“In the spring of the year, the time when the kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.” - 2 Samuel 11:1

 There is an old Turkish proverb that says, “Men are usually tempted by the devil, but the idle man positively tempts the devil.” Or perhaps you know this one, “Idle hands are the devils workshop.” The Bible also frequently admonishes us not to be idle – and the story of David and Bathsheba is a grim warning against idleness.

In David’s day, it was the job of the king to lead his army out to war. But in this particular year, David stayed home. By 2 Samuel 11, David is at the height of his success. God has granted him victory over his enemies on every side and he has unified the nation of Israel. All is at it should be. So David decides to give himself a much-deserved break.

But as he rests, a great temptation presents itself to David. Verse 2 says, “It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful.” David inquires about this woman, brings her to the palace, impregnates her, murders her husband, and finally marries her. What are we to learn from this story? David opened himself up to temptation when he became idle. He was negligent in his duty – and his idleness “positively tempted the devil.”

I recently heard these three remedies for idleness from a man who works with the homeless in LA: pray and read your Bible daily, go to church and meet with other Christian people at least twice per week, ask your pastor for a job and get busy for God. Let’s take our hands out of the devil’s workshop and put them to work for God.

Your Pastor and Friend,
John Knox Foster

No Comments