Scripture tells scores of stories about how great men & women messed up. Their failings are exposed so that we can be preserved.
King David, one of the Bible’s best loved leaders, really missed it – twice. He slept with a married woman and then a few years later, he listened to his insecurities and counted the people.
These wrongs have something in common. One phrase is repeated before David fell, on both occasions:
“It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab… But David remained at Jerusalem.” 2 Samuel 11:1 (Before he committed adultery.)
“It happened in the spring of the year, at the time kings go out to battle, that Joab led out the armed forces… But David stayed at Jerusalem.” 1 Chronicles 20:1 (Before he conducted the census.)
Do the right thing
Immediately before both blunders, David was in the wrong place doing the wrong thing. He was resting when he should have been warring.
I’m sure that David deserved a break. He had led more armies into battle and fought more wars than most people would in a hundred lifetimes. He had killed giants and defeated nations far greater than Israel.
Perhaps he was tired and wanted some time out? Maybe he was fed up of fighting?
Have you ever felt like giving up because you’re worn out? Sometimes the battles of life can feel relentless. We just come out of one war when another starts.
I remember working long days in a demanding job, serving alongside my husband in ministry, while raising small children and doing my best to keep my home in order.
One evening, I had to leave work in a rush because one of my children was unwell. I suddenly broke down. I must have looked like a mad woman, running down a busy road to catch my train, bawling my eyes out!
I was tired, and I felt like a bad mother. My emotions made me want to back off and give up.
But in truth, I was exactly where God wanted me: in a season of serious stretch, while God was getting me ready for my destiny.
My children will always come before ministry and work but they were fine! It was me that was feeling the squeeze while they were blissfully unaware. So I had to pick myself back up and get on.
David was a king and he was a warrior. God’s will for his life was for him to be bang in the centre of a battle. He would have been safer at war than he was at home.
When we are not where we are supposed to be, we make ourselves susceptible to temptation. When we are not in the perfect will of God, we invite enemy attention. There is only one time when we see satan easily stirring David to sin and it was when he stayed home to rest when he was called to fight:
“Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel.” 1 Chronicles 21:1
Both mistakes led to terrible consequences. After his affair, he lost his child. But after the census, 70,000 people died. Thank God that our mistakes don’t normally carry such serious consequences! However, we can see the importance of staying in the perfect will of God.
I think one of the most important verses for everyone who wants to fulfil their purpose is this:
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9
If you’ve been feeling weary, I encourage you to take strength again. His power is supernatural and is available to us whenever we need it. Ask and receive by faith.
If you’ve been missing in action, or staying away from the people or places where you know you will grow, get back on track! The price of fulfilling your purpose might be high. But the price of not paying the price is far higher. David proves that.
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