Order of Worship
Sunday Service 1.27.2019
      • Psalm 40:4–5ESV

  • Blessed Be Your Name
  • There Is A Name I Love To Hear
  • Come Thou Fount
  • As Long As You Are Glorified
  • David’s Deliverance - 1 Samuel 19

    Intro: My big sister was quite the kicker. Let me explain: When I was a little guy growing up, I learned that my older sister was (and still is) just the sweetest—her name is even Candy. But I also learned, mostly from observation, that she’s also a fiery redhead who is not to be trifled with. She and my oldest brother, Mike (only one year her younger), would razz one another and they’d get into it, and then she’d do something like punch him in the arm (something she excelled at bc my dad for some reason had decided that it was a good idea to teach her to punch correctly). In his defense, he boxed as a young man. That may answer some questions you have about him now, ha ha. Love you, Dad. Anyway, after Candy had given Mike a little extra something to think about, she’d undoubtedly have to fear retaliation, but she had a brilliant tactic. She’d flee to a spot where, such as being seated on her bed with her back against the wall, she could readily and successfully defend herself with her legs from any attempts her pursuer might make at retaliation. It worked like a charm. If her punches hurt, her kicks would lay you out. She was a defensive stronghold. My sister was quite the kicker.
    In our section of 1 Samuel today, Saul pursues David, and David does not kick back at Saul; he keeps running. It is the Lord who repeatedly delivers David. That’s because God has a plan and David has a role in it. The person kicking back is Saul, as he’s trying to fight against God’s revealed will.
    1 Samuel 19:1 ESV
    And Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they should kill David. But Jonathan, Saul’s son, delighted much in David.
    This first sentence of verse 1 provides the backdrop for the entire saga, and it is certainly pertinent to us in considering our relationship to God. So let’s pause right here to look at Saul’s heart condition.

    Saul Kicks Against the Goads (Battles God’s Will)

    Where we left off, Saul had already shown his extreme jealousy of David and tried to use the Philistines to make an end of David. With that unsuccessful, Saul now moves on from a cloak and dagger approach to openly seeking and commanding that David be killed. - If Saul spent as much time and energy fighting the Lord’s enemies as he did fighting his friends, he likely would have been highly successful in battle and a decent king. But alas, as we saw last time, instead of submitting to God and ruling over his passions, he is ruled by his jealousy and continues grasping to maintain power. (All due to his own lack of submission to God, so God told him, through Samuel, that He would be giving the kingdom to another.) So it goes that Saul knows full well that God is with David and that David’s continued success in battle and growing popularity is the writing on the wall. And Saul is not pleased. (see 18:28-30)
    Saul, ruled by his sin and selfishness, refuses to submit to God and continues to battle frantically against God’s will.
    The title above I’ve actually taken from a concept that actually arises in the NT with another man by the name of Saul.
    [Context: Paul testifies before Agrippa concerning his ministry]
    Acts 26:9–15 ESV
    “I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities. “In this connection I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me. And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.
    To kick against the goads means that one can’t ultimately resist God’s will. The more we fight, the more the one in control must use the sharp sticks more severely to gain our attention. - God would rather get your attention and use you as an ambassador to accomplish his will, like this Saul who would become known as the Apostle Paul. But God will also go right over you or around you to do his will if you stubbornly refuse to submit.
    Don’t fight God; it’s a losing battle. To fight against God is to ensure your defeat and destruction. - When God’s will has been revealed for certain, it is perfectly unreasonable by one’s own will to try to alter or overcome God’s will.
    And the truth is, it is truly best that we submit and not resist. Our highest good and greatest joy both in this life and the one to come is to submit ourselves to God and align ourselves to His will. God wants to give you victory as he defines it and rich blessing in seeking and serving him, but that can’t happen while you try to maintain control and fight against his will.
    No matter how hard Saul tries, he will not succeed. If only he chose at any point along this journey to repent and genuinely submit to God. But unfortunately, that isn’t what he does.
    [Let’s press ahead.]
    Even as King Saul fights God's will and seeks David's life, God providentially rescues David 4 times in 4 different ways in chapter 19.

    God Rescues David Through…

    List four ways
    1 Samuel 19:2–7 ESV
    And Jonathan told David, “Saul my father seeks to kill you. Therefore be on your guard in the morning. Stay in a secret place and hide yourself. And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak to my father about you. And if I learn anything I will tell you.” And Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have brought good to you. For he took his life in his hand and he struck down the Philistine, and the Lord worked a great salvation for all Israel. You saw it, and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood by killing David without cause?” And Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan. Saul swore, “As the Lord lives, he shall not be put to death.” And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan reported to him all these things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as before.

    Jonathan’s Mediation (19:1-7)

    In God’s providential care for David, he has a man on the inside—in Saul’s innermost circle. (20:2)
    More than just being a spy, Jonathan is a true advocate for David… for a couple of reasons. One, he delights in David (We covered this in depth last week). Two, Jonathan is on the side of what’s right. (not his own self-interest, but what’s right)
    Take note of Jonathan’s great example of advocacy on David’s behalf here:
    He first warns David to take precaution. (until now, Saul wasn’t overtly seeking David’s life) - What a benefit to be warned of an impending danger by someone who cares for your well-being!
    He appears to provides proof of his good intentions by speaking to Saul in a location where David can observe/overhear.
    He willingly risks his own fellowship (and safety!) with his father in advocating for David. - This is the true sign of brotherhood in the faith: John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
    He addresses his father, the king, with respect. - A lesson to be learned about making headway in dealing with our elders, to treat them with respect, as we would (or should) our own fathers (1 Tim. 5:1). But he also doesn’t hem-and-haw around without getting to the point. He respectfully but pointedly addresses the king.
    In the way he approaches the issue, he reminds Saul of his duty (as king) and is careful to pinpoint the real problem with Saul’s behavior toward David. - It is a sin to treat David this way. He has never sought to do you harm. Instead, he has only brought good to you! He risked his life to face the Philistine, and God used him to work a great salvation for Israel (note: David is good for you and the people!). Even you yourself rejoiced greatly at what God did through David.
    He appeals to the king’s responsibility before God to work justice and not seek David’s death without cause. - And this is the crux of the matter in addressing one another, especially for correction: My desire is for your good, and your highest good is to honor God.
    Jonathan’s righteous appeal has its intended affect. It must have worked some conviction in Saul, because Saul makes a solemn promise with God as witness that David should not be put to death. - Unfortunately, Saul’s disposition time and time again proves to be one that is easily swayed.
    For now, Saul’s moral sanity is temporarily restored. But it won’t last.
    1 Samuel 19:8–10 ESV
    And there was war again. And David went out and fought with the Philistines and struck them with a great blow, so that they fled before him. Then a harmful spirit from the Lord came upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand. And David was playing the lyre. And Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear, but he eluded Saul, so that he struck the spear into the wall. And David fled and escaped that night.
    [The Lord rescues David through…]

    Saul’s Bad Aim and David’s Watchfulness (19:8-10)

    Just as Saul was easily swayed by Jonathan, his reason is quickly and easily overruled by his passion, his jealousy. - I am inclined to believe that it is this weakness (lack of willing and confident submission to God) that makes Saul an easy target for the harmful spirit to come upon him and have mastery over him.
    Since Saul had already thrown his spear at David twice on another occasion, David is pretty alert while playing the lyre for Saul. (David has seen this episode! It’s a rerun.) And the music does not work like a charm, and why not? ...because David himself is the target of Saul’s anger! Providentially, Saul strikes out on spear throwing and wounds only the wall.
    Pause for a moment: With all his recent prowess as a warrior, we know that David’s skill in battle has only increased. I should think that David certainly could have taken the opportunity to put an end to this entire thing by putting an end to Saul. But he doesn’t. Saul’s demise is in God’s hands, not David’s. - These tests from the Lord continue to prove David’s character.
    And so David’s second escape comes in the form of God providentially making Saul miss. But Saul is far from finished. He’s seething, and he’s determined.
    1 Samuel 19:11–17 ESV
    Saul sent messengers to David’s house to watch him, that he might kill him in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, told him, “If you do not escape with your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed.” So Michal let David down through the window, and he fled away and escaped. Michal took an image and laid it on the bed and put a pillow of goats’ hair at its head and covered it with the clothes. And when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, “He is sick.” Then Saul sent the messengers to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may kill him.” And when the messengers came in, behold, the image was in the bed, with the pillow of goats’ hair at its head. Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me thus and let my enemy go, so that he has escaped?” And Michal answered Saul, “He said to me, ‘Let me go. Why should I kill you?’ ”

    Michal’s Loyalty and Prudence (19:11-17)

    Saul’s design was to make Michal a snare to David, but that clearly backfires.
    And as Michal knows Saul better than David does, she insists that David escape tonight! Perhaps David thought that by going home Saul would have time to cool down and things might be fine again, but Michal is prudent here, knowing Saul’s intentions and persistence.
    So she lets David out through a window (which makes it sound like their house might just have been in the city wall).
    And Michal stalls to give David time to get a good head start with the old idol in the bed with goats’ hair on its head trick. :-) - Where she gets a household God, let alone one big enough to fake a man’s body in bed, I can’t tell you. Among God’s people there should never have been any of the household gods like the nations around them. But in a twist of irony, here one helps David escape Saul’s clutches once again.
    And the ruse works to give David time bc the messengers apparently don’t look closely the first time, believing he’s sick. When they come back on Saul’s orders to “just bring David in his bed and I’ll do it myself,” they finally discover the decoy, but now David is long gone.
    At the close of this scene, we see Michal’s craftiness further. She’s on David’s side, but to save her own skin when confronted by her father, she makes it sound like she only let David go bc he threatened her life.
    [We have one more great escape for David before the chapter is over… only this time he really does nothing for his deliverance… only stick by Samuel and let the Spirit work.]
    1 Samuel 19:18–24 ESV
    Now David fled and escaped, and he came to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and lived at Naioth. And it was told Saul, “Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.” Then Saul sent messengers to take David, and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as head over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied. When it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they also prophesied. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they also prophesied. Then he himself went to Ramah and came to the great well that is in Secu. And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?” And one said, “Behold, they are at Naioth in Ramah.” And he went there to Naioth in Ramah. And the Spirit of God came upon him also, and as he went he prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah. And he too stripped off his clothes, and he too prophesied before Samuel and lay naked all that day and all that night. Thus it is said, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

    Samuel’s Guidance and the Holy Spirit’s Power (19:18-24)

    The most probable meaning for “Naioth” is not likely a proper name of a locality but actually a word meaning a place of pasture or residence within/near Ramah. This is probably then a kind of settlement camp for an organized group of prophets under Samuel’s guidance.
    What this sudden and unexpected prophesying exactly entails is not explained to us. - Most likely it means that under the influence of the Spirit of God, the messengers, and later Saul himself, began speaking words of prayer and praise to God. Might they have even spoken words of rebuke or admonition to one another? Might they have prophesied concerning God’s appointed role for David?
    Saul sends messengers, not once, not twice, but three times, and each time with the same result. Saul receives high marks for determination but not for being a quick study. Anyway, he eventually comes to the “if you want a thing done right…” phase and tries himself to go get David and bring him in. But the result is the same. I know, shocking right?
    Interestingly, Saul had a similar ecstatic experience with sudden prophesying shortly after being anointed to be Israel’s first king. What’s VERY different now is that the reason for the Holy Spirit controlling his actions and lips is quite different from the last. Rather than being a mark of God’s favor, it is a mark of God’s sovereign control over Saul’s evil intent. The result, rather than honor for Saul, is a humbling of Saul to the point of comical humiliation. You can just picture him, having removed all vestige of his armor and royal garments, lying in the grass in front of Samuel, uttering some kind of spiritual truth that he wouldn’t have otherwise.
    This last escape is perhaps the most intriguing of all and certainly the most embarrassing for Saul. Like his clothing, no matter how hard he strives to cling to his kingdom, it is being stripped from him and given to another.

    Further Application:

    What will it be, your way or God’s way?
    Saul demonstrates the futility and misery of fighting God’s will. By contrast, Jonathan’s approach reveals the contentment (even joy) and lasting fulfillment of pursuing God’s way, even at great personal cost. In the end, God will neither ignore Saul’s rebellion or Jonathan and David’s faithfulness; he will punish the one and reward the other.
    God WANTS to bless you and give you lasting joy and fulfillment. He says, “Come to me, my way is best.”
    Matthew 11:28–30 ESV
    Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
    By faith you must choose to trust and submit so that he can be for you all that he promises!
    Will you submit your will to the King of Kings?
    To close, I’d like to play a video clip of a sermon mashup from S.M. Lockridge, entitled “That’s My King.”
  • Receive The Glory
  • How Great How Glorious
Thank you for joining us!


Group Discussion (suggestions)

Consider reading the passage together (1 Samuel 19).

What questions do you still have about the text (even after the sermon, if you were able to be there)?

Discuss why you think it is that we humans can have such a hard time submitting to authority and relinquishing control.

What impresses you most about Jonathan's character and approach to handling this whole thing?

If you were in David's shoes, what about this situation would make it difficult to keep trusting in God?

If you haven't already, share some way these lessons in 1 Samuel are challenging you to grow in your relationship to God and his people.

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