The Cover Up….

Have you ever done something wrong and tried to cover it up? I have and it has never really worked out for me. I have thought I have gotten away with things but I have always been found out. Sometimes being found out was way down the road but I have been found out and it is painful to have those sinful things found out.

There is a real truth in the bible which is found in Numbers 32:23 – But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the LORD, and be sure your sin will find you out.Your sin will find you out” – those can be some chilling words when you are not living life in a way that is honoring to God. It is too bad David and many of us today do not recognize the truth of this verse because if we did I think we would live, think, and act much differently than we do.

How many political leaders do things and think they will not be caught? How many celebrities and athletes do things and think they will not be caught? How many people think they are above getting caught and they can get away with anything? How many men and women have affairs and think no one will ever know? Let me just remind you of a couple of recent sad examples of powerful people who were doing things that were wrong but they thought that they will not get caught. Tiger Woods the golfer who had multiple affairs while married and his life and career have fallen apart since getting caught. Anthony Weiner the congressman who sent illicit comments and pictures via twitter and thought he would not get caught and now his life and career too have fallen apart. Both of these examples are people who tried to hide and cover up and lie about what was going on and when they got caught. We start today seeing the very same thing with David – a man after God’s own heart – he is trying to cover his sin.  It is nothing new to try to cover up sin.

Before I went on vacation we began looking a David and his poor choices. David made the first poor choice years before this incident with Bathsheba when he went against God’s way to have more than one wife. That sin I believe grew into a sinful lust that was brought to the forefront when he saw Bathsheba bathing. His poor choices are seen throughout this whole story. He made the poor choice of not being at war with his troops, the poor choice of not looking away when he saw Bathsheba, he made the poor choice to find more out about her and then to call her to the palace and then the choice of the affair with her. David made poor choice after poor choice. We looked last week at the power choices and how we have painful consequences in our lives as a result of the poor choices we make, which is clearly seen in David’s life. We cannot blame anyone else for our poor choices but us. When we make poor choices we block God from view in our lives and when that happens many things fall apart and we have painful consequences because our sin. We saw this beginning to take shape in verse 5 of 2 Samuel when Bathsheba sent word telling David that she was pregnant. Her pregnancy is a result of David’s poor choices and he continues with poor choices and an attempted cover up today.

Let us look on today into 2nd Samuel 11 and start with verse 6: 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.

So David decides he will try to cover up his sin by bringing Uriah home to be with his wife and once that happens then things will look like nothing happened between David and Bathsheba. David thinks things will be free and clear and to get back to normal. Here is the thing that David missed – he is doing his best to conceal his sin rather than confess it which would lead to healing. Again a poor choice on the part of David to cover it all up – look at this Proverbs 28:13 – “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them, will find compassion.” David is just making things so much worse for himself by his trying to cover up his sin – again your sin will find you out! Confess to the one you sinned against then move forward and there will be real healing but still consequences to deal with but not as bad of consequences as the covering up will bring on you.

The whole idea that we have of hiding our sin is deceptive. Our sin is never hidden before God or from our conscience. Our hidden sin hinders our fellowship with God and others and is a barrier to spiritual life and power. What sins are you hiding that is a barrier to your spiritual life? What sins are you hiding that is taking away all your spiritual power?

In verses 6 and 7 we see that David has Uriah brought to him. Imagine how awkward of a scene this would be with his fake questioning of Uriah. Here David covers up the real purpose in bringing Uriah home by asking him these three questions: How is Joab? How are the other soldiers? How the war was going? Uriah has to be wondering in his mind – you brought me back 43 miles to ask me these questions — Really?  It has to be perplexing to him.

David then ends the awkward conversation by saying, “Hey go on home and rest and relax with your wife”. This is the first of David’s three plans that we will see him use in trying to cover up his sin. He wants Uriah to go home and be with Bathsheba and get him out of the hot water he has got himself into. We then see that this plan does not work because Uriah does not go home but goes and sleeps with the other servants. Think about this for a moment, Uriah’s discipline and devotion to the country far exceeded that of David’s here – David who is the king. David’s mind is on self because of his sin while Uriah has his mind on others. Sin will always lead us to selfishness and doing the right things will always lead us to selflessness. Which way are you being lead or moving – toward selfishness or selflessness?

When you were a teen, did you ever try to cover up something that you did?  What was it and how did it work out?

Choices Of The Heart

We have spent time looking David and Bathsheba this week.  We started looking at David’s poor choices in verses 1 and 2  here and here and now we will seem them continue in  verses 3 and 4.  Look at verses 3 and 4: 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?" 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.

You see David could have ended this whole thing  by making the choice to turn away from looking at Bathsheba but he does not do that, rather he embraces the temptation. David asks about her and learned she came from a notable family. Her father was Eliam, one of David’s Mighty Men and the wife of another of his Mighty Men – Uriah. He also would then know her husband was away, because the Mighty Men were away in battle against the Ammonites. This knowledge made the situation far more tempting. David most likely began to think, "I could get away having her at least for a night." His poor choices are piling up!

In this we see the man after God’s heart went against God’s heart, following through on his lustful impulse. David ignored every warning and way of escape God set before him. Just think about all this and know that David knew better! He is fifty years old and he has been King in Israel for twenty years. He is a man who has sought God, a mighty warrior for God, and the man after God’s own heart but we then see that he made the saddest of choices when he brought Bathsheba into his bed and he committed adultery with another man’s wife! He dishonors her; her husband; his wives and, most of all, he dishonors God.

What we see is that in all of his poor choices is that David has forgotten his relationship with God. The sin of lust has blinded him to the point where David has become a practical atheist. He is living as if there were no God! His choice to feed his lust is standing so tall in his heart that it has blocked the face of God from view!

I am sure that David and Bathsheba enjoyed the pleasures of their affair. We read in Proverbs 9:17, “Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant,” We will see as we continue looking at this that David will pay for his moment of pleasure with the rest of his life being filled with pain!

David forgot God and if you make poor choices, you will forget about Him too! When poor choices rise up in your heart, you will be unable to see God! When that happens, you will find yourself doing things that you never thought possible. You will find yourself doing the very things you said you would never do. You will find yourself filling your life with painful consequences. That is why it is so important that the choices we make in life are the right ones. That is why it is so important to keep your heart and mind clean and clear before God. It is important to always consider the consequences of your choices before you ever make them. Consider each word you speak, each picture you look at, each website you go to, each song you listen to, each show or movie you watch – it is a good choice or a poor one. Consider what it is doing to you – consider the consequences to the choices you are making. Always keep in mind that the choices you make – make you.

If David thought about all this maybe he would have understood how great the cost was and maybe he did but maybe the cost was so much greater than understood at the time. Would it have made a difference if David knew that this pursuit of pleasure would result in: an unwanted pregnancy, the murder of another, his baby dying, his daughter raped by his son, one son murdered by another son, a civil war led by one of his sons, a son who imitates David’s lack of self-control and it leads him and much of Israel away from God. Do you think this would have made a difference in the choices David made? Does it make a difference in your life to know that there are consequences for your behaviors? Do you know that your sinful choices will have consequences? Do you care?  Do you consider your choices – I mean really consider them? All choices have consequences be they positive or negative – all choices have consequences.

What are three things you do before you make an important choice?  What other thoughts do have on all this?

The Choice To Not Turn Away

Yesterday we started looking at the poor choices of David and you can check that out here.  We saw how David made some poor choices and wanted the greener grass on the other side of the fence.  Today we see that begin to take shape with David seeing Bathsheba.  Let us look at verse 2 of  2nd Samuel 11: 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.

We see that David is having a hard time sleeping during his late afternoon nap – he tried watching some baseball but even that did not help him so he gets up and walks on the roof of the palace. Now the Hebrew verb form of walked suggests that David paced back and forth on the roof. He couldn’t sleep and felt unsettled inside himself. I would say that this unsettled feeling was because he wasn’t where God wanted him to be which was out with his troops. He really has too much time on his hands and that is a result of his choice to stay behind.

Now let me deal with Bathsheba, some say she was immodest and some say she did nothing wrong but the writer of 2nd Samuel does not put any real blame on Bathsheba by the way it is written but does place the blame squarely on the shoulders of David, where I believe it should be. Regardless of that though there is some responsibility that does fall on her shoulders in that she should have been more careful about what she was doing on the rooftop because men are visual creatures and seeing creates lust in a men. She had to know that it was possible she could be seen so she should have taken extra measures to insure she was not.  

When it comes to the time she choose to bath, it was a normal thing. Women would bath on the rooftop in late afternoon or evening because all the men were either still out in the fields, at war, or protecting the city. The women of the day would bath then because they would catch rainwater in cisterns on the flat roofs and while the water was warm from the afternoon sun, they would bath. That is what you have happening here.

We then see that David saw this beautiful woman and the way that it is written in the Hebrew really makes it know that she was a real beautiful woman. David’s sin was not in seeing Bathsheba. It was unlikely that he expected or planned to see her. David’s sin was in choosing to keep his eyes on an alluring image after the sight came before his eyes. It was the choice that he made to not turn away that was sinful. All of us, but men especially, must learn to never let their eyes or their mind rest on alluring images except for what is theirs in marriage. Our eyes must bounce off of an alluring image that comes in sight.

Here is something else to make note of and that is that David’s many wives did not satisfy his lust. This was because you can’t satisfy the lusts of the flesh because it is a selfish rebellion against what you have not being enough. It was not that David just wanted Bathsheba; it was that he could not be satisfied with what God gave him. This same principle would be illustrated in an exaggerated way in the life of Solomon, David’s son. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. David and Solomon show us that if one woman isn’t enough, 1000 women aren’t enough. It is not just true with this sin but all sin – when we are in sin it is just never enough.

The issue again is David’s choice, the first wrong choice was is taking on more than one wife, second wrong choice was not doing what he should have which was going to war with his troops and now his choice to not turn away and the wrong choices continue which we will see tomorrow.

How do you deal with lust in your life?  What thoughts do you have to add to what I wrote?

Choice and Greener Grass

When you think of the life of David, one of two events probably come to your mind. You either remember the young David who slew Goliath; or you remember when the older David who committed adultery with Bathsheba. Both events were monumental moments in the life of David – one for good reason and one for a bad reason. In the first, David revealed fact of his humility which led him to eventually being crowned as King of Israel. In the second, David revealed the fact of his humanity and the choices he made and the troubles following these choices. In the first, David proved that he was a man of faith and God provided him with many victories over many powerful enemies. In the second, David proved that he was a man of flesh and his fleshly desires were his greatest enemy. When David met a giant named Goliath, we are privileged to read about his greatest victory. When David saw Bathsheba, we sadly read his greatest defeat and with this defeat we see many parts of his life crumble.

Many times you hear this story of David and Bathsheba and it is presented in a way that makes it sound like David just fell into this sin. I do not see that as the case at all. If he were to have just fallen into the sin, it would all be an accident but nothing in this story or the way it is presented shows us this was just an accident. What happens in this story is set up by choices, the choices that David made. The same is true for you and me. We are not just falling into sin but we are making choices that lead us into sin. We do our best to blame others for our sin but that is simply not true, it is the man or woman in the mirror is the one you need to blame for your sin. You are responsible for your sin so stop trying to blame it on others. We blame our problems on everyone else when it is quite frankly our poor choices, decisions, and not following the Word of God is what gets us into the sinful places we end up in life.

David, as the Bible itself says, is a man after God’s own heart and he was capable of an affair, a murder, a cover up, and so much more. Never think that you are not capable of doing horrendous things and never point the finger at others saying you could never be capable of doing do this or that because it is simply not true. As we see with David’s life, if we make the wrong choices, it could easily be us.

Now let us move forward to the verses for  today and and start with 2nd Samuel 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.

There are a number of things to cover here in this opening verse and the first thing is David’s age at this point because I see it might help us to understand some of the choices that he made. David is approximately 50 years old at this time which would mean that he has been king for about 20 years. What I see in this is that David is facing midlife. There are things now in David’s life that are showing up and they are making problems for him. The first is that I see it as David has realized all of his goals. He has everything anyone could possibly want. He is powerful, he is successful, and has any material good that he could ever desire. I believe that because he has all this that he has become complacent. The second thing I see is that in a real sense he has become bored because of his defeating everyone and anything that has come against him. Challenges that have come his way have all been conquered be they armies, women, or whatever has come his way. The third thing is in midlife he is most likely physically beginning to slow down which for a man is a hard thing. For women they always want to look beautiful and men always want to be strong. David most likely is losing his strength and as a man this is a hard thing to have to deal with and I would bet that David is becoming self-conscious about it.

So what do we have? We have David who is most likely getting complacent because he has anything and everything. We have David getting bored because he sees that there are no real challenges out there for him. We have David getting self-conscious because he is slowing down and getting older. This is a deadly combination that lead to poor choices.

The poor choice we see in this verse comes when we see that David did not go out to battle. It was springtime and the time of the year when kings went to war. They would fight spring through fall but took a break from war in the cold winter months because rains and cold weather made travel and campaigning difficult. Once the spring time rolled around again the fighting would resume.

What we see here is that David sent Joab and his servants and the whole Israelite army to fight but David stayed at Jerusalem. Now this was not the normal way of doing things. We today have our leader/generals stay as far away as possible from the battle but in that day and time the King would lead them out to the battle. David did not do that this time which is different from times past. The reason why David did not go to war is I believe is what we just discussed: complacency, boredom, and getting older, plus going to battle just did not seem like something he wanted to do at this point in time.

Now the choice for David to not go out to battle is a bad one but I do not want you to think that this was the beginning of the choices that David made that ended up with adultery and murder. Never forget that David showed his disregard for God’s plan many years before when he took more than one wife. You see it was David’s poor choices of adding wives and the indulgence of his passions are what started him down this road of poor choices that lead to the affair and the murder. This corrupt seed, sown long ago, has grown unchecked long enough and will now begin to bear bitter fruit. David became complacent and stopped doing some of the right things he needed to do and just did what he felt like doing.

What corrupt seed is sown in your life that is going unchecked? What choices are you making today that are going to make a negative difference in the future? What sin are you tolerating in yourself? Are you tolerating gossip, lust, anger, greed, selfishness? What seed are you tolerating that is growing and that if not pulled now will produce a bitter fruit that will damage you? We cannot tolerate sin in our own lives or it will badly damage us.

You see I believe that David stopped doing what he knew he should do and just did what he felt like doing. You know what that is like, right? You know you should exercise but you don’t feel like it, so you don’t. You know you should eat right but you do not feel like it, so you don’t. You know you should worship with other believers but you get up, don’t feel like is so you don’t. You know you should pray but you do not feel like it so you don’t. You know you should read and study the word of God but you do not feel like it so you don’t.

So what happens in this case? We end up not doing what we should be doing and that is when the desire for what others have comes along. Others worked for it but we want to get it the easy way – just take it from them. Most of us have everything a man or a woman could ever want like David did. We end up though seeing as the grass being greener on the other side of the fence and so we want the greener grass. So instead of watering our own grass we go and take someone else’s grass. That is what we are going to see David that did, he saw something that he wanted and then took it from someone else, he took what looked good. You see David like us does not understand that really the grass is always greener where septic drainage field is. When we go to the other side to take that greener grass we end up in a bunch of dung. That is what we will see happen with David – he is going to try to relieve his complacent attitude, his boredom, and his self-consciousness with his desire or lust for Bathsheba but he will end up with a whole lot of dung in his life. Why? Because he was doing not what he should be doing but what he felt like doing.

What are your thoughts on what I have written today?  Have you dealt with the corrupt seeds in your life?

Consequences and Choices

I was thinking about the choices post from yesterday while I was reading the book “Boundaries” By Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.  The book was talking about sowing and reaping and I was  then saw this quote: 

The problem comes when someone interrupts the law of sowing and reaping in another’s life.  A person’s drinking or abuse should have the consequences for the drinker or the abuser.  “Stern discipline awaits him who leaves the path” (Proverbs 15:10).  To rescue people from the natural consequences of the behavior is to render them powerless.

Several things run through my mind with this.  I worked in the drug and alcohol field for 10 years and saw this first hand.  I saw people who did their best to keep their loved one from having any consequences for their drinking.  I have seen people who have protected their kids and in doing so they have taken all power from them.  What about you?  Have you seen it?

Let me make this personal for a moment.  I used to get mad when I was young that God would not take away natural consequences from my choices.  I would think that I asked forgiveness and so why do I still have the consequences.  I lacked understanding that God did not want to make me powerless but wanted me to have the power.  It seems like I would have more power if God would take the consequences away but that is just an illusion. 

You see God does not interrupt the consequences and neither should we. We need to empower people and that comes through their choices and their sowing and reaping of both positive and negative consequences.

Have you ever interrupted the consequences  and regretted it later?  What do you think about the quote?

The Power of Choice

Choice is a powerful thing.  I want to share a few thoughts on choice and David.  Among David’s many sins, his polygamy must be cited as one of the worst. Why? It resulted in friction, hatred, and division in his household. Apparently, love for the women he married had little to do with David’s marriages, in which financial, political and other motives were the reasons that he entered into the marriages. David was a man after God’s own heart (acts 13:22), however he made choices that allowed compromise into his life and as a result he continually suffered domestic strife in his life. Just think about all the problems throughout the life of David that came to him as a result of this choice and sin of accumulating wives which he allowed to be in his life. Deuteronomy 17:17 tells us that David was sinning by having multiple wives.

A consequence of David’s poor choices and sin we must not forget has to do with how his son Solomon followed in his father’s footsteps and he stumbled greatly with the same issue. Solomon took hundreds of wives and then we read that in the latter part of his life he began to worship the gods of his many wives. What the teacher does in moderation, the students will normally do in excess. We see this here with the teacher /father David and the student /son Solomon.

As God’s people, how painful can the consequences of our own choices and sins be! What kind of sinful choices are you making in your life? You might be walking with God in some areas and in others you may be far away. The choices of doing that will bring sever consequences from God.  What you allow a little of – if you are not very careful – will result in large amounts happening.

Choice is a powerful thing. Choice is a very powerful thing. We see that David in his life has the choice, he can have one wife like the Law tells him or he can ignore the Law and have multiple wives. The choice here is David’s but once David made the choice there is no going back. Most choices we make but not all choices can we take back.  For instance you can step off a cliff and the choice to do so is yours but once it is made you can not go back.  Life is not a cartoon where that is possible – but too many live life like it is.

We need to be so very careful of the choices we are making. What choices are you making today? Your life is a list of the choices that you make and others around you make. What kind of life are you choosing? David choose to follow God in most things and was blessed greatly.  David on the other hand paid the price in a heavy way in the areas that he made poor choices. We will see how painful his choosing many wives over God’s ways is the rest of the time we are looking at his life. Choice is a powerful thing– choose wisely!

Do It My Way?

Today I want to make an observation from 2 Samuel 2:1: 1After this, David asked the LORD, “Should I move back to Judah?” And the LORD replied, “Yes.” Then David asked, “Which town should I go to?” And the LORD replied, “Hebron.”

Here we have David asking God where he should go. Think about this though, should it not be obvious to David where he should go? Shouldn’t he take his family, 600 men and their families and head right to Jerusalem to be King? He is the anointed King of Israel isn’t and that is where the King should be?

What we have here is wisdom on David’s part. David is not going to make the same mistake that he has made in the past. If you remember, David ended up in Gath because he did what he wanted to do and did not consider God. That whole situation did not work out too well so now David has decided that he is going to God with his life and the questions from it. He goes to God and asks the Lord what he should do and where He should go. He wants God to point him in the right direction.

If you look at the times in David’s life when he is successful, they were the times that he went to God for direction but if you look at the times when he failed then you see the times he did things on his own. Did you catch that? When David went to God for direction he was successful.

What about in your own life? Do ask where God where would have you go? Do you ask Him what do want me to do?   Are you seeking God for direction for your own life or are you telling God where you are going?  One way leads to success and the other failure but as in everything, the choice is yours. Learn from the wisdom of David here: God’s ways and places are always and will always be better than ours!

What are your thoughts?