Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 11 comments

The most challenging home to visit on our third trip to Kenya was a small apartment within a large complex. Our destination was at least a quarter mile from the main road and in between it and us lay a veritable obstacle course. Which we walked. At night. Just after a heavy rain. (Kenya is located right on the equator and the sun sets about 6:30 each night. There are no streetlights, so when it's dark, it's DARK!)

After walking single file across a swaying bridge we made our way toward a steep slope. As the pouring rain met with the clay earth it had formed a slick sludge that now clung to my shoes. Despite my efforts to side step gingerly down the embankment, my slippery tennis shoes caused me to pick up speed at an alarming rate.

Suddenly I found myself in the dark, in the mud, barreling downhill at breakneck speed. The thought, "This is not going to end well," flashed through my mind. Fortunately for me our Kenyan host for the evening, familiar with the jaunt between the road and his home, saw my dilemma and took action. Actually, he didn't take action. Rather, he planted himself directly in my path, spread out his arms and prepared for impact. 

While I felt foolish having a high-speed collision with a relative stranger it definitely beat the alternative, which was being planted in the mud face-first. There were no other options.

Alas, just another day in Kenya. 

Recently, West Michigan was rocked by the arrest of a popular Christian radio DJ on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and his alleged confession of assaulting an 11-year-old boy. Things like this don't happen in a vacuum, as later evidenced by the shocking discovery of very disturbing items in his storage unit.

The list of those wounded by this event is numerous; the victim and his family, the DJ's step-son and bride of 7 weeks, their family members, his co-workers, the listeners. The list goes on and on.

The question, "How does something like this happen?" reverberates throughout our community.

I believe the answer is, "One step at a time."

"Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is drawn away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death." ~ James 1:14-15


Photo courtesy of rrenomeron and flickr

There is a reason why sin is often referred to as a "slippery slope."  Just as I had no intention of barreling down that hill, no one sets out to commit full-grown sin. Rather we justify taking one small step, believing the lies coming from the pit of hell that say "it doesn't really matter," and "it won't hurt anyone." 

Satan is the master of deception, convincing us it's possible to just take one little step and remain in control. The truth is, each step sends us further out of control and makes every subsequent step that much easier to take.

Just ask David.

It really DOES matter

I'm trying to get ahead in my Bible reading plan since we'll be leaving for Kenya soon, which led me to read about David this morning. If we look closely at the account in 2 Samuel 11 we can see the small steps that led David to big sin.

Step 1: In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war...David remained in Jerusalem. (:1) David's first misstep seems innocent enough - failing to do the work God called him to - but this was the first step towards his downfall.

Step 2: Failing to work led to idleness, putting David directly in sin's path. David...walked around on the roof [and] saw a woman bathing. (:2)

Step 3: Rather than turning his head, David stared long enough to see she was very beautiful. (:3)

Step 4: Instead of leaving it at that, David sent someone to find out about her.

Step 5: After being informed that this was Bathsheba, daughter of one of his mighty fighting men and wife of another, David sent messengers to get her...and he slept with her. (:4)

And that may be the last David thought if it, at least it was until he received word from Bathsheba saying "I am pregnant" (:5) with what was undeniably David's child. Then he went into panic mode, desperately trying to cover up his sin.

Step 5: David sent word to the commander of his army, ordering that he "send Uriah the Hittite [Bathsheba's husband]." (:6) 

Step 6: Following some idle chit-chat about how the war was going (:7) David then sent Uriah home to take it easy (:8). This included, presumably, sleeping with his wife. But Uriah was a man of honor, saying when he was questioned the next day, "How could I go to my house...and lie with my wife" while my fellow soldiers are camped in the open fields? (:11)

Step 7: Rather than leaving it there, David invites Uriah to "stay here one more day" (:12), giving him time to come up with another plan.

Step 8: This time, David attempts to lower Uriah's inhibitions by "making him drunk" (:13) but still, Uriah refused to go home to his wife.

Step 9: Ultimately David resorted to sending Uriah back to the battle front, carrying his own death warrant! "In the morning, David wrote a letter to Joab [his commanding officer] and sent it with Uriah. (:14) In it he wrote "Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is the fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die." (:15)

David would have never stood on his roof and plotted the death of one of his finest warriors; yet in just nine steps, there he was! 

How many of those steps seem innocent to you? 

How many of those steps (or the equivalent) have you actually taken?  


All it takes is one step in the wrong direction - entertaining a thought, telling one little lie, picking up a magazine, a click on the internet, a glance at the television - and before you know it, you find yourself tangled in something far worse than you could have ever imagined. 

David may have thought he had gotten away with it, successfully covering his sinful tracks, but nothing misses God's attention. Nearly a year later, after the birth of his son, God sends Nathan to confront David of his sin. To his credit, he doesn't deny it but confesses, "I have sinned against the Lord." Nathan replied, "The Lord has taken away your sin." (2 Samuel 12:13)

Did you catch that? Immediately after David confesses his sin, "Nathan replied, "The Lord has taken away your sin." But even though God had forgiven him, David still had to live with the consequences of his actions.

It hurts EVERYONE

- Nathan prophesied, "the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite." (2 Samuel 12:10)

- Then "the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David" (2 Samuel 12:15)

- David's son Amnon raped his half-sister Tamar. "When David heard all this, he was furious," (2 Samuel 13:21) yet he did not confront Amnon. Could this be because he was afraid Amnon would bring up Bathsheba?

- Because David didn't act, Tamar's brother Absalom took matters into his own hands and had Amnon killed, (2 Samuel 13:28) not unlike the way David ordered Uriah's death.

- David refused to speak to Absalom and after years of silence Absalom attempted to overthrow David as king, assisted by David's own counselor, Ahithophel the Gilonite (2 Samuel 15:12). In the list of David's mighty men found in 2 Samuel 34, Ahithophel is listed as Eliam's father (:34). In 2 Samuel 11:3 we're told Bathsheba's father is Eliam. If these two Eliam's are the same person, it would explain why one of David's trusted advisors would assist his son in a coup.


And on and on it goes. David lived with the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life, forever connected to his sin:

"For David had done what was right in the eyes of the LORD and had not failed to keep any of the LORD’s commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.(1 Kings 15:5)

David's sin followed him all the way into the New Testament where it's mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus. "David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife." (Matthew 1:6)

But then, something interesting happens. Although the name "David" is mentioned 59 times in the New Testament, it is never again connected with his sin against Uriah. 

Why?

Because now it's connected to Jesus.

You see, when Jesus died on the cross He took on the sins of the world.

David's sins.

Your sins.

My sins. 

That means that once we confess our sins, God no longer associates them with us. "as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." Psalm 103:12 


So where do you find yourself today?

Have you taken a step or two in the wrong direction? 

     - Confess to God and ask Him to open your eyes to the magnitude of your sin.

     - Praise Him for removing that sin from your life and make a U-turn back to Him.

Do you feel like you're barreling out of control towards disaster?

      - Reach out to God. Ask Him for forgiveness and invite Him to do whatever is 
        necessary to get you off that path. 

      - Find someone you can trust to plant themselves between you and calamity.

Are you still hung up on a past sin that God no longer associates with you?

     - Lay your sin at the feet of Jesus; 

     - Let it go; 

     - Don't pick it back up!

    - Remember that once Jesus has taken your sin upon Himself, God no longer 
       attaches it to you. 

Father, we praise you for the gift of forgiveness you have given us through your Son Jesus. Forgive us for condemning the sins of others while ignoring our own.  Free us from the burden of sin already confessed and forgiven so that we may live in the freedom you so graciously provide.


 Lisa


11 Responses so far.

  1. Asheritah says:

    I love your point that David wasn't connect to Uriah in the New Testament because "now he's connected to Jesus." Beautiful truth!! Thank you for sharing. (Visiting from the weekend brew.)

  2. elizabeth says:

    This is such a thought provoking post and a sober warning. Glad to be next to you at Janis' link this week.

  3. caryjo says:

    When you were describing the Kenya situation, I knew much of the same. The only difference was that MOST of the time I did not leave our house after dark...which, as you said, hit quickly. Usually, 6:30 and very dark immediately. And, when going around and about, I USUALLY was on a fairly flat location, so didn't fall down hills. AND, as describing this, it just dawned on me that I was very near many hills and, during the day, I walked out and about many times. I was even up on the east side of Uganda at the portion of the Kenya/Uganda mountain range. That was back in '95, though. I have hundreds of photos, and I think we have a fair amount of similar situations. I'd LOVE to spend time with you. Being in Uganda, again, would be a huge blessing, b/c I have so many kids and grandkids and friends. Miss them much!! Bless you and thank you for sharing. Greatly appreciated.

  4. Deb Wolf says:

    Wow, so many great reminders here. Andy Stanley talks about setting our personal boundaries way back from the "sin" line. I think it's very wise advice. I also love that David, even though he was a mess was a "man after God's heart." God's love and forgiveness are life's greatest blessing. I'm your neighbor at Joan's today. So glad it led me here.

  5. gentlejoy says:

    This is a great analogy.... and a good warning for all of us. Thank you for sharing this.

  6. Lisa, This is powerful. I love how you showed that David took 9 steps to murder. I don't want to be on that slippery slope either. Go gently now, Amy

  7. I could just picture you skiing down that muddy slope and being caught by the knowing host. If only those deep in sin would avoid those first steps in the mud and instead reach out to the arms to rescue them all would be well. It is sad when we realize those we admired have embarrassed us and many others. Sin does happen one step at a time. Thank you for sharing your lovely post with us here at “Tell Me a Story.” At: http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/

  8. Cathy says:

    Beautiful post with lots to think about. Great illustrations. Just 9 steps... I pray I not only hear God's warnings when sin starts to creep in, but to obey Him as well. Glad I stopped by. : )

    Visiting from Juana's Wednesday link-up.

  9. jviola79 says:

    You have written a very sobering post. May we all realize we are only one step away from the slippery slope. May we heed when the Spirit warns us & be quick to return with repentance. I am grateful to have read this post. May God use it mightily in many lives! Blessings!

  10. What a great post on sin and how easily it is to fall down the slippery slope because is simple decisions. It is a great reminder to examine the choices we make. stopping over from Three Word Wednesday.

  11. Lisa, a powerful post and very thought-provoking. Some good comments left here too. As Kimberly said, a good reminder to examine choices. A heart check I like to call it too. Time to consider what direction we may be headed in. Thanks for sharing with Three Word Wednesday. Blessings.

Leave a Reply

I would love to hear your thoughts :) Please leave a comment!