ALERTNESS and PRAYER prevents TEMPTATION: In the first ten chapters of Second Samuel, we see a king who could do no wrong. David was a man truly after God’s own heart, victorious in his battles, making the correct judgments and was even magnanimous to Saul’s family. He begins his reign in prayer (2 Sam 2:1), and advances in faith. However, when we arrive at chapter eleven, King David falls down from his lofty pedestal into sin that was so egregious that this chapter ends with these words: “But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord” (2 Sam 11:27).
How did things go so wrong in David’s life? We can note four steps that led David down the slippery slope of sin:
- David neglected his duty. David was supposed to go to the battlefield during the spring time, but he stayed back in Jerusalem (2 Sam 11:1). When we are out of place where we should be, we fall into temptation.
- David desired for idleness and comfort as he got up from his bed and wandered on the roof of his house (v. 2). Idleness usually gives way to temptation.
- David’s eyes wandered to forbidden places. He committed adultery in his heart first before committing the act of adultery (Matt 5:28).
- David frantically tried to cover up his sin by murdering an innocent man who was much more honorable that him.
In the event we are tempted, like David let us be honest with God and with ourselves. We should stop trying to hide our sins behind cheap excuses and lies. We should be willing to deal with and accept the consequences of our sin. We should totally surrender ourselves to God. We should allow Jesus to come into our hearts, forgive our sin by accepting His free gift of salvation and let Him start the process of rebuilding our lives on His firm, eternal foundation.
Let us also remember that alertness and prayer prevents temptations in our lives. "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matt 26:41; Mark 14:38; Luke 22:40, 46). We succumb to temptation when we neglect our intimacy with God and wander off to forbidden places. Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death (James 1:13-15).
A final word of wisdom: "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (1 Cor 10:12).