Friday, March 2, 2018

He was a Man

Having already written a blog post a few years ago entitledUnderstanding Men dealing with the same subject, which is ... men be careful what you look at.  Looking at the wrong thing can change your life ... if you allow it to.     

In the following example, we have a man looking at the wrong thing accidentally ... in this case it was a beautiful woman … and then through this encounter, he allowed lust to form in his heart.  This is the situation King David found himself in.

2nd Samuel 11:2 ... "And it came to pass in the evening, that David arose from his bed, (perhaps from the evening heat, which would explain the following) and walked upon the flat roof of his house, and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon."

No one really knows why Bathsheba was bathing late in the evening.  She may have waited until it was cooler after sundown which would allow her to bathe on her balcony or even on the rooftop in seclusion ... or so she thought.  

So with David, looking turned into watching, and watching turned into thoughts of desire, and desire grew into lustand lust became sin.  All David had to do was divert his eyes and turn away ... but he didn't.  He was a man.  

When men, trying to excuse their lustful desire say ... "I can't help myself" ... they're lying.  Go ahead, try blaming God for making you this way, it won't work.  The Apostle James wrote about this very same subject on the first page of his letter to the Christian Jews when he said to them ...

"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.  Do not err, my beloved brethren." 

Let's be real honest here ... Bathsheba bathing in the moonlight would catch any man's eye.  Any normal man would be tempted to take a second look even longer than the first glimpse was.  I'm being as honest here as I can.  Even me.

This was perhaps the greatest temptation David ever faced.  But do not forget ... temptation is not sin.  

Looking … wasn’t sin.  You can't help what you see.  But was watching Bathsheba bathe sin?  Not quite yet, but it opened the door to sin.  

Watching I'm sure, quickly turned into desire ... now David is walking through that door.  But is desire, sin?  Take the next step with David ... his desire from watching a beautiful woman bathe, now turns into lust.
Okay, let's look at what James said ... "when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin."  The Greek word for lust, as used here is "epithumia" (pronounced ep-ee-thoo-mee'-ah) and means simply ... a longing, a desire (especially for what is forbidden).
I also want to look at the word conceived.  Normally we think of a baby being conceived in the womb.  This isn't quite like that, although it is close.  The word James uses in the Greek is "sullambanō" (pronounced sool-lam-ban'-o) and means ... to clasp, that is, to seize, to catch and take captive.

I may be splitting hairs with this conclusion, but when David saw Bathsheba bathing, as far as we know an unplanned accident; and then because he stayed and kept on looking, David's desire became ... "lustful desire" ... and just as James said, lust was conceived and took him captive.
When you are taken captive by someone or something, you are not in charge any more ... your captor is in charge.  Each and every step David took in the process that night, set him up for sexual lust, that longing, that forbidden desire to have Bathsheba took him captive. 

I often quote Nicholas Herman the old seventeenth century Carmelite monk from French Lorraine.  This time it is good advice not only for men, but perhaps women as well as he says … "We should seek to learn the sins that do most easily beset us and the times and occasions, when we do most often fall." 

With women I’m not to sure, but with men, one of the times or occasions just might be ... looking at their own Bathsheba.  

Next I planned writing about ... "Understanding Women" ... but after thinking about it, I realized that is impossible.