Keep My Guard Up

2 Samuel 12

One of the things I really enjoy when I read the Bible is the character studies of different people. Maybe the times have changed but people haven’t. It’s a good thing God is in control, because it’s hard to make sense of many difficult situations. We don’t always see the big picture, but David’s life is pretty thoroughly covered. The early days seem humble and faith-filled.  Time goes on, lots of trials and then David becomes king of Israel. After doing the whole “king-thing” for a while, David decides to stay home and not go out to battle.  He doesn’t ask the Lord about this as he had in the past.  Big mistake. Rather than recount the events that is his sin with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah (her husband), you can read it for yourself in 2 Samuel 11 &12.

I used to catch myself saying “No David! Don’t do it! How could you?” I just couldn’t fathom how he could make this mistake after all that he’s been through and how God has blessed him. And yet, David had weaknesses and he wasn’t on his guard so he gave in to his flesh. Giving in to our flesh is a sin common to man – we are all guilty. I pray a lot more fervently to have my guard up all the time and my focus on the Lord or I am one step away from failure too. I have far less illusions about my ability to handle the fleshly nature now.

Back to the story….  God sends Nathan to confront David.  The wisdom and skill that Nathan uses to get King David to relate and understand impresses me. Nathan hooks him and reels him in. What jumped out at me this last time was what came after the hard-hitting, “You are the man!”  Check out 2 Samuel 12:7-15:

Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. Why have you despised the word of the Lord,   to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.'” David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.” Then Nathan went to his house.

David wasn’t perfect and had certainly made mistakes long before this point in his life, but this was one time where he wasn’t willing to follow God. He forgot God. Notice how God recounts all the things HE did for David. David didn’t make himself great, God did.  God was at work all throughout David’s life and the same is true for each of us. I continually need to have my heart stirred with the notion that God is at work in every detail of my life such that I can glorify Him.  I am also sobered at the thought that a moment of selfishness can derail God’s good plan and introduce consequences that will bring sorrow and shame. David humbled himself and God forgave him but the new path he was on was a painful one.

My prayer: Lord, keep me humble and focused on You.  Don’t let sin rule over me.  Help me keep my guard up so that I can remain faithful to You. Help me remember all Your mercies. You are good!! Only You are good.