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Complacency Is a Killer

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2 Samuel 11:1-27
It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

While I was ministering at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Toledo, Ohio, there was a man in our congregation who was a senior pilot with Northwest Airlines. He was among their top ten senior pilots and had some thirty years of flying the Boeing 747 around the world. One day over lunch Jim told me that there were three things that would kill a pilot and those under his charge and care. I was all ears! The first was fatigue, the second was distraction, and the third was complacency.

Complacency is indeed a killer, and not just in the field of aviation. Not paying attention to our walk with God, and not being vigilant about the spiritual dangers that surround us each and every moment can be deadly. If we are not careful, we can in one moment sully the achievements of a lifetime. We are never more than one step away from a series of steps that could ruin our lives and legacy. King David is a bad and sad example of this very thing.

In 2 Samuel 11:1-27, we read the sordid tale of David's twin sins of adultery and murder. As a consequence the rod or in this case the sword of God's discipline would never depart from David's house (2 Sam. 12:10). Chapter eleven is a depressing tipping point in the book. The first half of the book is a record of King David on his way up while the second half of the book is a chronicle of King David on his way down. Of interest to us, is that this tipping point in the book centers on a time of complacency in David's life. David's slide into adultery and murder begins in the text with a reference to David loitering around Jerusalem. According to the narrator, it was the springtime when kings go off to war but David was in his pajamas instead of his army fatigues (2 Sam. 11:1). David's staying back in Jerusalem is clearly identified in the text as something unusual. The narrator tells us where he thinks David should be. While Joab and the men of Israel are killing and being killed, David is killing time in Jerusalem which will prove deadly as the text goes on to show. As David lingers, he spots a beautiful woman bathing and as they say the rest of history. Materially and metaphorically speaking David had taken his armor off and was a sitting duck for temptation and the tempter.

In the fight against sin and Satan, the Christian cannot take a day off. We must watch and pray lest we enter into temptation (Matt. 26:41). We must watch against prayerlessness. We must watch against pride and conceit. We must watch against bitterness and unforgiveness. We must watch against false doctrine. We must watch lest we fall (1 Cor. 10:12). Don't be hanging a welcome sign out for sin or Satan because of a lack of soul care and vigilance. Snooze and you lose (Prov. 24:30-34).