In Second Samuel Chapter 10:13, Joab and his men are determined to to fight bravely and march out to do battle. Here is the scene as it unfolds. As the men approach the Arameans, the Arameans flee. They tuck tail and run. One enemy down and one to go. Then the other enemy, the Ammonites, see the Arameans fleeing and instead of standing their ground to do battle choose to turn and also run. Both enemies down. This war is over before it starts.
Our Israelite heroes were poised for battle, we were on the edge of our seats waiting to see one of the greatest fights ever, and the enemy turned and ran and we saw nothing. Yet soon after fleeing, the Arameans consolidate their forces and come to a place called Helam, where King Hadadezer’s Aramean army is now led by General Shobach. King David is informed of the enemy’s location and gathers all of his fighting men to do battle. He crosses the Jordan River and comes to Helam. The battle ensues and David kills 700 Aramean charioteers and 40,000 foot soldiers and General Shobach. The rest of the Aramean army flees. The victory is massive as all the kings who were subject to King Hadadezer make peace with Israel and became their subjects. King David led his men to a massive victory. David had accomplished what he set out to do.
It was a great day for King David and the people of Israel, and then we turn the page and read these words “In the spring of the year, at the time when kings normally conduct wars, David sent out Joab with his officers and the entire Israelite army.” Wait a minute. King David, fresh off of a great victory, stayed home? King David sends all of his men out to battle and doesn't go with them?
Yes, King David does not go to battle as he was supposed to, and guess what happened? He strolls along the rooftop of his palace in the evening, sees a pretty, naked woman bathing, sends for her, and commits adultery. Really, David? You won so many battles in war, but now you lose this battle with yourself?
David made two crucial mistakes. First, he was not where he was supposed to be. Instead of leading his men in battle, he was hanging out on his rooftop. There is a lesson here for us. When God has battles for us to fight, our place is in the battle. Period. He will provide, and He will equip. We need to be where He wants us to be.
Second, David gave into his selfish desires. He did what he wanted to do instead of doing what was right. With all he won, he lost probably the most important battle of his life. He gave into his weakness. For me, that is the biggest lesson. I can win battle after battle on the outside, but if I don’t win the battle on the inside, I have accomplished nothing. My heart belongs to Jesus. He gave His life so that the Holy Spirit could live inside of me and equip me for every battle, both outside and inside. I, with His help, will win both battles. How about you?
Dr. Kim says, “I can win battle after battle on the outside, but if I don’t win the battle on the inside, I have accomplished nothing.” How does this apply to you?
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