Did you know that broccoli is an excellent nutritious food source for vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, and fiber, but let’s face it, broccoli is not a food that most people crave or tend to come back to for a second helping at mealtime. However, most people are all in if someone asks, “Okay, who wants a slice of triple chocolate double fudge pudding cake and ice cream for dessert?” When we hear that question, our taste buds quickly tell the brain, “broccoli-schmockly, forget the healthy stuff, go for the yummy cake!”
Sadly, that is the same approach many people take towards God’s word. They will consume their Sunday morning portion of Scripture, but rarely, if ever, do they crave it throughout the week and come back for more. Instead, they prefer the tempting sweet flavors of the world that are destructive to the body’s spiritual health. Such temptations can lead to a downward spiral and cascading failure of sin in a person’s life. The Bible provides a clear example of this in the book of 2 Samuel.
In chapter 11, the setting is late spring, when kings go to war. One year, King David did not lead his army into battle but instead chose to remain in Jerusalem. One night, he was restless and got out of bed and went to the rooftop for perhaps some fresh air. Overlooking the city, the King saw a woman bathing, a woman the Bible says was gorgeous. David, who fell for Satan’s temptation hook, line, and sinker, had the woman, Bathsheba, brought to the palace to have sex with him despite knowing she was the wife of another man.
In so doing, David committed adultery and sinned before the Lord. There is a debate among theologians on whether Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, was a willing accomplice to adultery or an unwilling rape victim. Some would argue she was a willing accomplice because, in the end, she took David’s hand in marriage. However, author Ben Philbeck Jr. (1970) points out that it was not uncommon for a widow to soon remarry if she had no children to take care of her, no protection or property rights, and did not go back to her father (p. 112)1.
In the weeks ahead, Bathsheba discovered she was pregnant, and with her husband, Uriah, away in battle, David became concerned that his sin would be exposed before the people. Now let’s be honest; we have all attempted to hide our sin from being exposed at one time or another. Like King David, we were more concerned about our reputation among people than our character before God. David resorted to further acts of treachery and deceit, one lie upon another in a cascade of sins to just cover one.
As the story unfolds, King David calls Uriah back from the battlefield. He planned to intoxicate Uriah and have him return home to his wife to have sex with her, which would then appear as though the child she carried was Uriah’s. However, being an upright man of character, Uriah refused to go home while his fellow soldiers were still in battle. Now desperate to cover his tracks, David sends Uriah back to the battlefront and unknowingly carrying his death warrant. It was a note from the King to his army that ordered them to withdraw from Uriah at the front line and allow the enemy to kill him.
With Uriah now dead, David took Bathsheba to be his wife, which, in his mind, would make her pregnancy appear legitimate as a result of consummating their marriage. However, there was one crucial detail that David overlooked, God! David created such a web of sin that may have fooled the people, but no one can ever escape God’s watchful eye and judgment. Like David, we have tried to pile one sin on top of another in a feeble cascading attempt to hide them, but the Bible teaches that our sin will find us out (Num. 32:23), and so it was for David.
The Lord spoke through Nathan, who approached King David about a specific issue. Nathan tells the King about how a man who had much wealth had stolen a poor man’s only prized possession, a lamb. The Bible says, “Then David’s anger burned greatly against the man, and he said to Nathan, ‘As the Lord lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die. He must make restitution for the lamb fourfold because he did this thing and had no compassion’ (2 Sam. 12:5-6). Nathan looks at David and tells him, “You are the man!”
The King’s sin was exposed, and confronted by the evil he had done in the sight of the Lord, David confessed and repented of his sin, and the Lord forgave David, but the consequences of his sinful acts remained. Just as God forgave David, He stands ready to extend that same forgiveness those who are willing to confess and repent of their sins, and while the Lord will lift the weight of sin from our shoulders, we must accept the consequences that come from our actions, which grow us spiritually.
The story of David’s indiscretion centuries ago is relevant to modern-day because secular society in America has whitewashed over things the Bible refers to as sin. From same-sex marriage and abortion to cheating and telling little white lies for a good cause, all are now widely accepted norms by many. Why? Our nation has taken its eyes off God and turned away from the guiding precepts in His word. If David’s focus had been on God’s righteousness when he first saw Bathsheba bathing, he would have avoided a myriad of trouble and its resulting consequences.
The story of Joseph, recorded in Genesis 39:6-12, provides a perfect example of what we must do in the face of temptation. In summary, Joseph, who the Bible describes as “buff” to use a more modern term, was in charge of his master’s house and oversaw its daily operations. The wife of Potiphar, his master, had eyes for Joseph, and on several occasions, she tried to seduce him. One time she grabbed him by his garment to lure him into bed, and the Bible says he ran away from her.
That is what King David’s response should have been in the face of temptation; he should have turned and run away, and we need to do that as well. The Bible warns us that sin crouches at our door, waiting to devour us. Therefore, just as eating all the wrong foods can be detrimental to one’s physical health, consuming all the wrong things offered by the world is harmful to one’s spiritual health with the potential for eternal consequences.
We must always keep our focus on God’s righteousness to avoid the pitfalls of temptation. Therefore, one way to achieve that is to give your whole body a daily treat. Take the time to sit down, have a bowl of broccoli, open your Bible, and spend time with God.
1. Philbeck, B. (1970). 1-2 Samuel. C. Allen, J. Durham & R. Honeycut (Eds). The Broadman Bible Commentary (Vol. 3). (pp. 1-145). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press
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