Nothing New Under the Sun
Late one afternoon, after his midday rest, David got out of bed and was walking on the roof of the palace. As he looked out over the city, he noticed a woman of unusual beauty taking a bath. 3 He sent someone to find out who she was, and he was told, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” 4 Then David sent messengers to get her; and when she came to the palace, he slept with her. She had just completed the purification rites after having her menstrual period. Then she returned home. 5 Later, when Bathsheba discovered that she was pregnant, she sent David a message, saying, “I’m pregnant.” 6 Then David sent word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.”
14 So the next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and gave it to Uriah to deliver. 15 The letter instructed Joab, “Station Uriah on the front lines where the battle is fiercest. Then pull back so that he will be killed.” 16 So Joab assigned Uriah to a spot close to the city wall where he knew the enemy’s strongest men were fighting. 17 And when the enemy soldiers came out of the city to fight, Uriah the Hittite was killed along with several other Israelite soldiers. 2 Samuel 11: 2-6; 14-17
I like the show Scandal. It’s entertaining, full of drama, excitement and intrigue. I also think that Scandal is reflective of our society today. Although we may not condone cheating in “real” life, many watchers of the show support the adulterous relationship of the main character Olivia Pope and the President. As much as I love the show and believe in love, I don’t want their relationship to work out because of what it stands for in fiction and “real” life. Yet last week’s episode spoke to me personally. We saw in this episode exactly how Olivia became caught up in a scheme to get the President elected to office. When we first met Olivia, viewers fell in love with her character’s sense of justice, righteousness, and helping her fellow man to right the injustice of the world; thereby excusing her adulterous affair in the name of soul mates and love.
Yet what struck me last week was how Olivia’s decision to love and have a relationship with the wrong man opened the door to her making choices that were not of her character. How many of us have been there? We end up in a situation, sometimes devastated or heartbroken; sometimes angry or betrayed and we wonder how exactly did we get there? We made a choice.
As my relationship with Christ becomes closer and deeper, the more I recognize the subtleness of sin. Sin is pervasive on many levels and we often don’t see how one choice or decision leads us to the next level of sin.
In this scripture, we meet David and Bathsheba. David sees Bathsheba and in an instance sin takes root in his heart as he covets what is not his own. I used to wonder what David was thinking as he risked the loss of God’s favor. Now, I understand; if Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was bathing on a rooftop and I glimpsed him, I would probably pull a David thinking”What can I do to posses him?” David is known for being a man after God’s heart and was the chosen King of Israel. Yet he risked it all not in one decision, but in a multitude of choices. The choice to sin did not start when he saw Bathsheba on the rooftop. No, the choice was made when pride took root in his heart and caused David to believe that he deserved to possess whatever his heart desired. It was a simple thought, one he probably did not notice at the time, but the damage from that one sin opened the doorway to lust, murder, heartache, and grief.
It is easy to discuss how sin has a snowball effect, but the harder question is how to stop sin at the root before the pebble turns into a boulder? Simple. We obey His Word and His instructions. It is easier said than done, but I have learned that whatever heartache I experienced is because I did not obey God’s command. At the same time, whatever heartache I have avoided is because I did choose to obey His command. The Word of God may not be popular; it may not be up to date with the current trends and beliefs of the moment, but it is still relevant. Even though Scandal presents a story of a society whose moral aptitude may be more lax than generations before, the scandalous behavior is still the same as it was a millennia before. So is the judgment and grace of God.
Every day we are faced with a choice to obey God’s command and sometimes those commands can be the smallest and most inconsequential, yet even then, God has called us to obey. He calls us to obey not because they are rules that need to be followed. Instead He calls us to obey because in His omniscience (all-knowing) He seeks to protect us from hurt, disappointment, heartache, and grief. It took me a long time to realize that, but now I do. He is our Father for a reason.