June 2

2 Samuel 11:2-4a (NIV) 2One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, "Isn't this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" 4aThen David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her.

In the spring, the kings would go out to war on the enemies of their nations. Instead of going out with his army, David sent his general, Joab. David remained in Jerusalem. It has been said that an idle mind is the Devil's workshop. It sounds like David was sleeping in and rose to do a little peeping on his neighbors from his roof. He saw a beautiful woman bathing. Instead of turning his gaze, as would have been appropriate, he continued to look. His mind dwelt on her beauty, and he took the next step to ask who she is. The answer from his servant should have been a wake up call, but then he took the next step and had her summoned to his presence.

We can see the string of sins, each leading to a greater one. In the season before, God had given David a great victory over his enemies. Joab was leading the forces against an old enemy, the Ammonites. Why had David decided to stay behind? He was not an old man. Was his vacation from the war a purposeful choice to indulge himself in some way? From the looking to the contemplation, to the asking, to the invitation, David was sliding down a slippery slope.

The fall of many a man of God has the same sad story. One sin leads to another. If at anytime in your life you decide to stop fighting the enemy to indulge yourself, it won't be long before you find yourself defeated. At any point, David could have stopped and realized where he was headed. He would have avoided the devastating consequences.

Consider: He didn't choose to stop and so he paid the price. Will you?

June 2

John 3:14-16 (NIV) 14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

In trying to help Nicodemus to understand His mission, Jesus related what He had come to do with a story from the Law (Numbers 21). Nicodemus studied the Law daily and would have immediately understood the implications. When the Children of Israel were complaining about their circumstances, God sent fiery serpents among them. Those who were bitten died in a short time. Moses asked God what he could do to save them. God told him to make a brazen serpent and put it on a pole. Anyone that had been bitten could look at the image and be healed. That is where the medical symbol of today comes from.

Jesus related this story to His mission. To be hung on a pole was to be cursed according to the Law. The brass in the image represented judgment. Jesus was saying that He would be cursed and judged so that the sin sick world could look to Him and live.

Why? Because God loved the world so much that He was willing to send His only Son to save the world from their certain death condition. He was the only one who could take the curse and sins of the world upon Himself and satisfy the justice of God. Those who lived before Christ looked forward in time to what Jesus would do for them. Those of us who live after the cross look back in time to what He did there. We all gaze upon the cross and in believing are healed from this deadly poison of sin. God so loved YOU that He gave His only Son, that if YOU will believe in Him, YOU will not die from the poison of sin in YOU. YOU will have eternal life.

Meditation: Put your name in place of "the world" and "whosoever" in the 16th verse.