Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | May 19, 2015

“But the thing … was evil in the sight of the LORD.”

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Samuel Chapter 11.

“1 Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah.  But David stayed at Jerusalem.

2 Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing;  and the woman was very beautiful in appearance.  3 So David sent and inquired about the woman.  And one said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?”  4 David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her;  and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house.  5 The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, “I am pregnant.”

6 Then David sent to Joab, saying, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.”  So Joab sent Uriah to David.  7 When Uriah came to him, David asked concerning the welfare of Joab and the people and the state of the war.  8 Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house, and wash your feet.”  And Uriah went out of the king’s house, and a present from the king was sent out after him.  9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house.  10 Now when they told David, saying, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Have you not come from a journey?  Why did you not go down to your house?”  11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field.  Shall I then go to my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife?  By your life and the life of your soul, I will not do this thing.”  12 Then David said to Uriah, “Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will let you go.”  So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next.  13 Now David called him, and he ate and drank before him, and he made him drunk;  and in the evening he went out to lie on his bed with his lord’s servants, but he did not go down to his house.

14 Now in the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah.  15 He had written in the letter, saying, “Place Uriah in the front line of the fiercest battle and withdraw from him, so that he may be struck down and die.”  16 So it was as Joab kept watch on the city, that he put Uriah at the place where he knew there were valiant men.  17 The men of the city went out and fought against Joab, and some of the people among David’s servants fell;  and Uriah the Hittite also died.  18 Then Joab sent and reported to David all the events of the war.  19 He charged the messenger, saying, “When you have finished telling all the events of the war to the king, 20 and if it happens that the king’s wrath rises and he says to you, ‘Why did you go so near to the city to fight?  Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall?  21 Who struck down Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth?  Did not a woman throw an upper millstone on him from the wall so that he died at Thebez?  Why did you go so near the wall?’—then you shall say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.’”

22 So the messenger departed and came and reported to David all that Joab had sent him to tell.  23 The messenger said to David, “The men prevailed against us and came out against us in the field, but we pressed them as far as the entrance of the gate.  24 Moreover, the archers shot at your servants from the wall;  so some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.” 25 Then David said to the messenger, “Thus you shall say to Joab, ‘Do not let this thing displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another; make your battle against the city stronger and overthrow it’;  and so encourage him.”

26 Now when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband.  27 When the time of mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house and she became his wife;  then she bore him a son.  But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord.”  2 Samuel Chapter 11.

———————————————

Sin starts subtly.  How bad could it be to skip work and stay at home?  Verse 1.

Sin stares.  How bad could it be to look?  Verse 2.

Sin sends inquiries.  How bad could it be to just get some information?  Verses 3.

Sin seizes what it covets.  How bad could it be to enjoy life?  Verse 4.

Sin schemes.  How bad could it be to simply set things up?  Verses 6-27.

Sin spreads.  How bad could it be?  God is love;  he will forgive me if I need it.  I am blessed.  Verses 6-27.

“…    But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord.”  Verse 27.

This lesson from David helps us to see how easy it is for us to get entangled by sin. Our mind continually tries to justify sin and minimize steps of sin.

But, there is hope!

Through God’s grace including walking by the Spirit, we can be conscious of our flesh and these steps of sin.  We can recognize that although we still do sin, we are not under the dominion of sin;  our flesh with its passions and desires has been crucified through Christ.   God can provide a way of escape by short-circuiting the path to sin by taking away a step of sin.  We can walk by the Spirit.

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”  1 Corinthians 10:13.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.  For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh;  for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” Galatians 5:16-17.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:22-24.


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