1 Chronicles 20:1 “And it came to pass, that after the year was expired, at the time that kings go out to battle, Joab led forth the power of the army, and wasted the country of the children of Ammon, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried at Jerusalem. And Joab smote Rabbah, and destroyed it.”
It was Christmas, and my parents were always people who wanted to help others. There was a family in our church who didn't have much, so my parents wanted to help them have a good Christmas. To do so, they invited them to our house for a Christmas meal so we could spend a little time with them. The problem, they overstayed their welcome. What we thought would be just a couple of hours ended up with them overstaying their welcome and staying until late that night. We tried to give every hint that we could that it was time for them to leave, but they stayed until my dad finally had to tell them that it was time for them to leave. What should have been an enjoyable time became a regretful time because someone overstayed their welcome.
David learned this truth the hard way about sin. It says in the verse above, “But David tarried at Jerusalem.” The word “tarried” means to stay longer than expected. David never intended to stay in his sin that long, but he didn't think about how any time in sin is too long a time in sin. He didn’t think that sin would overstay its welcome, but it did. What David intended to be a short visit to sin became a time where he stayed longer than intended, and the result was that sin’s consequences overstayed its welcome in his life. What was supposed to be a short time became a lifetime of heartache and regret.
My friend, everyone intends just to visit sin for a short time, but they find themselves tarrying until sin brings heartache. You can't tarry in sin without staying longer than expected. Abram went to sojourn in the land of Egypt and picked up baggage that still follows his people until this day. Naomi and her family went to sojourn in the land of Moab but found themselves tarrying in Moab until sin had destroyed Noami’s life. Jacob went to sojourn with his uncle Laban, but he tarried for years until he wore out his welcome. All I am saying is that you cannot tarry in sin without it wearing out its welcome in your life. You cannot tarry in lust without lust destroying your mind. You cannot tarry in hatred without hatred destroying your life. You cannot tarry in worldly pleasures without worldliness destroying you and your children. You may intend to tarry for a short time, but sin always overstays its welcome.
Moreover, you cannot tarry in sin without picking up unwanted baggage. When David tarried at Jerusalem, he never intended to commit adultery with Bathsheba, but staying when he should have been going is what led to this horrible sin. You cannot harbor sinful thoughts without those thoughts becoming sinful actions. The baggage you pick up in your life because of tarrying in sin always brings a lifetime of regret and heartache.
The answer to keeping sin from overstaying its welcome in your life is never to tarry in sin for a second. If you never have one moment that you tarry in sin, you will never stay longer than you expected. The best time to get right with sin is NOW. Don't let sin overstay its welcome by opening the door to it. Keep the door of sin closed in your life, and you will never have to say that sin overstayed its welcome.