The Downward Spiral

Prayer: Dear Lord God, I am grateful that You give us this time of intentional repentance. Thank You for showing us that we are in need of the saving work of Jesus as we walk the path of remembering His Passion. Please come with me today into this devotional time and fill up my mind and heart with the knowledge of Your presence. Because of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Read: 2 Samuel 11:1-17

Think about It: The slide into sin is one that we all recognize. We all know what our triggers are and we all know what tempts us the most. Not only do we know these things, so does Satan. Today, we examine a story that is told with unflinching honesty and in painful detail. It is the story of David and Bathsheba.

Verse 1 of 2 Samuel 11 positions David’s up-coming decisions and actions perfectly. When it was time to go off and continue to defend the nation against the Ammonites David sends his army and stays home. Seems like a fairly innocent choice, right? Let the very capable army go and fight in the battle; time to take a break. But that simple choice set David up for a slide into sin that ends very badly. For reasons we will never know this side of eternity, David simply went off the rails and a lifetime of walking with God was set aside. At the center of this story, lies David’s willingness to betray the people who are important to him.

In the New Testament, the book of James addresses this same inclination in humanity. “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own  desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (James 1:14-15) When that rock  begins to roll downhill, it is tough to stop. But that does not remove all hope. The sinner can turn away from sin at any point in time along the way. We do not have to descend into the pits of hell before we realize that we are caught in a trap. There are numerous points along that sin-path where a new direction can be taken. God would have us turn away from sin at the earliest point possible. When we follow sin’s direction, we do so by our own choice and at great peril. David’s story stands as a warning post for those who will read and take heed. We can learn from the mistakes of others!

While we may find the details of this story to be very disappointing, it is important that God included it in the text. If David can fall as far as he falls in this story and still be redeemed, then so can we. We do not slip out of God’s hands by His choice, but by our own. It is His will that we should always remain on His road. There is comfort in knowing that God pursues us even when we are walking (or sliding down the hill) away from Him and that redemption is possible because we are loved by a merciful and gracious God. Let us all be grateful that God loves us and will bring us back to His side through repentance and grace.

Prayer: Dear Father God, I know that sometimes I intentionally walk away from You. I know that I listen to the voice of temptation and let sin rule my life. Please forgive me and increase in my heart a desire to remain close to You. When sin knocks at my door, please help me to keep that door locked and to not even entertain what stands on the other side. In the name of my Savior, Jesus, I pray. Amen.