2 Samuel 11:1
Verse 1 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
Spring was a common time to go out to battle because the weather was nicer and things were starting to grow allowing the armies to find things to munch on along the way. It also allowed time for retaliation if one loss the battle. This spring found David sending Joab out again to fight the Ammonites. They had fled into their walled city in the previous outing and so that was where Joab was being sent to try once again to defeat them. There were two things that David seemed to be missing – God’s command to leave the Ammonites to their own land and David sending his men to do his dirty work.
While it appeared in our readings the last few days that David hadn’t gone along there seems to be a sense in which his staying in Jerusalem had purpose. The wording of this verse makes it sound like this was unlike David to send his men into battle alone which leads us to believe his reasons for staying home this time were different than they had been the previous battle season. But what could cause a man of war to sit out a battle that seemed left unfinished?
Joab doesn’t question the king’s choice to stay back, he was willing to obey his orders and fight the king’s battles. There was no reason to let the king down and besides Joab felt the previous mission had been left unfinished. The Ammonites had caused their allies to decide against helping them again and so there was less of a possibility of the enemy growing its defenses, making them an easier target.
There can be many different reasons why a person does something which goes against their normal behavior but often it has to do with things which are going on in their life. Whether it is a physical thing causing pain which puts us out of sorts or something more in the emotional and spiritual aspects our lives, we can seem so off that we make decisions we wouldn’t normally make. We tend to lose track of the responsibilities of life when we are thinking about what is going on in our lives. David may have been in this kind of a situation. Unfortunately when we are in a track of thinking which is self-focused we tend to make choices we wouldn’t normally make.
Making It Personal
Are you ever sidetracked from life because of things going on personally? What can you do in those moments which would keep you from stepping outside of God’s will? What would God advise you do in those moments?
Making It Personal Kids
Do you ever feel like you can’t focus because you don’t feel good or are sad? What can you do to stop feeling that way? Does talking to Jesus help?
Father, thank You for always being with us and comforting us when we need it. Help us remember that when we need help with our focus, we should turn to You and focus on all You are. In Jesus’ name, amen.