The Portal Sin
By Dr. Ken Matto
(2 Sam 11:2 KJV) And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
A portal is described as an entrance to something. It is the door from one room to another or from one place to another. The portal also represents the end of something and the beginning of something. When we walk through a portal, we are leaving something behind and entering something new, even if we have been there a thousand times before.
A portal can be the beginning of a new life or the beginning of a destructive life. This article is focused on the subject of the portal sin. The portal sin is the first time we try or experience a sin. The portal sin will come to us as a temptation and may come as an invitation from a friend to try something new. The problem with the portal sin is that the anticipation is always much greater than the results it delivers. Another problem with the portal sin, there is never any thought given to its final consequences. Whenever sin is portrayed on television, it is always portrayed without any negative consequences.
The principle of the portal does not change whether a person is saved or not. We make conscious decisions every day and part of those decisions is whether I should succumb to temptation or not. One of your friends brings a bottle of alcohol to a group and tells you that you need to try it because it relaxes you or it allows you to be the real you. Satan will always have his people dressing up the deceptions as something which “you need to try.” Just because you are saved does not mean that you cannot fall into grievous sin with many life changing consequences, and those life changing consequences are not for the good.
At the top of this page, I started off with a verse that depicts David as King of Israel who was walking on his roof and saw a beautiful woman bathing on another roof. Keep in mind that David was a saved man and yet he allowed this temptation to overtake him. Let us take a look at the progression and the consequences that David faced by not turning away from that sin. I will be taking verses from 2 Samuel 11 and 12.
2 Samuel 11
1) Verse 1 - …But David tarried still at Jerusalem.
At this time Israel was at war with the Ammonites and the Scripture states that it was the time “when kings go forth to battle,” The problem here was that David decided not to go and be with the army while they were at war. What we have here is that David should not have been in Jerusalem at this time but should have been with Joab and the army as they fought the Ammonites. If David was where he was supposed to be, the entire situation with Bathsheba would have never taken place. Many times God sets us up a scenario where we need to be somewhere else doing the work of God. Whenever we shirk our duty, Satan will be right there with his alternative plan. Since David did not go out and be with the army, Satan was about to deliver his plan to bring down David as best as he could. If God directs you to be somewhere for a specific reason and you neglect to obey, you are opening yourself up to the portal sin of disobedience.
2) Verse 2 - “…and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself;”
David was obviously taking a nap in the evening and had decided to take a walk on the roof and while he walked, he saw a very beautiful woman bathing. Here was the conscious portal sin of David. If at this point he would have turned around and walked away, he would have saved much heartache. It was at this point that David needed to reject what he saw and run for his life. The word in the Hebrew for “saw” is a word which is very common in the Hebrew Scriptures. It not only denotes seeing something with the eyes but it also carries with it the meaning of “gazing upon” or “stare at.” Instead of David turning away from this portal sin at this juncture, he instead, gazed or stared upon Bathsheba. David ensnared himself by gazing upon Bathsheba instead of turning away and leaving. Now that he was ensnared and walked through the portal, his next level was action. Whenever we have a visual temptation, it is at that point that we are to reject it and turn completely away from it. If we do not allow it past our eyes and ask the Lord to help us remove that from memory, we will have a victory and it will save us from much future heartache.
3) Verse 3 - “And David sent and inquired after the woman.”
Now that David had walked through the portal, he was now beginning to act on that sin. He sent for his advisors and asked who that woman was? Now his lust had become enflamed and wanted to know more about her. Since he was the king and had five wives, he would have no problem adding a sixth. However, David never anticipated what was ahead for him and how each successive sin would compound his disobedience. We must realize one major principle and that is, that sin is never satisfied being parked in the garage of our mind, eventually, as we dwell upon it, it becomes so strong that we will act upon those thoughts. Once the first action is taken, it is like a river which has been released from behind a dam.
4) Verse 4 - “And David sent messengers, and took her;”
Now David actually sends his messengers to bring her to his palace. David’s lust for her is now so enflamed that he has taken the bold step of actually bringing her to him. David was now blinded to the fact that he was sinning against God. This is what sin does to us. It blinds us to the reality of sinning against God until we start reaping the consequences and then hopefully we repent and return, but not without scars. Since David had sent messengers, the whole palace would have known what he was up to. Sometimes sin is so bold that we do not hesitate in bringing others into our sin. Here he involves not only Bathsheba but also the messengers. This is a principle that we must realize and that is no one can sin by themselves. Every sin which we commit will eventually involve others. David’s sin was not private as he was already involving others. David was also told that she was the wife of Uriah the Hittite. This means that David did not care because his lust for her had impeded his walk with God. Sin does not care who it hurts. Do you see how the sin escalated? All because David chose to walk through the portal.
5) Verse 4 - “and she came in unto him, and he lay with her;”
Here David commits adultery full knowing well that she is a married woman. He had allowed his lust to rule so strongly that he set aside the law of God. (Exo 20:14 KJV) Thou shalt not commit adultery. Here David commits the sin that he had anticipated would satisfy him. The problem with sin is that the mental anticipation is always greater than the actual sin and that means the sin is a letdown. Satan always builds up the sin that it is going to be the height of our lives when in reality, sin is the real letdown in our lives and it leads to a life of destruction.
6) Verse 4 - “and she returned unto her house.”
Right after they had committed adultery, she returned unto her house. This was nothing more than a sexual encounter because she went home right after their session. There was no love here because David was not concerned about love. He was only infatuated with her beauty and wanted to have sex with her. David being king probably thought that it was his right to have her if he wanted her. At this point after the sin was committed, David probably thought that this situation was over as she returned to her house and everything was back to the way it was before he sent for her or was it? You see sin’s consequences are not always visible immediately.
7) Verse 5 - “And the woman conceived, and sent and told David,”
For a while David probably thought that he had gotten away with this sin but any time from two weeks on a woman will know when she has become pregnant. So David had a small respite until she sent and told him that she was with child. Now David had committed adultery with another man’s wife and the penalty under the law was stoning for the both of them. (Lev 20:10 KJV) And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. David was in absolute violation of God’s law. This is the deceitfulness of sin, it causes us to get in much deeper than we could have ever imagined or desired to. David was now committed because Bathsheba had conceived. It was no longer a sin which could be hidden or denied. The evidence of his sin was now obvious and this news would have spread throughout all Jerusalem as well as the palace.
8) Verse 6 - “…Send me Uriah the Hittite.”
Now David has come to a sense of reality in that he must do something to cover his sin. He then hatches a plan to send for Uriah the Hittite and has him come to the palace to give him a report of how the battle was going. David was not concerned about that, instead this was all part of a planned cover up of his sin. He then sends Uriah to his house in hopes that he would have sexual relations with Bathsheba and this way David’s sin would be covered and he would have his way out from responsibility for his sinful actions.
9) Verse 9 - “But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house…”
Uriah showed that he was more committed to the battle than David was. He did not go to his house but slept at the door of the King’s house. Here we see a situation where God was not going to allow David to think that he got away with his sin. As David was trying to cover his sin, God had blocked his efforts to do so. General Uriah showed his loyalty to David and Israel. (Num 32:23 KJV) But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out. David would eventually be held accountable for his sin because to God, it does not matter what rank a person holds in any kingdom.
10) Verses 14-15 - (2 Sam 11:14-15 KJV) And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. {15} And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.
David now increases his sin by adding murder to it. He could not cover his sin by making Uriah sleep with Bathsheba, so instead, he will now try to cover his sin by murdering Uriah. Here we see another example of how one person’s sin affects a person who was totally innocent in this situation. It proves once again that we cannot sin in isolation. Sin always involves others even though we think it may not.
11) Verse 17 - “…and Uriah the Hittite died also.”
The second part of David’s nefarious plan was successful. He wanted to have Uriah killed and it happened. Now David thought that he was free from the responsibility of his sin. His desire to cover his sin resulted in the death of a man who was truly loyal to him and Israel. I wonder if David ever thought that his sin would progress so far that he would engage in conspiracy to commit murder, which in court could be considered the same as murder itself.
With Uriah the Hittite dead, David could now state that Bathsheba had slept with him before he was killed in battle and she conceived by him. The problem is that there was something which David was not counting on and it is the same thing that those who walk through the portal of sin do not count on and that is….
                                   The Day of Reckoning
12) Verse 27 - “But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.”
When a Christian goes deep into sin, they forget the reality that God is still watching them and sees the sin along with all the manipulations and justifications that go with it. The word “displeased” in the above verse carries with it the meaning of “grievous.” David’s sin was grievous in the sight of the Lord. Anytime a Christians sins, even a seemingly small one, it is grievous in the sight of the Lord. This is another reality that no Christian can ever sin in isolation because the eyes of God are always upon them and sees what they are up to.
2 Samuel 12
13) Verse 1 - “And the LORD sent Nathan unto David.”
About a year has gone past and David was probably confident that this episode was over and that he was back on the right road again. The problem was that God does not view things from the same perspective that we do. Obviously David had done nothing to repent of his sins. In fact, he had no remorse in taking Bathsheba to be his wife which if he was spiritually sensitive to what he did, she would remind him of what he did. The problem is that going deep in sin can harden a Christian to the point that they see nothing wrong in their actions. David’s day of reckoning was about to occur and the consequences of his sin will not be pretty.
14) Verse 7 - “And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man.”
Nathan had gone to David and told him a story about a rich man who had many ewe lambs and a poor man who had only one ewe lamb. The rich man took the one ewe lamb from the poor man and this story made David very angry to the point that he said the rich man should die. Then Nathan surprises David by stating that “he was the man.” Then Nathan tells David all the sins which he committed including adultery and murder. Nathan also states that the Lord told him that if what David possessed was not enough, He would have given him more. David now comes face to face with his sin and its consequences.
15) Verse 10 - “Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house;…”
Consequence No. 1 - David is going to have continual family problems including the deaths of his sons. This was because he had despised God while he was committing all those heinous sins. This is another example of the fact that we can never sin without affecting others, even those who are innocent.
16) Verse 11 - “Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house,…
Consequence No. 2 - The Lord Himself is going to cause the household of David to suffer these things. One thing we have to be certain about, when we sin and reap the consequences of those sins, we can never blame Satan because it was us who voluntarily walked through the portal of sin. David’s own wives will be given unto his neighbors right in his sight. He will see the disintegration of his family.
17) Verse 12 - “For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.”
Consequence No. 3 - As David tried to hide his sin by sending Uriah to his house and then subsequently having him murdered, God was going to bring His judgment on David publicly before the nation of Israel and the surrounding nations would also know of what he did. (Psa 90:8 KJV) Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. All secret sins are eventually brought out into the light. As much as we would love to keep them hidden, sin always has a way of eventually exposing itself to the light.
18) Verse 14 - “Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme,…”
Consequence No. 4 - David was a man who loved the Lord and all Israel and the surrounding nations knew that he was a man who walked with God. Now that David had committed these sins and other people knew about it, it would also bring shame upon the Lord. The Lord’s enemies in the surrounding lands will blaspheme the name of the Lord because of David’s sin. Whenever a Christian wanders through the portal of sin, and when it becomes known, not only are we shamed and lose our testimonies but this gives the enemies of God an opportunity to blaspheme His name because the unbeliever will judge the Lord by the actions of His people, just as parents are judged by the actions of their children. So here is another example of a Christian unable to sin in isolation because it brings the Lord into it.
19) Verse 14 - “…the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.”
Consequence No. 5 - Here is the second death which is associated with David’s sin. The child which was conceived on that night would die as a result of David’s sin. David’s sin has now affected the life of a newborn infant who would die because of his one time lustful sin. Remember this the next time someone says to you, it is only this one time.
20) (2 Sam 13:33 KJV) Now therefore let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king's sons are dead: for Amnon only is dead.
Consequence No. 6 - The death of Amnon
21) (2 Sam 18:15 KJV) And ten young men that bare Joab's armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him.
Consequence No. 7 - The death of Absalom
22) (1 Ki 2:24 KJV) Now therefore, as the LORD liveth, which hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who hath made me an house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day.
Consequence No. 8 - The death of Adonijah
When David had seen Bathsheba bathing on her roof, it was at that time that he should have walked away and rejected the temptation, but he did not, and chose to walk through the portal of sin. Let us summarize the effects and consequences of David’s sin. Keep in mind that this was initially just a one evening tryst because Bathsheba had gone back to her home afterward. Walking through the portal of sin is not limited to sexual sin but it can be anything such as a first alcoholic drink, a first drug encounter like smoking marijuana, a first cigarette, a simple criminal activity, or anything which fits the description of 1 John 3:4. (1 John 3:4 KJV) Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. David probably did not expect his sin to go beyond that one night and we also do not expect extended consequences to our sins but below is a summary of what can happen when you walk through the portal of sin just ONCE!!!!
The cost of David’s sin to himself and to others.
Committed adultery
Committed murder
Grieved the Lord
Death of the child
Death of his three sons
All Israel and surrounding nations knew of his sin
His sin caused God’s name to be blasphemed among the enemies
If you look at this list, you will notice that five people had died in connection with David’s one night stand with Bathsheba. Do you think that David would have believed someone if they told him before what would have happened? The problem is that sin blinds us to reality. God had included this in the Bible to warn us that one seemingly innocent sin can lead to destructive consequences which means there is no such thing as a “seemingly innocent sin.” Do not think that you are different and can get away with sin. Anytime you walk through that portal, you have made a life changing decision but if you see the portal and you walk away from it, you will be making another life changing decision but this one will be to your advantage and not your detriment.
                    (Mat 11:15 KJV) He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.