"And David sent and enquired after the woman."
II Samuel 11: 3, King James Version
"Sent And Enquired" Part I
"To pray against temptation, and yet to rush into occasion, is to thrust your fingers into the fire, and then pray they might not be burnt."
Have I ever "sent and enquired" after someone or something that wasn't mine and belonged to another?
What can I learn from David's action of "sending" for Bathsheba?
"If you want to fly away from temptation, don't leave a forwarding address."
"Christ will not keep us if we carelessly and wantonly put ourselves into the way of temptation."
F. B. Meyer
I'll never forget the first time I went fishing with friends and watched as the gentleman with the rod and reel prepared to catch an unwary fish. It seems this man had perfected the art of finding the most desirous bait. When an unsuspecting fish swam by, never thinking that what looked like a tasty treat could hold a hook, the fish would grab on, only to suddenly realize, they were the intended victim.
I find David's venture out on his rooftop a lot like my childhood fishing adventure. After an afternoon nap, what could seem more enjoyable that a refreshing rooftop walk in the fresh air? And so David took a leisurely stroll, viewing from the pinnacle of his palace, the city he loved so much - - Jerusalem.
Frankly, I can't blame David for enjoying a peaceful walk in the safety of his own dwelling. For years he had endured a treacherous mountain and wilderness life. Chased by King Saul, just imagine what a relief it was for David to get some "down time." This was time when from all outward appearances, he didn't have to be on high alert physically, emotionally or spiritually. And yet as W. I. Taylor correctly warns, "Temptation rarely comes in working hours. It is in the leisure time that (we) are made or marred." And so it was with David!
Looking down on the city of Jerusalem in the afternoon, his eyes fell upon a lovely woman and so David, at that moment, made a choice to do two things. The Bible says he "sent" and he "enquired."
Today I want to look at the word "sent" for it is a word that in Hebrew has many usages. However, in this particular case, the word conveys the following meaning: "To appoint someone to reach forth, to cast away."
Just like my little fish story with the bait luring in an unsuspecting victim, David "sent" some of his people out to "cast away" a net that would potentially entrap the unsuspecting Bathsheba. I say this, because nowhere does the Bible say Bathsheba set a trap for David. In this case, the king cast a net to catch her.
David saw something he liked and he decided to figure out how he could obtain what he wanted. Interestingly, the plan he came up with is the same 4-point plan we find in the Garden of Eden and also with Achan who kept what God forbade him to take after the battle of Jericho.
This disastrous threat to our spiritual life is so simple:
A. I saw. (I looked upon it with my eyes.)
B. I wanted. (I desired it in my heart.)
C. I took. (I grabbed it with my hand.)
D. I ate. (I consumed it inside myself.)
In the case of Eve, she saw the fruit on The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. She thought it looked good so her heart yearned for it. Then she took the fruit in her hand and ate it so it became part of her. In the case of Achan, in Joshua 7: 20-21, he saw among the spoils in Jericho a Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight. When he saw these items he "coveted" after them. He longed for them in his heart. So he took these items with his hand and buried them within his own tent. They became part of his abode.
And now, we come to David who saw Bathsheba with his eyes. He liked what he saw and he longed in his heart to find out more so he sent a net out to bring her in.
How I wish I could get it through my thick skull how transparent the devil's technique is when he tries to tempt me to walk off God's path. This is a well-used plan, the 4-point plan I just laid out. And this is why God so frequently, throughout Scripture, admonishes us to turn our backs on temptation; to shield our eyes; to put a watch on our hearts and to shun the sin of wanting what isn't ours. Period!
There are so many times, when my own discontentment with the blessings God has showered upon my life, have been the catalyst of my restless spirit. Allowed to roam wild, I've been led into someone else's pasture thinking their life is better than mine. At the heart of personal discontent is the sin of covetousness. A sin that has so invaded our world right now, it's tearing families, friends, neighbors and nations apart.
The author John Bunyan, writing about temptation, likened it to the "lion that roared upon Samson," another individual who was caught in the trap of seeing, wanting, taking and owning. But John Bunyan offers this illuminating thought. "If we overcome (temptations), the next time we see them we shall find a nest of honey within them."
Think how much David could have learned had he turned on his heel and walked down into his house rather than choosing to "send" and "enquire." We would do well to learn from his heartbreaking experience.
"Satan, like a fisher, baits his hook according to the appetite of the fish."
"O Lord, forgive what I have been, sanctify what I am, and order what I shall be."
"Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt thou forgive that sin, through which I run,
And do run still: though still I do deplore?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
For I have more.
Wilt thou forgive that sin by which I have won
Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt thou forgive that sin which I did shun
A year, or two; but wallowed in, a score?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
For I have more.
I have a sin of fear, that when I've spun
My Last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
Swear by thyself that at my death thy Son
Shall shine - as he shines now, and heretofore;
And, having done that, thou hast done,
I fear no more."
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.
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