"And David sent and enquired after the woman."
II Samuel 11: 3, King James Version
"Sent And Enquired" Part II
"Temperance is not the absence of passion but is the transfiguring of passion into wholeness. Without it…you will have the senses usurping sovereignty and excluding the spirit; you will have them deciding good and evil and excluding God."
Gerald Vann, 1945
When David "enquired" after Bathsheba, what do I think he was "enquiring" about?
Have I ever "enquired" about something or someone that I should not have been "enquiring" about?
"The teaching of self-denial is never pleasant nor popular, but it is necessary. We own the controlling voices in our lives. It is we who say "yes" or "no," and the results of that choice affect the entire spectrum of our lives."
Let Us Be Holy
"Our lives are as rivers, either useful in their energies or destructive in their force. One can view the majesty of a plummeting waterfall channeled to bring electricity to a dark community or irrigation to a parched land and feel a sense of appreciation. Or, one can see a swirling undisciplined stream gushing out of its banks, eating away valuable farm land and creating havoc which years of labor cannot right, and feel frustration. The usefulness or destruction is not just in the water itself, but in how it is channeled. Similarly useful and meaningful lives can only come from the temperate hearts which have passion channeled for the greatest good. We are bundles of passions, desires, emotions, and feelings, and inherent in them all is great good or great evil. (The Apostle) Paul says the Spirit-filled life is one that is channeled and disciplined for the greatest good."
Charles R. Hembree
Fruits of the Spirit
Many years ago, as a young girl spending the summer at my grandparents' ranch, I watched one day as the small creek that ran down through the middle of their property became a raging, out-of-control torrent after a massive rain storm dropped nearly 3" of rain in just a few hours. What was once a gently, flowing playground for my sister and me, became a destructive force which destroyed anything in its path.
As I read the thought by Charles Hembree, quoted above, I was taken back in my mind to the consequences unleashed by one small creek on a hot summer day. And I compared this to the consequences of two simple, seemingly harmless acts taken by King David on a rooftop in Jerusalem thousands of years ago.
Yesterday, we found David, after getting a good look at Bathsheba, decided he wanted more - whatever that more would be. For starters, David made a decision to "cast a net" and send someone to find out about this beautiful woman.
But he didn't just send someone, he also wanted his "gatherers" to "enquire" about this lovely lady.
Each day as I am working on the devotionals, I ask God to bring to my mind His lessons from each text and as I was reading this particular passage, one word really struck me, and it was the word, "enquire." First of all, this word is used a number of times in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament.
In I Samuel 23: 2, we are told David "enquired" of the Lord." Then in I Samuel 28: 6, the Bible says that King Saul, "enquired of the Lord." And again in II Samuel 2: 1, David "enquired of the Lord."
But in I Samuel 28: 7, I remembered that another bit of "enquiring" went on. If you remember, King Saul had acted in direct disobedience to God's instructions and so the Prophet Samuel was sent to deliver the bad news that God had chosen a new king. Saul did not take this discipline well. Consequently, when God would not answer his prayer the way he wanted, Saul decided to "enquire" after someone he hoped would tell him what he wanted to hear. The Bible says that Saul sent his servants to "seek" a woman that "hath a familiar spirit that I may go to her and "enquire" of her" (I Samuel 28:7) There you have it. In an act of defiance, Saul "sent" and "enquired" of a woman whom God had instructed His children to stay away from.
This in itself should be lesson enough, but there's more to this text. I could hardly wait to go to the Hebrew and check out the word "enquire" and what a revelation. When David and Saul were "enquiring" of the Lord, the Hebrew word is "shawal" or "shawale" which means to request counsel. To consult. To earnestly inquire. When David and Saul were "enquiring" of God, they went to Him for advice and guidance. They longed for God's help and wisdom.
But, in I Samuel 28: 7 and in our text for today in II Samuel 11: 3, the word "enquire" is not the same Hebrew word which was used when David and Saul went to God for His help.
Instead, the Hebrew word, used when King Saul, in an act of disobedience, enquired after a familiar spirit and when King David sent his minions to "enquire" after Bathsheba is "dawrash" meaning to frequent or to tread, usually used when describing someone pursuing after something. And as one author noted, what is being pursued is often something or someone that may be put on a pedestal of homage.
Let's think about this comparison for a moment. When Saul and David "enquired" of God, they desired His advice. But when they began "enquiring" after the forbidden, they had replaced the worship of God with the worship of their human passions and desires. And for each of us, when the "enquiries" in our lives go out of the bounds of our worship of God and run astray into the worship of human desires, we become like the useful river whose unharnessed energy becomes a destructive force. It all comes down to who and what we choose to "enquire" about. Do we really want God's advice or do we want to follow our own desires?
"Nothing is so conducive to real humility as temptation. It teaches us how weak we are."
Non Nobis Domien
"Non nobis Domine! -
Not unto us, O Lord!
The praise or glory be
Of any deed or word;
For in Thy judgment lies
To crown or bring to nought
All knowledge or device
That man has reached or wrought.
And we confess our blame -
How all too high we hold
That noise which men call fame,
That dross which men call gold.
For these we undergo
Our hot and godless days,
But in our hearts we know
Not unto us the praise.
O Power by whom we live -
Creator, Judge, and Friend,
Nor fail us at the end:
But grant us well to see
In all our piteous ways -
Non nobis Domine! --
Not unto us the praise!"
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.