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. The man said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her… –2 Samuel 11:2-4a

Perhaps you enjoy getting out on the water and fishing: The sun welcoming a new day towards the east, crisp air on your cheeks, the reflection on the water, and the enjoyment and relaxation of spending time outdoors. It’s you versus nature out there, a chance to catch your dinner…or at least boast to your friends that you could have eaten your catch for dinner! Have you ever considered the fish?

Now, the fish is experiencing a different kind of day. Swimming along in his wet wonderland, minding his own business, the fish suddenly ascends upon a snack! A nice, juicy-looking morsel floats along inviting the fish — tempting him — to take a bite. So it does. Next thing he knows he’s fighting for life, gasping for water, but being pulled closer and closer to death. For on the other side of his snack is a hook cleverly hidden by his favorite treat.

Perhaps that is what happened to David when he saw Bathsheba bathing on the roof. It may have seemed innocent at first, just inquiring about whom the woman was. But then, the little nibble wasn’t enough. He wanted more. He nibbles more, and then he is hooked. He sends for her and sleeps with another man’s wife. Hardly what you expect from a king who the Bible says is a man after God’s own heart.

The truth is that we all are sinners. We lower our standards and values just for a little taste. The next thing we know, we have fallen into the trap of sin and don’t know how we got there. It starts with a small lie or a casual glance. One bad choice leads to a whole slew of other bad choices and we are trapped. Temptation and sin often come in enticing packages. The problem is that once you have taken a bite, it gets easier and easier to fall into sin and harder and harder to stop pleasing yourself. My advice to you and the fish: Don’t nibble. Swim away.

1. What are the hooks in your life? Recognizing them can help you avoid bites of temptation.

2. What can you do to make sure you think about choices and their effects beyond just their immediate gratification?

1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Corinthians 10:13

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Kelly McFadden

Kelly McFadden is a wife and mother and is part of the HomeWord daily devotional writing team. Kelly graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2000 with a degree in journalism. Following a season of playing professional volleyball and training with the US National team, Kelly returned to school and received her Masters in Christian Education from Azusa Pacific University.

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