THE TWO CAMPS - Part 2
Their grasp is of the present because the future has little value to them. It is the life of satisfying the present appetites, and so the power of the spiritual birthright is secondary. They are reprints and replicas of Esau, where a pot of beans is the preference to the spiritual birthright. The satisfaction of present appetites is more important than God’s plan. Their grasp for the present has eliminated their reach for the future. They are quite content to be absorbed by the cares of life and to have spiritual priorities eroded. The physical takes precedence over the spiritual, the present over the future, the grasp over the reach, and the cares of life over the things of God. Here they live in a spiritual dead sea—in the doldrums of apathy—with waning of strength and compromised commitment. They possess a profession of God but not a commitment to Him. There is a rhetorical talk but no purposeful walk. There is a boast of information but no evidence of transformation. There is a form of godliness but no force of His power against sin. We must answer this question. How many in church life does this describe? You may ask, “Why spend the time identifying these elements?” I must tell you that it is a powerful thing—as a child of God and a servant of God—to see these elements and attitudes in church life. We all deal with this wrestling, with the struggles, with the challenges of spiritual life. But, we must not be lost in a maze of activity without the development of spiritual life. We must not be lost in a maze of activity without seeing and knowing who we are—without the development of spiritual character.
There is a vivid illustration of this in 2 Samuel 12:1-12: “1And the Lord sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. 2The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: 3But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. 4And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him. 5And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: 6And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity. 7And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; 8And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. 9Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. 10Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. 11Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. 12For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.”
Nathan the Prophet comes to David with a prophetic word from the Almighty God that was specifically for King David. There were two men in one city. One was very rich, the other was very poor. The rich man had many flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, and the poor man had one lamb. The poor man reared this lamb with his children, and this animal grew up within this poor family. A traveler came to the rich man and instead of the rich man taking one of his many animals to kill and feed the traveler, he took the one lamb of the poor man and killed it.
When King David heard this word, he was incensed and angered. He then asked Nathan to tell him who had done such a thing because he would surely die. He continued that there would be four-fold restoration to the poor man because of what was taken from him. Then Nathan brought the stunning news to King David…the man is you. David had been anointed king and he was delivered out of the hands of Saul, He was given his master’s house, his master’s wives, and the houses of Israel and Judah. But he despised the commandment of God and did evil in God’s sight and killed Uriah. He then took Uriah’s wife, even though David had many of his own wives. Now there would be evil in his house, and God would take his wives before his eyes and give them unto his neighbor.
There are some astonishing issues in this prophetic word. King David—with all the promise, with all of the victories, with all the extensions of the Kingdom that he was used to taking—fell into this trap. His career was magnificent, but there came a point when his character suffered grievously. You must not get to the place where your accomplishments, your success, your possessions bring you to the place where the extent of your spiritual commitment is unimportant. You cannot get to the place where spiritual character is unimportant because of the things you hold in your hand.