Ladies, I’m so grateful for you, and your commitment to push ahead into our 4th character in the Lineage of Grace study. I’m going to be honest - this one WILL be the toughest for each of us because of the tender areas we’ll be addressing of personal sin struggles, the reality of the effects of sin on our life and the lives of others, and (hallelujah!) the restoration following sin.
This first week has pretty much be an emotional roller coaster for me to study and write because of a recent journey through my sin, that of others, and the resulting devastation. I have experienced so much loss, heartache, and healing! Although my sin was not the same of Bathsheba’s (sexual intimacy outside of marriage), I did face significant temptation and poor boundaries to guard against them in various areas that wrecked havoc on my marriage and family. It doesn’t take sex to destroy relationships, and I think most of you know that the worst affects of sin are what takes place in the heart rather than what is on display for the world to see.
I challenge you to be honest with yourself over these next 2 weeks and look at your sin directly as it is... rebellion against God and a choice to live against His will. There’s no sugar coating it. A choice to sin is a choice to betray God. With that, I will add that I’m praying for you and ask if you’ll please pray for me. This isn’t gonna be easy, but it’s necessary for us to stand in the light and strength of Jesus and quit fighting on our own in the dark.
The final words I’ll add as an introduction to this section of study is 2 fold... a suggestion with a warning attached. Francine Rivers’ novel Lineage of Grace is a beautiful accompaniment to our Biblical study. It enhances the story of Bathsheba to a level we don’t read in the black and white of the Old Testament passages. I’m going to be using some of her novel in our study - so I would encourage you to read it. My warning would be to remember that Ms Rivers is a human - not God - and that all writings by humans are influenced by human life. Her words are historical fiction and are not the Bible. With all of that said, I can say that I love her writings... they mirror my own pain and healing so well, and I feel confident in recommending her work to you. But, we have to stay rooted and grounded in God’s Word and just enjoy the novel as an addition to our study. I believe Francine Rivers would tell you the same thing! SO, are you ready?!?
Read 2 Samual 11:1-3.
1. Where was David supposed to be?
2. Who were Bathsheba’s father and husband (see 2 Samuel 23:8, 34, and 39) in connection with David? What’s the significance of these men to him?
3. Where was Bathsheba bathing?
4. What phrase is used in verse 2 that helps you understand the way Satan works to call us into sin.
Both David and Bathsheba had tendencies toward sexual temptation. David loved women, and Bathsheba was incredibly beautiful, desirable, and she didn’t try to hide it. And Satan isn’t stupid. He uses what’s close, familiar, and enticing to draw us away from God and toward sin.
Bathsheba was the daughter of David’s go-to guys. He watched her grow up and blossom as he hung around her family for years. It was someone already close to his heart that “happened” to be used to separate his heart from the Lord.
“It happened” doesn’t mean it was coincidence. This means that there was timing with purpose and a plan that came together. Who’s purpose? Who’s plan? Who used the tendencies to set up the perfect encounter for tragedy? We must be aware of the next prowling around us.
CONNECT: This will take brutal truth from within your heart... what tendency do you KNOW that Satan uses to draw you away from God? For most of us, it’s uglier than we want to admit and certainly write down, but ladies, it’s that exact tendency that is most vulnerable to unforeseen attack. Beware. Just as you and I know what lurks in the dark, the enemy does too. And he will use it to destroy. It does not matter how long you have been a Christian or how “good” you try to be. We each have a target on our heart and are vulnerable to our natural weaknesses.
So, what do we do with that sin tendency to fight and overcome it before it’s too late?
Well, you just took step 1 - call it out!!!
Now for step 2. God knows what this struggle is. He knows how deep it goes even more-so than you do, but it’s time to talk candidly with Him about it. Don’t try to “holy-talk” your way around it. Tell Him in exact terms what you know to be true.
Step 3 is probably the hardest. Find someone you trust and talk to them about this issue. I pray that through this study, the Lord will reveal who that person is for you. In Christian circles, this person is called an accountability partner. They need to be a Christ follower, otherwise they will also be a source of pulling you away from God’s will. I’ll be praying for you to find that person.
A dose of truth for today:
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 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 1:12-15
I told you this would be hard. I’ve been struggling with it all long before I wrote this study, but my heart desires that we live pure lives of sacrifice and redemption before our Holy Father that can be used to bring Him glory. This starts by giving Him our whole hearts - and letting Him clean them from the inside out!