Beware of the Traveler

And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”
II Samuel 12:4

I like analogies because they explain one concept through the lens of another. The comparison between two similar/dissimilar things can reveal new insights and open our understanding.

This post is about a comparison between a traveler and our fleshly lusts.

Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “ As the Lord lives, the man who has done this shall surely die! And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.” Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more!
II Samuel 12:1‭-‬8 NKJV

David had taken Bathsheba, slept with her, got her pregnant, conducted a scheme to cover his tracks, and had Bathsheba’s husband executed. This happened in the spring time “at the time when kings go out to battle.” (11:1) Instead of being where he ought to be – at battle – David stayed home.

When I observe Nathan’s parable, a question arises. The identity of the rich man and poor man seems clear. David represents the rich man and Uriah the poor man. When Nathan speaks about the “exceedingly many flocks and herds” versus the poor man’s one little lamb, this seems to refer to David’s multiple wives and concubines. Uriah, on the other hand, had only one wife, who, apparently, he loved and cherished for a long time. These comparisons are fairly clear. But there is one question that remains: who is the traveler?

And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock…

I think the traveler is a representation of our fleshly lusts. Imagine David in the middle of the night, with nothing productive to do, (because he should have been doing his calling but instead he was idle). Lust comes upon him, and he goes up on the rooftop. Did he go on the rooftop intending to look at naked women bathing in the moonlight? I do not know. Regardless if the lust drove him up there or came upon him while he was there, the lust was present. Instead of satisfying this lust, feeding this traveler, in a God-honoring manner (scripture tells us the marriage bed is undefiled), he instead takes Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba.

Now, is this analysis not true? Does lust never operate this way? Whether it be sexual or some other kind of passion, doesn’t it come upon us like a traveler? It doesn’t stay for long. In fact, once satisfied it quickly goes away. As believers, this traveler doesn’t really live here anymore, but it still makes visits. Uncleanness, greed, hatred, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, envy, etc… These fleshly lusts used to have control over us. Yet, we no longer practice them! For those who practice such cannot inherit the Kingdom of God! (Galatians 5:21) And we now live in the Spirit!

Yet, don’t these travelers still visit us? I think it is important to understand that we can avoid the traveler! David was not where he was supposed to be. He was avoiding his call, so that left him open to entertain the traveler. When we neglect the ministry God has given us or the call God has placed on our lives, we leave ourselves as playground for fleshly lusts. We ought to present ourselves to be used by God instead of presenting ourselves to fleshly lusts. (Romans 6) Our hearts and bodies must remain in a position to serve God! When Cain didn’t offer God his best, murder and envy traveled right to his front door. And Cain received them as guests because his heart wasn’t in a position to avoid them.

I think it is important to understand that we can outlast the traveler! The next time one comes, go ahead and take a walk! The traveller is in a rush because it knows it can’t stay long. Thus, it tries to rush us into committing sin. Resist it! Outlast it! Joseph resisted and outlasted! When the time was ripe, and he was alone with Potiphar’s wife, he continued to resist and took a walk! In fact, Joseph probably didn’t just walk, he ran! Outlast the traveller!

I think it is important to understand that we can defeat the traveler! For greater is He, the Holy Spirit, that is within us, then the spirit that comes from the world! We can rebuke it! Jesus told Satan, “Get thee behind me!” Jesus quoted scripture as the devil, in all his deception, tried to tempt Jesus! So let us arm ourselves with the Word of God and defeat the traveler when it refuses to obey the will of God!

Altogether, is this not true? Does not fleshly lusts act like travelers? What do you think? And how will you deal with the traveler when it tries to visit you?

16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

Galatians 5:16-17

One Reply to “Beware of the Traveler”

  1. Beautifully written post, very proud.

    As Saints we each have stumbling blocks that attempt to distract us from our divine driven God purpose. These stumbling block(s) as you have eloquently described are the traveler. God asks us to beware of our weaknesses and to confess our sins so we may declare and receive victory over our weaknesses. Satan uses condemnation to give power over our shortcomings but God has declared that he is most powerful and that when we acknowledge that the power of God triumphs over our temptations we maximize God and minimize our vulnerability to sin.

    In order to identify the traveler we must know who the traveler is. When we fail to identify the traveler we are more prone to naively invite the traveler into our homes, giving the traveler rest and meal. The traveler who knows exactly where to find his meal, arrives like clockwork in each season, disguised each time in different clothing.

    Anger is my traveler.

    An immense wrath that serves myself and in doing so idolizes myself while disobeying God.

    I struggled for a while with this word, filled with conviction, I truly wondered, Why am I so susceptible to anger? This Old Testament God like wrath that burns everything in its path?

    Wwwwwhhhhhyyyyyyy?

    God has gifted me with an incredible intelligence that accompanies the privledge of respect and authority. When my opinions that I deemed superior are contested or undervalued I am filled with this outrageous selfish desire to verbally and or physically enforce my perspective. The problem with this perspective is that it limits my ability to see God’s glory in every situation. Romans 8:28 All things…for the good. When I allow anger to travel, I am diminishing God goodness at the expense of the perceived badness. This is why God commands us to praise him at all times, not just good times but bad times and even more so in the bad times so that in our worship we are demonstrating unconditional trust and reverance despite our misunderstanding.

    James 1:19-2o (KJV)
    19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

    If we learn to listen to the glory of God and not the doubt that travels as a panhandler to rid our treasure chests – we able to strengthen our spiritual muscles, over time excercizing the power to walk in the spirit realm and cast down strongholds.

    When we become angry – we are exerting our earthly power in a situation but when we trust God, we receive the most high supernatural power for our situation. As we learn to trust God, more deeply, despite persecution and beyond comprehension, we move beyond the place of eschewing the traveler and we become the traveler. Like Paul traveling from Amphipolis to Damascus to Philippi to Syria to Derbe to Ptolemais to Ephesus – we take up our cross and we go, knocking on the door of the unbelief, hoping that the Christ that lives in us will be invited into the hearts of sinners.

    Let us become travelers of our faith! Unmoved by the scathing of our temptations, preaching the word of God, bougie in Christ and unbothered!

    Let us become travelers of our praise! Allowing our conditional joy in God to move and flow in our life!

    And we are done let us receive our place in Heaven, traveling for a final time to our final resting place to rest with our Father, the traveler’s tour guide.

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