Monday, August 24, 2015
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We had lived in that same town for almost twenty years. So I could drive around town blindfolded. And, sometimes, I would act like it. Well, there was the day when I suddenly realized how casual I was cruising the streets close to home - too casual. You know, when you're in an unfamiliar situation you put both hands on the wheel, all eyes and ears, you're intent, you're focused. But, "Hey, these streets, I've driven here a thousand times!" So you just sort of go on auto pilot. Frankly, you know, there were times I didn't pay much attention. Well, for some reason, one of those National Safety Council factoids popped on the TV screen in my brain one day. It said, "The vast majority of accidents take place within a few miles of home." Well that's interesting! It's when you feel the safest that you're really in the greatest danger of all.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Most Dangerous Time of All."
That's a lesson learned by King David with his lifelong tragic consequences. It's in our word for today from the Word of God, 2 Samuel 11:1-4. "In the spring at a time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king's men and the whole Israelite army. But David remained in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. David sent someone to find out about her." Well, it turns out this was Bathsheba, the wife of one of his most trusted military leaders.
It says, "David sent messengers to get her. She came to him and he slept with her. We might as well just add, "and David's life was never the same." This awful sin led to his conspiring to have Bathsheba's husband die in battle. And then through a series of events in his family that included the incestuous rape of his daughter, the death of his children, the temporary overthrow of his rule by his own son. It was one disaster after another that began with the sin of one ugly night close to home.
We're talking here about the man that God called, "A man after God's own heart." If it could happen to him, it could happen to you or me. Notice David didn't fall in battle. He was spiritually alert then. Like me driving in unfamiliar territory where I know I have to drive carefully. David's deadly moral accident happened close to home in a setting where his guard was down, where he became spiritually casual.
Man, there have been many Davids over the years; godly men and women who have sinned or compromised in a way they never could have imagined. And it didn't happen on the battlefield. Many people go down spiritually during their down times; those times and places when they're relaxing, when their guard is down and they become spiritually careless. David's experience would suggest that the time when you feel safe and relaxed may be the most dangerous time of all.
It could be when you're just laying back to watch or listen to a little entertainment; entertainment that contains sinful ideas, sinful acts that you just can't afford to get into your heart. They are the seed of tomorrow's temptations and tomorrow's fall. Time off can be a vulnerable time, because we mistakenly take time off from our spiritual discipline too. Travel times are dangerous times because you feel the seeming anonymity and the seductive freedom of being away from the people who know you. And often times after periods of intense spiritual battle are dangerous too, because we let down and inadvertently we let the roaring lion in to devour us.
Don't make the mistake of becoming spiritually lazy when you're in a cruising time. Remember, most accidents happen in a place where you feel the safest. Keep both hands on the wheel. Keep your eyes and ears open. Keep your eyes on the road. Give the safe part of the trip to Jesus as much as you do the risky part - the battles. You don't need the wreckage that can come from letting your guard down during what turns out to be the most dangerous time of all.