When I was a little boy I knew the most dangerous place in the world was my own bedroom.
Not all the time; it only became dangerous after dark, after dad turns off the light and I was all alone in the dark. This is when the monsters come out.
No, I could never actually see them, but I do distinctly remember hearing the small subtle noises they made as I lay there eyes wide open with covers over my head. I always knew if I ever did see them, it was all over. Monsters do not leave witnesses.
I also remember one night explaining to my father about the monsters. He took me outside, walking around the dark house, shining a flashlight in each corner and crevasse, assuring me there were no monsters. I wanted so badly to tell him dad, these were not stupid monsters- they knew better than to let you see them. They’re hiding, waiting for him to go to his room, so they could resume toying with me. There I lay there in my bed, in the dark hiding under the covers, which everybody knows are an impenetrable barrier against child-eating monsters. They made me feel safe and sound in a dangerous world.
As I grew older I learned my bedroom really wasn’t really all that dangerous. It’s the outside world where all the real monsters are: real monsters that fly airplanes into buildings, who kidnap kids from their families, who use and abuse people of all ages, disease and death that fill—all these fill the world with danger. Hiding beneath the covers cannot keep you safe.
So how do you deal with it? How can you and I really safe and sound in a dangerous world?
I believe we get some help from the life of David. David knew what it was to live in a dangerous world. In 1 Sam. 19 faces a murderous king named Saul who’s trying to kill him. From this chapter you and I can learn how we can be safe and sound in a dangerous world.
I. INNOCENCE WILL NOT ALWAYS DELIVER YOU FROM DANGER. (v. 1-7)
Many of us think just being a good person makes us immune from the trials and tragedies of life. Play by the rules, live and let live, try to treat everybody right, and everything will turn out OK. When anything really bad happens we ask what did I do to deserve this? Many times the answer is nothing.
This is true of David. King Saul means to kill him, even though David had never done anything to Saul. It took Saul’s son, Prince Jonathan, to speak up for his friend. Notice what he says in vs. 4-5 (read).
David hasn’t done anything wrong! Why do you want to kill him? Jonathan’s speech seems to change his dad’s mind.
Saul and David reconcile and all seems well, until Saul has another of his fits, and once again David has to run for his life. David’s innocence does not deliver him from danger.
Innocence will not deliver you from danger, either. Many of us naively assume really bad things only happen to really bad people. We figure the farther away from trouble we live, the harder it is for danger to find us. Stay away from trouble and trouble will stay away from you. This is our strategy for living safe and sound in a dangerous world
Does it work? Well, yes and no. Nobody can deny living a good moral life will keep you out of trouble. Living right keeps you away from many dangers that come with doing wrong. It pays to buckle your seat belt and eat right. It pays to go to the doctor and get check-ups. It’s a good idea to stay away from people or places where trouble seems to always follow. Drug dealers face dangers you and I who don’t do drugs don’t deal with. At the same time, doing right does not guarantee deliverance from all danger. The Bible tells us that the world is a dangerous place even for the righteous:
Ps 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous…
John 16:33…in the world, you will have tribulation…
2 Ti 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
David was a man after God’s own heart, a man God Himself chose to be King of His own people. Yet for many years David is a hunted man, one step from death.
You and I must accept the fact: even though being a Christian and doing what’s right always pays off in the end, innocence will not always keep you safe and sound in a dangerous world.
From the May 28, 1998, edition of USA Today letters to the editor:
Will somebody help me save my son? My son is two years old and is a reflection of complete innocence. He knows nothing of the killing within the schools…. He knows nothing of the abuse that happens within the homes of children just his age…he is oblivious to the tragedies that occur every day across the country. And as he clutches his blanket, sleeping soundly, dreaming of the mommy and daddy who love him, he has no idea of the complete social and moral decay of our country. Does anyone care anymore? Will someone please, please help me save my son?—Edward Moats, Belle air Beach, Florida*
Innocence will not keep even those we love the most in a dangerous world. But not only will innocence not always deliver you from danger
II. LOVE WILL NOT ALWAYS DELIVER YOU FROM DANGER. (v.8-17)
During the 1960s a band from Liverpool England called the Beatles sang a song that said
over and over again all you need is love…love is all you need. Those were nice words but is love all you need to make you safe and sound in a dangerous world?
David flees from the murderous Saul home to the loving arms of his wife Michal. Michal finds out about Saul’s assassins. You’re a dead man if you stay here tonight she tells her beloved husband. So she devises a plan: first, she lets him down from a back window. Then she dresses up a statue, places it in David’s bed, and waits for morning. She buys David a little more running time by pretending he’s sick when the soldiers come for him. Saul orders them to bring David on his deathbed. But once again, David eludes the angry king’s clutches.
Michal is not exactly a saint in her actions- keeping idols in her home, deceiving and lying to her father. She’d do almost anything to save the man she loved. And her plan worked.
So is love the key to living safe and sound in a dangerous world? Yes, and no.
Love is a one of the most powerful forces in the universe. The love of a parent will move them to do almost anything to provide and protect their kids. You’ve heard stories of lovers and friends who willingly sacrifice for the sake of the one they love. Even Jesus once told us:
Jn 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
Years ago, a young mother was making her way across the hills of South Wales, carrying her tiny baby in her arms, when she was overtaken by a blinding blizzard. She never reached her destination but when the blizzard subsided her body was found by searchers, who discovered she had taken off all her outer clothing and wrapped it about her baby, who, to their great surprise and joy, they found he was alive and well. She had given her life for her child.[i]
I have no doubt every mother and father in this room would do the same thing for their own child t. But love does not always make us safe and sound in this dangerous world.
Michal’s love for her husband saved him from death that night, but not from the danger in the coming days. Your love for your family and friends will not always deliver them from danger. Every year, children vanish without a trace from homes where mom and dad love their kids as much as you love your children. Every day people say their last goodbyes to those they love very much, and yet love cannot stay the hand of death. You can love somebody with every fiber of your being, but you cannot force them to give up self-destructive behavior. Love will not always deliver you nor the ones you love from danger.
You and I must understand and accept that love is not always powerful enough to keep us safe and sound in a dangerous world. Like David, there are times when love only postpones the danger- not eliminate it.
So if innocence does not deliver from danger, and love cannot deliver us from danger, what can make us safe and sound in a dangerous world? Are we doomed to always live in fear, or is there another option? David discovers the answer when he finds that
III. ONLY THE LORD DELIVERS YOU FROM EVERY DANGER (v 18-24)
As he’s running for his life from his own home he has to be thinking where am I going? Where can I run and find safety from Saul? The only place he can think of is the city of Ramah- hometown of Samuel the prophet. Maybe Samuel can help him find a way out of this. So David flees to Ramah, tells Samuel everything that’s happened and Samuel gives David refuge.
It doesn’t take Saul long to learn where David is. He sends a group of thugs there to get him. Here’s where things get a little weird.
V. 20 tells us when Saul’s men arrive at Naioth, Samuel and the other prophets are prophesying. The Hebrew word is very ambiguous: in some contexts it describes a true prophet of God declaring God’s message. In other contexts, it describes the ecstatic babbling of a false prophet, under the control of a demon (cf. Jer. 23:21; Ezek. 13:2-3; 1 Kings 22:10). God causes Saul and his men to be unable to control themselves. Saul ends up throwing off his royal robes, a reminder God has rejected him as king.
But don’t miss the main point: when David is cornered, no way out, it’s not his innocence nor love of that delivers him- it is God. When there’s no way out, God delivers David and keeps him safe and sound from danger.
Bro. Mike are you telling me God will always do some miracle to keep me and my loved ones safe from danger? And my answer will again be yes- and no.
God very often does deliver His children from danger.
Ps 34:6-7 6This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. 7The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.
At the same time, God does not always protect us from danger, but also through danger.
Sometimes He delivers us from danger. David is a good example. Another good example is
a story some of you may remember of Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer—two Christian aid workers who were kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan several years ago. Most people never expected to see them alive again, but somehow, the Lord brought them through the ordeal back home where they spoke many times to the news media and to fellow believers about how God kept them safe and delivered them from their terrorist captors.
Sometimes He delivers us through danger. Remember a man described in
Acts 6:8 …Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.
The Bible also describes how Stephen was arrested and executed for His faith in Christ.
The Argentine evangelist Juan Carlos Ortiz was arrested for preaching the gospel and taken before the magistrate. The magistrate said, "Mr. Ortiz, if you continue to preach the gospel you will be thrown in prison." He said, "No problem. That’ll give me a chance to preach to the guards.
"Well then we'll throw you in solitary confinement." "No problem, that'll give more time to read and pray." "Mr. Ortiz, we'll have you executed." "No problem, I'll be with my Lord." Totally frustrated the magistrate said, "What are we going to do with you?" Ortiz replied, "It sounds like you've got a problem!"
Nowhere in the Bible does the Lord promise that you and I will be exempt from pain, suffering, or heartache. Nowhere does He promise danger or death will never touch our lives. Jesus experienced all these things and we who trust Him should expect the same. What He does promise is even when danger comes, He never leaves us to face it alone. He will either deliver you from danger, or deliver you through danger. He will deliver you from death to live another day on earth, or deliver you through death into Christ’s presence, far beyond the reach of all danger.
There is one catch. The only people who are truly safe and sound in a dangerous world are those whose trust is truly in the Lord, those who have placed their lives in His hands. David was not safe because he was cunning or lucky; he was safe and sound because His life was in God’s hands.
Psalm 18:2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Only the Lord can deliver you from and through every danger. But only those who put their trust in Him can truly be safe and sound in a dangerous world.
The story is told of a monastery perched high on a 3,000 foot cliff, only accessible by a ride in a swaying basket, pulled with a single rope by several strong men. One tourist got nervous halfway up the cliff when he noticed the rope looked old and frayed. When he made it to the top he asked, “How often do you change the rope?” The monk replied with a smile “Whenever it breaks!” [ii]
Friends there are times in life when you should wonder if the things you trust are strong enough to keep you safe. Let me remind you that One, and only One Person can keep you and the ones you love safe and sound in a dangerous world: Jesus Christ.
If you haven’t trusted Him for your salvation, I urge you to do it today! Apart from Christ, you are in danger of losing your soul! Come to Christ today, repent of your sins, and lay your life in His hands. He will save you and keep you by His almighty power.
If you are here today and you are saved, but your heart is full of worry and fear,---whether you are worried and afraid for yourself, or for those you love---come to the Lord, and ask Him to help your unbelief, to help you trust Him to keep you safe and sound in this dangerous world.
Will you trust the Lord to keep you safe and sound in a dangerous world?
* Letters to the editor in USA Today, Thursday, May 28, 1998, Page 12–A.
[i] James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988), p. 375.
[ii]Daily Walk, March 30, 199210,000 sermon illustrations. 2000 (electronic ed.). Dallas: Biblical Studies