2 Samuel 11:1
“And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.”
One can easily understand David’s weariness of the battle, but one of the biggest mistakes he made in his life was when he “tarried still at Jerusalem” while his men went to battle. Jerusalem was still, or at peace. David staying home in the time of battle was simply a desire to enjoy the stillness or the peace of Jerusalem. However, what David didn’t understand was that Satan used the time that he stayed still to cause the greatest turmoil in his life. What was supposed to be a time of enjoyment in peace became the catalyst for sin. What was supposed to be a time of rest and relaxation became the stimulus to adultery and murder. Had David stayed busy in the battle, he would not have stirred the peace in his life. David didn’t realize that stirring the peace meant chaos and unrest for the rest of his life.
My friend, many believers have made the mistake of tarrying still. Instead of getting involved in the LORD’s work, they chose to tarry still and “enjoy life.” However, those who have tarried still in the LORD’s work have only found that it led to their personal sin, or to their children going into a life of sin. Several lessons can be learned about the dangers of stirring the peace by tarrying still.
First, tarrying still is always the precursor to sin. You cannot be still and do the work of the LORD. If you choose to sit while others are serving, you will discover sins that you should never know about. Satan always uses your still times to introduce you to sin. It has been said for many years that an idle mind is the Devil’s workshop. The greatest deterrent from sin is to stay busy serving the LORD. It is when you stop while serving that you get yourself into trouble.
Second, peace comes from serving. David tarried still at Jerusalem because he enjoyed the peace of Jerusalem and the quietness of his home, but the peace of Jerusalem came from the battle. Peace is a result of fighting sin and serving the LORD. You don’t get peace in life by sitting still, but you find peace in your heart by serving the LORD. Those who are busiest in the work of the LORD find great peace. You will never find the peace you are looking for by tarrying still while you are supposed to be serving.
Third, the only time to be still is supposed to be at the feet of Jesus. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God…” The still time you are to enjoy should be in the early mornings as you walk with God. My greatest times of peace are in the early morning hours when I spend time with the LORD in the Scriptures and prayer. You will find the relaxation you need from the cleansing of your life of sin and the world by spending time with the LORD in the Scriptures and prayer.
Fourth, tarrying still teaches the next generation a bad example. For the rest of David’s life, he suffered the consequences of sin because he tarried still when he was supposed to be going forward. Your children will never learn how to serve the LORD by your sitting and not being involved in serving the LORD. If you want to enjoy peace in the senior years of life, stay busy serving the LORD so that your children don’t live a life of sin that was learned while you tarried still.