Summary: The hidden dangers of lust today, and how can the bible help us overcome lust
This morning we are beginning a new series called virus where over the next 3 months, we are together going to look at some of the viruses that attack our world today as part of our vision to tackle topics which are relevant and applicable to life today. We are not looking at viruses in a biological sense, but rather the viruses that attack our Christian ethics; the viruses that unless we acknowledge them and then tackle them, will cause destruction and pain. Viruses such as anger, power, gossip, self-esteem, arrogance, money, dishonest. Together both on a Sunday morning and in our small groups we will explore what the bible says about these viruses, and how we can each be both prepared and protected again a fresh infection.
Now I appreciate that some of these topics are a little sensitive, and could bring to the surface all sorts of feelings and emotions; I am going to speak candidly with you, and we are going to touch on some subjects that would not normally be mentioned on a Sunday morning in church but friends I firmly believe that God wants us to tackle these. I would encourage you to hook up with our small groups, because it is in this environment where I hope you will really get to grips with some of the issues we are touching on over these next three months. We have now a total of 7 small groups meeting on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday nights and I encourage you to check out the small group board at the side entrance and see which group you are perhaps geographically closest too.
This morning to begin the series we are looking at the topic of lust. Do you realise how difficult it was to search for a clean image to depict lust? I don’t know if you can make out the image on the screen, but I went for a fishing hook, and hopefully during the course of the sermon you’ll see why. First, let’s open God’s word – we are going to be in and out of the bible this morning, in fact throughout this series so it may be a good idea to get into the habit of bringing your own bible along – but we do have some church bibles which should be under your seat.
What is lust (powerpoint)
The bible contains quite a lot about the subject of lust. Perhaps the most obvious passage that springs to mind is David and Bathsheba so why don’t we jump in there. Turn with me if you will to the Old Testament, 2 Samuel chapter 11. It is on page 314 of the church bible.
Let me set a little context; David and the Israelite army had been pretty successful in their battles so far. Their last battle had ended in 40,000 enemy foot soldiers dead and 700 chariots destroyed – it had been a rout – but there had been a gap in time between chapters 10 & 11. Spring was now here, which meant an end to the rainy season and the time for armies to begin moving out again kind of a mopping up exercise, but David chooses not to go. Up to this point David had pretty much been the model king.
Read 2 Samuel 11:1-5
Many of us if asked to define lust would think pretty much immediately about lust in a sexual capacity. Most dictionaries define lust major on the sexual nature, or points to it being one of the 7 deadly sins – but believe me all sins are deadly!
The Encarta reference dictionary defines lust primarily as a sexual desire. It is clear that David’s desire for Bathsheba was sexually motivated. It would seem from the passage that he really wasn’t interested in a relationship with her. Notice in verse 4 how he sends a messenger to get her, and then after the act neither of them were interested in chatting – she goes off home. Her husband is away, David is at home at a lose end and sexual desire takes hold of both of them. This is not a love story but rather a one night stand; the desire for sexual indulgence.
Please hear me right, there is nothing wrong with sexual desire; it is a God given gift – but when a person fulfils that desire in a forbidden, abnormal way – then it is wrong. Sexual encounters based on lust invariably lead to all sorts of problems. In this biblical example it leads to David breaking the 6th, 7th, 9th and 10th commandment. This was a big problem at the time, unfortunately in our society today sexually motivated lust is viewed as less of a problem, in fact in certain quarters it is practically encouraged.