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. 11:5-9, 14-5 (NIV): The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”
 So David sent this word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent him to David.  When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going.  Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him.  But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house. . . .  In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15 In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”
“I stay in bed all day,” responded the woman when asked about how she dealt with depression. I was thinking about her later on when I myself stayed in bed all day after an argument with my spouse resulted in low spirits. It surprised me how quickly I reached that low state from a previous “spiritual high”: fasting all day and worshiping the Lord in the evening.
As I read what David is up to after his tryst with another man’s wife, I’m reminded of the incredible velocity of a downward spiritual spiral: the man who once declared, “The LORD is my shepherd,” now acts like a common criminal. Upon finding out Bathsheba’s pregnancy, David, after summoning home her husband Uriah from the battle, tells him, “Go down to your house and wash your feet” (2 Sam. 11:8). David wasn’t being nice here; he was hoping that Uriah would sleep with his wife so that her pregnancy could somehow be explained away. The plan to cover his tracks failed because Uriah, thinking about his comrades “camped in the open fields” (11), “slept at the entrance to the palace” (9).
Was David impressed? Perhaps, but not enough to scrap his devious plan and come clean. He now executes Plan B: the most heartless way to kill a man. David writes a letter to Joab, Uriah’s boss, instructing him to place Bathsheba’s husband “in the front line where the fighting is fiercest” and “then withdraw” so that he will get killed (15). Uriah carried that letter. When informed of his death, the king “had [Bathsheba] brought to his house” (27), presumably under the pretext of looking out for his royal soldier’s widow.
Lesson? Don’t get too cocky about your faith. “If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall” (1 Cor. 10:12)! Be fearful of what sin can do to us in a flash. Do quickly what David should’ve done: “Uriah, I’m sorry; I’ve sinned against you and God.” The best way to handle sin will always be confession and repentance! There is no other way; do it quickly.
I worship You, Heavenly Father. It gives me the chills reading about how David, a man after [God’s] own heart (Acts 13:22), could act like a common criminal to hide his sin. God, help me not to sin; when I sin, may I confess and repent right away, knowing that on account of Christ, I will be forgiven. Thank you.
Bible Reading for Today: Ezekiel 4
Lunch Break Study
Read James 1:14-5 (NASB): But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.  Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.
Eph. 4:26-7 (NIV): ‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,  and do not give the devil a foothold.
1 Jn. 1:9-2:1 (ESV): If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.  My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous
Question to Consider
- What impression do you derive from James’ understanding of sin?
- What seems to be Paul’s main concern when a sin has been committed?
- What does John assume? Where is the source of his confidence when we do sin?
- It is organic and has a life of its own. Once the seed of sin has been planted, it doesn’t stay as a seed; it evolves and grows until it bears bad fruit. No sin is inconsequential: sooner or later, its effect will surface to take away something valuable from us: marriage, finance, health, or even life.
- Paul’s concern seems that once sin has been committed, it must be dealt with a sense of urgency because an unaddressed sin may invite the Enemy to make the situation to go from bad to worse.
- John is under no illusion that Christians can live a sinless life; while he expects them to sin less in frequency and intensity, he assumes that Christians will still sin. What interests him the most is what to do once a sin has been committed: confess it to Christ who then will advocate on our behalf to the Father for acquittal.
It is easy for some of us to go through an entire day without committing even one sin, so we think. Turn off whatever is making sound or noise. Close your eyes and bow your head and ask God: “Lord, show me how I fell short of your glory in my thoughts and actions especially toward others.” Then repent.