What a mistake in that spring day of so long ago! What began as one man staying home alone ended with adultery, an illegitimate child’s death, the death of an innocent man, and the heartbreak and ruin of a family! How sin so easily ensnares us and our righteous judgment can be skewed and distorted by being alone in the wrong place!
David could have gone with Joab. All the kings were going out to battle, why not David (2 Sam. 11:1)? Remaining in Jerusalem by himself would prove to be a costly mistake that could have been avoided (cf. 2 Sam. 11:1-12:23)!
Solomon, a son of David and Bathsheba, writes that “a man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment” (Prov. 18:1). What did David’s isolation accomplish, other than ultimate heartache?
Despite the lesson of David, many Christians try to isolate themselves from what they know is right under the guise that they are completely in control. Satan waits for just such an opportunity. Peter tells us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Pet. 5:8-9). In this warning, Peter gives several commands for the Christian who wants to stay off the devil’s menu:
There is wisdom in sobriety: the word “sober” carries the idea of being “collected in spirit” and “aware of self and surroundings.” Satan recognizes that our passions can first blind us and then destroy us…we should recognize it, too! Being aware when we are in a potentially sinful situation will help keep our thoughts grounded in who we are as God’s people (2 Cor. 10:5-6). How many now broken homes could have been saved by men and women who “lost themselves” in the “heat of the moment”?
There is power in resistance: The writer James said, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (Jas. 4:7). The inference is that one can just as purposefully put himself in the devil’s grasp as he can oppose the devil’s advance. God is more powerful (1 Cor. 10:13)!
There is safety in numbers: The fellowship enjoyed by God’s people is, in part, for the purpose of being thoughtful and considerate of one another and warning each other of impending dangers which threaten our spiritual lives (cf. Heb. 10:24-25; Gal. 6:1-2).
There are ample opportunities for Christians to be isolated in our own “fortress of solitude.” Television and the Internet have made sinful desires easily accessible in isolation. Do not forget what happened when David stayed home when he should have gone!
-Andy Baker serves as the preacher for the Graeber Road Church of Christ, Rosenberg, TX.