"And he (David) lay with her.'"
II Samuel 11: 4, King James Version
"From a Woman's Point of View" Part 4-"Evil = Exceeding Heaven's Boundaries"
"Of two evils choose neither."
C. H. Spurgeon
Have I ever committed an act in my life that resulted in breaking heaven's boundaries?
What was the result of this action?
"Evil indulged in eventually becomes evil that controls us."
"Evil is good perverted."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
EVIL: "Morally wrong or bad. Causing injury, ruin, pain or harm."
It's a word we don't like to talk about that much. It doesn't even sound nice - "EVIL." Yet, this is a word we find used throughout Scripture. Genesis 6: 5 tells us that God saw that the people on earth, before the flood were, "evil all the time." David and Solomon both wrote about how to handle evil behavior. And the Apostle Paul instructed the Christians in Rome to, "Hate what is evil; cling to what is good" (Romans 12: 9 N.I.V.).
In order to get a better understanding of the word, in my studies I found there is a "word history" behind the word, "evil." Historically, the word evil was related to the words "up" and "over" and to the prefix "hypo" which means "under or beneath." The basic sense of evil, which may now be lost was, "to exceed proper bounds or to overreach." And this can be "up and over" or "down and under."
I find this descriptive definition to be apropos to the story of David and Bathsheba. Evil behavior can often be thought of as some heinous crime or act of grandiose perversion, when in fact, defined in practical terms, evil isn't just an absence of good as the poet Longfellow noted, it is "good perverted," or as we just found out in the word history of evil, it is an overreaching, an exceeding of proper bounds, up or down, and I'll add that evil, in a spiritual application in our lives is the overreaching or exceeding of the boundaries set by our heavenly Father. This is why the Apostle Paul was so strong in his denouncement of evil, instructing his fellow believers to "hate what is evil" as well as to "avoid every kind of evil" (I Thessalonians 5: 22 N.I.V.).
The reason I've taken some time to expand on the definition of "evil" is that even the most innocent appearing actions in our lives, when overreaching heaven's boundaries, have the potential to end up with evil consequences.
Let me explain.
David and Bathsheba's interlude began when David decided to stay home at his palace in Jerusalem rather than go to war with his troops. Clearly stated, this behavior wasn't evil. Next, he took a nap and awoke to take a stroll on his rooftop. Nothing evil here, either. Then he saw a gorgeous woman whom he enquired about and finally brought to his house to his bedroom, and in the end to his bed where we are told - David lay with Bathsheba. He exceeded heaven's boundaries. He over reached and engaged in behavior that, within the bounds of a marital relationship, was not evil but good. David took what in its proper place was a good action and perverted it by stretching God's boundaries. And from David's overreaching behavior, a child was conceived. Let me be clear, this child was not evil. This was a precious child, conceived outside the boundaries of God's plan - but don't blame the innocent for the mistake of David. And this is where we too frequently fall into a pit when we are discussing or defining our own behavior, and then trying to find something or someone to blame for our own actions.
It's easy to look outside ourselves and decry the faults we see in others, and when we do we label these individuals as "evil-doers." Their gross behavior in our eyes sets them apart with the "Scarlet Letter" of sin painted on them like a designer label. However, if we honestly look within our own hearts, at those times when we have exceeded or stretched the boundaries set by our heavenly Father, we will find that evil lurks in all of us. As the noted theologian Karl Barth remarked, "Sin is not confined to the evil things we do. It is the evil within us, the evil which we are." And while it is much easier to call attention to the blatant mistakes of those whose public faults are laid out in plain view for everyone to see, before we call out the sins we see in others, we need to look within at the sins we try to hide when we overreach the boundaries of our Father in heaven.
Many years ago, I had a best friend who wasn't married and became pregnant. Like Bathsheba, this was an event she could not keep hidden after a certain point in time. Well, as you might imagine, among her "churchy" friends this behavior was decried, especially by one of the upstanding deacons, whom I later found out was the father of the baby. Seems he was able, to this day, to hide the details associated with the child's paternity, while my friend suffered under the heavy hand of condemnation for her "evil" behavior.
While I'm not in any way trying to call evil by any other name than it is, let's as Jesus said, beware of the beam in our own eye when we are calling out our neighbor for the speck we see in his eye. Let us purpose to walk within our Father's boundaries and choose to stay on heaven's path that doesn't exceed or stretch into evil's territory.
"Against the dark background of man's failure and sin, the cross shows us the measure of God's passion against evil and the measure of God's passion to redeem His sinful children."
A Hymn to God the Father
"Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which is my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt thou forgive those sins through which I run,
And do them still, though still I do deplore?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
For I have more.
Wilt thou forgive that sin by which I won
Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt thou forgive that sin which I did shun
A year or two, but wallowed in a score?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
For I have more.
I have a sin of fear, that when I've spun
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
Swear by thyself that at my death thy sun
Shall shine as it shines now, and heretofore;
And having done that, thou hast done,
I have no more."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.