Idle Hands

Justin Smith


2 Samuel 11:1

In the spring of the year, when kings normally go out to war, David sent Joab and the Israelite army to fight the Ammonites. They destroyed the Ammonite army and laid siege to the city of Rabbah. However, David stayed behind in Jerusalem...


Have you ever found yourself tired, exhausted, completely depleted and in those moments saying and doing inappropriate things you normally would have the will to avoid? Whether it’s an outburst of anger as your patience has worn thin or falling to the pull of temptation that you usually find easy victory over, your will to fight has seemingly worn out and you allow yourself to default to an attitude of selfishness and sin.

David, now a middle-aged man, finds himself tired, apathetic, and vulnerable. It had been many years since the people cried out for a king, declaring that they wanted a man who would fight their battles like the other nations, and God granted them both Saul and David who fought many wars on their behalf. God’s blessing would come in the form of victory when the people trusted Him and the anointed king stepped out in obedience and action. But, for some strange reason, King David decided to break protocol, to do something far out of the ordinary, and not go to battle this time. Was he tired? Probably. Was he worn out? Likely. Was he sick of fighting battles for others? Possibly. So he finds himself at home with too much time on his hands, and rather than resting or waging spiritual warfare on behalf of his comrades in battle, he decides to pace on his rooftop. Maybe he was wrestling with God, knowing that he should have gone out to fight but was sick of his calling. Maybe he was standing atop his roof in pride gazing at all that was his. Maybe he was bored and looking for something to take his mind off of his poor choice. Whatever it was, it led him to the exact place he should not have been. From that moment, the proverbial snowball began barreling down the mountain becoming an unstoppable force that would bring peril and destruction.

Stories like these strike the fear of God, and the fear of my own stupidity, in me. David, the man after God’s own heart, the warrior king, the chosen and anointed one dove head first into adultery, deceit, and murder without hesitation. These aren’t small sins or a slight stumble. Did he know better…of course! So what happened!? He found himself with depleted strength and a failing focus, and in this moment of vulnerability the temptation overcame him.


So how do I do it? When I'm tired and in need of some R&R, how do I take moments away from the battle, while remaining awake and alert to the attacks? Knowing my proclivity to stupidity when I’m exhausted, how do I remain vigilant without burning out?

Here are 2 starting points:

1. The details aren’t recorded, but I would wager to say that David didn’t confer with God on his decision to stay back.

Principle: Wisely confer with God and make communication with Him priroity 1 as I choose times and places of rest...especially when I am tired.

2. Again, the details aren’t recorded, but it’s probably safe to say that David wasn’t on the rooftop trying to please God.

Principle: In times of exhaustion I must stay focused on God, my calling, and on the joy that is set before me. Cling to God, and run far from sin and temptation.


Heavenly Father,

Stories of mighty men falling to temptations such as these terrify me, but I pray that this fear would cause me to run to You, to cling to You, and to fix my heart on You. When my heart is weak and my body is weary, please give me wisdom on when and where to rest, strength to stand against temptation, and the will to fight the attacks of the enemy.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

Devotions for May 06

2 Samuel 11,12
Psalms 51
Matthew 23

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