A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Thursday, November 18, 2021
We passed this bucolic farm Tuesday afternoon along Goldmine Road.
(Click on photo to enlarge)
Message summary: A lesson for all of us to heed as we face our own Bathsheba moments.
Listen to this message on your audio player.
“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).
Joshua is a young man we see in the course of our chaplaincy ministry at Audrey's. He is very thoughtful and this last Tuesday used the term "Bathsheba moment". I asked him if he had heard that expression in a sermon or just came up with it himself. He sheepishly responded, "Well, I guess myself".
As so often we preachers are inclined to do, that gave me an idea for a message. I shared a teaching on Esther moments and wrote about it here. An Esther moment is a time in our life when we especially recognize God's will for our lives in a specific situation, like when Mordecai said to Esther, "And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?"
But we are all susceptible to Bathsheba moments as well. I'll define a Bathsheba moment as a time of intense temptation.
Oh, be careful little eyes, what you see,
Oh, be careful little eyes, what you see,
For the Father up above, is looking down in love,
So be careful little eyes what you see.
David was subjected to a visual temptation, placing him in a Bathsheba moment. All around us we are bombarded with visual temptations; billboards, magazine ads, images on the web. Sometimes even in the course of reading or watching the news a visual temptation will pop up as an ad on the side of the screen.
Today let us consider David's Bathsheba moment and what led up to his adulterous sin with Bathsheba recorded in 2 Samuel 11. We have here a profile of an individual’s incremental slide into sin, instructive of the many ways we all may be confronted with Bathsheba moments.
“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. Occasionally we 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.
“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. Some versions suggest this was early evening when there would have been some daylight. 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).
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!
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 out. 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 sin from God’s perspective: "But the thing David had done displeased the LORD". The following chapter and remainder of the book chronicle the harsh consequences that affected his entire family for generations. It is a powerful reminder that sin's price tag always includes consequences, a lesson for all of us to heed as we face our own Bathsheba moments.
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily 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 II Thessalonians 4:3-5, Proverbs 4:23
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Slow Fade" Video Casting Crowns
"Guard Your Heart" Video Steve Green
Today we share some more photos from our autumn foliage drive Tuesday afternoon in northern Lebanon and Schuylkill Counties.
Goldmine Road crosses Second Mountain, the ridge north of Blue Mountain, seen in the distance, beyond a narrow valley. It has a long, winding and steep grade reminding us of our years in northern PA. Locals say it got its name from miners who found fools' gold! This region of Pennsylvania is known as the Valley and Ridge Province. The mountains are generally long ridges running northeast to southwest with a valley between them, unlike Lancaster County which is relatively flat. (Click on photo to enlarge)
Wagner's pond is off the beaten path at the end of the Bear Hole trail.
(Click on photo to enlarge)
This quintessential white country church caught our eye, as well as the leaf-strewn bank.
(Click on photo to enlarge)
In so many places the world is in strife and turmoil but we are pleased to see our dog and cat getting along and sharing a little bed they both enjoy. This is a first we've seen this since Gracie's arrival ten weeks ago.
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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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