Don’t Feed The Wayfaring Man

2 Samuel 12:1 – And 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.

2 Samuel 12:2 – The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds:

2 Samuel 12:3 – But 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.

2 Samuel 12:4 – And 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.

2 Samuel 12:5 – And 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:

2 Samuel 12:6 – And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.

2 Samuel 12:7 – And 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;

2 Samuel 12:8 – And 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.

2 Samuel 12:9 – Wherefore 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.

Hello readers, hope you’re going well. It’s been quite a week here in Adelaide with soaring temperatures, bushfires nearby and then flooding rains. And it’s promising to be another interesting year. This year, will you be entertaining the wayfaring man? Today I am talking about the wayfaring man of Nathan’s story concerning David’s sin with Bathsheba.

I have trouble with the wayfaring man. He turns up in my life quite a bit. And worse still, I go out my way to make sure he’s well fed. I go to great lengths for the wayfaring man. If you think about it, the wayfaring man turns up in your life as well. How often does he pop up in your life? You may, like David, have it made in life. David was going on pretty well until the wayfaring man turned up.

Who is the wayfaring man? He’s that person in you, that person that loves sin, that lusts and is proud and greedy and resentful and bitter and envious and jealous, who’s eyes go wandering, who’s mind drifts off into entertaining and then pursuing upon all manner of evil imaginations. We all have a wayfaring man, and he pops up in our lives and makes his demands clear… and we often bend over backwards to feed him.

The wayfaring man can really hurt your life, because David entertained him, he spent a lifetime reaping the consequences for accommodating him. David one day saw a beautiful woman, and the wayfaring man took over. That wayfaring person took him over. Lust took over. It had to be fed, he had to be fed. David liked what he saw. He had to have her. Sometimes you should thank God when you don’t have what you desire. Because David was king, he had all the means necessary to take that woman and sleep with her. That’s one of the toughest things about things like technology, how it has accelerated sin. It’s enabled people to get involved in sin easier and quicker than ever before. The less obstacles to sin, the easier it is to pursue it before you come to yourself.

David took Bathsheba and he committed adultery with her. By the way, there’s nothing to suggest this wasn’t consensual. Bathsheba was just as much an adulteress as he was an adulterer. God spared Uriah the humiliation of raising a son for his own when it wasn’t his. David tried to cover up his sin, he tried real good. It’s amazing how devious and inventive and smart people get when they’re in sin. It was quite a plan to get Uriah back from the front lines and hope he slept with his wife so that the story that the baby was Uriah’s might be plausible. The problem is we are always more concerned with making our sin plausible than confessing it and fronting up to who we are and what we’ve done. Anything but repentance right!?

David was in the cover up business. You know, when you’re covering things up, that’s not a good sign. Moses murdered an Egyptian and he looked left and right and then hid his body in the sand. He tried covering what he did up, hoping to get away with it. How much of your life is spent feverishly covering up? You’re always concealing who and what you truly are. Things, which if brought out into the light, would be very ugly. Just how much of a double life are you living, how much covering up is going on. We can cover up not just our actions, but who we fundamentally are, and that’s the place David was at in his life. He was a cover up, and he was about to be exposed.

So Nathan comes to David and he comes to him with a story. David doesn’t know the story’s about him. Nathan told David a story, a parable which was referring to David. And in that story there was a rich man who has a wayfaring man, a traveler, stay at his place as a guest. In order to feed that wayfaring man, he didn’t take from his own flock, though he had many… he instead took a poor man’s one and only sheep and killed it and dressed it for the wayfaring man to eat.

How low sin takes us. Satisfying sin’s demands will make us do terrible things to other people. Sin is always selfish and hurts others. It causes us to do things we regret after, that we really shouldn’t have done and didn’t want to do, it hurts those we love, it is selfish, it is rotten, it is destitute of love and mercy and grace and truth. See, many people would love to live higher than they are living. But they just can’t… because the wayfaring man is living at their house. It’s like someone addicted to drugs, they can’t say no, and they move heaven and earth to get their next fix. Would you really like what you read if the story of your life was told for all to see? We’d hope to attain to better right? David didn’t like the story at all, and if you can step outside yourself, how do other people see your life… how selfish and sinful and utterly depraved it is? You have to get honest about who and what you are, David had to, we surely have to as well.

The wayfaring man is that person in you who desires to sin in your life. He wants to sin, he wants to fulfill that lust he’s got. You may keep him at bay for a while, but he turns up now and then and that’s when the darkness descends upon your life. This wayfaring man seeks to be gratified. That’s your flesh. We all have him. See, we can even be Christians and yet there is that traveler in us… who travels away from truth, from love, from grace, from what’s honest and right and good… because sin is more fun, sin is more pleasurable, sin needs to be appeased. The wayfaring man is short sighted though, because he’s going to leave you after he’s dined on your life, and you’ll be left picking up the pieces of a shipwrecked marriage or testimony or life.

We’re pretty careful to entertain this guy as well. People can’t easily be deterred from a life of sin. They love it, they enjoy it, that’s why they reject the gospel… they love the darkness. David would pray for a new heart in Psalm 51, a prayer of repentance over his sin with Bathsheba, he knew it was his heart that had gotten him into trouble. Only God can fix someone’s heart, Christianity is the religion of the heart. That wayfaring man needs to be kicked to the curb… not entertained. You’re going to need supernatural power to deal with the wayfaring man. An empty profession of faith can’t deliver you from him, nor can doing better deliver you, it’s going to take being truly saved and the Holy Spirit living in you and guiding and leading your life as you trust and obey him.

That wayfaring man can turn up when he’s least expected. Feeding him can have devastating and long term consequences. It’s amazing how sin travels into our life, we can be going along pretty good, having a good day or week or whatever… and boom… the wayfaring man turns up. What causes his arrival? Well, it was what David saw that gave the wayfaring man entrance. He saw the woman bathing… and the wayfaring man took over.

In this story is a simple, yet profound and powerful picture of the truth about ourselves. The wayfaring man is that person in us who makes his appearance and who’s desires demand to be fed. What are we going to do about him? Are we going to feed him? We all have that sinful person in us who craves to be fed. Lust wants to be fed, pride wants to be fed… it makes its demands on you, and you do terrible things to accommodate it. Our sinful nature wants to be gratified, fulfilled and fed. But it’s never fulfilled, that’s why we keep sinning, we just keep going on and on in sin. The eyes of man are never satisfied the Bible says, your sin will take you to the pig pen like it did with the prodigal son. How deep in the mud are you going to let sin take you?

People of this world feed the wayfaring man in them. What makes people do all the terrible things they do? Because they need to fulfill the lusts of their flesh, they need to feed him. The adultery, the drugs, the alcohol… it’s all wayfaring man. He’s a traveler, he travels from truth… he doesn’t have rest, he keeps on moving restless and unfulfilled and leaving a trail of destruction.

Consider this verse from Romans.

Romans 13:14 – But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

The rich man made provision for the wayfaring man. Mistake! The more you feed your flesh, the fatter it will become, and the more it will need to be fed. Right? Think about it, the more someone feeds, the more they need to be fed to be satisfied. There’s an amazing picture of this in Judges 3. A guy called Eglon was the king of Moab, who was greatly oppressing Israel. Your flesh will greatly oppress your spiritual growth and walk with God. He was a fat man the Bible says. He’s a picture of the flesh. Your flesh will get fatter and your life will be more and more oppressed by sin and Satan. Israel was completely under Moab’s dominion. Your life shouldn’t be under dominion of sin.

Romans 6:14 – For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Sin doesn’t need to have dominion over you. In Judges 3, God raised up a deliverer called Ehud. Ehud went to see Eglon, king of Moab. He took a dagger with to the meeting, and when Ehud’s dagger went into Eglon’s belly, the dirt came out. He killed him dead, there was no getting the dagger out of that belly.  That dagger is a picture of God’s word. We need God’s word to get the dirt out. When you wash yourself in the shower, you’re washing the dirt off. God’s word needs to be plunged into that belly of fleshly sinful living and desires. Ehud’s dagger is still required today in our lives spiritually speaking. Get in God’s word and let God clean your life up and deal with that fat man and all his dirt. When you get the dirt on someone, it means you have information that can ruin that persons reputation and career. How many people have dirt on them, and it blackmails their life. We need an Ehud, you can’t deliver yourself, but Jesus Christ is well able to, he is well able to deliver our souls from sin, our flesh, from Satan and from hell.

Consider these verses from Philippians.

Philippians 3:18 – (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

Philippians 3:19 – Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

Look at that, “their God is their belly.” Most people worship their belly. And it’s not meaning a physical sense, it’s referring to fleshly appetites and desires. Most people’s God is their fleshly desires and appetites… and they want to be satisfied. When you’re hungry, your belly is demanding to be fed. What’s your hunger and desire for? Your belly can be the domain of the Holy Spirit, or it can be the domain of your flesh.  The word “incontinent” is used in the Bible to refer to unrestrained fleshly appetite. When someone is incontinent, they have no control over certain bodily functions. If you keep feeding the wayfaring man, he’s going to eat you out of the house. It’s going to cost you all your morality and righteousness and goodness, it’s going to make you sacrifice everything to feed him… even your own salvation and eternity.

I’d never noticed this, but the rich man took the poor man’s one and only lamb and gave it to the wayfaring man. Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. Pleasing your flesh, feeding your flesh, it’s going to cost you your walk with God. You’re going to give your forgiveness and grace and mercy that God extends to you away to a life of living in the flesh. Is it really worth sacrificing a saved life, a life of following and serving the Lord Jesus… just to satisfy the fat man of your flesh? He’s a dirty slob. He’s not worth it. It’s such a poor deal.

Look what hosting him cost the rich man. He did a heinous thing to TAKE the poor man’s only sheep. The wayfaring man is going to get you into sin, into doing wrong. To accommodate him you’re going to have to sacrifice everything that is true and right and holy and love and good. It’s amazing how single mindedly we can pursue our sin though, David got on this tangent in life and there was no stopping and thinking “what am I doing?”. He had the blinkers on, he was going to do what he was going to do and there was no stopping him. So many people are not to be deterred from the path they are on because they are determined to do what they want to do… and it’s get out of the way if you are standing in their path.

Don’t feed the wayfaring man. He’s going to pop up in your life today, tonight, tomorrow. David had been going so well in life, and one day the wayfaring man takes a seat in the house of his mind and heart all because he sees a naked woman. David did a lot to get her, and even more to cover it up. He was leaving a trail of collateral damage, think about everyone he was hurting to guest the wayfaring man. He harmed his family, Uriah’s family and the entire nation of Israel with his actions… and he harmed himself as well. He harmed the cause of Christ, he caused God’s name to be blasphemed. Think about what people said about David’s God when they heard what he’d done. Old dirty dog Dave right? Is sin really worth it at the end of the day? Was that moment of pleasure worth it?

If you know where the path ends, if you know it’s destination, why ever get on it to begin with? We think we can get on sin’s path and get off before we arrive at destination ruined life… but it never turns out that easy. That lust has a real appetite, and once he gets eating, he won’t want to stop. It’s always better not to get into sin than dip your toe in it. How many drug users became addicted by just trying a little bit… just one time sort of deal. What about alcoholics. How many started with a sip, or just a harmless little drink… oh in moderation… they didn’t see the end of the ride was a broken home and ruined marriage and burnt out life.

I once did a blog on Samson not owing his Philistine buddies anymore, and it’s a picture of the truth we are discussing today. Once you’re saved, you’re no longer a debtor to the flesh. Read this…

Romans 8:12 – Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

Romans 8:13 – For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Romans 8:14 – For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

What does not being a debtor to the flesh mean? It means you don’t owe your flesh a thing. You don’t need to host him every time he turns up to your place. You can so no to him, you can say go and find somewhere else to stay, not this time and not my life. You see, people of the world don’t have the ability to say no. Why do people get stuck in sin being powerless against it? They don’t have someone greater. Jesus Christ is greater, he became flesh and blood and yet did no sin. He has all the power, that’s why this blog isn’t about religious reformation and trying harder… it’s about trusting in Jesus Christ to deliver you. If he could deliver himself from death, he can deliver your life from death… follow him out the empty tomb… the stone is rolled away. Ask him to save you, ask him to change you, ask him to intercede for you and give you grace and power and deliverance from sins of the flesh.

What are you dressing for the wayfaring man? We like to dress things up real good. Christians everywhere are dressing all sorts of sin up like it’s not just old fashioned sin and iniquity and wickedness. People try dressing their lies up as truth, they try dressing up sin as alright and acceptable and not that bad… they dress up their unsaved, unregenerate thinking as Christian. For most Christians, their life really is a dress up party. They’re dressed up as a Christian, but they’re not saved, they’re not born again, they don’t love God, they’re not interested in obeying and honoring and glorifying the Son with their lives. That’s the problem behind every sin problem.

You’re careful to protect your sin aren’t you. The amount of Christians who defend and dress up and cover up their sin… we all do it. Make excuses, sweep it under the rug, justify it, excuse it… whatever. We need a Nathan to come with the sword of the Spirit, the word of God. Your fleshly appetite will never be satisfied. He’ll be with you to your dying day. But you can have victory… because if you are saved, someone greater is here… that someone is the Lord Jesus Christ. Stop dressing things up for the wayfaring man, stop making his bed comfortable, stop making him supper… stop pretending to be a Christian and get saved.

David had a problem with the wayfaring man. I have a problem with the wayfaring man. And so do you if you are honest about it. David was honest about it, he admitted his sin when confronted with truth.  David said “I have sinned against the LORD”. Honesty. May we confront this ugly truth about ourselves with honesty. God seeks honesty in our hearts about who and what we are. If you can’t get honest with yourself and about yourself… you’re just going to live a life kidding yourself.

God’s word woke David up, we need to wake up and now. The wayfaring man is real, he’s wanting in to each of our lives, he’s turning up when we see things, when we hear things… and he wants us to entertain him, he wants to be fed. David fed the wayfaring man… and it cost him and his family quite a bit. What a warning and what a lesson for us today. The Bible is so true it boggles our mind. If you have the Spirit of God, if you are a son of God having been born again, you have the answer to the flesh, and it’s by faith and trusting in Jesus Christ… you can’t win if the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is not a reality. He will deal with your flesh and he will lead you if you are his. This things gotta be real, it’s gotta be beyond intellectualism… because the wayfaring man is very real, don’t feed the wayfaring man.


Joseph View All →

Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 32 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – :)

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