March 5, 2009
King David’s Demise
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23, 24 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Several of my devotions lately have been on guarding your heart. I’d like to end the series with a look at King David.
King David was a man in the Bible who was called a “man after God’s own heart.” However, there was a point in his life when he let his guard down around that God fearing heart of his and he ended up committing adultery and conspiring murder.
David had gone from a mere shepherd boy to becoming the mightiest king in Israel’s history. One day, while all his men were off at war, he decided to stay back at the castle and lollygag around. While strolling on the roof to get a breath of fresh air, he noticed his neighbor’s wife, Bathsheba, taking a bath on the roof of her home (a very common occurrence during those days). She was very beautiful.
David had grown accustomed to getting what he wanted and he wanted Bathsheba. One of his servants brought her to him for a forbidden night of passion. A few months later, she reported that she was pregnant with his child. In a panic to cover his sin, David ordered Bathsheba’s husband to the front line of battle and then ordered the other men to withdraw. As planned, Uriah was killed and David took Bathsheba to be his wife. The story is much more convoluted and complicated, than I have just described, but I have just hit the high points…or should I say the low points.
From that time on, David’s life took a downward spiral.
What can we learn from David’s lack of control in guarding his heart?
He was at the wrong place at the wrong time. The story begins…”In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war.” David was supposed to be off at war, but instead he stayed behind and shirked his duties. In order to guard our hearts, we must make sure we are not putting ourselves in a situation to be tempted. Have you ever found yourself at the wrong place at the wrong time - not by accident, but by choice?
He was lonely and vulnerable. I’ve often heard the phrase, “It’s lonely at the top.” But I can assure you it can be even lonelier at the bottom and everywhere in-between. If you are lonely, seek out the company of a female friend. Just as God sent Mary to Elizabeth and Ruth to Naomi, He continues to use women to encourage women. Seeking companionship with a man is treading on dangerous ground.
He knew what was right and ignored his better judgment. After David had sinned with Bathsheba, the prophet Nathan came to him and told him about a wealthy man who had many sheep, but had stolen a poor man’s one and only sheep. David said, “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die!” The prophet responded, “You are the man.” David knew what he was doing was wrong, but he proceeded anyway.
God will always provide a way of escape. There were many steps to the process of David’s sin. At any point, he could have stopped, but he didn’t. God will always provide a way of escape for any temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). The sooner we heed His warning, the easier it will be to turn and go in the opposite direction. The longer we toy with the idea, the harder it will be to stop. As soon as a tempting thought enters our mind, we need to press the mental ‘’delete’’ and guard our hearts.
No one is above temptation. David was a very godly man. He wrote psalms and truly loved the Lord. And yet, he still committed adultery and murder. I wonder when he was praising God during his coronation if he ever imagined in his wildest dreams that he would fall in such a way. We should never think that we are above any sin, but guard our hearts furiously.
The Holy Spirit will convict us. David’s downfall took place over at least a year’s time. How many times do you think the Holy Spirit warned him of his sin? Nothing should frighten us more than to know that we have the choice to tune out God’s warning and the Holy Spirit’s convicting. The Holy Spirit will convict us, but we must heed the warning. It is our responsibility. The devil never makes us do anything.
Honestly, I wish the story of David’s sin was not in the Bible. I’d much rather remember him as the giant slayer who loved God more than life itself. But God wants us to know that no one is immune to temptation. David’s fall is a picture of what can happen to anyone who does not guard his or her heart. David’s story, like so many others in the Bible, is recorded so that we can learn by example (I Corinthians 10:11). “So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall” (I Corinthians 12:12).
We can pray as David once prayed: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23, 24).
Dear LORD, I know that no one is above temptation. Help me to be at the right places at the right times, to seek godly girlfriends to hold me accountable, and listen to the conviction of the Holy Spirit quickly.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
We all know someone who has fallen in similar ways to David. But today, I don’t want you to think about that person or persons. I want us to keep the focus on ourselves. Let’s go back to the main points.
Have you ever allowed yourself to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? What was the outcome?
Have you ever sought the friendship of a man when you knew it was not a good idea?
Have you ever let loneliness cloud your thinking and decision making?
Have you ever ignored your better judgment and the conviction of the Holy Spirit and entered into a relationship that wasn’t God’s best? What was the result?
These are tough questions. No matter what you have gone through or what poor decisions that you have made, you can know this: God will forgive you! Jesus died for the forgiveness of our sins and God’s mercies are new every morning. This devotion is not to condemn you in any way! It is to help us against future attacks. God wants us to be prepared! “We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus!” Amen? Amen!
More from the Girlfriends
Today’s devotion is taken from Becoming the Woman of His Dreams: Seven Qualities Every Man Longs For. To learn more about how the enemy works to deceive us in our thought life, see Sharon’s newest release, “I’m Not Good Enough and Other Lies Women Tell Themselves.”
Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.