Developing a Heart for God

Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church

 

David was said to be a “man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14).  On examining David’s heart, God anointed David to be king (1 Samuel 16:7). David’s heart of faithfulness was his strength.  At all costs … the shepherd-king needed to treasure what was important to God so his heart would be focused on living and leading in God’s ways (Matthew 6:19-24,33).

 

Chapter 11 opens where chapter 10 closed – war.  The contrast is not seen from what was going on around David but what was going on within David.  King David sent his men off to battle but did not go himself.  This was the first time he did not lead his troops as they went on a major military campaign.

 

Why did he stay behind?  What was he feeling?  He would fight more battles later, but why not now?

 

The change occurring was within David, the man.  He felt change pulsating within him.  He wanted more of something in his life, but he was not sure what that something was until he saw Bathsheba bathing.  When David went to his rooftop he was inspired by temptation, not goodness.  Temptation takes what is good and turns it upside down with the deceptive message that wrong is better than right (Isaiah 5:20).  Temptation whispers for us not to trust God’s best as being the best.  When we commit to temptation, we sin by trying to remake the good into our selfish image.  David risked the kingdom he had fought hard to win for God’s purposes.

 

David may have seen Bathsheba before, but not like this – not when he was in transition and she appeared so vulnerable and beautiful before his wandering eyes.  Out on the balcony, David’s body experienced a flash flood of testosterone.  His sexual drive became fully activated when he looked out and saw beautiful Bathsheba bathing.  He saw her as pawn for his taking and not as a loyal family friend.  Bathsheba’s family had been faithful and true to the king.  Her father, Eliam, was likely one of David’s more heroic leaders (2 Samuel 23:34).  Uriah, her husband, was one of David’s most valiant soldiers (2 Samuel 23:39).

 

In this transition moment, David yielded his heart to sin.  He decided that his own selfish desires would make him happy …

 

The story is told honestly and graphically in 2 Samuel 11.  The kin commanded servants “to get her” (11:4).  This Hebrew phrase means to take.  David, motivated by lust in a lonely moment, abused his kingly power.  Bathsheba, under the king’s command, went into the palace, and the king had his way with her.  David, caught in sin’s thrill of rebellion, did not care that his actions displeased God.

 

The deceptive lure of covering up his sin in an effort to avoid sin’s painful consequences only made matters worse.  Satan works through temptation’s distorted messages.  Sin harms.  Habitual sin destroys.  

 

Once sin has its hooks in us, it won’t let go voluntarily.  We must yield to God.  Then our misdirected life gets redirected in God’s ways.  Sin had its way with David, who then had his way with Bathsheba. Then both David and Bathsheba were left in the dilemma of what to do next.  David had a choice to straighten things out by confessing or to cover up by committing additional sins.

 

Our lives are determined by the choices we make …

 

Believers are sinners saved by God’s grace.  The work I do as pastor includes helping people who are caught in sin by showing them that there is a better way to live and calling them to begin living that way.  Through grace, God can hit straight with a crooked stick.

 

The story of 2 Samuel 11-12 speaks directly to God’s redemptive power when we consider it in light of developing a heart for God …

 

Pastor Les Hollon

 

David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die!  He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”

Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!  This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul.  I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms.  I gave you the house of Israel and Judah.  And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.  Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes?  You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own.  You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.  Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’

“This is what the LORD says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you.  Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight.  You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’ “  Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”

-2 Samuel 12:1-13 (NIV)

 

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

-Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

 

This article was written by Les Hollon, Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church.  For more information about God and your place in His world, contact Dr. Hollon, click over to Trinity Baptist Church.

 

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Posted on 19 September, 2009 in Spirituality
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