"My heart I give Thee, Lord, eagerly and earnestly." - John Calvin
Monday, July 27, 2009
Stumbling Down the Path to Sin
"Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on. For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong; they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble. For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. The way of the wicked is like deep darkness, they do not know over what they stumble."
- Proverbs 4:14-19
When a godly man falls into serious sin, it is rarely a matter of being caught by surprise. Usually, he has dwelt on it, planned it, and made sure that his hand is hidden in it.
Consider David's son, Amnon, in II Samuel 13. He was pining after his half-sister Tamar, the full-sister of Absalom, and takes to his bed in a juvenile funk. Then verses 3-4, "But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David's brother. And Jonadab was a very crafty man. And he said to him, 'O son of the king, why are you so haggard morning after morning? Will you tell me?'" Notice the steps that led to this place: Amnon was already a conspirator with his cousin Jonadab, a "very crafty man," or a man who is practiced at figuring out how to commit evil. Then Amnon pines after his own half-sister, the sin of incest. Then he works out a plan with Jonadab to satisfy that sinful lust. This leads to verse 14, "...being stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her." His steps in planning evil have led to his rape of his own sister. He wasn't suddenly overcome by sexual desire, and fell to it; he planned it out carefully, with the assistance of his wicked cousin.
The rest of the story is that Tamar's full-brother Absalom kills Amnon in revenge. Tamar is violated, Amnon is dead, Absalom becomes a fugitive, and the family of David is ravaged as a result of Amnon's scheming.
Man or woman of God, take warning from this case from history. Cut off your scheming at its first steps, while it is still harmless, lest it lead to evil far beyond what you currently imagine.
My name is Chris Cole. I have lived in the Charlotte, NC, area for over thirty years, and have been an active Presbyterian during most of that time. I love the Westminster Confession of Faith as a beautiful expression of my own personal beliefs.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I prefer the English Standard Version of the Bible, and all quotations are from the ESV, unless otherwise stated.
I have a number of reviews of Reformed books on Amazon. There is a link to them in the Reformed links below.
"Seeing [that] the Lord of lords, the Lord Jesus, is so ready (never was there king so ready to hear a subject as Jesus is), [even] if thou wert the vilest body that goes, a thief, a harlot, etc., yet if thou wilt say this, 'Lord, remember on me, and give me a part of thy kingdom'; - if thou prayest to him from a penitent heart, with confidence and assurance, I promise unto thee, heaven and earth shall go [fall] together ere thou wantest [lack] thine asking. Seeing [that] our Lord Jesus is so liberal [free-giving], then seek more than enough, more than a kingdom, and thou shalt get more. The only cause why we want [lack] is in us: we have no hearts to seek it." - Rev. Robert Rollock, Scottish Presbyterian minister, about 1590, in a commentary on Luke 23:42-43