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1 Samuel 23_13-18 Courage to care

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                             COURAGE TO CARE

                                 1 Samuel 23:13-18

If you really want to know who your friends are, just make a mistake.

A person you dare to be yourself with.

1.  Companion

        A.  Goes where you are.

        What is the best way to destroy a garden?  Chop it, burn it, plow it, drown it, pull up all the roots.  But why all the sweat?  Just leave it alone, and the weeds and insects will do it for you.

What is the best way to ruin a friendship?  You could telephone everyone you know and spread malicious rumors about your friend. You could make false accusations directly to your friend.  You could borrow from him and fail to repay.  You could write him insulting letters.  But why all the sweat?  Act as if he doesn't exist.  Forget his telephone number.  Look the other way when you meet him.

        What is the best way to destroy a church?  You could vandalize the building by breaking the windows, shredding the hymnals, painting obscenities on the walls.  You could disrupt the worship services, be rude to visitors, or tell all the leaders what a miserable mess they are making.  But why all the sweat?  Just live as if your church doesn't exist.  Ignore it.  Don't go around it.  Don't give.  Don't visit.  That part of the church which is you will gradually die of itself.

        What is the best way to destroy your Christian witness?  You could throw your Bible in the trash can.  You could profane the name of God in your conversation.  You could argue against the Christian way of life and everything that Christ and his gospel stands for.  But why all the sweat?  Just live as if there were no God.  Just read other books as if there were no Bible.  Forget to pray.  Concern yourself only with yourself, and forget such nonessentials as compassion, pity, and concern.


        B.  Gives what you need

               1.  "Strengthened his hand in God."

               2.  Secured his trust in God.  "Fear not"



2.  Confident

David's fear destroyed his confidence but Jonathan restores it. 

Later David wrote a Psalm that describes how confidence can cure fear. Psalm 27:7-14

1.  Based on the knowledge of who God is (7-10)

2.  Built on the knowledge of what God has done (v. 9)

3.  Bolted on the knowledge of what God will do (vv. 13-14)

4.  Balanced by the knowledge of what God is doing (vv. 11-       12)

God knows best: he hasn't arranged your anatomy so as to make it easy for you to pat yourself on the back.

3.  Constant

        1.  Despite Circumstances Prov 19:4-7; 27:10

The North American Indians have a much better sounding word for "friend."  They say "one-who-carries-my-sorrows-on-his-back"

Albrecht Durer's famous painting, Praying Hands, has a remarkable story of friendship behind it.  Albrecht was a young art student who had little money.  He made a friend in the same situation.  They soon realized that they could no longer make a living and go to school.  Albrecht's friend suggested that he get a job while Albrecht finished school.  After Albrecht finished then he would go back to school.  Reluctantly Albrecht conceded.  When Albrecht finished and became established his friend tried to return to school.  But he found that the years of hard labor had ruined his delicate hands.  He could no longer paint.  One day Albrecht returned home a found his friend sitting at the table with his hands folded in prayer.  This vision inspired perhaps one of the most famous of all paintings, The Praying Hands.

        2.  Despite Consequences Matt 26:50-56

               You must have a. . .

               Constant desire for the Lord

               Constant delight in the Lord

               Constant dependence upon the Lord.


4.  Confirming

Jonathan knew that Saul knew God's will. 

        1.  The Will of God

God doesn't comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters.

               1.  Knowable (We can know)

                       Have a Desire to know it.

                       Be Determine to find it.

                       Do it.

               2.  Knowledgeable (He knows better than we)

        2.  The Ways of Satan.

               Steal our victory.

               Steal our vision.

               Steal our availability

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