Summary: This sermon applies James 1:14 and 15 to the sin of David with Bathsheba.
Sin’s Slippery Slope James 1:14, 15
INTRO.: The Bible is completely truthful about the lives of its heros. No sin is hidden or covered up. The Bible tells it like it is. We read about the great heros but not just the good things they did. We also see the darker sides of their natures.
Noah got drunk, Moses disobeyed God, Jonah was resentful when his preaching was effective, Abraham passed his wife off as his sister, Jacob cheated his brother, Peter denied Jesus, Paul used to persecute Christians. None of their sins were kept secret.
Our example today is King David. He was a great man, anointed by God to be king over Israel while he was still very young. He defeated Goliath. He became a general in the army and won many battles. It is written of him he was a "man after God’s own heart."
But, he was not perfect. The eleventh chapter of II Samuel tells the story of his trip down the slippery slope of sin. Let’s look at David’s sin through the telescope of history and apply our text.
I. "each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed." verse 14
A. See how David’s trouble started: II Samuel 11:1, 2
1. He had spring fever. It was time for kings to go to war, but he sent Joab, his second in command.
2. His troops were in harm’s way, but he was in the palace in bed early.
3. He gets out of bed, perhaps bothered by a guilty conscious, and takes a walk on the flat roof of the palace.
B. I have a hunch there is more to this story than meets the eye.
1. It’s quite a coincidence David is on the roof at the exact time his neighbor’s wife is taking her bath. Maybe he’d heard she did this. Who knows.
2. He had nothing better to do than scan the neighborhood from the height of his roof.
3. And why was she bathing where she could be seen when her husband was away at war?
4. James makes it clear none of this came from God
C. "Dragged away" and "enticed" both have the idea of an animal or fish being lured out of its shelter by a hunter or fisherman. The second has the use of bait in view.
1. The woman had the right bait, but that isn’t what dragged David away.
2. He was lured away by his own lust. He is responsible for his sin, no one else.
3. James is telling us to blame no one but ourselves when we fall into sin. The Devil can’t "make you do it." God won’t.
4. The best bait in the world won’t catch a fish if the fish isn’t hungry. It’s his own hunger that causes his downfall. So it was with David.
II. His lust, when it had conceived, brought forth sin. II Sam. 11:3, 4
A. David acted upon his lustful desire:
1. He brought Bathsheba into the palace. A bad mistake. He knew she was married.
2. For just a few hours of pleasure, lives are changed and even lost. And it isn’t that David didn’t already have enough wives in his harem.
3. Maybe he convinced himself just this once wouldn’t hurt. One of Satan’s big lies.
4. He knows he is caught when she becomes pregnant. Something must be done.
B. Now, he’s like a wild hog caught in a trap. He struggles with all his might to get free.
1. He fell for another of Satan’s big lies: "You can cover up one sin by committing another."
2. Relate the story of how David twice tries to deceive Uriah.
3. David is learning the lesson James is trying, centuries later, to teach his readers.
C. James 1:15 contains three words that relate to giving birth. An interesting sidelight on David’s case. Possibly his sin would never have been discovered if she hadn’t conceived.
1. Lust is a seed and if we allow it to lie in our hearts, it will begin to grow.
2. Sin is the result and it will beget death. Death is the grandchild of lust. (An interesting expression, "give birth to death")
3. James says death follows lust as naturally as a child is conceived.
III. The next stage down the slippery slope: Sin gives birth to death.
A. David had Uriah killed in battle. The first death to result from his sin.
1. The innocent Uriah carried his own death sentence to Joab. David has sunk to an all time low.
2. Joab the general and the armies of Israel are drawn into David’s plot.
3. He used those who were willing to die for him to kill one who was willing to die for him.