The Immediate Source of Jesus’ Power

Our master describes the power of the heart.  We understand that the Lord is the one who is ultimately in charge of everything, however, in this discussion we want to see the power that the Lord had placed in the heart of man.  The abundance of the heart controls the tongue.  Jesus said: “. . .out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh” (Matt. 12:34-35).  The words that we speak come forth from the heart.  Only what comes out of the mouth defiles the man.  What goes into his mouth never defiles him (Matt. 15:10, 11, 15-20).  What comes out of the mouth comes out of the abundance of the heart (Matt. 12:34).  We must conclude there is great power in the heart.  By controlling the tongue, we control more than the tongue.

The tongue controls the body.  Just as the rudder of a ship, or the bridle of a horse controls the ship and the horse, so the tongue controls the body (James 3:3-5).  It is not possible to tame the tongue (James 3:8), but it is possible to bridle it.  In fact if we do not bridle our tongue our religion is in vain (James 1:26).  Self-will can never bridle the tongue, but if we work together with God to form the heart in the image of Christ, the heart will bridle the tongue. The kind of heart we have determines the words we speak.  For example, if we have the heart of Satan, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak Satanic words (Matt. 12:34).  If we grow fully into the complete heart of Christ, out of the abundance of the good heart good words will come.  If we are half like Satan and half like Christ we will have mixed words – good and evil – coming out of our mouths.  The solution to controlling our bodies is to grow fully into the image of Christ.  With the heart of Christ, we will speak and do only good no matter what bodies we will have.  The heart will control this physical body and also the new spiritual body we are given in the resurrection.

COVETOUSNESS: Lesson 13 David Covets Bathsheba

And when he (the Lord) had removed him (Saul), he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will (Acts 13:22). See also: 1 Sam. 13:14; 2 Sam. 2:4; 1 Kings 15:5.

What is the history of David and Bathsheba? For a moment, consider some of the background of their situation. We read in 2 Samuel 3 and 2 Samuel 4 that Saul’s son, Ishbosheth, who began to reign over Israel after Saul’s death, has been murdered by two captains of his own guard. In 2 Samuel 5:1-3, David is crowned king over Israel, and by this time he is in the prime of his life, only 37 or so years old (2 Sam. 5:3-5). After battle with the Philistines (2 Sam. 5: 17-25), David was able to recover the Ark Of The Covenant which had been captured when Samuel was young, and to bring it back to Jerusalem with great rejoicing (1 Sam. 4:11; 2 Sam. 6:6-7; 2 Sam. 6:12-17). He loved the Lord enough to desire to build a house for Him, but was told that his son would build it instead (2 Sam. 7:12-13; 1 Chron. 28:6). The Lord was with him to secure his throne and give him victory over all his enemies (2 Sam. 8:1-18). (See verses 14-18, and also chapter 10). These are long readings, but vital for understanding King David’s temptation.

Then read 2 Sam. 11:2-27. David’s is the sad account of a temptation during an era when God’s people had not been guaranteed a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13).  We are not told why King David did not go to battle with his army, but we know he did not (2 Sam. 11:1). After running from Saul for approximately ten years, he may have been weary and felt the need of a rest. We can only glean bits and pieces of the rough introduction to his new position as king over both Judah and Israel. Some had not learned to trust him yet, so his kindnesses to them had been spurned (2 Sam. 10).  The fact remains: David was at home, rose from his bed and walked on his roof-top during the evening. He was now king of the whole nation of Israel and his power and authority established, but he fell into a great temptation.

Consider that David had already inherited or was given his wives (2 Sam. 12:7-8), but seeing Bathsheba brought a new temptation to call a very beautiful woman to himself. He coveted her and sent for her. As the king, he had every right to choose who would serve him in any capacity, but Bathsheba belonged to a warrior in David’s army (2 Sam. 11:3-4). When David called her, it was approximately seven days after her “flowers” had passed and she had been purified according to the Law (Lev. 12:2-5; Lev. 15:19-28; Lev. 15:30-33). Conception took place immediately. We are not told why David did not confess his sin, or why he determined to conceal it with a murder which could look like a normal battle event, but he did.

As we have seen, 2 Samuel 11 gives the details. We are left to wonder how and why such an egregious sin could tempt a man who had overcome so many other temptations (1 Kings 15:5). Even when he almost took vengeance against Nabal, the Lord saved him by the counsel of Abigail and he was spared (1 Sam. 25).

Use the following questions to help understand more; let the scriptures do the teaching.

  1. Under the Old Testament what was the command concerning taking another man’s wife [adultery] (Exo. 20:14, 17; Lev. 20:10)?
  2. King David had a right to make any woman in Israel his wife, but when his messengers told him who Bathsheba belonged to, what should he have remembered that would help him to overcome the temptation (Exo. 20:17; Pro. 5:15-21)?
  3. Why did he determine to kill Uriah after Uriah refused to go home (Pro. 6:30-34)?
  4. According to Romans 13:9-10 what consideration should King David have given to Uriah?
  5. What spirit did David have when he was confronted with his sin (Psa. 34:18; 51:17)?
  6. Was King David forgiven when he confessed (2 Sam. 12:13)?
  7. What principle did David follow that caused God to forgive his sin (Pro. 28:13)?
  8. Was forgiveness the end of the matter (Psa. 99:8)?
  9. Even though David was forgiven, what three things did God promise as a punishment for his sin (2 Sam. 12:7-14)?
  10. When and how were those promises fulfilled? Cite scripture references.
  11. David didn’t have the New Testament command in Hebrews 13:5-6, but if he had considered that principle, would he have been better equipped to resist the temptation to take another man’s wife? He probably did have that knowledge and understanding, but it wasn’t on his mind at the time.
  12. Was King David tempted in a way that was not common to men?  Was his temptation any different than the ones we face (1 Cor. 10:11-13)?
  13. What does the New Testament tell us about the same sins (Rom. 13:9)?
  14. Are all temptations of the same degree, or are some temptations more severe than others (Luke 22:31)?
  15. We have a choice when we are tempted to do wrong: We can get as close to it as possible without actually doing wrong, or we can get as far away from it as possible and put it out of our thoughts. Which does God say a prudent person will do? When David caught sight of a woman washing herself, what should he have done that could have avoided Satan’s trap (Pro. 22:3-5; Rom. 13:14; Job 31:1)?
  16. Is it possible for a thought to be sinful (Matt. 5:27-28)?
  17. Can we meddle with evil things or even think about wrong things (like reading inappropriate books or watching questionable movies) and then expect to come away without any damage to our hearts (Pro. 6:27-28; Pro. 4:23-27)?
  18. Can I do something wrong, hide it, and expect not to suffer any consequences for it or any punishment (Eccl. 8:11-13; Psa. 10:11-14; Matt. 10:26; 2 Cor. 5:9-11; Pro. 28:13-14)?
  19. According to 2 Timothy 2:22 and 1 Corinthians 6:18, what should we do when temptation presents itself to us?
  20. From where does all sin come (Mark 7:21-23)?
  21. What could make the temptation to commit fornication or adultery stronger for the unmarried (1 Cor. 7:1-5)?
  22. What is the conclusion to the whole matter for all of us (Ecc. 12:13-14)?


(1 Kings 21:1-29; 2 Kings 9:25-26)

Ahab was the son of Omri and the seventh king of Israel (1 Kings 16:30), who cemented a political friendship between Israel and Phoenicia with his marriage to Jezebel.  Jezebel was the nefariously wicked daughter of Ethbaal (worshipper of Baal), king of the Sidonians (1 Kings 16:31).  Ahab’s conversion to his wife’s false religion soon led to many immoral acts in every facet of his life.

From the window of his summer palace, Ahab could see a lovely vineyard as he viewed the landscape.  He pondered how convenient it would be to turn that into a vegetable garden next door to his palace and decided to purchase it.  To this point, Ahab’s covetousness did not pass the normal boundaries accepted by most men; however, when his offer was rejected his covetousness took full control of him.  Imagine a king pouting and refusing to eat because he could not have his heart’s desire.  Even yet, his covetousness appeared harmless enough to outsiders.  When Jezebel promised to procure the vineyard for him and took his ring, he was passively in agreement to whatever method she might use to get the land.  After she had finished her job, instead of taking action against her for dishonesty and murder, he resolutely went to put his name on the stolen property.  It appears that he had absolutely no remorse for the corrupt judgment or the murders he caused as long as he could possess what his avarice demanded.  When it came to dealing with Naboth, Ahab’s covetousness sprang from a greedy self-centeredness and an arrogant disregard of God’s law. Truly greed can make a very hard heart.

On the other hand, Jezebel had neither religious scruples nor any regard for the established government of Israel (Lev 25:23-34).  She had Naboth tried unjustly and killed so that Ahab could take over his property (1 Kings 21:1-16). Jezebel bribed two mercenaries to bear false witness against Naboth and testify they heard him blaspheme God and the king. As a result of their lies, Naboth was found guilty; and both he and his sons were stoned to death (2 Kings 9:26). Elijah the prophet pronounced God’s judgment against Ahab and his house for this horrible act of false witness and murder (1 Kings 21; 2 Kings 9:21-26).

Naboth, the object of the crime, was an Israelite of Jezreel who owned a vineyard next to the summer palace of Ahab, king of Samaria (1 Kings 21:1). Ahab offered Naboth the worth of his vineyard in money or a better vineyard, but Naboth refused to part with his property, explaining that it was a family inheritance to be passed on to his descendants.  Had Naboth deeply considered the laws regarding property, he might have understood that the land would be returned to him or to his heirs in the year of Jubilee. The concept of the sacred birthright probably accounted for Naboth’s refusal to sell his vineyard to King Ahab. He answered, “The Lord forbid that I should give the inheritance of my fathers to you!” (1 Kings 21:3).


1.Ahab was king and Naboth was his subject.  What kind of strain would that put on Naboth when Ahab demanded his vineyard (1 Kings 21:1-3)?

2.Ahab had an intense desire to possess something that belonged to another man.  The Law of Moses prohibited that attitude (Exod. 20:17; Deut. 5:21). What did Ahab reason in his heart about the imagined need for such a garden?

3.Why did he desire (covet) Naboth’s property (1 Kings 21:1-2)?

4.Did Ahab’s offer to buy or trade seem reasonable if there had been no law against it?

5.What was Ahab’s reaction to the answer Naboth gave him (1 Kings 21:3-4)?

6.Pouting, sullenness and depression seem to be childish behaviors.  Was it a harmless matter for Ahab to dwell on his disappointment and become depressed and morose about not getting what he wanted (1 Tim. 4:7; 2 Pet. 2:14-15; Matt. 6:21; Luke 12:34)?

7.Who came to Ahab’s “rescue” (1 Kings 21:5-7)?

8.What was Jezebel’s plan for taking the vineyard by force (1 Kings 21:8-10)?

9.Relate the events of Naboth’s unjust judgment (1 Kings 21:11-13).

10.Was Naboth the only one who died that day (2 Kings 9:25-26)?

11.Why would it be necessary (in Ahab’s eyes) to kill the sons of Naboth?  This answer is partly based on the research in question #18.

12.After Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, what did he do (1 Kings 21:14-16)?

13.Which prophet went to meet Ahab there (1 Kings 21:17-18)?

14.What was the message God had told the prophet to give Ahab (1 Kings 21:19, 21-24)?

15.What was Ahab’s temporary reaction to this message (1 Kings 21:27)?

16.As a result, what was God’s reaction to Ahab (1 Kings 21:28-29)?

17.In spite of the apparent repentance, what does God say about Ahab’s character (1 Kings 21:25-26)?


The following ideas have to do with possession of property under the Law of Moses.  This is pertinent for understanding Naboth’s answer to Ahab and for understanding what happened to Naboth’s sons at the same time (2 Kings 9:26).

Why might Naboth not want to sell his vineyard (Num. 36:7; Ezek. 46:18)?

Using Leviticus 25:1-55, answer the following questions:

     * How do you know that fields could be redeemed by the original owner within a year or, if not then, in the year of Jubilee?

     * Who could the Israelites NOT sell their lands to?  Why?

In the account found in Numbers 27 and Numbers 36, who received the inheritance of their father?  What would happen if they married within another tribe (Num. 27:7; Num. 36)?

By implication, who usually received the inheritance (You may also search keywords birthright or firstborn.)?

When there was no heir, who inherited?  Give the line of succession.

Who were daughters to marry (Num. 36:3-13; Deut. 7:1-4)?

By implication, who would sons of the tribes marry?

What was to be the inheritance of the tribe of Levi (Num. 18; Num. 35; Deut. 10:9; 18:1)?

What was the situation surrounding Ruth’s inheritance and why the nearest of kin could not take possession of it when Boaz gave him the chance (Ruth 4:5)?