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1 Samuel 29:1-11 - A Picture of God Working All Things Out for the Believer

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sometimes we get ourselves into awkward, unpleasant situations that cause all kinds of problems and difficulties.  And sometimes the problems and difficulties become critical, appearing to have no answer or solution & there seems to be no way out.  The circumstance may be anything that you could be dealing with right now.  There is no end to the list of circumstances that seem hopeless, impossible to solve.

But the wonderful message of God's Word is this: there is no circumstance beyond solution, no problem or difficulty beyond the power of God to control or work out, even working the circumstance our for our good.  God loves us and cares for us, and He particularly begins to work for us when we face crises.  No matter what the trial or temptation is, God has the power to hold us in the palm of His hand and to work all things out for the believer.

            This is the message & the lesson learned from the predicament that David found himself facing.  In the present Scripture, David faced a hopeless, impossible situation.  And it was a situation that was caused by his own shameful shortcomings.  Nevertheless, the Lord held David in the palm of His hand and worked all events out for good.  

A.           The predicament of David: A lesson on evil associations (v.1-2).

1.            The Philistines marched to invade Israel - the promised land of God (v.1).

a)            Their army was massive (v.1).

2.            The difficulty of David's situation (v.2).

a)            He had been ordered to march and fight against Israel.

(1)           As was seen in the last chapter, the Philistines had invaded Israel with a massive army.  And David's forces were enlisted to fight for the Philistines by the side of King Achish.  Because of his evil association with the Philistines, David was caught in the middle of a most difficult situation, that of having to fight against his own people, the Israelites.
(2)           He was being forced to march against the very people over whom God had chosen him to serve as king.  Note that he and his men were marching at the rear of the Philistine army, serving as the personal bodyguard of King Achish (1 Samuel 29:2).
(3)           Application: We must have the right associations: Evil associations will always create problems for us.  If we become friends with the immoral, lawless, and unjust of this world, they will influence us.  And before we know it, we will be participating in their worldly behavior.  It is impossible to walk in the footsteps of the wicked and live a righteous life.
(a)           Psalm 1:1-6 – don’t walk in the counsel of the ungodly
(b)           John 15:19 – if you were of the world the world would love its own
(c)           1 Corinthians 5:11; 15:33; 2 Thessalonians 3:6
(4)           Compromise will lead to…
(a)           Friendship of the World (James 4:4).
(b)           Spotted or (stained) by the World (James 1:27).
(c)           Conformed to the World (Romans 12:2).

B.           The solution to David's predicament: God's power to deliver His people (v.3-5).

There was the solution to David's predicament, God Himself.  Only the Lord had the power to maneuver events so that David would not have to fight against the Israelites.  Check out what happened:

1.            The surprise of the Philistine commanders to see Hebrews in the ranks (v.3).

a)            They questioned Achish & Achish shows his confidence in David’s loyalty (v.3a-b).

2.            The anger of the commanders and their demand that David be discharged (v.4-5).

a)            Three reasons for this demand:

(1)           He might betray, turn against them (v.4a).
(2)           He might use the battle as an opportunity to join the Israelites and gain Saul's favor (v.4b).
(3)           David had been a famous enemy of the Philistines: His exploits had even been celebrated in song (v.5).

b)            God has the power to deliver His people.

Paul says that "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." (1 Corinthians 10:13, NKJV)

The Lord fulfills His promise never to “leave or forsake” His children When everybody had deserted Paul, he said "But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!" (2 Timothy 4:17-18; Deut. 31:6,8; Josh. 1:5; Heb. 13:5 NKJV)

I love what Peter says, he says that "The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment," (2 Peter 2:9, NKJV)

C.           The dismissal or discharge of David from this battle: A picture of God's power to keep the believer from evil (v.6-11)

1.            The dismissal by Achish & David’s objections (v.6-7).

a)            The king agreed to the dismissal of David.

(1)           He commended David (v.6a)…  He gave the reason for the dismissal: The commanders opposed him (v.6b)…  He gave three brief orders: Turn back-go-do nothing (v.7).

2.            The objections of David (v.8).

a)            He asked why the complaints, suspicion (v.8a).

b)            He wanted to fight (v.8b).

(1)           Here we find David at the lowest.  Ultimately he went to fight against God with the enemies of God.  He had sunk so low, and we’ve watched his progress downward, that now he calls God’s people his enemies, or, “The enemies of my king, and I’m ready to go and fight against the enemies of my Lord the king”, and announces that Achish is his Lord, his king.  He’s ready to fight against the enemies of Achish.
(2)           The sad, tragic thing is that many times, when a person turns away from the path of God, he never intended to go as far as he does.  He didn’t intend that it get him this involved.  He didn’t intend to get so far immersed in that sin, that one day he would turn his back upon God, and become an enemy to God, or to the people of God.  Finding himself now in that position of fighting against the people of God, he has come to rock bottom.  This is as low as David could sink

3.            The vindication of David by King Achish (v.9).

a)            David had been as an "angel of God" (blessed the king) (v.9a).        

b)             David was dismissed only because of the commanders' insistence (v.9b).

4.            The urgency of David's arising and leaving early-lest he anger the commanders (v.10).

5.            The deliverance of David from his predicament: He left (v.11).

a)            Avoided fighting against Israel (v.11a).

b)            Avoided helping an enemy conquer the promised land (v.11b).

(1)           So David parted from their company, went on back.  We see him at the bottom of his career.  Next week we see where God restores David, and, and this is the beautiful thing.
(2)           You see, if the bible didn’t give us this insight of David and only gave us the high points of David’s life, only gave us the victories, only gave us his strong faith in God, and trust in God.  If we only had the Psalms, and didn’t have all of these other things about David’s life, we’d think, “Wow!  Wouldn’t it be great to be like David, so God could use me!
(3)           But I know God can’t use me, because I’ve told lies, and I’ve failed.  There’ve been times when I’ve been afraid, and my faith was weak, and God can’t use me.  Oh if my faith were only strong like David’s!  Always strong, then God could use me!”  But you see, God points out that David had his flaws, in fact some of them, much worse than yours.  Yet God used David.
(4)           Being weak, failing, does not disqualify me.  If I will yield my life to God, if I will just repent of my sin, and ask God’s forgiveness, God will use me as His instrument, to do His work.  God can still use you.  You may have sunk pretty deep in the pit, I don’t know that you have sunk as low as David.  But God is forgiving, and God is merciful, and if you’ll just seek God, He will restore you, and God will use you to do His work.  That’s to me, the beauty of the whole story. 
(5)           God lets us know that the men He uses, are not perfect men, they are people just like us, filled with flaws, fraught with failures, and yet God, in His grace, uses them to do His work.
(6)           So may God make each of us His instrument, as we yield ourselves unto God, and may God help us to guard against despair, discouragement, fear?  That lack of faith, and trust in the promises of God, that would drive me to try to do things on my own, because that is the beginning of the path that, if I follow, it will lead me to the bottom.

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