"There's No Such Thing As a Victimless Crime"
"No doing without some ruing."
If I had been Bathsheba, and realized I was pregnant, how would I have felt?
What would I have done?
"Men (and women) are free to decide their own moral choices, but they are also under the necessity to account to God for those choices."
A. W. Tozer
"Everybody, sooner or later, sits down to a banquet of consequences."
Robert Louis Stevenson
Dinner was served. The banquet table was laden with every delicacy possible, including the chickens who had come home to roost!
In other words, a month or so after David and Bathsheba's tryst in the royal palace, a messenger brought a piece of information to David. "I am pregnant!" The consequence of a one-night-stand was life-long-heartache. A choice by David to "send and take and lay" with Bathsheba, turned out to be an event he could not conceal. In the words of Robert Louis Stevenson, when David received Bathsheba's message, he was offered the chair at the head of the banquet table called "consequences."
I truly believe there is one thing we can be quite certain about regarding the entanglement between David and Bathsheba, and it is this: neither of them intended their "roll in the hay" to lead to a baby. As Reinhold Niebuhr observed, "All human sin seems so much worse in its consequences than in its intentions." David's apparent intention when he laid eyes on the gorgeous Bathsheba was to have a little fling, nothing more! As the king, he felt he had the right to do whatever he wanted with whomever he wanted. And this time it was with Bathsheba. But I believe if David had stopped to think about and clearly understand the short-term, as well as the long-term consequences of his behavior, he may have realized the cost would be way too high. We should all learn something from David's fall.
And this brings me to an interesting term we hear thrown around in society today. You may well have heard this phrase, no matter where you live, on planet earth. It is the term: "victimless crime." Have you ever heard these words? Just to be clear, a supposed "victimless crime" is an infraction of criminal law without any identifiable evidence of an individual that has suffered damage in the infraction." In the case of David and Bathsheba, I can just hear some folk saying, "Well, they were two consenting adults - no crime there." In fact, in our society, victimless crimes can be associated with illicit drugs, prostitution, and trafficking in pornography as well as gambling.
Well, pardon me, but I don't believe for one minute that in my heavenly Father's eyes He believes in "victimless crimes." As Alfred A. Montapert correctly noted, "Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of their choices." And with consequences, there are always victims, those individuals whose lives are forever touched and changed by my behavior or yours. Add to this the fact that when I make a free choice to go against my Father's will, as both David and Bathsheba did, I not only hurt myself, I hurt my Father. The great Daniel Webster wrote that the, "Most important thought I ever had was that of my individual responsibility to God."
I wonder if David had taken a moment, when on the roof of his palace he was considering his next move toward Bathsheba, to think about his responsibility to his heavenly Father who had guided and protected him during the siege King Saul set on him. If he had, would he have changed his course and headed in a different direction, for instance, downstairs into his room where on his knees he could ask his Father for strength to make a wise choice? How different the consequences would have been in his life as well as those whom he touched.
Several years ago, there was a great deal of focus on I Chronicles 4: 9, 10 after a wonderful book called, The Prayer of Jabez, shed light on this Biblical passage. While some individuals sought to decrease the value of the message in this Scripture, I make a daily habit (and habits can be very good things!) of praying this prayer each morning when I awake. There's one special phrase in this text that is important to me beyond any words I can convey. In I Chronicles 4: 10, Jabez asked God to, "Keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me." Some translations say, "Hurt me," while others say, "Keep me from evil that I may not cause pain to myself or others." No victimless crime here, for when I walk away from my Father, not only do I injure myself, I also hurt my Father and in the end, the banquet table of consequences can feed a mighty host of others.
"I am not bound to win but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed but I am bound to live up to what light I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right; stand with (the person) while they are right and part with them when they go wrong."
"God, make me single and sincere; take away all that is not true, all that hinders Thy work in me; for only so shall I serve Thee."
A Saint Francis Prayer Book
"Almighty God who hast sent the Spirit of truth unto us to guide us into all truth: so rule our lives by Thy power that we may be truthful in thought and word and deed. May no fear or hope ever make us false in act or speech; cast out from us whatsoever loveth or maketh a lie, and bring us all into the perfect freedom of Thy truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Brooke Foss Westcott
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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