Editor’s Note: AMI Quiet Times from May 1-10 are written by Dr. Ryun Chang, Teaching Pastor of AMI.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
2 Sam. 11:1-6 (ESV): In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.  It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful.  And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?”  So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house.  And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.”
Jimmy Swaggart, the Billy Graham among the Pentecostals, fell from grace because of a sex scandal. Pastor D. H., a radio preacher with a national following, left his church after committing adultery. Ted Haggard, a mega-church pastor and president of National Association of Evangelicals, was ousted after a graphic scandal involving a male prostitute.
Why do we keep getting shocked by “holy” men misbehaving when we see that David, a man whom God described as “a man after my heart” (Acts 13:22), takes another man’s wife for his pleasure? He had walked around the roof of the palace before; he knew about the view from the top. While David may not have anticipated seeing a woman bathing, he wasn’t surprised to see something; he probably thought, “It’s my lucky day.”
As a T.A. at U.C.L.A., I said to the students, “Perhaps, social science got it backwards: racism, sexism, and classism may be symptoms of the human heart that’s causing them.” One student disagreed, saying, “l believe that humans are really good at heart.”
Such an optimistic view wasn’t shared by Jeremiah who said, in the 6th century B.C., “The heart is more deceitful above all things and beyond cure” (17:9). Seven hundred years later, Apostle Paul declared, “Nothing good lives in me, that is in my sinful nature” (Rom. 7:18). No wonder “Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew . . . what was in a man” (Jn. 2:24-5).
How, then, can we be liberated from the power of sin? The regeneration by the Holy Spirit (Tit. 3:5-6) is necessary but not sufficient; praying and reading the Word is necessary but not sufficient either.
Don’t ever underestimate the power of sin! Don’t go to places where you know temptations await (e.g., rooftop); don’t hang around with people who will take you there (1 Cor. 15:33); don’t look at graphic images that will have you come for more (1 Jn. 2:16). Have a healthy of fear of what sin can do to destroy our lives. Today, think about the changes that need to be made, for God and for you.
Lord God, how scary it is to realize that there is no cure for the human heart that is bent on evil. Our hope is in You and the Holy Spirit from within who constantly guides us to the right place, right people, and right view. O my soul, listen to the Spirit; obey him, for it is for my own good. Help me, God. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Hebrews 13
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 Cor. 15:33 (NASB): Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
Matt. 6:22-3 (ESV): The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light,  but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
1 Jn. 2:16 (NIV): For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes . . .—comes not from God but from the world.
Question to Consider
- Why is it important to make sure that we are surrounded by the right people?
- How important is it to guard what goes through our eyes? Why is that important?
- Re-read 2 Sam. 11:1. Was David in the right place when his sexual scandal occurred? This is to ask, where should you be at 11 AM on Sundays, or 7 PM on Thursdays or whenever your dinner time is at home.
- Humans are social beings; peer pressure doesn’t just affect the youth; people are affected by those with whom they shared most of their time. You can pray and read the Bible all you want, but if you still run with bad company, not much will change—I guarantee it.
- Lust enters through the eyes; once entered, it darkens the whole body— that is, it affects the mind that controls what the body does. We must take great care what our eyes are allowed to see.
- Like in other springs, David should have been out, conducting military campaign to fortify national defense; instead, he put himself in a wrong place. On Sunday mornings, you are supposed to be at church. On a weekday, you are supposed to be at your family group or cell group. At dinner time, you should be at home and then stay there.
Without even trying, did you find yourself fibbing (even a little), having lustful and/or hateful thoughts today? We shouldn’t be too surprised; rather, we need to repent and ask God for a renewed effort and power to live better tomorrow by being constantly aware of God’s presence within us. Reflect and pray.