Summary: We can guard against sin if we engage God in our lives, focus on things above with His word in our thoughts, hearts, and actions, and stay in constant prayer, confessing our sins to Him.
Text: 2 Samuel 11:1-17
I was flipping TV channels mindlessly (mindless TV, is that an oxymoron?) recently when something grabbed my attention. It was not a captivating program or a fascinating documentary or even a particularly delicious recipe on the food channel, it was an infomercial.
America is credited for giving the infomercial to the world. When they first appeared, infomercials were most often during late-night/early morning hours. Today you will find infomercials running pretty much any time during the day (a large portion of infomercial spending is early morning, daytime, early prime and even prime time.) There are also entire networks devoted to just airing infomercials all day and night. An interesting local hook is that the very first infomercial may have been right here in San Diego. During the 1970s local station XETV ran a one-hour television program every Sunday consisting of advertisements for local homes for sale.
Some infomercials are made to closely resemble actual television programming. Some imitate talk shows and try to downplay the fact that the program is actually an advertisement. This one was not one of those; this one was right off the Midway of the Del Mar fair. It was in your face, fast pitch; don’t stop talking for a second kind of sales line. In a way it was refreshing in its honesty, there was no doubt that this infomercial was trying to get you to call in and buy, and call now.
Because when you call in to buy, that’s when they have you on the hook and the real sales job begins. After getting your information, the person on the line says something like, “Now would you like the deluxe version? The one you are ordering is actually made out of cardboard but for a small upgrade price, we do offer one made out of solid wood, which will last 10 times as long.”
Once you give a yes or no on that decision, you then hear these words: “Now, shipping on this will take about 4-6 weeks, but if you’d like it like it to come sooner than that, you can pay an extra $9.99 and get it sent to you immediately.”
Once that decision is made, you then hear, “Now even though you are paying $19.99 for your item, if you would like another identical one, we can add that to your order for $4.99″
But of course, they’re not quite finished. “Would you like to be connected to so and so for some magazine subscriptions?” It is an exhausting experience, especially if you end up having a bill that is twice as much as you planned when you made the call.
So what’s the point of bringing this up this morning? Because it occurred to me that this whole experience of the infomercial is a great picture of how sin works in our lives. It starts small, sometimes even innocently. But once we bite, it wants more than we bargained for. It just keeps coming at us, inviting us to give a little more of ourselves…so that we end up with a bill that much larger than we ever planned.
We can see this Sinfomerical progression in the story of David. It is a painful story to read; how he was at the height of God’s blessing, experiencing huge military victories and loved by the people. One day, when he should have been out with his troops, he caught sight of Bathsheba bathing and ended up sleeping with her but the story doesn’t end there. The hook was set. When Bathsheba got pregnant, David first tried to get her husband to come home and sleep with his wife, which he refused to do while his comrades were fighting. So then David tried to get him drunk, which also didn’t work.
Finally, David sent a note with Uriah to the commander of the army, Joab. In this note, David commanded Joab to place Uriah on the front lines of battle and then leave him there to fight for himself, so that he would be killed. And that is what happened.
David then takes Bathsheba to be his wife. Notice how this sin progressed: from a lustful look, to a one night stand, to out right, murder. David didn’t have murder on his mind when he first glanced at Bathsheba’s beauty…but once he was on the line, the sin began to destroy more and more.
Someone once said, “Sin will always take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.” That first move toward sin seems so harmless, just like dialing that 1-800 number or a fish biting into a hook
You and I are no different than David; we are just as vulnerable to the sales pitch of the Sinfomercial. Thankfully our God has given us the story of David and Bathsheba so that we may learn to guard ourselves from sin.