“In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel with him… But David remained at Jerusalem.” (2 Sam. 11:1)
We don’t know why David didn’t go into battle. Maybe he was tired. Maybe he forgot how important he was to his troops. Maybe he didn’t realize how essential being on the battlefront was to his own life.
Although we don’t know why David stayed at home while “all Israel” went to war, we do know what David did with his idle time. One day he saw a beautiful woman taking a bath. Her name was Bathsheba. David desired her. He sent his servants to bring her to his bed. He lay with her. She conceived.
This sad story only gets worse. David recalled Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, from the battlefield. After wining and dining his warrior, David told Uriah to go home. It was David’s hope that Uriah would sleep with Bathsheba so that his misdeed could be covered up. Uriah refused to go. He believed it would be wrong to have such comfort while his fellows were still on the battlefield. When Uriah returned to the front, David sent instructions that assured Uriah’s doom. David, the adulterer, became, in effect, David, the murderer.
When David didn’t go to battle with his troops he sowed the seeds of destruction upon his leadership, family, legacy, and kingdom. If David had gone to the battlefield could all this pain have been avoided?
Jesus came to do battle against sin, evil, and death. He came to do battle for justice, fairness, and faithfulness.
Are we on the battlefield against what Jesus would have us fight against and on the battlefield for what Jesus would have us fight for? If we’ve retreated from being on the battlefield for Jesus, it doesn’t matter why. All that matters is that we return.
Today’s encouragement is to those who may have walked away from battling for God’s Kingdom. Jesus wants you to return. Your fellow warriors need you. And you need to return for your own soul’s sake. Just as David was at his best when he remained on the battlefield, so are we.
- Are you doing the battling, wrestling, and exerting that are needed to make a difference for God’s Kingdom?
- We all go through seasons of being dismayed, discouraged, distracted, and defeated. During such times, do you know what Jesus is saying? “Don’t surrender. Don’t despair. Don’t give up.” Are you listening?
- Sometimes our toughest battles aren’t out in the world, but within our own minds and hearts. Do you need to call upon Warrior-Jesus to help you to defeat any negative voices, any debilitating personal foes, so that you can return to the cause, the mission, the battle God has for you?