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September 08, 2019

Temptation

We should learn from David's sin. When we try to hide our sin, it is never hidden for long. Confess your sins. Read or listen to find out why.
Duration:31:31

Mike Gerhardt, 9-8-19, David's Passion, Read 2 Samuel 11:1-5. Just a few notes: when kings go off to war David stayed home; saw a woman bathing probably through an open window (whose fault was that?); the wife of Uriah, one of David's 37 mighty men 2 Samuel 23:39; purified from her monthly uncleanness, means that she was NOT pregnant when David called for her.

Trials and Temptations are different. God never temps us to sin (James 1:13-14). When we are tempted by our desires or by Satan, God always provides a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13), so that we cannot say I was forced by God to sin. Trials, however, come into our lives to test our faith and to strengthen our resolve to follow Jesus. God allows many trials for these purposes. James 1:2 tells us to consider it pure joy when we face trials because it drives us to pray, to mature, and to lean on Jesus as our strength. So often we want to blame someone or something for our sin. In the text, should we blame Bathsheba's open window? The open window of temptation must be closed and locked shut. Most people know two things about King David. First, as a young lad, he took down the giant Goliath with a sling and a stone. Second David had an adulterous relationship with Bathsheba. The Bible never glosses over the sins of its heroes. The men and the women are portrayed realistically. It doesn't overlook the dark side. Could you imagine having your life and your sins portrayed in scripture? The biblical writer would recount your failures and vices for all generations to read, discuss, and make movies about your sin. Kind of makes you thankful that the Bible is finished. After college, I developed a plantar wart. It is like an inverted wart that bores into the soul of your foot like a thick nail driven into the muscle and bone. It starts as a tiny spot, irritating but livable. You ignore it long enough and it turns into such pain that you cannot walk. The doctor was surprised about the size and depth that it had grown. It is caused by HPV - human papillomavirus. His solution was to freeze it with nitrogen and then cut it out. He began by saying: Grab something this is really going to hurt. And it did. The result was a hole in my foot, but it healed and now I can walk.  Sin can be like that. It starts out small but if you ignore it long enough it will cause you and others great pain.

David had a passion for life and a passion for God. He was a man after God's own heart, but he was still just a man. What are the factors that keep us from having a passion for God? David one of the central figures in scripture fell hard into sin. Yet David didn't fall suddenly. It is about 15 to 20 years into his reign as King. The writer sets up the story: it was the time when kings go to war. David stayed home. Work often keeps our focus on pursuing God's will, leisure starts us thinking about our plan to do what we want to do. We often think it's not enough leisure. We want more. Now recall that David had several wives (2 Samuel 5:12-13) in conflict to Deuteronomy 17:14-17. It was not enough. Our sexual appetite is not satisfied with more encounters with more partners; on the contrary, studies show that extra escapades stimulate a desire for even more. Men even today think that to satisfy an appetite, they must have more. This is and has been Satan's lie from the very beginning. The drive is not abated by feeding it. As it is with most sins of the flesh, the more you feed IT the more craving you have for IT. Try this, go off all added sugar for 40 days- no candy, no ice cream, no sugar in your coffee, and no artificial sweeteners. After 40 days I am told you will not crave sweets cookies ice cream and the sweetness of fruit, vegetables, even nuts will be satisfying. Similar with sin. Gossiping, lying, cheating, stealing, gluttony, lusting, even disobeying your parents; the more you do it, the more you can't stop doing it, the more you crave it. David’s lust for more was forbidden for it would turn the king's heart away from God. Usually, when things are going well, we drift away from God. Read 11:6-10. Wash your feet is to enjoy being home with your wife. But it did not work. David resorted to two schemes (vv. 8, 13) to induce Uriah to go home and be with his wife, but the noble Hittite refused. SO, then there’s plan B. Read 11:14-15. Joab obeyed the order and sent a full account back to David, including a detailed explanation. After hearing the messenger explain, David responded: The sword devours one as well as another…Consequences of David's sin were many. David did not have to send Uriah to his death. It is doubtful that Bathsheba would have sued King David in a paternity suit since there was no such thing. Yet she may have been stoned for her infidelity. Maybe Uriah would have forgiven her and taken her son as his own. Sin's results can't be predicted, but they must be calculated. Satan never reveals the consequences of sin. He shows only the excitement, the fun, the adventure. Stolen waters are sweet. Joab was no fool. He of all people knew what happened. Joab could use this information someday. Even the messenger knew.

When times are good, the temptation is greater. We think we are getting away with sin, but every sin will be considered eternally: either it will be judged severely or covered by the blood of Jesus who already paid the punishment for that sin on the cross. One way or another sin will be recompensed.

The final note is 1 Samuel 11:27 David did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.

If you have a passion for God, watch out for these five true passion killers: Misdirected emotions, Hypocritical motives, Sinful desires (money, power, family), Pride, Selfishness.

Galatians 6:7-8 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Numbers 32:23 But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the Lord; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out. Years ago, we had a baby monitor. Back then it was a one-way walkie talkie. I recall our baby had exhausted himself by crying into a deep nap. We wanted to know every sound he made turning, yawning, stretching, so we had the volume up. Then it happened the piercing sound our son's screaming amplified 10 times over. The monitor not only alerted us, but it also shocked us! We turned the volume down. The gift of the Holy Spirit for a Christian is like that monitor. When we are first saved, we tune in the reception and turn up the volume to hear the Holy Spirit. We listen to warnings of temptation, we hear a signal to share our faith, we are moved into serving others, we are prompted to pray and read the word. At first, we have the volume up but over the years or even months, it gets turned down or even turned off. We need monitoring. We need the Holy Spirit.