The Pattern of Courageous Manhood
Sermon shared by Ed Cole
Summary: The first of a series of three sermons on courageous manhood.
Audience: General adults
The twin fruits of intellectual life are teaching and learning. The Bible says to learn you must want to be taught. Talking about the pattern, we find in the Old Testament, I Corinthians 10 tells us that what happened to the nation of Israel and what happened to some of the men there becomes a pattern for you and me, and those of us who live in the new covenant can take what happened in their lives and apply it to our lives, and the light and understanding and knowledge and revelation that we have today as we live in the moral law of love in this new covenant in Christ Jesus.
And so when we go back, we take up the life of David for just a moment. In I Samuel 27, the Bible says that David said in his heart:
1I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should escape into the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will despair of seeking me any more within the borders of Israel, and I shall escape out of his hand.
It’s interesting that David made that decision in a time of weariness. David made that decision in a time when he was facing a difficult situation, and his decision was based on perception. It was based on assumption. And remember that perception and assumption are not necessarily truth and reality, but that’s how he made it. The decision was made in weariness, was made without prayer. It wasn’t until after he had lost everything that he prayed and sought God about what to do, and the Bible said he recovered all. But he made this decision with a natural mind, thinking negatively. Now that’s interesting. Because he wasn’t thinking positively, because he wasn’t thinking with what we call today the Mind of Christ or with the ways of God, and he didn’t seek to know the will of God, and so based upon the experience that he had, he just decided to go down into the land of the Philistines. Well, the decision that he made determined his conduct and it determined his destiny and the destiny of the families of the men who were following him.
Now, the Bible says that while he was in the land of the Philistines and had gone out to war to help them, that back at Ziklag, in his city, there were those who came in and decimated the city and carried off all of the possessions and took all of the people captive. So that when David and his men came back to Ziklag, all they found were the ashes of David’s decision.
I want you to know something. Making wrong decisions—making them after the flesh, making them after the ways of the natural mind—will many times leave us with nothing but the ashes of that decision. It will carry away captive the very things that we consider to be the most valuable and precious.
But when David had last left all, the Bible says he prayed. He sought God. And the Bible says that he encouraged himself in the Lord and he strengthened himself in the Lord. That is to say, he encouraged himself in the Word of God, or rather encouraged himself in past deliverances that God had given to him in his life, and strengthened himself in the Word of God. He went to the Word
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