstrates the boldness and faith to step out of his comfort zone and attempt reconciliation. David not only wins battles, he wins relationships!Passage: 1 Samuel 18-32 In midst of threats of death, David remains: Courageous...

19 From Sovereign God to Earthly Kings

After enjoying God as their King, Israel makes the worst, most appalling and irrecoverable mistake. They demand a king and as usual, reject God outright.Read 1 Samuel 3-17 Israel demands a King Saul has: A jump start with the Holy Spirit A poor finish with an evil...