"And one said, ‘Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?'"
II Samuel 11: 3, King James Version
"Drawing Back The Bolt"
"Temptation is the tempter looking through the keyhole into the room where you are living; sin is your drawing back the bolt and making it possible for him to enter."
J. Wilbur Chapman
Has there ever been a time in my life when I, "drew back the bolt?"
What have the consequences of my action been?
"Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before."
C. S. Lewis
"No trumpets sound when the important decisions of our life are made."
Agnes de Mille
The quote above by American dancer and choreographer Agnes de Mille is one I have shared with you once before and I'm doing so again today for the truth in this statement contains a profound lesson for each of us. And it is this truth that is played out, as if on a theatre stage, in the life of David.
However, rather than being on a stage with adoring fans applauding his every move, David was on his palace rooftop, with obedient servants ready to carry out his every command. And in this particular case, David wanted information about a beautiful woman he'd seen.
So messengers were sent and enquiries were made. And the information that was brought back to David was that the woman's name was Bathsheba and more to the point, she was married. It is at this junction I want to stop for a moment because I don't think there's a person on this earth who at one time or another in their life hasn't come to a fork in the road - call it a fork in their life. One of my favorite American poets, Robert Frost, wrote about life's diverging decisions in his famous poem, "The Road Not Taken", penned in 1915. I've always given myself some time for reflection as I read the last few lines of the poem:
"Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."
As you reflect on these thoughtful words, I want to invite you to think about your choices just as I have done in my own life. And I am rather certain that like David, you have made some very wise choices, times when the road you took was the path of God's own choosing. And then there may have been other times, when the choices you made, led to heartache and pain. I know this has been true in my own life - especially when I allowed my own headstrong and willful ways to take me in a direction God never intended for my life. Times when I drew back the bolt and gave temptation an open door to walk through.
This is why I want us to take a few moments to go up on the rooftop with David. Let's remember, this was a man God said had a heart after God's heart. As we found out in earlier studies, David's heart wanted to follow after God. David yearned to do the right thing. And I ask you, "Doesn't this describe you and me, too?" We wouldn't be studying God's Word or praying for the in-filling of His Spirit in our lives if we didn't have a heart after God. I believe that my Father and your Father looks at each one of us and says, "She (or he) has a heart after mine." But unfortunately, as Francois Fenelon so correctly observed, when we really get to know ourselves, our hearts, it is quite likely we'll find "ourselves to be more depraved than we thought." And I don't say this to bring discouragement to you for Transformation Garden is a place of hope. And if we look at David's rooftop experience, we must challenge ourselves to see the opportunity for hope before we fall into the same mistakes and draw back the bolt so the tempter can enter.
You see, I want to repeat again, David didn't sin by staying in Jerusalem when his troops went to battle. We might conclude he deserved a good rest. Nor did David sin by taking an afternoon nap and then deciding to walk on his rooftop. David didn't sin when he saw Bathsheba. And when David sent and enquired about Bathsheba, he could have made a decision the moment he found out she was married, to keep his hands off another man's wife. Time and again, David was given the option of taking God's path…of being God's man…of doing God's will. Of keeping the door locked and bolted. The same is true in our own lives.
I find it interesting that it was the disciple Peter, who found himself denying Jesus on the night when his Lord needed him the most, who left us with this personal call to, "Beware, lest ye also being led away…fall from your own steadfastness" (II Peter 3: 17 KJV). In other words, bolt the door. This is the lesson from the life of David, one who had a desire to have a heart like God, but let his earthly passions pull him down a road I'm certain he wished he had never taken.
The theologian C. S. Lewis, after looking inside his own heart with heaven's magnifying glass, described what he found in this poignant manner. "For the first time I examined myself with a serious practical purpose. And there I found what appalled me: a zoo of lusts, a bedlam of ambitions, a nursery of fear, a harem of fondled hatreds." I think his description aptly fits the human heart. This is why our gracious Father has extended to us His merciful forgiveness. A forgiveness that is given to the worst of us when we need it most. As Theodore Williams stated: "Ours is the religion of the forgiven.
"The yearning of (our) heart is homesickness for God."
"If you but trust in God to guide you and place your confidence in Him, you'll find Him always there beside you, to give you hope and strength within. For those who trust God's changeless love build on the rock that will not move.
Sing, pray, and keep His ways unswerving, offer your service faithfully, and trust His word; though undeserving.
You'll find His promise true to be. God never will forsake in need, the soul that trusts in Him, indeed."
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.