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Monday, May 16, 2022

Home view
At 6 am yesterday Brooksyne stepped out on our porch and was in awe of God's beautiful green earth. She posted it with this hymn stanza:
When morning gilds the sky,
my heart awaking cries:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Click on photo to enlarge

"An Affair To Remember"

Message summary: Today let us learn a lesson as we face our own Bathsheba moments.

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“Now at evening time David got up 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. So David sent servants and inquired about the woman. And someone said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” Then David sent messengers and had her brought, and when she came to him, he slept with her” (2 Samuel 11:2-4).

On Friday evening we saw the dramatic presentation "David" at the Sight and Sound Theater. This epic style drama ministry was first developed over 45 years ago when Glenn Eshelman, who at the time was a local farmer, along with his wife Shirley, developed a multimedia show, "The Wonder of It". It has developed through the years and is now the largest single tourist draw in Lancaster County with a theater that seats over 2,000 people. It was packed Friday night. David premiered this Spring. Past dramas include Bible characters: Noah, Moses, Joseph, Samson, Jonah, Queen Esther, Ruth, Daniel and Jesus.

Inevitably they take some liberties filling in the details which prompts a thoughtful consideration of "Could it have happened this way" or "I never considered it being like this". Overall they stay very close to the Biblical account in forming the main themes and scenes. It began with David as a boy and ended at his deathbed.

"An Affair to Remember" might be one way to describe David’s adultery with Bathsheba. The portrayal and story line was handled in a very tasteful manner suitable for younger ears and eyes.

The slide into sin often takes place incrementally, that is, small step by small step as described by a Casting Crowns song called “Slow Fade”. Surely as the prodigal left his father and childhood home he did not aspire to slopping hogs. People don’t have a deep longing to be addicts. So often they will testify that they began with “just a little” tobacco, alcohol, or “harmless” weed. Consider other areas where this is true. “Just a little won’t hurt” the devil continues to whisper. After all, the slide (original sin) began with just a little bite from the forbidden fruit.

We need these hard hitting reminders of the consequences of sin and the dramatic presentation tackled the matter with forthrightness and Biblical integrity. I consider the lustful temptations common to all and the many times I have dealt pastorally with those who have fallen into sin. I consider several friends from Bible College that gave into lustful temptation and sinned in this regard. I also consider the devastating impact it had on their spiritual lives, their marriage and families and their ministry.

Today let us consider our daily text phrase by phrase.

“Now at evening time David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house.” The is innocuous enough. Perhaps David had trouble falling asleep. We sure do! Occasionally we might take night walks through the country, but never on the roof of our home! (Of course architecture was quite different in that culture and time period.) Walks are good for our health and there was certainly nothing wrong with David taking a walk in the moonlight.

“And from the roof he saw a woman bathing.” This phrase prompts a critical question. Was she doing this knowing she might be seen? There are those who seek to allure others by their dress (or lack thereof). I wonder about the lighting conditions. You can see a lot on a clear night with a full moon. Perhaps there was also some lamp light or this was early in the evening. In the course of walking around "he saw". This may have been inevitable. Perhaps, like a billboard along the highway, the brief glance just couldn’t be avoided.

“And the woman was very beautiful in appearance.”  David’s glance turned into curiosity and once the assessment of her beauty became pleasing to his eyes David lingered. This was the starting point of his problem. Centuries earlier Job in asserting his integrity states, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl” (Job 31:1). We wonder if David had memorized this?

The next incremental step was taken when “David sent servants and inquired about the woman.” All of us would agree that was a bad decision! What is he inquiring for? He was a married man and knew the seventh commandment by memory. That should have settled it.

And one he sent reported, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” When the messenger reported “the wife of Uriah the Hittite”, that should have once and for all settled it! He was on course to break the seventh commandment (adultery) and went on to break the eighth commandment
(stealing) and would go on to break the sixth as well (murder). Actually in some sense he broke all of them.

But “Then David sent messengers and had her brought, and when she came to him, he slept with her”. It was all downhill from there on. The Life Application Bible note brings a thoughtful truth: “The deeper the mess, the less we want to admit having caused it. It’s much easier to stop sliding down a hill when you are near the top than when you are halfway down. The best solution is to stop sin before it starts.”

The chapter ends with this timeless assessment of David's sin from God’s perspective: "But the thing David had done displeased the LORD". David confessed his sin and repented but the following chapter and remainder of David's life chronicle the harsh consequencesof his sin that affected him and his entire family. It is a powerful reminder that sin's price tag always includes consequences not just for those who sinned but often for those we love most and many others, a lesson for all of us to heed as we face our own Bathsheba moments.

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, help each of us to be on guard against the trappings of the devil and remain steadfast in resisting temptation at each step. We want to live in a way that pleases you, Father, as You have taught us. You command us to resist all sexual sin, and in doing so, we will control our mind, body, and spirit. We will live in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion as the pagans do, in their ignorance or willful disobedience to You. We want to guard our hearts against the lure of the enemy, so that we continue to experience the holy and abundant life that You have provided for us. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

See 2 Thessalonians 4:3-5, Proverbs 4:23

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Slow Fade"  Video  Casting Crowns

"You Are Worthy/Crown Him With Many Crowns/Majesty"  Video  Calvary Church choir and orchestra from our service yesterday.

Here's information about "David" and the Sight and Sound Theater! They also have a theater in Branson, MO where we honeymooned in 1976 before it developed into a major tourist destination.

Personal note: This morning Brooksyne and Ester are going out to San Diego to visit a friend for a week. I will be responsible for keeping the home fires burning, including chaplaincy visitation and preparing the daily encouragement messages solo.

Family photo at Sight and Sound
Friday night I fumbled with my phone camera, clumsily attempting to take a "selfie" at the Sight and Sound prior to the show. Unbeknownst to us Ester sneaked in and took a photo of us trying to take a photo!

Bearded iris
Bearded Tongue Iris
(Brooksyne took this photo of our neighbor's beautiful flower as she walked the dogs yesterday afternoon. They get a little irritated and pull at her from their leash but blooms are here today and gone tomorrow so you gotta get them when they're there.)

Finally today:

Clown politics
Far, far too true.
We need to pray for our country!

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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