The Expository Files.

"It Just Happened!"

Mantras of the 90's #4

Perhaps you have had conversations with people who are explaining the sin they fell into, and as they try to describe how they became sexually immoral, the remark is made: "Well, it just happened." On television, in movies and talk shows this is a popular mantra or justification for adultery.

"It just happened!"

Now just what are we supposed to believe here? Are we to understand that two people were living lives of purity and responsibility, and against their will and without their consent - all of a sudden they were committing adultery? Do things like this "just happen?" Is this the nature of sin and human behavior? Are we to disregard the function of the human will and the process of submitting to temptation? This popular mantra requires that we ignore the plain facts of human choice and temptation. The suggestion is, two people who had no intent to sin and no particular weakness just found themselves together in sin. "It just happened?"

David fell into sin with Bathsheba. Let's see if that "affair" just happened. Notice, the text does begin by stated that something "happened," but continued reading shows clearly: DAVID AND BATHSHEBA HAD A ROLE IN WHAT HAPPENED; and it is beyond doubt: David was tempted, made a series of wrong choices and brought the guilt of sin upon himself. Notice the words set off by italics:

"It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king's house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold. So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, 'Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?' Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house. And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, 'I am with child',"(2 Sam. 11:1-5, NKJV).

This is so simple and obvious. David saw, David beheld, David inquired, sent and took and "he lay with her." This speaks to lust, consent and choice. It didn't just happen.

In the book of Proverbs, David's son, Solomon, warns us against the thoughts, attitudes, choices and circumstances that put us in position for adultery or fornication to "happen!" In Proverbs 5 he teaches us that SEXUAL SIN IS EVENTUALLY DISAPPOINTING. He writes of the gradual and subtle movement from sweetness to bitterness, from gain to loss and from purity to pollution. The beginning of these liaisons may seem to be exciting and sweet, but that "honey" turns into poison. Solomon recommends discretion in Prov. 5:2. Discretion is that self-restraint that causes us to stop and think; to contemplate the eventual result of a presently contemplated act. Discretion will keep sexual sin from "happening." Discretion is rooted in faith and determination to please God.

In Proverbs 6, Solomon uses a different approach to encourage this discretion; he wants us to consider that SEXUAL SIN IS GRADUALLY DESTRUCTIVE. When we neglect moral discretion and make the choice to sin in this manner, we stand to suffer great loss (see Prov. 6:20-35).

Finally, in Proverbs 7, Solomon preaches that SEXUAL SIN IS ULTIMATELY DEADLY. He pictures a naive young man who - due to his lack of discretion - is caught, tempted and destroyed. The last word in chapter seven is "death."

Husbands and wives need to be exceedingly careful about unwise intimacies, and young people who are single need to make early decisions to be pure. "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge." (Heb. 13:4, NKJV).


By Warren E. Berkley  
From Expository Files 4.4; April 1997