NEHCC Sermon - 4-13-08 - Disobedience Can Be Lasting
NORTHEAST HOUSTON COMMUNITY CHURCH
Sermon – Disobedience Can Be Lasting
Scripture – 2 Sam 1:1-16
2 Sam 1:1-16
1 Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David had returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had stayed two days in Ziklag.
The last chapter of 1 Samuel (Chap 31) tells of the death of King Saul and his three sons. Among them was David’s best friend, Jonathan. This verse has a lot of meaning to those that have been reading the Bible and know of the History of Israel.
We last spoke about David at his lowest point because all their families were taken captive by the Amalekites. Some of David’s own men thought of stoning David in their grief. 1 Sam 30:6 But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. David inquired of God and God granted David victory against the Amalekites. David recovered everything and everyone that was taken. God gave the victory. Lesson: in our darkest hour let us take strength in God and look for the victory.
In the battle with the Philistines, Saul was killed and his sons. This opened the way for David to be king without a dispute or challenge from the sons of Saul.
While David and his men were resting at Ziglag a messenger came to the camp,
2 on the third day, behold, it happened that a man came from Saul's camp with his clothes torn and dust on his head. So it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the ground and prostrated himself. 3 And David said to him, "Where have you come from?" So he said to him, "I have escaped from the camp of Israel." 4 Then David said to him, "How did the matter go? Please tell me." And he answered, "The people have fled from the battle, many of the people are fallen and dead, and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also."
The torn clothes and dust on the head was a sign of bad news. You will often read that the tearing of the clothes and covering oneself with ashes was a sign of grief. The sight of this person prompted David to inquire as to where he came from. Heard that he came from the battle between the Philistines and Israel, David became more anxious for information. The worst news was given. The death of Saul meant that Israel was defeated. The death of Jonathan meant the loss of a dear best friend.
In a space of about 4-5 days David’s emotions had gone from extreme grief at the loss of his family, to great joy in their recovery and now to grief again at the defeat of Israel and the loss of his good friend Jonathan.
Life is full of tribulations such as this. The only constant in our lives is God. If God is our anchor, we can weather these ups and downs. Sometimes it seems that as soon as I get one problem solved that there is another over the horizon. I have learned to expect it and to except it knowing that God is still in control and He loves me and is concerned only for my good.
In this man’s story He only mentions the death of Saul and Jonathan. He does not mention the death Saul’s other sons. These two men are the ones that he felt would be of most interest to David; Saul, because he was constantly seeking to kill David and Jonathan, because of the close relationship. His intent I believe, was to incur favor with David.
5 So David said to the young man who told him, "How do you know that Saul and Jonathan his son are dead?" 6 Then the young man who told him said, "As I happened by chance to be on Mount Gilboa, there was Saul, leaning on his spear; and indeed the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him. 7 Now when he looked behind him, he saw me and called to me. And I answered, 'Here I am.' 8 And he said to me, 'Who are you?' So I answered him, 'I am an Amalekite.' 9 He said to me again, 'Please stand over me and kill me, for anguish has come upon me, but my life still remains in me.' 10 So I stood over him and killed him, because I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown that was on his head and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them here to my lord."
The story this man tells is far different from that which is recorded in 1Sam 31. This man was lying in order to ingratiate himself with David.
I am still amazed at the ease and frequency and boldness about people that will lie as if it a natural thing to do. Even at our highest levels of government leaders and potential leaders. When caught, they say things like, “I misspoke” or their leader was being disingenuous, or I was mistaken 3 or 4 times. I am not saying that I have never lied but when I did I know it bothered me. Today it seems like people lie and don’t give it a second thought.
The lies of this young man:
Lie #1 He said he just happened to be on the battle field
1 Sam 31:8 8 So it happened the next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. NKJV
Just as there were Amalekites among Israel there were some among the Philistines. He was with those who were to strip the dead.
Lie #2 there was Saul, leaning on his spear;
Lie #3 He said Saul asked him who he was
Lie #4 He said Saul asked him to kill him
Lie #5 He said he stood over Saul and killed him.
Saul had asked his armor bearer to kill him. Saul fell on his own sword. He was already dead when this man came upon him.
Here is a young man thinking he will be rewarded for doing want he thinks David would be pleased with.
Sometimes people will do something or say they did something only to impress. Often what they say is a lie.
Many people lie on resumes, application and interviews to impress and elevate themselves. Little do they realize that in the small print on many applications it says that if they find any false statements the results will be immediate termination. I have heard of cases where years later a lie is found out and the person whjo may have advanced but must be fired for lying on the application.
11 Therefore David took hold of his own clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. 12 And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son, for the people of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.
David included in his mourning the death of Saul. He demonstrated this by the tearing of his clothes as did all the men with him. David took no pleasure in the death of Saul. We must be careful in rejoicing in the death or punishment of even our enemies. This is not to say that the punishment is not worth the crime or should not be exacted, but that should not be a cause for our celebration. Christ died for that sinner or bad person also. God does not take delight in the punishment of the wicked; neither should we.
David turns his attention to the messenger.
13 Then David said to the young man who told him, "Where are you from?" And he answered, "I am the son of an alien, an Amalekite."
This little verse does not seem like much but there is a profound irony in it.
This man is an Amalekite. So what, you might say? Let me show you the irony. It is connected to the statement that this man brought to David the king’s crown (v10).
I believe that act of this particular man bringing the crown to David is the direct result of disobedience by Israel and by Saul.
When the people came out of Egypt God gave them instructions concerning the people in the land he was going to give to them.
Deut 7:1-3 7 "When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, 2 and when the Lord your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. NKJV
Joshua followed Gods instruction, but after Joshua died the people did not fully obey the command to utterly destroy those in the land.Now we fast forward to the time of Saul. Saul was commanded to utterly destroy the Amalekites.
1 Sam 15:18-20 18 Now the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, 'Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.' 19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the Lord?" 20 And Saul said to Samuel, "But I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. NKJV
Partial obedience is not obedience at all. Sometimes we partially obey God, we partially worship God, and we partially live like He wants us to.
Anybody ever hear the old folks say that “a job half done is a job still undone.” That is the way many “Christians” obey God; half way. We justify, compromise and empathize.
Some people try to make up for this short coming by giving more money, doing more church work and thing of the like. There is nothing we can do that can make up for disobedience. Disobedience is an act of rebellion.
1 Sam 15:22-23 Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king." NKJV
I don’t want you to miss the thread here. Israel did not obey God and destroy the Amalekites, Saul disobeyed and did not destroy ALL the Amalekites (the king) thus he loses the kingdom from his house. And now in our focus passage we see that it is an Amalekite that takes the crown from Saul and brings it to David.
Our act of disobedience will not go unpunished. God will never be mocked and His word is true.
There is more to be said, you and I will suffer the punishment or we can place our deserving punishment at the foot of the cross and place it under the blood of Christ. Sin will be punished, but praise God; my sins have already been paid for by the death of Jesus Christ. That is why I try to do two main things. First, I ask God to forgive me of my sins and second I purpose to sin no more.
After David thought more of the man’s’ tale he asked him another question
14 So David said to him, "How was it you were not afraid to put forth your hand to destroy the Lord's anointed?"
Without waiting for an answer David has him executed for by his owns word he condemned himself.
15 Then David called one of the young men and said, "Go near, and execute him!" And he struck him so that he died. 16 So David said to him, "Your blood is on your own head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, 'I have killed the Lord's anointed.'" NKJV
David thought this man killed God’s anointed. Something that David had multiple chances to do and had more of a reason to do than anyone.
Doing that which is right is the sight of God must take precedent in our lives. The blood of Saul is not on the hands of David. Vengeance, at the right time, was taken by God.
Being obedient to God, placing His commands and will first in our lives, taking our strength from Him in times of darkest trouble, and maintain our faith in His word has to be our way of living
God will punish in the end as with Saul and God will bless and reward in the end as with David, now King David.
5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You."*
6 As He also says in another place: "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek";*
7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,
8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,
10 called by God as High Priest "according to the order of Melchizedek,"
11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.
14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. NKJV_