The dangers of a life of ease.
The book of proverbs is crucial reading for anyone trying to walk a straight path . With Solomon’s God given wisdom he starts proverbs 1 with an offer to know wisdom and instruction. To discern understanding to the youth wise behaviour.
But its verse 8 that made me sit up in my seat when I last read it .
Hear my son , your fathers instruction ad do not forsake your mothers teaching ! Proverbs 1 v 8
Who was Solomon’s mum ? …………. ……. Bathsheba !!! Boy! would she of had a story to tell ! A woman living with her husbands murderer , taken by force by a king chosen by God to lead his people. He should have known better.!
It’s easy to imagine the drama and seriousness in the voice of Bathsheba on the day she passed to her son her advice, his shoulders grasped with tears in her eyes .
“ …if I can give you one bit of advice in your life Solomon its this…. don’t look over the garden fence and desire a girl that you can”t have - that”s what you father did and it has been nothing but battles and unrest in our household ever since “
…….for Bathsheba Solomons mother was the wife of Uriah the Hittite. At a time when king David should have been fighting for his people and leading them instead he was being led by a desire for the flesh and a girl resulting in the murder of her husband an innocent man. Resulting in Gods anger and judgment upon the nation.
The internet has made it all to easy to peer over the garden fence at things we shouldn’t have. (And the fruits of pornography are even starting to concern our parliament .)
But is it not more than that?
What if Bathsheba is a picture of another mans flesh?. Flesh as a bible picture of life with out the Holy Spirits and is outlined for us in Galatians. 5
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident which are immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife , jealously, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing and things like these. Of which I warned , that those who practice such things will not inherent the kingdom of God .
All these things can be viewed over the garden fence of the internet. And the deeds of the flesh have even become our entertainment! Don’t look over the garden fence as these things! – they will have lasting consequences in your home life. Bathshebas advice has to be given fresh to every generation.
We need to make a choice to not choose or desire the flesh of our neighbour? . Looking over the ‘garden fence’ at how our neighbours our sending their time , energy or wealth is easier than ever and we can easily become absorbed with another’s life choices .
But the flesh list in Galatians 5 could be easy to choose , impurity, idolatry ,, immortal, strife . Is all evidence of a life where the flesh is chosen . It’s the easy option, for anyone making daily life choices. , flopping into a big chair, watching a big tv at the cost of quality time with God is the ‘ease’ the flesh loves,
But where should David have been? – fighting at Rabbah. A ‘great’ battle for the ‘great’ city of the Ammonites. David had sent Joab off to the city for the fight and reports were good. But choosing to keep our slippers on while others do the fighting for our nation is not going to end well for us. We need to learn to resist – because the evil day will come and a knowledge of warfare in spiritual things will be crucial. Not just wearing ephesian 6 but using it . Its all too easy to think its somebody else’s job. The flesh will take the easy option, exhausting our natural resources very quickly. Yet a life lived in the spirit offers a strength exchange of God given power and energy for the job.
But the city of Rabbah may have been famous for something else …….
For only Og king of Bashan was left of the remnant of Rehaim. Behold, hhis bedstead was an iron bedstead. It is in Rabbah of the sons of Ammon. Its length was nine cubits and its width four cubits .
Deuteronomy 3 v11
The it bed of Og! King of Bashan may have been a giant of a man. But it was his bed that remains worth commenting on. A great big bed for a great big man, nine cubits of Iron bedstead ! Og known for being a man at ease and he had built a bed for the job? .
We look over the garden fence at many at ease, going with the flow choosing never to put up a fight against the enemy as he come in like a flood . Never choosing to join the pray-ers in stead choosing the slippers.
And David chose to remain in Jerusalem ( peace between two hills ) but peace only comes after a victory. Rather than getting on with the fighting, maybe David was tired of warfare, fed up of the conflict. It just wasn’t good for the community – it came with a cost . Or just dog tired of putting things to death ! Fighting had become another mans job.
Yet to Bathsheba and her household such heart ache, because David – Gods chosen king had not chosen to fight but instead remain at ease in the kings house.
Solomon – my son do not neglect the advice of your mother!
Below are some chewy verses about a life at ease to meditate on .
I passed by the field of the sluggard and the vineyard of the man lacking sense and behold it was completely overgrown with thistles. It’s surfed was covered with nettles and it’s stone wall was broken down. When I saw I reflected on it . I looked and received instruction. A little sleep a little slumber a little folding of the hands to rest. Then your poverty will come as a robber and your want like an armed man. Proverbs 24 v 30- 34
Jesus said beware and be on your guard against every form of greed , for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions. And he told them a parable saying . The land of a rich man was very productive . And he began reasoning with himself saying ‘what shall I do, since I have no place to store all my crops? Then he said this is what I shall do . I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul “ soul you have many good things laid up for many years to come , take your ease. Eat drink and be merry”
But God said to him “you fool !” This very night your soul is required of you and now who will own what you have prepared ? So is the man who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich towards God. Luke 12 v 19