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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - June 14, 2007

  • 2007 Jun 14

Overcoming Life’s Unending Struggles

Part 2 Continued from June 13, 2007



Unguarded Moments Lead to Sin




Did you know that one of the greatest events in history was the climactic moment when a little boy—a teenaged shepherd boy met the greatest warrior of his day alone? With no sophisticated weaponry David plus God defeated the mighty giant Goliath.


What’s amazing when you think about Scripture is that one of the greatest events in history has an equally tragic sequel. You know in our world books have sequels and movies have sequels. Well, there’s a sequel to “David and Goliath” and it’s almost more tragic than the glory of the initial run of David and Goliath. Because after David and Goliath, there is a horrible sequel, “David and Bathsheba”. This is when David was killed by a giant.


Wait, didn’t David kill Goliath? Yes, wonderfully by God's power this humble teenaged David slew God's enemy Goliath. But 25+ years later a proud David ignored God's Word and allowed another giant to come right into God's city Jerusalem. David welcomed God's enemy into the presence of this man after God's own heart, and David in midlife- perhaps in his early 40’s- was slain by the giant named LUST! And that story is forever contained in the Scriptures.


Far more dangerous than the Goliath that he faced as a teenager, the Giant of Lust had crept slowly into David’s own inner chambers. In a moment blinded by his own selfish desires--David was slain. Look at Paul’s command to all of us this morning in 2nd Timothy 2:22.


2 Timothy 2:22 Flee [P A Impv. ‘I command you to always flee’] also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. NKJV


Note he doesn’t merely say when you are a youth to flee. No, he says ‘youthful lusts’ the lusts that we nurture and feed as young people--are going to chase us through life. So we must all decide to flee lust, no matter what our age.


The command is so clear--FLEE, run at all costs, leave the presence of lust when you see it start to smolder and come to flame of passion. When you see it start to raise its wicked head in your life, run from it. The Lord will always make an escape route for us.


David the giant killer, killed by the giant of lust, took six dreadful steps downward. He was enticed, baited, hooked and reeled in by lust. Then lust destroyed David’s life and testimony. It’s very insightful how this occurred, note his downward steps.


1.      David Desensitized his conscience by incomplete obedience (II Sam 5:13).

2.      David Relaxed his grip on personal purity (II Sam 11:1).

3.      David Fixated his heart on physical desires (II Sam 11:2).

4.      David Rationalized his mind about wrong decisions (II Sam 11:3).

5.      David Plunged his life into lustful sin (II Sam 11:4).

6.      David Destroyed his testimony by the sin of a moment of stolen pleasure. Death, deceit, murder, immorality and spiritual oppression, poverty and famine of the soul are only a few offspring of this act of momentary pleasure.


First, David desensitized his conscience by incomplete obedience.


Turn with me to II Sam 5:13.


This verse reminds me of a warning signal, or message on the control panel of David’s life. But David disabled it so he wouldn’t notice the warnings flashing at him. He ignored God's Word that protects us from disaster when we obey.


I remember in the early days when seatbelt buzzers first encouraged us to buckle up. If we ignored that buzzer, it would annoy us the whole time we didn’t have our seatbelt on. I remember finally finding the part of the car that made that noise and I pulled it out. Soon after I discovered it was attached it to something else, and my car wouldn’t start so I had to put it back in. David wasn’t so fortunate.


When we disable God’s warnings in life like David, we desensitize our conscience by incomplete obedience. David was a great guy. He loved the Lord, he was writing the Scriptures. He was writing songs to worship God, but he didn’t obey God completely in his life. He was involved in socially acceptable things that were unacceptable to God. We have the same conflict in our lives.


David desensitized his conscience by incomplete obedience. This is the first sign of what was going to happen. This was just carelessness, a slight wandering, just a tiny loosening in a socially acceptable area. I actually believe that the entire horrible mess of the sin of David’s unguarded moments with Bathsheba was sparked by small disobediences back in the earlier days.


David relaxed his grip on the way God asked him to live. Watch the unfolding of the story of these deadly little things David allowed into his life. Here is the record of his early days as king:


2 Samuel 5:13 And David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem,


[Remember David has already been king for seven years. This verse sounds like you’re just reading the news—nothing major, nothing bad, it’s kind of neutral-- after he had come from Hebron.]


Also more sons and daughters were born to David.


[So you ask, was it really wrong? Didn’t all the men back then do it? Didn’t Abraham have multiple wives? You know Jacob had several wives. Why they’re all God’s people is it really so bad? But if God says it is wrong, it is wrong even if everybody does it! Yes, but 600 years after Abraham God told Moses to write down His rules for future kings.]


Now turn back with me to Deuteronomy 17. This was the only instructions for he King of Israel given by God. David was the second king, following one who crashed and burned because of his disobedience. So I am sure David would have carefully listened to these words from the God he so loved. Follow along as I read God's instructions for His leaders in Deuteronomy 17:15-20.


Deuteronomy 17:15-17 you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. 16 But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’ 17 Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself. NKJV

[Have you seen the sign in Missouri along I-44 that says, “What part of Thou Shalt Not” is unclear”? This is the code that the kings were supposed to live by. It’s very powerful. This contains God’s instructions for His leaders—very powerful words: But David personally disobeyed God because he multiplied for himself wives and possibly multiplied for himself wealth. God says don’t do that—]


18 “Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites.


[The Pentateuch or first five books of the Bible has 5,852 verses and just under 160,000 Hebrew words. At normal speed, it would take a minimum of 900 hours to hand copy the Hebrew letters with ink and quill onto an animal skin or parchment; that is 6 months of work, non-stop at 8 hours a day! To be God’s man you had to give up most of your first year as king doing this Bible Study!]


19 “And it shall be with him, [He has to carry it around with him] and he shall read it all the days of his life,


[Some people might say where does it say in the Bible that we’re supposed to read the Bible all the time? RIGHT HERE- it says you’re supposed to have a personal copy, you’re supposed to keep it with you all the time--- you’re supposed to be in it meditating on it, reading it all the days of your life. For what reason?]


That he may learn to fear the Lord his God


[A continued exposure to this Book causes us to learn about God and to live a life that acknowledges our fear of Him]


and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, 20 “that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren.


[So that he doesn’t think that he can look over the rooftop of his house and look at anybody’s wife that he wants and take them. That’s exactly what happened! His heart was lifted up and he said boy I’m the #1 warrior, I’m the giant killer, I’m the wealthiest guy in the land—I’m the greatest—I’m the king of God’s people and I can have whoever and whatever I want, whenever I want it. God says don’t let your heart be lifted up.]


that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel.


So, because of that little warning from God ignored, David’s life moves on without God’s protection.


1. David Desensitized his conscience by incomplete obedience II Sam 5:13

2. David Relaxed his grip on personal purity II Sam 11:1

3. David Fixated his heart on physical desires v. 2

4. David Rationalized his mind about wrong decisions v. 3

5. David Plunged his life into lustful sin v. 4

6. David Destroyed his testimony by the sin of a moment of stolen pleasure. Death, deceit, murder, immorality and spiritual oppression, poverty and famine of the soul are only a few offspring of this act of momentary pleasure.


Second, David relaxed his grip on personal purity (II Sam 11:1)


David had let little things slide in his life—things went so well he forgot to be on guard. David relaxed his grip on personal purity. Think of what we sometimes see in T-ball and Little League. Those early ball players at the beginning of the game are in their positions. They’re ready for anything that comes, especially if they’re an infielder. They’ve got that glove on and they’re looking like pros. Then by about the second inning they’ve turned around, they aren’t watching the game, and they’re throwing dandelions. They’ve lost their grip on their position.


David at the height of his life lost his grip on purity and he was playing with dandelions in the presence of the ravenous lion of lust.


We need to be doing what it takes to maintain purity in our lives.


Jesus told us once how serious we must be about sexual sin. Most people dismiss His words as hyperbole, overkill or something. But at this moment in David’s life—maybe we should read Christ's words again and ponder them personally?


Please turn back to the Sermon on the Mount, recorded in Matthew 5, and listen with new ears to His Christ's words:


“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell” (Matthew 5:27-30).

Now, let me share part of an article from someone I really respect, that I read in a magazine once that was written about this verse.

Jesus, the radical[1]


“Why does Jesus paint this shocking picture? I believe He wants us to take radical steps, to do whatever is necessary to deal with sexual temptation.

Now, the hand and eye are not the causes of sin. A blind man can still lust and a man without a hand can still steal. But the eye is a means of access for both godly and ungodly input. And the hand is a means of performing righteous or sinful acts. We must therefore govern what the eye looks at and the hand does.

If we take Jesus seriously, we need to think far more radically about sexual purity. The battle is too intense, and the stakes are too high to approach purity casually or gradually. So ... if you can’t keep your eyes away from those explicit images, don’t ever go to a video rental store. Come on. Everybody goes into those stores. No. If it causes you to sin, you shouldn’t. Period.

Do your thoughts trip you up when you’re with certain persons? Stop hanging out with them. Does a certain kind of music charge you up erotically? Stop listening to it. If these things seem like crutches, fine. Use whatever crutches you need to help you walk.


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