Do you realize that God sees and knows everything? How does that affect your behavior?
I saw an old episode of “The Andy Griffith Show” where Andy’s son Opie found a wallet with $50 and no identification card. He turned it into his dad, hoping Andy would give the money to him as a reward. Instead, Andy said they would wait seven days to see if anyone would come to the sheriff’s office to inquire about the wallet. Sure enough, a man did and he thanked Opie by giving him a few bucks for his thoughtfulness. Opie passed a big test.
Imagine you are walking on campus and you find a credit card on the ground with the school president’s name on it. What is your first instinct? Do you look around and see if someone is looking for it? Do you try and use it for personal gain? Or do you take it to the office of the president and return it? If you take it back, you will pass a test that was as big as any you would take in one of your courses. It is the sort of test you and I take every day. It is the test of whether or not we will do what is right even though we are convinced no one is watching.
It is the test of what entertainment you take in the privacy of your dorm room. What web sites do you view that have questionable content? How do you handle the situation when someone offers you the answers to an upcoming test that were obtained illegally? What kinds of thoughts do you allow to go unchecked when you see someone who is attractive? What do you do when the cashier gives you too much money back after a purchase?
We face tests like this all the time. Some we will pass and others we may fail. Some, like the one King David of Israel faced dealing with sexual purity can have catastrophic results.
Read 2 Samuel 11:1-5 and 12:1-14.
King David walked around on the roof of his palace one spring evening. He observed a woman bathing, noted she was beautiful, and sent someone to inquire about her. Ignoring his servant’s report that the woman was the wife of one of his top soldiers, David sent for her. Ignoring the command of God’s law, David slept with her.
David became guilty of breaking the sixth, seventh, ninth, and tenth commandments. Bathsheba appears to be an un-protesting partner in this adulterous encounter. When she later became pregnant with David’s child, the two of them knew the law prescribed the death penalty for both of them.
Prophets were messengers of God and the Great King sent Nathan to rebuke David and announce judgment on the king. Nathan asks David, “Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes?” To his credit, David recognized his guilt and confesses his sin in response (see David’s additional reflection in Psalm 51).
Even though David experienced the forgiveness of God, and was released from the customary death penalty for adultery and murder, he and Bathsheba still suffered great consequences.
Let’s learn from David. One way to prepare for such tests is to remind ourselves that Someone is always watching us. Even in the dark. Even when no one is around. Even when no one knows what we are thinking or considering. God knows. He sees. He more than anyone else, wants us to pass the test. And He gives us the strength to do the right thing.
Think theologically. Your true character shows when you think no one is watching.
Love is a verb,
©2019 by Mike Olejarz