Saturday, November 14, 2015

2 Samuel 11

Today's reading in our daily plan is 2 Samuel 11. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • While David's army is away fighting battles, David is relaxing at his palace. One evening, David goes up to the roof of his palace and notices an attractive female neighbor, Bathsheba, taking a bath on the roof of her residence. He has one of his assistants inquire about her, then asks for her to be brought to him. 
  • David sleeps with Bathsheba, whose husband is away at war. Bathsheba ends up getting pregnant.
  • David learns of this and panics. He tries to cover his tracks by having Uriah come back from the battlefield and sleep with Bathsheba. This backfires when Uriah sleeps in a completely different part of the palace, surrounded by servants, because he doesn't feel right sleeping in a lavish bedroom while his soldiers are resting in tents.
  • When this plan fails, David sends Uriah back to war, but this time in a more dangerous area. Because of where David assigned him, Uriah ends up dying in battle.
  • After she has grieved over the death of her husband, Bathsheba marries David. Though they are happy about this arrangement, God is not.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • David should have been on the battlefield with his men; this would have been the integrous thing to do. Instead, he selfishly stays at his palace. The best way to avoid temptation is to prevent ourselves from going places or doing things we know may result in sinful situations. 
  • When temptation is left unchecked, it can destroy lives. We need to look for ways to run from temptation. There were plenty of opportunities for David to resist his sinful urges. For instance:
    • Instead of fixing his gaze on Bathsheba as she was bathing, he could have gone back inside his palace.
    • Instead of asking his servants to get Bathsheba for him, he could have asked them to make sure she didn't enter his property.
    • Instead of lying to Uriah about what he did with Bathsheba, he could have been honest.
  • If we're in the middle of a sinful situation, it's better to come clean about it as soon as possible than to wait or try to lie our way out of it.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Is there a place you often go, or a thing you do, that tempts you to sin? Maybe you often find yourself alone late at work with a coworker of the opposite sex, and you've had thoughts of cheating on your spouse with them. Or maybe you're trusted with a lot of money, and it wouldn't be too hard to skim a little off the top. Commit today to change your routine or implement systems to eliminate these temptations. To hold yourself accountable, tell someone close to you about your plan and have them ask if you're following it. (Micro groups are a great setting for this accountability.)
  • If you're in the middle of a situation that you know is displeasing to God, get out of it immediately. No matter how painful it may be to take this step right now, it's less painful than waiting for your sin to be found out. Ask God for strength and guidance, and to draw you closer to Him through this process. Pick up the phone and make the first phone call you need to make.