A question came up during our men’s study on purity this week. What is considered lust? It seems that this would be pretty cut and dry when thinking about the subject. Is there a difference between admiring someone’s beauty or handsomeness and is there a point when such admiration crosses into lust? Let’s look at a couple of things. First, what is the definition of lust? According to Webster’s there are two.
- Lust (verb): to have an intense desire or need : crave; specifically : to have a sexual urge
- Epithumeo which means: to lust after, covet or of those who seek things forbidden
- Epithumia which means: desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust
- Then it happened in the spring, 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 sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem. 2 Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing ; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance. 3 So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite ?” 4 David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house. 5 The woman conceived ; and she sent and told David, and said, “I am pregnant.”
So how did this happen? Several things lead up to David’s sin. First, he was at the wrong place, at the wrong time. David should have been in battle instead of back home in Jerusalem. Second, he came upon a woman, Bathsheba, bathing, and did not turn away. We are told she was “very beautiful in appearance.” so he obviously looked at her long enough to arouse lust because we see that he inquired about the women. Now, even fully knowing she is a married woman, David sends messengers to bring her to his palace where he has sex with her. We later learn Bathsheba becomes pregnant, and to cover it up David work’s out to have her husband killed in battle. That is a mind blower!
- “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy , slander, pride and foolishness. 23 “All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.” (Mark 7:21-23)
- “but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”(Matthew 5:28)
- “The eye is the lamp of the body ; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23 “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness ! (Matthew 6:22-23)
- Do not desire her beauty in your heart, Nor let her capture you with her eyelids. (Proverbs 6:25)
- A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, The naive proceed and pay the penalty. (Proverbs 27:12)
- Therefore , take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. (Ephesians 6:13)
- if we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
I have read Psalm 51 many times, and like David used it as a personal plea to ask God to forgive me for my pornography addiction years ago. I can rest now for the forgiveness found in Christ Jesus. Like David my life has been spared but there were still painful losses, and consequences as a result of my lust. Through Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit I can live in victory, not fear over the lusts of the world. Ultimately, I know God is in control, and trust that He will use all things for good.