Summary: We have been reading through the life of David and drawing from his life very important lessons for our own. This lesson is on dealing with our enemies and difficult people.
LIFE OF DAVID: LOVING YOUR ENEMIES
INTRODUCTION... He Aint Much of a trucker
Late one summer evening in Broken Bow, Nebraska, a weary truck driver pulled his rig into an all-night truck stop. The waitress had just served him when three tough looking, leather jacketed motorcyclists - of the Hell’s Angels type - decided to give him a hard time. Not only did they verbally abuse him, one grabbed the hamburger off his plate, another took a handful of his french fries, and the third picked up his coffee and began to drink it.
How would you respond? Well, this trucker did not respond as one might expect. Instead, he calmly rose, picked up his check, walked to the front of the room, put the check and his money on the cash register, and went out the door. The waitress followed him to put the money in the till and stood watching out the door as the big truck drove away into the night.
When she returned, one of the bikers said to her, "Well, he’s not much of a man, is he?" She replied, "I don’t know about that, but he sure ain’t much of a truck driver. He just ran over three motorcycles on his way out of the parking lot."
Sounds like justice, doesn’t it? When someone wrongs us our first instinct is to get them back!
In the children’s book entitled, "I’ll Fix Anthony," the younger brother complains about the way his older brother Anthony treats him: "My brother Anthony can read books now, but he won’t read any books to me. He plays checkers with Bruce from his school. But when I want to play he says, "Go away or I’ll clobber you." I let him wear my Snoopy sweatshirt, but he never lets me borrow his sword. Mother says deep down in his heart Anthony loves me. Anthony says deep down in his heart he thinks I stink. Mother says deep deep down in his heart, where he doesn’t even know it, Anthony loves me. Anthony says deep deep down in his heart he still thinks I stink. When I’m six I’ll fix Anthony …. Anthony is chasing me out of the playroom. He says I stink. He says he is going to clobber me. I have to run now, but I won’t have to run when I’m six. When I’m six, I’ll fix Anthony. [Judith Viorst, I’ll Fix Anthony. as quoted in www.christianglobe.com/ illustrations = revenge]
The truth is that we as a society think often about revenge. Sometimes bumper stickers display what our real philosophy of life such as:
Do unto others before they can do unto you.
I don’t get mad I get even.
Keep honking I am reloading.
Caution I brake for tailgaters.
Please Tailgate I need the money.
To err is human, to forgive is out of the question
We have been reading through the life of David and drawing from his life very important lessons for our own. David’s life began in a simple way as a shepherd on the hills around Bethlehem, but he would end up being king of the People of God. David’s road to the throne was not one that was easy. We have seen already in 1 Samuel 18 that Saul does not trust David and has tried to kill him several times. Let’s continue to look at the life of David in chapter 24.
READ 1 SAMUEL 24:1-22
I. SAUL’S MISTREATMENT OF DAVID CONTINUES (1 Samuel 19-23, 24:1-2)
1 Samuel 19-23 records for us time after time how King Saul tried to rid himself of David. The basic outline of chapters 19-23 of 1 Samuel is: Saul goes after David, David flees, and Jonathan helps David escape and live. This happens over and over. The amazing thing about David was that he would hear of the Philistines attacking Israel and would head off with his men to defend the towns. Saul would hear of his victory and attempt to chase him down. This happened again and again. 1 Samuel 19:17 illustrates for us that King Saul considered David his enemy. 1 Samuel 20:30-31 records for us Saul becoming furious and abusive with Jonathan for helping David when he said, "You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don’t I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you? As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send and bring him to me, for he must die!" David is on the run from this king who wants him dead. They have become enemies.
The beginning of chapter 24 shows you what I have already described from chapters 19-23. Saul gathers three thousand men to hunt David down. I think that should convey to us the importance that Saul was placing on killing David. He needed all these men to contend with David. We have seen that David has success after success and Saul is trying to contend with God’s favor by overcoming David with superior numbers.