Today’s Reading: 2 Sam 11:1–12:31, 2 Pet 1:1–8, Ps 139:1–24
Today’s Theme: The Deceitfulness of Sin
Today’s theme is about the deceitful and deadly allure of sin and how God has made provision for us to live godly lives.
2 Samuel 11:1–12:31
In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. 2 Samuel 11:1 (ESV)
The scripture makes a point of telling us that it was the time of year when kings go out to battle and that David decided to send the army without him.
It is the areas of seemingly insignificant compromise where we open an opportunity for temptation and give a foothold to the enemy.
Ephesians 4:27 reminds us “and give no opportunity to the devil.”
Our flesh with its evil desires and sin by its nature are both very deceptive in leading us astray. The devil will encourage us to make small compromises and concession in a larger scheme to entice our souls through desire, temptation, sin and finally leading to death. James 1:14–15.
Ask God to show you any subtle areas of compromise that could be leaving holes in your defence against the enemy today, so they can be addressed.
Sin destroys relationships
Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah dwell in booths, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.” 2 Samuel 11:11 (ESV)
Later in 2 Samuel 23:39 Uriah the Hittie is named as one of David’s crack team of commandos known as the thirty. These were the most skilful, brave and loyal of all the warriors in David’s Army.
Uriah was a man who risked his life for David and was with him from the Cave of Adullam all the way to victory in Jerusalem. He was a loyal servant and friend and here acts with great nobility.*
All of this makes the betrayal of David and the current conspiracy to cover up his sin so much worse. The deceitful slave master of sin has caused David to betray one of his loyalist friends and has blinded him to the man’s faithful heart.
Sin will destroy relationships because at its core is selfishness and deceit, seeking only the satisfaction and justification of the offender. Don’t allow relationships to be maligned, cheapened, betrayed and destroyed through the deceitfulness of sin.
*It is probable that as one of the 30 he had an esteemed place in society as his home would have been close to the king for the king to see his wife on the roof.
Sin damages your brain
David said to the messenger, “Thus shall you say to Joab, ‘Do not let this matter displease you, for the sword devours now one and now another. Strengthen your attack against the city and overthrow it.’ And encourage him.” 2 Samuel 11:25 (ESV)
I have a note in my Bible from a couple of years ago from Pastor Dennis it simply says “Sin damages your brain, then it hardens your heart”
This is so true, the deceitfulness of sin will infect our thinking, we will be so drunk on lust and consumed with our own interest that we will not think clearly.
This self gratifying way of thinking will inevitably harden our hearts, making us cold and indifferent to sin and those around us.
Guard against hardness of heart today with Ephesians 4:32 which says “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Sin brings death
When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she lamented over her husband. 2 Samuel 11:26 (ESV)
This verse vindicates the character of Uriah’s wife and gives context to the events.
Contrary to common misconceptions, Bathsheba was not bathing on the roof to try and entice the king and so implicit in the betrayal of her husband, rather the king abused his power and in a sense raped Bathsheba because she had no power to reject the king’s advances when she was summoned.
Bathsheba wept for her husband who had been killed as a result of David’s failed cover up of his sin.
Sin brings mourning, regret, shame and death to all those it touches.
The root of Sin
Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 2 Samuel 12:9 (ESV)
The root of our sin is a hatred for God, His word and ways in favour of our own lust.
David is so driven by his sinful desires that he takes another man’s wife by force to satisfy his lust when he had a large number of wives and concubines himself. This proves the point that lust is never satisfied.
We find true satisfaction and contentment in Jesus. John 6:35.
So sin at it’s heart turns us or worst still our lust into a false idol god that must be served and is never satisfied. We need to trade the idol of self for the true and living God who has spoken, today.
The consequences of sin
Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the LORD, the child who is born to you shall die.” 2 Samuel 12:14 (ESV)
Sin leaves scars and consequences follow sin. God was merciful to David by forgiving him but at the same time the sin needed to be judged and it was by the fruit of the sin (the baby) dying by God’s decree.
Sin always leads to death and is a very serious thing before God. We should not take sin and repentance lightly. We need to realise that God will still allow judgement, discipline and even remedial punishment in our lives because of sin.
Consider this today, sin always has consequences. Thank God for the mercy He has shown to us and for the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross which makes atonement for us 1 Peter 3:18.
2 Peter 1:1–8
Equipped by God
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 2 Peter 1:3 (ESV)
We have been given everything we need from God to live a godly life. We have been given His word in the Bible, the help of God the Holy Spirit and have been drawn into an intimate relationship with God Himself.
We escape the deceptive allure and destruction of sin by living the godly life God has empowered us to live by His Spirit. We have been equipped to live for the glory of God.
Notice the verse mentions us living a godly life though our knowledge of God. In this context hearing and understanding the Bible is key.
The virtues of God
by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 2 Peter 1:4 (ESV)
Through the promises of God’s word we gain two benefits, the first is that we participate in the divine nature and the second is that we escape the corruption in the world caused by desires.
When Peter is talking about us being partakers in the divine nature he is not saying we become little gods, that is absurd. He is talking about moral transformation and acquiring moral character which is from God and based on God’s own virtues of love etc.
This moral transformation into godlike or godly character is the only real escape from moral corruption, which comes from our drive or desire to please ourselves.
By the promises of God’s word and His Holy Spirit, as believers our desires are changed and our very nature is changed when we are born again. This is the only way that we can escape the constant pull of sin.
Verses 5 to 7 go on to give us a practical map for cultivating a godly character and growing in Christ, in light of God’s promises.
Make an effort
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 2 Peter 1:5–7 (ESV)
We need to make an effort to live a godly life. I don’t have time to go through each of the 8 virtues listed but each one is crucial to the life of the Christian.
Here is a plain list which you can think on (meditate) and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you about:
- Self Control
- Brotherly Affection
Make an effort or you will be carried away by the deceitfulness of sin.
The all knowing God is everywhere
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? Psalm 139:7 (ESV)
This is such a beautiful psalm. It exalts two of God’s unique attributes which should fill us with awe and encouragement if we love Him but fear if we are living in sin and rebellion. These attributes are God’s Omni-Presence (God is everywhere) and Omni-Science (God knows everything).
We cannot sin and win. So whether this encourages or frightens you today, learn the lesson that God sees all our sin, none are done in secret so do not be deceived.
Search me, O God
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! Psalm 139:23–24 (ESV)
We end today’s study by asking God to search us, to try our thoughts, motives and intentions to see if there is any sin in us and that God would lead us to truth and freedom.
Verse 17 reminds us that God’s thoughts for us are many and good. We should seek to please Him by making our thoughts compatible with His by His word and Holy Spirit and not be deceived by the false promise of sin.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on 2 Peter 1