Read: 2 Samuel 11:1-17,26,27
One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her.
2 Samuel 11:2,3a
Curiosity Can Kill a Cat (and Your Innocence Too)
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Dad said not to leave the yard. But I’m curious what game the neighbor kids are playing.
Mom said not to touch the pie. But I’m curious—does it taste as good as it looks?
I know I should not visit this website. But I’m curious. Is it really that bad?
These are examples of how the sinful human mind works. We want to know what lies beyond the boundary, so we creep closer to it, hoping to satisfy our curiosity. It started with the very first humans in the Garden of Eden: Eve was curious about the fruit. As she stepped closer to the tree, the devil tempted her: “Did God really say you shouldn’t taste it?” (Genesis 3)
The same sort of boundary-pushing happened in our Bible reading for today. David was curious about a woman who was not his wife. Did God really say I can’t be interested in a beautiful woman bathing near my house?
Be careful, God says. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation,” Jesus said in Matthew 26:41 and Mark 14:38. Those passages go on to say why we need to be careful: “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
God gives us warnings like these in his Word because he knows we are weak. He knows that curiosity can lead to desire for the wrong things, which leads to the likelihood that we will get ourselves into a whole heap of trouble. That’s what happened to King David. One thing led to another, and pretty soon David was neck-deep in sin and its consequences.
God makes it abundantly clear in his Word that we should “resist the devil” (James 4:7) and “pursue righteousness” (2 Timothy 2:22). Thankfully, God also makes clear in his Word that there is forgiveness for sinners who cross the line. We know this because King David, despite his terrible sins, was led to repentance. We can read his pleas for forgiveness in Psalm 51. He still had to live with the consequences of his sin. But he was fully forgiven. (We can read David’s words of gratitude in Psalm 32.)
Whether you are a king or a kid, a pastor or a parent, curiosity can have consequences. Let’s pray that God would give us strength to watch, pray, and resist temptation.
Dear Jesus, help us to watch and pray, so we are not tempted. Please help us use our curiosity for good—to marvel at how wide and deep your love is for us and how much you care about us. In your name we pray, Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- Have you ever wanted something that you know is bad for you?
- What could you do to get rid of that temptation?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Name something that children your age are tempted to do, even if it is against what God says in his Word?
- What can you and your family do to help you avoid that temptation?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Name something that teens and/or adults are tempted to do, even if it is against what God says in his Word?
- How can we as a family encourage one another to remain strong and live according to God’s Word?