Sunday, July 19, 2015

A slide into sin

David gives the letter to Uriah - Giovanni Barbieri - 17th Century

TODAY'S SPECIAL: 2 Samuel 11:14-27

TO CHEW ON: "In the morning it happened that David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah." 2 Samuel 11:14

In the saddest of ironies, loyal and principled Uriah is returned to the battlefield carrying his own death sentence. David, in our reading today, acts more like a mafia boss than a man after God's own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).

This is the same David who wrote;

"Offer the sacrifices of righteousness…" - Psalm 4:5

"You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness,
Nor shall evil dwell with You" - Psalm 5:4.
"You have tested my heart;
You have visited me in the night,
You have tried me and found nothing.
I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress" - Psalm 17:3


How does he find himself here? It doesn't happen overnight but is a slide
- from duty avoidance, idleness, boredom  (2 Samuel 11:1)
- to letting his eyes linger on what is not his (2 Samuel 11:2)
- to fantasy followed by adultery (2 Samuel 11:3-4)
- to an attempt to cover up the pregnancy that results by bringing Uriah,  Bathsheba's husband, home from the battlefield, urging him to sleep with her, even getting him drunk, and when that doesn't work out (2 Samuel 11:6-12)
- to murder (2 Samuel 11:15).

If esteemed David can fall like this, how vulnerable are we? Apostle Paul warns New Testament Christians in 1 Corinthians 10 of exactly this descent into sin (1 Corinthians 10:6-11). Let's let his warning and advice to the Corinthians ring in our ears:

"Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.  No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it - 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 (emphasis added).

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to recognize my first wandering steps from You as the beginning of the slide that they are. Help me to find a way out of temptation at its earliest stages. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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