Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation
We have often thought of David’s sin as causing him to lose his joy. Is that actually so? My conclusion is that it is not so.
When Nathan the prophet spoke to David about his sin he told David, “Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.” (2 Sam 12:7,8) KJV The LORD would have given to David his hearts desire (See Ps 37:4), but David was not content with that which God had given to him, and so he sinned.
Satisfaction with God and His blessings is a preventive for sin. “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Heb 13:4,5) KJV It is very appropriate that contentment is mentioned right after adultery and fornication in this text. If we are content (satisfied with the presence and blessing of God in our lives) we will not covet (lust) after sinful things.
It is thus that we see that David, while richly blessed by God, sinned. Sometime or another David began to be dissatisfied with what he had in the LORD. This probably did not come instantly, but was gradual and almost imperceptible. That is the way it often works in our lives. Regardless of how it happened, the sweet and joyful psalmist of Israel experienced a lessened joy in the LORD and thus sought to find his joy in the arms of Bathsheba. Oh, the sorrow and grief that resulted from this lessened joy in God! How many opportunities David had to regret his lack of joy in the LORD!
A lessened joy in God will always be thus for us. Let us fear lest we enjoy God too little and fall into more grievous sins. “Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” (Ps 2:10-12) KJV