The letter instructed Joab, “Station Uriah on the front lines where the battle is fiercest. Then pull back so that he will be killed.”
2 Samuel 11:15 NLT
It is the height of foolishness to reason that the only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it. It is easier to get off sin’s slippery slope at the top than midway down. Better yet, stay off the slope!
King David did not go off to war, yet he fought another war—an internal civil war between passion and purity. Unhappily, he lost his battle with temptation. In hand-to-hand combat on the front line, Uriah died—a casualty of an arrow shot by an enemy archer. And David died spiritually when he sinned with Bathsheba—a casualty of an arrow shot by the enemy of his soul.
Seduced by his own evil desire, he let himself be dragged away and destroyed. Desire conceived and gave birth to sin, leading to death. Moral fighting was savage; but instead of combating evil impulses, he flirted and lost the struggle.
When David saw Bathsheba bathing, he should have turned around and gone inside his palace; instead, he gazed on her with lust. David should have occupied his mind with the battle against the enemies of Israel; instead, he occupied his mind with Bathsheba’s beauty, asking for trouble.
Retiring prematurely, he lazily stayed in Jerusalem while his valiant warriors deployed. With much to eat and drink and no noble task, he committed moral suicide.
David should have canceled his sexual plans when he learned Bathsheba was married; instead, he sent for her with a losing proposition. David should have stopped when he saw Bathsheba; instead, he slept with her. Adultery and murder were crimes
against people; and they were sins against Me. What the king should have done—and what he did—were two vastly different matters.
Uriah was not the only man on the front lines of intense fighting. Though Uriah died physically, his death was more honorable than David’s spiritual defeat. David had done as he pleased, but I was very displeased. Iniquity with impunity is an impossible combination. Forgiveness does not cancel consequences.
Avoid mental adultery. The act is wrong—so is the fantasy. Be loyal to your spouse with your mind, as well as your body. When you meet temptation, turn to the right and see My exit sign. When Satan aims fiery arrows of temptation at you, use the faith shield to extinguish them.
With My help, you can win even the fiercest battles. I am on the front line fighting right alongside you.
The king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the unfailing, unsought, unlimited mercy and kindness of God?”
2 SAMUEL 9:3 THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE
I am King of kings—nevertheless I am infinitely kind to you. David’s graciousness to Mephibosheth, a no-kin cripple who had done nothing to merit such benevolence, pictures My divine hospitality to you. Israel’s monarch invited Saul’s grandson to live in Jerusalem in his palace and eat at his table. I invite you to reside in the realm of peace and dine regularly at the table I set for you. I fill your soul with a spiritual banquet fit for a king. Though you are sometimes emotionally crippled, I carry you near My heart. Realizing you are a spiritual beggar, I treat you royally. Feasting in My palace, you never go hungry.
I am King of heaven—I extend heavenly citizenship to all who give Me heartfelt allegiance. Allowing sin to rule would place you on death row; permitting Christ to reign puts you at ease. Living as a child of the King, you enjoy life at its best. Cultivating an appetite for lasting meaning, you avoid hell’s unhealthy fast food and enjoy real nourishment.
I am King of love—I have always loved you and I always will. Unlimited mercy charmed you to My side. Unfailing kindness holds you near My heart forever. Loving-kindness makes us inseparable.
I am King of joy—Heaven’s benediction is in giving, not getting.
I am King of kindness—I set the prime example of real love. I have been kind to you, a spiritual cripple, so be kind to the handicapped. Express faith in Me via deeds of kindness mirroring My servant lifestyle. In a cold, cruel world, I am the heartwarming God. Be like Me by building a fire of hospitality to cheer the hearts of discouraged people around you. Reflect My heart of love by being sympathetic to everyone you meet—they are all having a hard time in one way or another. Behind the scenes there is silent struggle, unknown agony, unresolved dilemma, unvoiced pain. For heaven’s sake, show godly kindness every way you can.
My Son gave His life to forgive your sins and remove your guilt. His love was totally unselfish. Walk in His steps by having a heart for others. Let your concern go beyond affection—live sacrificially, like the King who kindly died for you.
An unrung bell is of little value. An unsung song cheers no one. I did not place love in your heart merely for your benefit—not until you give it away does it fulfill its purpose.
I am kind to you—see that you are kind to other people. You have received freely of heaven’s kindness—give freely in kind.
David became more and more powerful, because the Lord God Almighty was with him.
2 Samuel 5:10 NLT
The kingdom is Mine forever. I am Jehovah—the One Who Will Always Be Who I Have Always Been. I am the King of hearts.
I am the Undisputed Ruler of all the kingdoms of your life. I was High King of the universe before time. I am your Eternal King in sovereign control of every dimension—physical, emotional, intellectual. Details do not escape My notice. Nothing—pleasant or painful—gets to you without going by My throne first. I cause or permit everything for My glory and for your good. I hold you together—give Me credit.
The power is Mine forever. I am Elohim—the One whose strength is unrivalled by any power. No force anywhere in the universe equals the dynamic energy of My Spirit. Humans discover traces of divine power in the atom, but no created being is able to create.
Keep in mind that you cannot live life richly, relate well, serve Me, resist temptation, face tomorrow confidently, make correct decisions, or carry out your responsibilities without My power. Independently of Me you can accomplish absolutely nothing. Sooner or later you will learn that striking out on your own leads to failure. I am the Vine and you are one of the branches—nothing is closer. Stay near Me and your life will produce sweet fruit to cheer your despondent world.
Your power depends on connecting to the Ultimate Power Source. In My infused power, you find the secret of surviving every situation. With My reinforcement, you can stand up to Satan’s attacks. Energized by My Holy Spirit, you are ready for anything. You cannot imagine what I can accomplish by My work within you—purpose beyond highest ambition, tranquility beyond dearest wish, joy beyond sincerest prayer, power beyond most desperate need. Take heart.
The glory is Mine forever. I am the Almighty—the One who deserves honor for the success you achieve in making spiritual progress. The only reason you can ever be strong is because I am with you. Fear nothing, with Me on your side. Let nothing overwhelm you, since I overshadow you. Let no enemy ever intimidate you, marching in Christ’s triumphal procession. Live exuberantly, energized by the Infinite One.
Take up residence in Me, the Mighty Fortress, and grow stronger with every heartbeat. Draw closer to Me every passing day, and be steady and strong in all circumstances. Standing tall in life’s storms, do not break your arm patting yourself on the back—bow your head and give thanks.
This was the beginning of a long war between those loyal to Saul and those who were loyal to David.
As time passed David became stronger and stronger, while Saul’s dynasty became weaker and weaker.
2 Samuel 3:1 NLT
As long as you breathe in your mortal body, civil war will rage between your sinful and sanctified natures. While a resident in time, you will have to deal with tension between your human and heavenly sides. Beguiling carnality and ideal Christlikeness are locked in interminable combat. Struggling with sin drags on and on, but never surrender to evil. Travel the high road—avoid swampy detours.
Contradicting actions puzzle you. You cannot seem to find a way to accomplish holy goals. It seems an invariable fact that though you strive for perfection, you keep missing the mark. You really love My law, but sin still attracts you with its advertised pleasure. Good intentions sabotaged by sin, you are miserable in addiction’s shadows.
Without Christ’s assistance, sin will always win over sacred aims. You are powerless to defend yourself against hell’s onslaughts. Up against more than you can handle, never try to stand up to temptation by yourself. Always depend on your Savior. Your Commander in Chief is engaged in hand-to-hand combat against Satan in the trenches right beside you. His Presence takes the terror out of the front line.
There is one cure for spiritual schizophrenia, one strategy to win the war against evil habits, one ray of hope in the night of slavery to vice—Jesus Christ. When the fog of war confuses you, claim His power and enjoy freedom and victory! Do not waste time in useless self-reliance and human willpower—rely on My Holy Spirit to break evil chains. Depend on your ingenuity, and you will be overcome by evil in the blink of an eye. Keep in step with Me, and you can nail evil desires to the cross.
First-century Christians held hands and participated in a tripedion—a dance of three steps forward and two steps backward, reminding them of their life of faith. When you step backward, repent. When you step forward, rejoice. Never give up
the dream of Christlikeness. Day by day, by degrees, almost imperceptibly, you are becoming more like Christ—stronger in grace, brighter in understanding.
Stay unflinchingly loyal to the Son of the Most High—one day you will reign with Him when He ascends the throne of His ancestor David. Satan’s regime will weaken into oblivion, his subjects forever tortured. Citizens of Christ’s kingdom will celebrate eternal victory. Until then, hold My hand—I will teach you how to dance for joy.
In the course of time, David inquired of the Lord. “Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?” he asked.
The Lord said, “Go up” David asked, “Where shall I go?” “To Hebron,” the Lord answered.
2 Samuel 2:1 NIV
Lamenting his earthly friend Jonathan’s death, David looked to his Heavenly Friend to learn what he should do next. In his sadness he conducted a search.
At times your life is like that. Brokenhearted by emotional disaster, you need time to recuperate and get back to normal. I graciously provide the healing time you need—then comes the day when you feel it is time to move on. Your heart says it is time to ask, “What next, Lord?”
Grief is not forever. Hard times come to pass, not to stay. You have Me to thank for the steady
passage of time. I am the Lord of all your days.
My clock is invisible, but it keeps perfect time. I understand your personality better than you know yourself. I know what is best for you—I comprehend when transitions should best occur. You can trust Me at every twist and turn of life’s roller coaster.
I do not answer your inquiries with Urim and Thummim, as I did Israel’s second king. By lights and perfections of My Scripture and Spirit, I direct your life’s course.
Go beyond meditating on My map for the maze—hit the road! Do more than study My business—get to work! I want more than sentimental love letters—I want devotion expressed in every detail of your life.
Whatever your address, I am your Home.
You cannot understand how I speak to your heart, but praise Me that I do. My quiet voice encourages and leads you on your journey through life. The course of time educates you for eternity.
I am King of kings—I am also King of your life. The government of your life rests on My shoulders, not yours. Make your heart My throne—allow Me to rule every dimension of your experience. Give Me credit for blessings you enjoy—sing My praises.