Summary: David was an experienced military leader. He knew that he had to keep his guard up on the battle field, but was ambushed at home in his palace because he didn’t realize an enemy of a different kind was lying in wait for him. He never saw it coming, bu
Ambushed by Unfaithfulness
Scripture Text: 2nd Samuel 11:1-4
Do these words sound familiar? “Do you promise to love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto her, so long as you both shall live?” Sure it does. Most of us have made a commitment similar to this in our wedding vows.
So, why talk about this in a month when we are focusing on love? Because in spite of this commitment those who counsel struggling married couples will tell you that unfaithfulness creeps into marriages with surprising regularity leaving broken hearts and shattered relationships in its wake, and they would also say that this happens just as frequently whether the couple has a relationship with Jesus Christ or not.
This morning we will learn from David’s failure at faithfulness. The Bible records it this way. 2nd Samuel 11:1-4.
David was an experienced military leader. He knew that he had to keep his guard up on the
battle field, but was ambushed at home in his palace because he didn’t realize an enemy of a
different kind was lying in wait for him. He never saw it coming, but we can learn from his
mistake and build up our defenses in order to ensure our faithfulness.
I. Hidden Danger
We, too, must always be on the lookout for minefields and booby traps. There are mindsets and circumstances that can set us up for a fall if we are not watching out for them. Soldiers are trained to detect these so that lives are not lost.
At annual training with the National Guard last year I was able to see some of this kind of training first had. I began the training period driving for our Battalion Commander. One of the first things we did was to drive out to a clearing so that he could observe and evaluate one of our units as they occupied their Area of Operation. He was not pleased with their mine sweeping operation so taught them a lesson.
As they were setting up camp we prepared a sand table for him to use to point out their mistakes, and right in front of it he buried a pine cone which represented a mine. As the soldiers gathered around for the lesson their First Sergeant spotted the pine cone and kicked it out of the way. “Boom! You’re dead.” The first Sergeant learned an important and embarrassing lesson that day, and we were all reminded of the need to look out for hidden danger.
David failed to spot the danger that was hidden just beneath his feet and it cost him dearly.
A. Wrong place, wrong time – V. 1
David’s trouble began because he wasn’t where he was supposed to be. The army was out at battle and the king, the one who was supposed to be leading them, decided to stay home. For some reason David decided to send Joab out with the men instead of going out with them himself.
His sleeplessness that night (V 2) could have been from guilt or boredom. It could have been that he felt guilty sleeping in his warm bed knowing that the men were sleeping in the field and that while they were risking their lives he was safely in the palace. Or, it could have simply been that after days of the palace’s routine he was bored and longed for the excitement of the fight. The Bible doesn’t tell us that, but it does tell us that he wasn’t where he was supposed to be.
We can find ourselves in the same trap. Whether it’s being alone on the internet late at night, or being alone with someone of the opposite sex putting yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time can lead to a slippery slope that ends in breaking your commitment. That is exactly what happened to Mary.
She and John had a great marriage, but as they both got wrapped up in their own lives and careers they grew distant. During a low point in their marriage Seth was transferred into Mary’s dept at work. They quickly became friends and shared about the disappointments they each had with their spouses. Mary never dreamed she would cross the line, but then one day several friends from work were supposed to meet for dinner after work to celebrate the completion of a big project. They worked late into the evening because of their deadline and the others backed out without Mary and Seth knowing it. That night they shared a meal and later a bed. Mary let her guard down and like David it cost her a great deal.
1st Peter 5:8
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.