Summary: The church needs to pray not only for a pastor after God's own heart, but also for men and women who will serve in positions of authority and do it according to God's will and not your own private agenda. But that's only the first part. Once those individ
A MATTER OF CONSCIENCE
A woman who was called to jury duty told the presiding judge that she was not qualified to serve because she didn't believe in capital punishment. The judge said, "You don't understand madam. This is a civil case involving a man who spent $5,000 of his wife's money on gambling and other women. The woman quickly replied, "I'll be happy to serve, your honor, and I've changed my mind about capital punishment."
It's amazing how quickly we can change our way of thinking to suit the situation. This story is a funny way of illustrating a sad but true fact of life. Often what we know to be right is swayed by circumstances and events that cause us to override that inner voice and do what others may suggest ...or what we think might make sense.
But we must always keep in mind Proverbs 14:12, which says, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." Often what may seem like the right thing for us to do is actually a trap of the enemy...a trap that will bring about a great deal of destruction.
I want to turn to a story in the life of David that shows an important truth we can learn that will help us to maintain our integrity & stay on that narrow road that leads to life and eternal blessing. Read 1 Samuel 24:1-15
In chapter 23 we read about how Saul was hunting David to kill him, because of jealousy, and after chasing him all around the country, he finally moves in on him. But just then a messenger arrives and gives Saul the word that the Philistines are raiding Judah, so he broke off and went to defend his country.
As soon as he returned from chasing off the Philistines, Saul renews his pursuit of David. Now, these Philistines were a constant problem, and after experiencing so many battles with them you'd think Saul might have seen how necessary it was to make things right with David and restore him to his place in the army again. Instead he takes 3,000 of his best men and heads off after him again.
This time Saul had heard that David and his men were hiding out in the caves of the wild goats. This is doesn't seem to be a very good place for David to be staying. And you'd have to wonder why Saul would be so anxious to disturb him. I mean, what harm to the kingdom could a man be who lives cooped up in a smelly sheep cave? But as long as he was alive, Saul considered him as threat.
Now it just so happens that Saul winds up alone in the same cave where David and his men were staying in. Quite a coincidence, huh? Actually only a few of his closest friends were probably in this particular cave with the rest staying in similar caves close by.
Saul entered the cave, not in search of David, but rather to relieve himself. Now, this visit to the cave was probably more than just a place for a nature call. These caves were a place people often entered in to rest, because they were cool and also quiet...a good place to go during the heat of the day. Saul probably posted a few guards outside the cave and went in to catch a few z's.
As he entered, not knowing of course that anyone was already in there, it became obvious to David and his men that this was indeed King Saul who was just placed in their hands. And his men reminded him that this was the day they longed for, and which God had spoken to him about - in a round about way - when He anointed him king.
They all knew that David would never be king as long as Saul was alive, and this was the perfect opportunity to see the promise come true. Saul was at their mercy...and it was easy to see why Saul was in the area in the first place - to kill David - so why not take this opportunity and get rid of this vengeful man who stood in the way of everything promised to David.
But what we have here is a clear example of how we misunderstand the promises of God. God had assured David that He would deliver him from Saul. And his men interpreted this promise as a warrant to destroy Saul. And because it was now within David's power to kill him, they concluded he had every right to do it. After all, it was God who brought him into their hands, wasn't it?
But David resists these pressures and refuses to take Saul's life. Instead, he sneaks up and cuts off a piece of the king's robe as evidence that he had the power, the opportunity, and the right to kill him, but chose not to. And he forbid his men to attack the king.