Friday, August 22, 2008

Just Say No, David!

Last Sunday here at Grace we studied the temptation Joseph faced when Hotiphar seduced him. This Sunday we see another example in the life of King David who succumbs to his passion. Five steps led to this moral failure as outlined in 2 Samuel 11.

First, there was a lesson in rising demand. In Deuteronomy 17:14-17, Kings are told not to multiply horses for themselves (this deals with power); Not to multiply wives for themselves (this deals with pleasure); and not to multiply silver and gold for themselves (this deals with possessions). In spite of this, David increased his number of wives and concubines (2 Samuel 5:13). The more he sought sexual pleasure the more his desire for it increased. The lesson is very clear. Engaging in inappropriate sexual activity does not satisfy our lustful desires, it increases them. This helped to lead to David’s failure.

Second, there was a lack of routine disciplines (2 Samuel 11:1). David was not doing what kings were supposed to do. Kings were supposed to be with their men on the battlefield. David was at home. This is another valuable lesson for us to grasp. We become more susceptible to sexual temptation when we quit doing what we are supposed to be doing. When we quit reading and memorizing Scripture, we become more susceptible to temptation (Psalms 119:11; Mt 4:4-10). When we quit spending time in prayer, we become more susceptible to temptation (Matthew 26:41). And the list goes on.

Third, there was a look or riveting desire (2 Samuel 11:2). Folks, listen, temptation begins with a look or a thought. Eastern monarchs often built their bedchambers on the second story of the palace with a door that opened onto a patio roof. While walking on this patio roof, David saw Bathsheba who was “very” beautiful. Do not underestimate the physical beauty of Bathsheba. Rarely in Scripture does God use the word “very” but when it is used it is not an exaggeration. And what was Bathsheba doing? Bathing. The principle here is clear. We can not stress enough the need to guard our eyes (Job 31:1).

Fourth, there was a lowering into revealing discussion (2 Samuel 11:3). Instead of running from the temptation, David entered into a conversation about the woman as he inquired about who she was. Temptation begins with a thought and then turns to a conversation. David ignores the warning he receives from his servant. Introductions were given by genealogy not marital relations. Yet, instead of saying, “Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam,” he adds, “the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” In essence he was saying, “Warning!! She’s another man’s wife!”

Finally, there was a leap into runaway delight (2 Samuel 11:4). David sends for Bathsheba and sleeps with her. Bathsheba would become pregnant (2 Samuel 11:5). David would have Uriah killed (2 Samuel 11:14-17). David’s child by Bathsheba would die (2 Samuel 12:15-18). David’s other sons would die violently (2 Samuel 12:10). The lesson is obvious. The Devil never tips his hand in temptation…he only shows you the ecstasy, not the consequences.

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