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Summary: #2 of 4 sermons dealing with David’s sin with Bathsheba, its effects, and David’s ultimate restoration.

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A Desperate Cover-Up

(2 Samuel 11:14-27)

I. The Cycle of Unrepentant Sin

A. Temptation

B. Infatuation

C. Flirtation

D. Commission

E. Guilt Alleviation

F. Self-deception

II. Lessons To Be Learned

A. To avoid sin’s power, avoid the first step

B. Temptation is constant; so should be our prayers

Introduction

For a decade after 1918, an Italian sculptor, Alceo Dossena, reproduced numerous pieces of Renaissance sculpture and sold the majority, at an average price of $200, to an art dealer, who claimed that he disposed of them as copies. However, as they were such clever imitations, the dealer sold the pieces as originals for fabulous sums to the world’s leading art museums and private collectors.

Dossena happened to learn the fact in 1928 and sued the crooked art dealer for a part of the huge profits. The resultant publicity made Dossena and his imitations so famous that, at an auction of his works in New York five years later, the Italian government felt it advisable to give each buyer an official document that guaranteed his purchase to be a genuine fake of the sculptor (15K-WS).

Last week we began a four-part series entitled, “When Good People Do Bad Things,” focusing on that infamous period of sinful behavior in David’s life. In the first sermon we looked at the sinful act itself: adultery with Bathsheba. This morning we will study in detail the immediate results of David’s sin: getting caught in the cycle of unrepentant sin.

Please turn with me to 2 Samuel 11. As we read this account, I want you to take note of the perils of getting trapped in sin. Sin, like quicksand, pulls downward with terrible force. Once one foot is stuck, we are tempted to use the other foot to free ourselves—and soon we lose the battle. This passage demonstrates for us that the way to avoid being sucked under by sin is to keep ourselves from taking the first step into sin’s quicksand. As I did last week, I would like to read the entire chapter.

The Cycle of Unrepentant Sin

The cycle of unrepentant sin is a deadly trap that each of us is susceptible to once we commit a sin. Each step of this cycle takes us further from the influence of the Holy Spirit and deeper into the clutches of sin. One commentator points out, “In the course of his downward slide from temptation to sin, David manages to disobey three of the Ten Commandments: ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife’; ‘You shall not commit adultery’; ‘You shall not mur-der’ (Exodus 20:17, 14, 13)” (EBC, vol. 3, pp. 927-928). Let’s examine the cycle of unrepentant sin.

Temptation

The first step in the cycle of unrepentant sin is temptation. I want to make it clear—even as the Bible itself declares—to be tempted is not sin. Temptation is simply a natural part of life in this fallen world. I think it safe to say that we should expect to be tempted on a daily basis.

While temptation itself is not sin, we can do things to lead ourselves into temptation. From the example of David, he wasn’t where he should have been, and so he opened the door for temptation to enter his path. When he looked down from his rooftop, a place that he should not have been, temptation came in the form of a beautiful woman bathing herself. A quick glance turned into a burning desire.

In the same way, we are often guilty of setting ourselves up for failure by inviting temptation to come our way. It may be certain place, or group of people, or an activity that provides the opportunity for temptation to begin to germinate and grow with intensity to the point that we can no longer resist it. Temptation is not sin, but we must be on our guard that we are not guilty of providing a fertile spot for temptation to grow.

Infatuation

From temptation, the cycle of unrepentant sin progresses to infatuation. This is the act of giving a “second look” to temptation. In David’s case, it was a literal second look at Bathsheba. As he continued to gaze upon her, he coveted her and began to devise a plan to have her. This is the point where sin enters: to gaze at the proposition set before us; to fix our hearts on enjoying the things that the temptation promises to us.

It’s like one of the scenes from the Disney movie, Aladdin. In this particular scene, Aladdin, a poor boy living on the streets of Agrabah, and his monkey, Abu, are about to enter the Cave of Wonders. Just before setting foot inside, they are warned not to touch anything inside except the magic lamp. Everything begins well. They find a magic carpet that leads them right to the object of their quest. It seems as though they would be successful.

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