Summary: When the walls look to tall, take the tunnel

Take the Tunnel.

2 Samuel 5:1-10

Pete sits on the street and leans against a building. He would rather beat his head against it because he just messed up again. He has a bad habit of speaking before thinking, he blurts out words as a whale spurts out salt water. His words always hurt someone, today he hurt his dear friend, he has a quick-triggered tongue.

Then there is Joe and his failures. He can’t seem to hold a job. His career rivals the Rockies, hot and cold, lush and barren, up and down. His 1040 included 12 different W-2’s. He tried his hand at the family business but they fired him. He tried his skills as a manager yet he was fired and jailed. Now he sits in prison, future and bleak as the Sahara Desert, no one could blame him for feeling insecure, he failed at every opportunity.

Then there is Maude. She fails at staying married. Her first one ended in divorce, she tried again. Her second one ended in divorce, she tried again. By the time the third one failed, she knew the names of the court clerk’s grandkids. Still convinced she could make one work she tried again and failed, by the fifth time her doubts were removed, she was destined for marital flops.

People and their proverbial hang-ups. Sounds sad doesn’t it. Pete speaks without thinking, using cutting words when we should build up, Joe is failing where he should succeed, and Maude wins as often as a burro at Churchill Downs.

What prevailing problem has attached itself to us like a leech?

Some are prone to lie, to cheat or steal. Others are quick to doubt or worry. Yes, everyone worries and doubts from time to time, but you hold the own the nation distributorship. Perhaps you are judgmental, everyone judges or is critical from time to time, but you have passed more judgments than a federal Judge has.

What is that one weakness, bad habit, rotten attitude we must confess? Where does Satan have a stronghold within us? Stronghold, that is a fitting word, it is a fortress, citadel, thick walls, tall gates. It is as if the Devil staked a claim on the one weakness and constructed a rampart, a wall, around it. As if to say, “You are not getting rid of this one.” It is as if Satan is doing an MC Hammer imitation “You can’t touch this.” He defies heaven placing himself between our weakness and God’s help.

One author calls this “Nessie” like the Loch Ness Monster, lurking deep in the recesses of our being, he won’t go away, he lives up to both sides of his name Strong like a grip of a vise and stubborn enough to hold on. He holds like a bear trap, the harder you shake the more it hurts, like quicksand, the more we struggle the deeper and faster we sink.

Strongholds: Deep, old, difficult, discouraging challenges.

That is what David sees. It is about 1000 BC in Jerusalem. The beautiful city of God is in the hands of Gentiles. It is a century old, cheerless fortress, a rugged outcropping elevates her, tall walls protect her and the Jebusites inhabit her. No one bothers them, they are like a coiled rattlesnake in the desert. Everyone leaves them alone.

That is until David decides to face that stronghold. He was just crowned king, he has inherited a divided kingdom. They need a strong leader, they need a centralized strong headquarters. His present base is too far south to enlist the help of the Northern tribes, if he goes North, he will isolate the South. He needs something neutral, something centralized. He needs Jerusalem.

He grew up in Bethlehem, just a day journey away. He hid in the caves of En Gedi, not far south. Surely, he noticed Jerusalem. The crown he wears has just been fitted for his head when he sets his eyes on his newest Goliath.

The Jebusites are not just going to give it up. Just as Satan is not likely to let go of any stronghold he has in our life.

We have heard the mocking, you’ll never overcome your bad habits, you were born white trash, going to die white trash, think you can overcome your addiction, think again. You can’t do it.

Yesterday at Matt’s graduation, one of the graduates spoke on this, talking to all those who have handicaps of some sort, mental, physical, or learning. He said something to the effect; “you have been told, you can’t, you won’t, no, you are not able, all these negatives.” He then concluded; “but I tell you, you can, you will, yes you are able.”

Satan says “You can’t touch this.” The Jebusites told David "You will not get in here; even the blind and the lame can ward you off." They thought, "David cannot get in here."

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