NEHCC Sermon - 3-9-08 - Don’t let Fear Trump Your Faith
NORTHEAST HOUSTON COMMUNITY CHURCH
Sermon – Don’t let Fear Trump Your Faith
Scripture – 1 Sam 21:1-10
1 Sam 21:1-10
21 Now David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech was afraid when he met David, and said to him, "Why are you alone, and no one is with you?" 2 So David said to Ahimelech the priest, "The king has ordered me on some business, and said to me, 'Do not let anyone know anything about the business on which I send you, or what I have commanded you.' And I have directed my young men to such and such a place. 3 Now therefore, what have you on hand? Give me five loaves of bread in my hand, or whatever can be found."
4 And the priest answered David and said, "There is no common bread on hand; but there is holy bread, if the young men have at least kept themselves from women." 5 Then David answered the priest, and said to him, "Truly, women have been kept from us about three days since I came out. And the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in effect common, even though it was consecrated in the vessel this day." 6 So the priest gave him holy bread; for there was no bread there but the showbread which had been taken from before the Lord, in order to put hot bread in its place on the day when it was taken away. 7 Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord. And his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chief of the herdsmen who belonged to Saul. 8 And David said to Ahimelech, "Is there not here on hand a spear or a sword? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king's business required haste." 9 So the priest said, "The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, there it is, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it. For there is no other except that one here."
And David said, "There is none like it; give it to me." NKJV
We have stepped back a few chapters to look at what I think is another incident in the life of David that we can all learn from. David, a man after God’s own heart, was not a perfect man. Today I hope we will learn something good for us and something we should not emulate.
Chapter 21 picks up after David learns from his friend Jonathan that Saul desires to kill him. David immediately flees to the city of Nob. He has not yet assembled those that would follow him. He is essentially alone. Nob was a city of the priests, the high priest resided there, and the tabernacle was pitched there. Knowing that it was Samuel that anointed him to be King, he perhaps felt that Nod would be a place to find some help. He was met by the priest Ahimelech who trembled with fear upon seeing David alone. I think he was afraid not of David nor of Saul but of what it could mean to see the kings warrior and Son-in-law traveling alone. Perhaps he thought that Jerusalem had been lost to the Philistines and David was on the run.
David does something that we all have a tendency to do but it is wrong.
V2 2 So David said to Ahimelech the priest, "The king has ordered me on some business,(lie#1) and said to me, 'Do not let anyone know anything about the business on which I send you, or what I have commanded you.'(lie #2) And I have directed my young men to such and such a place.(Lie #4)
David lied for fear. He was on the run from Saul and needed some provisions and a weapon. This was the initial stage of the chase. I believe that 95% of all lies are the result of fear. When I lied as a child it was because I did something wrong and I feared being found out. Surly I did lie in order to get something I wanted, but could we not say that even that lie was the result of fearing that I could not obtain it any other way.
It is true that many religious characters have their reputation stained with the telling of an untruth. The problem with lying is that it can and often does lead to another sin and another or it is part of the cover up. Satan told the first lie telling Adam and Eve that they would not die. A lie was told by Cain when asked by God, “where is your brother Able”
We have good ol’ righteous Abraham lying twice about Sarah being his sister. That was half true, but a half truth is a whole lie. We see that Abraham’s son Isaac lied and Isaac son Jacob was a big time liar. No lie is harmless. These lies were the result of fear and Satan used our lying tongue to trump our faith.
David solicited his friend to lie.
1 Sam 20:6 6 If your father misses me at all, then say, 'David earnestly asked permission of me that he might run over to Bethlehem, his city, for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family.' NKJV
Although it may at first seem like a good reason to lie, it never goes unpunished, even if it is only a disturbed conscious. Another thing I found out about lying is that a lie will never stand alone. It most always births another lie. Have you ever told one lie and then had to tell another lie to support the first lie?
That is what happened to David
4 And the priest answered David and said, "There is no common bread on hand; but there is holy bread, if the young men have at least kept themselves from women." 5 Then David answered the priest, and said to him, "Truly, women have been kept from us about three days since I came out. (lie #5) And the vessels of the young men are holy. (lie #6)
A lie begets a lie, begets another lie and so on. And let’s not forget that David is lying to the priest, and I think that is like lying to God for the priest represents God. Men and women today don’t think twice about lying to servant-leaders of God today. Where has the fear (respect) for God gone?
When we talked about having faith we mentioned that it only takes one lie to qualify as a liar, therefore God can be trusted because God cannot lie. God told David that He would be King and man can never change the plans of God. David let fear trump his faith in what God had said. David’s lies brought the priest into the conflict unknowingly. How many of us have been brought into another’s conflict because of a lie?
7 Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord. And his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chief of the herdsmen who belonged to Saul.
This man was and Edomite. They were descendants of Esau not of Jacob (Israel) they were often at war with Israel, they refused to let the Israelites pass though their land during the Exodus. Therefore the relationship between a Jew and an Edomite was fragile.
There was a man of Saul that witnessed David’s presence. Later Saul again inquired about David and Doeg found an opportunity to elevate himself before Saul being an Edomite.
1 Sam 22:9-10 9 Then answered Doeg the Edomite, who was set over the servants of Saul, and said, "I saw the son of Jesse going to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. 10 And he inquired of the Lord for him, gave him provisions, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine." NKJV
Upon hearing this Saul summoned Ahemlech to his presence, questioned him and had him executed along with 85 other priest.
1 Sam 22:17-19 Then the king said to the guards who stood about him, "Turn and kill the priests of the Lord, because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled and did not tell it to me." But the servants of the king would not lift their hands to strike the priests of the Lord. 18 And the king said to Doeg, "You turn and kill the priests!" So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck the priests, and killed on that day eighty-five men who wore a linen ephod. 19 Also Nob, the city of the priests, he struck with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and nursing infants, oxen and donkeys and sheep — with the edge of the sword. NKJV
The lies that David told to get the help from the priest cost the wipe out of an entire city by a despot. Lies have cost people their freedom being falsely accused.
Prov 6:16-19 6 These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren. NKJV
Prov 12:22 2 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, NKJV
Prov 13:5 5 A righteous man hates lying, NKJV
I don’t think David ever thought that lying to get the priest to give him bread would cause the death of so many.
If David had told the truth would the outcome had been any different. I don’t know but I believe his conscious would have felt differently knowing he did not achieve his goal through lies and deceit.
I said that there were two lessons for us. The first of course is to not to let fear replace our faith.
The second deals with the “Holy bread” Holy means set apart for God.
6 So the priest gave him holy bread; for there was no bread there but the showbread which had been taken from before the Lord, in order to put hot bread in its place on the day when it was taken away.
Showbread – (Shewbred) Holy or consecrated bread placed in the sanctuary of the tabernacle or Temple every Sabbath to symbolize God's presence and His provision for His people. The ritual always involved 12 loaves of bread, representing the 12 tribes of the nation of Israel. It was called showbread because it was kept continually before God's presence in the tabernacle.
There may be no doubt that David and what few men he had with Him were hungry. Did David and the priest do wrong by taking the showbread? The Bread was indeed set aside as holy before God. After a week it was taken away and eaten by the priest only. This was ordnance set by God. These passages always cause me to get nervous. I want so much to be right in my teachings. One would say that for David to take five loves and eat the “Holy” bread would be sacrilege, a sin.
Even in this act I believe God looked at the heart and the need. Would God have preferred that David and his men faint and die or be captured? There was no other bread to be had. God’s laws, commandments and ordinances are to be obeyed, but I do not think that god placed temporary bread over a life.
But what I believe does not count for much. The Word of God has to be the final authority. Jesus helps us here. Another commandment of God was to do no work on the Sabbath. Yet Jesus healed on the Sabbath. Jesus reminded them that if they had an animal in a well that they would work on the Sabbath to free it.
Mark 2:23-28 23 Now it happened that He went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees said to Him, "Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?" 25 But He said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: 26 how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?" 27 And He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28 Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath." NKJV
Isn’t it interesting that we have a very similar situation. A need to satisfy hunger? Jesus and His disciples were breaking the law of the Sabbath according to the legalist. In this case Jesus identifies himself as the Lord of the Sabbath not that the Sabbath was Lord over Him. He also says that Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. What is the lesson? Especially in the NT era, liturgy, and legalism do not overrule the grace and mercy of filling a legitimate and necessary need.
For example, let’s say a church has a building fund set aside for a new church building and there is a need among the members. After determining that the need is legitimate should the church say that we cannot help because there is no more money in that budget for that when there is money in the building fund.
Should we withhold communion to a member of the body of Christ just because they are not of the same faith as we? I remember it was wrong for some members a faith to eat something other than fish on Friday.
Man made laws and traditions are a road block to Christian growth. Christ came to free us from the LAW and it’s penalty so don’t place yourself under man-made religious law and ordinances.
When the Son shall set you free you are free indeed. Don’t let the Evil one put you back into bondage
5 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession.
2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles' feet.
3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?
4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God."
5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things.
6 And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.
7 Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.
8 And Peter answered her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?"
She said, "Yes, for so much."
9 Then Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out."
10 Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband.
11 So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.