Dangerous Rest

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May 7, 2013 by lellielieb

Today I read the story of David and Bathsheba.  It’s such a sad story, so avoidable, yet fascinating, because in the end, God takes the whole mess and turns it into Solomon.  This story is the stuff of movies–drama, passion, war, intrigue, loyalty, betrayal, repentance and resolution.  What scares me the most about the entire story is the very first verse: “In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.” (2 Samuel 11)

It scares me because I so easily identify with it.  David had been through a lot.  He spent years in the fields with the sheep, a time running back and forth between his father and Saul’s service, more years in military camps, and then all those months running from Saul–dodging from cave to cave.  It’s obvious that having a chance to be at HOME, to have a home, was important to him.  It was so important, that one of the first things he wanted to do was to get the Lord’s presence out of the tabernacle.  David was sick of tents.

So, he sent his men to battle and he stayed home in his nice, safe house.  He gave in to comfort.  I don’t think this was difficult to justify in David’s mind.  He deserved a rest.  He stayed home and got himself into the worst mess ever and before it was over, instead of being an innocent, honest, loyal man chased by a crazy king, David was a murderer.  It’s heartbreaking.

This story gives me chills because my life seems to be coming into a time of rest after great stress.  I long for peace and time to think, time to breathe and recuperate, but I want to remember David and be wise.  Even in my rest, I want to be active and attentive to God’s will.  I’m an introvert.  I thrive on time alone.  Time alone recharges me, but it can also be a time of temptation.  Alone with my thoughts on the roof top of my mind, looking back over the past, I can get myself into pretty serious messes that involve things like hate, envy, anger, revenge, dissatisfaction, discontent, and bitterness.  These, I most certainly want to avoid.  Lord, as You bring me into rest, keep me in the center of Your will; keep me active in Your work even as I recuperate; help me know when to go out and when to stay in! Amen.

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