Flee from temptation
I am continuing to read David’s story and in 2 Samuel 8-11 David conquers the surrounding nations, is kind to Mephibosheth, he defeats the Syrians and in chapter 11, I read the infamous story of David and Bath-sheba. I’m gonna have to return to all the battles and work out what they are all about later, but the two stories that stick out for me today: one, the story of David’s relationship with Jonathan’s son and two, David’s relationship with Bath-sheba.
I’ve heard the story of David and his sin of adultery many times and how he covers it up by first trying to get the husband back to sleep with Bath-sheba and then basically getting him killed when that didn’t work. What we learn from David’s personal struggle with sin is that we need to flee from temptation and do all that we can not to give in to it. We need to plan and prepare and we do this by:
1) Asking God to help us to stay away from people, places, and situations that offer temptation
2) Memorising and meditating on bible verses that tackle our particular weaknesses – there is a real need or desire that can be filled by God at the root of all temptations.
3) Finding another believer who you can share openly about our personal struggles with sin and let them hold us accountable.
Sorted! I will apply these guidelines to my struggle with the temptation to eat too much food and my failings in my exercise regime. I know a good scripture for this:
‘Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were brought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body’ (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
In the story of David showing kindness to the lame descendant of Saul, Mephibosheth, we see David fulfilling his promise he made to Jonathan, but Mephibosheth was afraid of David and his kindness. This was understandable, seeing as most kings in those days tried to wipe out the families of rivals in order to prevent any descendents from seeking the throne. Mephibosheth felt unworthy, which is how we may feel when God graciously offers us forgiveness of sins and eternal life. There is a welcome far greater than the one David gave to Mephibosheth awaiting those who believe in Jesus in heaven one day. All will receive God’s gifts through trusting Jesus Christ, not because anyone deserves it, but because of God’s promise:
Because of his kindness you have been saved through trusting Christ. And even trusting is not of yourselves; it too is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good we have done, so none of us can take any credit for it. (Ephesians 2:8-9)