READ: 2 Samuel 9-11
THINK: Do you ever take your relationship with God for granted? Perhaps you've known God for a while and your passion for serving Him isn't as intense as it once was. By this time in David's story, he's proven his devotion to God through extreme challenges. But David's life shows that we cannot live on past successes. If we're not careful, misguided and unrestrained passion can lead to spiritual compromises that threaten our devotion to God. The problem is that our efforts to defeat sin often focus on the moment we're face-to-face with temptation. But that's usually too late. The battle is typically won or lost much earlier. Everyone has the potential to make bad choices, but some can be averted by using common sense and simply avoiding people, places or things that lead to temptation.
RESPOND: How did David show loyalty to his best friend Jonathan who had been killed years before (9:6-7)? (See 9:1 note.) What advice did the Ammonite king, Hanun, get from his advisors, and why did he listen (10:2-4)? Why are people often quick to take bad advice or listen to a negative report if it confirms their suspicions about others? At the beginning of chapter 11, what did David do differently than he had in the past (11:1)? Why was David particularly vulnerable to temptation at this time? (See 11:1 note.) How can staying actively involved in God's purposes keep you from getting into trouble? Why can failing to stay active make you more vulnerable to temptation and failure? (See 11:1 note.) What can you learn from this situation regarding your relationship with God? How did David try to cover his sin? How did Uriah show character and loyalty in this situation (11:11-13)? (See 11:11 note.) What did David's actions toward Uriah reveal about David's attitude toward God at the time (11:17)? (See 11:2 note, subpoint 2.) In what way is David's experience both an example and a warning? (See 11:2 note, subpoints 1-5.)
PRAY: Pray for help in avoiding and resisting temptation. When you do fail, pray that the Holy Spirit works in your conscience, not allowing you to hide or hold on to your sin, but impressing you to repent and turn to God right away.
ACT: Deliberately avoid things that tempt you or appeal to desires or lusts with which you've struggled in the past. If you've tried to cover or conceal any sin in your life, confess it immediately. Ask God to forgive you and help you do whatever it takes to make things right with others. If you're neglecting your time with God or your involvement in ministry, reset your priorities so that your time and attention are redirected in a more positive, God-honoring way.
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