It feels like forever since I’ve allowed myself time to sit down at my computer and record my thoughts and experiences to share with you guys. I’m excited that it’s my turn to write about “REST” because I absolutely feel like I am the least qualified to write this post, and yet here I am. Isn’t it funny how God chooses to use the most unlikely candidates to accomplish His will sometimes?
I have enjoyed reading Stephanie’s and Yvette’s posts on how God was speaking to them about rest. I knew I wanted to reference a time in the Bible when someone chose to rest, so I prayed and asked God where He wanted me to start. He simply replied, “David.”
I loved that Yvette shared from Psalm 91 and Stephanie posted the 23rd Psalm. David definitely knew where to find his rest. “I will give you rest.” That’s what my Lord and Savior said.
However, a beautiful song written by one of the most quoted poets of all time is not where God led me.
He told me to write about the time that David stumbled upon Bathsheba bathing on the roof. For those of you who don’t know the story (although I highly encourage you to read the text in 2 Samuel 11), David was the second king of Israel and he was a mighty warrior. He may have possibly been the greatest king Israel ever had (besides Jesus himself). But spring time came and it was a season that kings typically go to war to either protect their land or conquer new ones.
For some reason David decided not to go with his army. He sent someone else to lead them. While he was home and his men were at war, he took an evening stroll on his roof. From way up there he saw a married woman bathing. He sent for her, had an affair with her, and she got pregnant. It just so happens that her husband, Uriah, was away fighting in David’s army.
David sent for him and tried to get him to sleep with his wife so he would think the baby was his, but Uriah didn’t do it. He is too honorable to enjoy such pleasure while men were dying on the front lines.
So David sends Uriah back out to war and he sends him directly to the front line, essentially to be killed. This would supposedly fix all of David’s problems. After Uriah died, David had Bathsheba brought to him so he could marry her. When the baby was born he became sick and died as punishment for David’s sin.
Every time I have ever heard a preacher talk about this passage, it never fails, he or she will say, “If David had been where he was supposed to be, none of this would have happened.” It seems obvious from the text that it was at a time that kings would normally be away at war.
It just bugs me. I am just thinking at this point that if I was David, I would be thinking I deserved a little break.
I mean if you know all of David’s story, he has basically been fighting since he came out of the womb. From a young boy he fought bears and lions to protect his father’s sheep. Then he fought a giant to honor God’s name because the Philistines were disgracing it. Then he fought alongside of Saul, the first king of Israel, which resulted in David killing tens of thousands of the enemies’ soldiers. Then he fought against Saul, who had turned on David for being anointed by God to be the next king. He continued fighting battles for Israel once he became King. He took that struggling nation and turned it into quite possibly the most successful nation in the world.
Doggone it! I believe he deserved a break, a little time to rest. Don’t you?
You know I hear people say all the time they just need a break from church. Or they need a break from Bible study. Or they need a break from serving. Or they’re just going to take the summer off. I almost cringe when I hear this. There is nothing wrong with taking a break from one ministry if you are serving in another. But if you only serve in one capacity and you feel like you need a break from it, you better beware.
Jesus is the giver of rest. He imagined it. He created it. And He modeled it from the first week of Creation. I want to talk more about that on Friday, but first I want to wrap up this story of David.
I have always been a little compassionate to the people in the Bible. First of all, God loved David very much. And if He loved him, then so should I. And as I love David and I put myself in His shoes, a little break sounds justifiable.
I really honestly with all my heart don’t believe God would have minded if David stepped out of the box and stayed at home at a time that others thought he should have been serving.
The problem arose when David made poor choices about what to do on his break. t seems he did nothing. It seems he wasn’t consulting or conversing with God the way he had done in the past. It seems he had wondered away from the “thou art with me” scene. It seems as though God was not actively allowed to be David’s hiding place or high tower or shield.
A time of rest has to be spent at the feet of Jesus. How do you think my husband would feel if I looked at him and said, “I just need a break from you All of this being your wife business is really wearing me out.”?
I think he would be really hurt. Sometimes we walk away from our calling and our ministry under the rouse of resting. But a prolonged season of doing nothing (spiritually) is a recipe for disaster and provides no real rest for your soul.
I think that’s where David was. I think he had gotten lazy during the winter and when spring came, he had completely slipped out of his daily walk with the Lord.
If you’re reading this and you have been spinning your wheels trying to rest and you have given things up and rearranged schedules to no avail, come back Friday and let me share with you how I believe we can truly find rest.