The Poison of Comfort
2nd Samuel 12:1-9
“So the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: “There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest.” David was furious. “As surely as the Lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.” Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man! The Lord, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul. I gave you your master’s house and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more. Why, then, have you despised the word of the Lord and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and stolen his wife.”
Most of us are familiar with the story. The Warrior King David, takes time off from the battlefield he is called to, in order to instead spend idle time within the comforts of his castle. During David’s vacation from his call, he spends his time napping in the middle of the day and peeping on his neighbors while they take baths. Not a healthy use of time. Eventually his napping and peeping cause him to stumble upon the beautiful Bathsheba. David, who is clearly bored, cannot control his desire and commands her to come quickly to his chambers where he proceeds to sleep with her. When you build your life around being comfortable, you also build your life around the desire of your flesh.
The result of David’s affair results in Bathsheba being pregnant. Typically this would not be a problem for a king like David, except Bathsheba is already married to one of David’s soldiers, the brave and honorable Uriah. Who, unlike David, is selflessly and bravely fighting for his country and family on the battlefield. Instead of taking responsibility for the mess he’s created, David devises a plan to secretly kill Uriah in order to take his wife, and cover the shame of his infidelity.
The pursuit of building our lives around comfort causes us to take the path of cowardice above honor.
Of course because David is King of the entire nation, his plan goes off without a hitch. No one is the wiser when Uriah is conveniently killed in battle and David takes the now pregnant Bathsheba as his wife. Life goes on and David is content to live his life comfortably with this secret as if nothing had ever happened.
The pursuit of building our lives around comfort eventually causes us to live with a seared and compromising conscience.
Things probably would have worked out well for David if he had belonged to the world and was not charged with leading and caring for God’s people. No, because God cares deeply for his people and his relationship with David, God sends a prophet named Nathan to confront David and his secret sin. Instead of directly calling David out for what he did to Uriah, Nathan tells David a parable. David is so consumed at this point with pursuing his own comforts and desire, that he is unable to connect the dots and is willing to execute a stranger for the very sin he has committed.
The pursuit of comfort eventually leads us into the bondage of self righteousness.
David has prophetically demonstrated by chasing personal comforts over submission to God. Jesus’s words in Matthew 7 says,
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”
The pursuit of comfort has disabled David from the ability to self reflect and has developed a hypocritical heart within him.
The pursuit of comfort will eventually cost him a child, and will demand he have to fight for his country and call in a way he would never imagine.
The pursuit of comfort actually makes life harder in the long term.
Here is my point, comfort is not meant to come from the work of our own hands. We are designed to find comfort in one place only. Within the presence of the Comforter, Holy Spirit. Who equips, and anoints us for the call Father God has placed on our lives. Building your life around what makes you comfortable is a poison that leads you into the depths of your flesh and away from the life you are promised in submission to God. We don't have to work and worry about the provision and rest that comes promised to us as sons and daughters of God Almighty. We do have to continually resist the urge to supply for ourselves, what Jesus has promised to give us when we walk in submission to Him.
The plain truth is that when we orient our lives around what is comfortable, we walk out of obedience to God and into worship of our flesh. We allow comfort to poison us from living in freedom from self. We become dominated by what seems pleasurable in the moment and surrender our destiny in God for what feels good on earth. Let’s get uncomfortable.