Monday, June 27, 2016
It’s no fun to be tempted. It’s stressful and the potential for destruction in any number of ways haunts us. Relationships can be destroyed. Businesses can be lost. Addictions can ruin families. There are innumerable ways to be tempted. Succumbing to any temptation is rooted in distrust of God.
It’s easy to wonder why life can’t be free of choices that would make us sin. And to top it all off, why do such opportunities to sin seem so attractive? It just doesn’t seem fair.
Such temptations occur in the lives of every single person who has ever lived. But it may be that temptation burdens Christians more. It’s harder to admit we face and often give into temptation because as believers we have the power of the Holy Spirit. Yet that fact doesn’t remove the struggle. We continue to choose not to ask Him for His help.
And that applies to every single Christian. No person is exempt, even those we see from afar and think they would never give in. Because it’s part of being human and so is the mental anguish when we fail. Yet, longingly, we hope we’ll be able to rise above temptation.
Bathsheba and Hannah both faced temptation, but in different areas of life. Their responses were different, too. (Tweet that!) Let’s see what we can learn from them.
Although it is customary for women to bathe in their courtyards, they would be protected by the walled enclosure. But of course, the palace was higher and it was easy for the King to see below, which she surely would have known.
When David calls for her and she understands what he wants, it is a dangerous situation for her. To refuse a King is a possible death sentence. Yet, when we are tempted and it seems that we have no other options, God will provide them if we look to Him.
In contrast to Bathsheba, Hannah trusts God with her temptation. Here is one aspect.
Hannah felt misunderstood by her husband. We learn that ultimately, no one can provide what we need. Our husband may not know the right words because as a man he looks at things differently. His attitude most likely will be a version like Elkanah’s: “I should be enough; don’t feel like this.” Unfortunately when husbands or men try to deal with a woman’s emotions, they feel helpless and powerless. They don’t understand the “drama” and can get irritated because they feel powerless and can’t seem to make things better. The more they love that woman, the more they can feel incapable. And few men like to feel incapable and powerless because God designed them to be the warrior and protector!
Unfortunately, we might interpret their frustration as meaning we aren’t loved and cared for. A vicious cycle begins of misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Maybe Hannah is caught up in that very scenario. Satan might be accusing her of being unloveable, both by her husband and God. Yet God wants her to believe the truth: He loves her and cares about her pain. In time, He would show her His love and favor.
(Excerpt from Choices of the Heart: Daughters of the King Bible Study Series, copyright 2016. Bible study with 10 lessons, each lesson contrasting two women of the Bible).