Once again there was a battle between the Philistines and Israel. David went down with his men to fight against the Philistines, and he became exhausted. 2 Samuel 21:15
It’s not clear why David became exhausted. Had he become so comfortable with palace living that he no longer participated in regular exercise and was unfit? Had he found palace food to his liking and indulged too much? Had he grown so accustomed to palace comforts that he had forgotten the demands of battle?
In this battle, there was an attempt on David’s life and his men so feared for him they said, “Never again will you go out with us to battle, so that the lamp of Israel will not be extinguished” (verse 17). Once David had been a great warrior, especially over the Philistines. He achieved many great victories in the past. Times when his army didn’t want to go out to battle without him but now he’d become a liability. Was it just age or had David failed to maintain his battle readiness?
It’s interesting to note that these chapters at the end of Samuel are an overview of David’s life and aren’t in chronological order (verse 1). Is this the reason David stayed home when the rest of his troops went off to war in 2 Samuel 11? Was he feeling unwanted? Then he saw Bathsheba bathing (verses 1-2), Satan had set his trap.
It’s easy to become comfortable with our circumstances. We may rely too much on past victories. We may indulge too much in the pleasures of this world and be unprepared for the challenges ahead.
We can’t afford to stagnate in our relationship with God but continue with our spiritual disciplines. While we may physically deteriorate, it’s important that spiritually, we stay battle-ready.