“And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem…” (2 Sam. 11:1).
Everyone who is a member of God’s Kingdom is called by God for a specific purpose. God does not choose us for the sole purpose of sitting idly by with the expectation of receiving Kingdom benefits. He has designed and called us to function in a role that will advance His Kingdom Agenda here on earth.
Understanding The Text
In this text, we are leaving behind a battle scene wherein David and Israel defeats Ammon and its alliance members subsequent to a breach in the political relationship (2 Sam. 10). Now we enter into another scene which begins with a new season of warfare in the first verse. Although Israel defeated the Ammonites in the previous chapter, we observe that they return at the beginning of this chapter. The text describes this as “…the time when kings go forth to battle…” (v. 1). However, it also states that “…David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel…But David tarried still at Jerusalem…” (v. 1).
The problem with the activity inside the text begins here. If we reflect back in 1 Samuel, chapter eight, Israel requested to “…have a king over us…and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles…” (v. 20). David was later anointed and “…commanded (by the Lord)…to be captain over His people…” (1 Sam. 13:14; 16:1-7). In other words, as the custom of the day, David (as the king) should have led the armies of Israel into battle instead of sending Joab.
This demonstrates to us that David had become comfortable with his stature within his own eyes. The danger in this position is that it calls for more reliance upon our own ability and less dependence upon God. In this mindset, David presumes to think that all is well and so he can send someone else to do what God called him to do. If we notice, this is becoming a pattern because David also does the same thing in the previous chapter (2 Sam. 10:7). This decision (we will read later) has long-lasting, damaging effects on David’s reign as king and his familial relationships.
Why Is This Important To Us?
This is important to us because when God “…called you (us) out of darkness into His marvelous light…”, He began to prepare us to fulfill our purpose (2 Pet. 2:9). When we begin to abdicate our responsibilities, or even pass them on to someone else, we will find ourselves in situations similar to David. It may not be the exact same situation. However, we will more than likely find ourselves returning to God in repentance because we neglected to complete the Kingdom assignment we were called to do.
Neglecting what God called us to do can have long-lasting, damaging effects on ourselves and those who are close to us. It also can negatively impact the lives of others we influence directly through our actions in the role to which God called us. In any event, our actions will impact someone’s life either directly or indirectly. We must remember that accountability falls to us for this abdication of our responsibilities one day.
We can never arrive at the place wherein we begin to feel as though all is well and it is okay to ease up from our forceful advancing of the Kingdom (Mt. 11:12). The outcome is never positive because when we settle into this mindset, we are placing someone’s decision about eternity into jeopardy. We each have been by God to fulfill a specific purpose in life and we must begin to walk in this role with a sense of urgency. So now, the only question which remains is, “What are we going to do?”
Sean Mungin, author of “The Thorn In The Flesh”