NEHCC Sermon - 3-16-08 - God Is Faithful Despite Our Fears
NORTHEAST HOUSTON COMMUNITY CHURCH
Sermon – God Is Faithful Despite Our Fears
Scripture – 1 Sam 27
1 Sam 27
27 And David said in his heart, "Now I shall perish someday by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape to the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me, to seek me anymore in any part of Israel. So I shall escape out of his hand." 2 Then David arose and went over with the six hundred men who were with him to Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath. 3 So David dwelt with Achish at Gath, he and his men, each man with his household, and David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal's widow. 4 And it was told Saul that David had fled to Gath; so he sought him no more. 5 Then David said to Achish, "If I have now found favor in your eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, that I may dwell there. For why should your servant dwell in the royal city with you?" 6 So Achish gave him Ziklag that day. Therefore Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah to this day. 7 Now the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines was one full year and four months. 8 And David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites,* and the Amalekites. For those nations were the inhabitants of the land from of old, as you go to Shur, even as far as the land of Egypt. 9 Whenever David attacked the land, he left neither man nor woman alive, but took away the sheep, the oxen, the donkeys, the camels, and the apparel, and returned and came to Achish. 10 Then Achish would say, "Where have you made a raid today?" And David would say, "Against the southern area of Judah, or against the southern area of the Jerahmeelites, or against the southern area of the Kenites." 11 David would save neither man nor woman alive, to bring news to Gath, saying, "Lest they should inform on us, saying, 'Thus David did.'" And thus was his behavior all the time he dwelt in the country of the Philistines. 12 So Achish believed David, saying, "He has made his people Israel utterly abhor him; therefore he will be my servant forever." NKJV
Last week we talked about how David’s fear caused him to lie to the priest and how that lie was in part responsible for Saul killing 85 priest and wiping out a city. The killing is charged to Saul not to David, but David must bear some responsibility for what happened.
Between chapters 21 and 27 a lot happens. Samuel dies. David takes another wife in the meantime Saul gave David’s first wife to another. And once again David has an opportunity to kill Saul but does not do so for not wanting to touch God’s anointed.
1 Sam 26:22-24 22 And David answered and said, "Here is the king's spear. Let one of the young men come over and get it. 23 May the Lord repay every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the Lord delivered you into my hand today, but I would not stretch out my hand against the Lord's anointed. NKJV
I can imagine David saying to himself, “what have I done so wrong to be so persecuted?” have you ever thought like that where it seemed that everything was going against you? I know I have. Take heart in knowing that even God’s anointed must go through a season or two of suffering. Do you know of any bible character that did not have a season or two of suffering? So don’t cry out to God “why me? We may be more accurate in saying to ourselves, “why not me?”
On two occasions David showed grace and mercy to his enemy Saul for the Lords sake.
We come to our passage now with David in the pits of discouragement and doubt. Has anyone ever been there? When we mix that with fear we have a very dangerous combination. Please learn to recognize this state when it happens to you.
I once heard it said that when things are falling apart do something even if it is the wrong thing, but do something. I no longer agree with that thought. For 9 times out of 10 you will end up doing the wrong thing and perhaps making matters worse.
27 And David said in his heart, "Now I shall perish someday by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape to the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me, to seek me anymore in any part of Israel. So I shall escape out of his hand."
Do you hear the doubt and disappointment and fear in the words of David? A man anointed by God to be king. This was probably a very low point in David’s life up to this point. One thing I like about my Dentist. He tells me what to expect before it happens. He will say, “now this will sting a little” or this will hurt a little for a short while. His words do not lessen the discomfort but it does help me to bear it.
Let me tell you that you will have some low point from time to time. The good thing to know is that troubles don’t last always.
David decides to go amongst the Philistines. He decides this on His own. That is significant because with him is a priest. Before David went into battle against the Philistine he inquired of the Lord in Chapter 23.
1 Sam 23:1-2 Then they told David, saying, "Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah, and they are robbing the threshing floors." 2 Therefore David inquired of the Lord, saying, "Shall I go and attack these Philistines?" And the Lord said to David, "Go and attack the Philistines, and save Keilah." NKJV
He even asked God twice, again in v4. Again God gave him direction. David asks again of God direction concerning the safety of him and his men.
1 Sam 23:9-13 9 When David knew that Saul plotted evil against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, "Bring the ephod here." 10 Then David said, "O Lord God of Israel, Your servant has certainly heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah to destroy the city for my sake. 11 Will the men of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as Your servant has heard? O Lord God of Israel, I pray, tell Your servant." And the Lord said, "He will come down." 12 Then David said, "Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?" And the Lord said, "They will deliver you." 13 So David and his men, about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah and went wherever they could go. Then it was told Saul that David had escaped from Keilah; so he halted the expedition. NKJV
It is interesting that before going to live among the enemies of Israel he did not inquire of God once. That is what happens when we are in a desperate state brought on by fear, disappointment and doubt. The faith of David was very low. When we are weak that is all the more reason to go to God and trust Him. Sometimes we have to talk to ourselves and say something like. “Self, God has protected me and has provided for me all these years. This is just a test He has allowed Satan to attack me with but it will be used by God to strengthen me.”
David and his men of 600 fought in the army of the Philistines for 16 months and God gave David many victories. What David sought to achieve, relief from Saul, he did. Things were looking OK for David until it was time for the Philistines to again attack Israel.
Sometimes we may make decision outside of the will or permission of God, but soon the full impact of that decision rears its ugly head.
I find it comforting to believe that because David showed grace and mercy to Saul that God showed grace and mercy to David for the mistakes he has made. It reminds me of the scripture, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us” You may remember the story of the unmerciful servant who first received mercy but failed to give mercy and later had the mercy given to him taken away.
Matt 5:7 7 Blessed are the merciful,For they shall obtain mercy. NKJV
We will find as we journey through the life of David it is fear that caused him to step outside the will of God. I am not saying that it is a sin to be afraid sometimes, in fact I will go so far as to say that fear can be very helpful and constructive but it should never cause us to sin. Let me give a few examples. Is there anyone afraid of snakes? That’s a good fear. What about sharks, heights, a house on fire or even a robber with a gun. I would call these legitimate fears and wise fears. What about being fearful of what people will say about you, What about being pulled over for speeding? What about trying to get that job or promotion?
Jesus gives us some good advice on how to deal with fear and if you meditate on this it will help keep you strong in the face of fear. Let me try to put in on point. David was in fear of what Saul would do to Him. This caused David to lie and even join the enemy of his people and God’s people.
Jesus warns us not to do that in:
Luke 12:4-5 4 "And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! NKJV
Whoever we fear the most that is who we will listen to. I tell you like Jesus said, fear God and trust God.
David is in a bind of his own doing. How can he fight with the Philistines against Israel a people he was appointed to be king over? Before he fought for the Philistines against their common enemies, now he must continue to prove his worthiness to the philistines by fighting Israel. He could not have thought that this would be the way to the throne because on two occasions he would not touch the Lords anointed.
If he ran or deserted the Philistines he would then be hunted by Saul and the Philistines. I have seen lovers get into this problem while trying to play two people at the same time and end up losing both.
What is David to do? Have you ever been there?
Satan has a way of luring us into these types of situations because we lack faith in God.
God in His faithfulness provides a way out for David when David had no way out. He has done that for me. Can you say He has done that for you? David did not deserve to be let out but God, praise his name, does not give us want we deserve. When He blesses us he gives us more than we deserve and why he chastises us, He give us less than we deserve. You have to give God praise.
The scriptures tell me that we have all earned the wages of sin which is death, but God allowed Christ to die for us that we would get less that death and more that life (eternal life).
Tell briefly how God delivered David.
But warn that God does not always deliver us that way as we will see later in David’s life. Remember David showed grace and mercy to Saul and God returned the same to him.
Lesson 1; be gracious and merciful when you can do so these I pleasing to God and will give glory to God.
Lesson 2 you hear it said “look before you leap”. I say Seek Gods direction before you leap.
23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.
24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.
25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.
26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, 'Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.'
27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
28 "But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, 'Pay me what you owe!'
29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet* and begged him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.'*
30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.
31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done.
32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.
33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?'
34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
35 "So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses."* NKJV