Summary: Have you ever made a dumb decision? David certainly did, and we have too. But now is the time for us to commit to do the right thing. This is our decision time.
Summer Psalms #6 - Decision Time
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - July 1, 2009
*Have you ever made a dumb decision? I’ve made plenty of them, more than I want to know. During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, three-star General Russel Honoré called it “getting stuck on stupid.” -- And that’s what we do.
*In this Psalm David reflected on one of those low points in his life. The introduction clues us in, calling this: “A Psalm of David when he pretended madness before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed.”
*David’s low point started with one of the highest points in his young life: The day that he killed Goliath of Gath, the ten and a half feet tall monster of a man who was terrorizing the Jewish army.
*John Phillips explained that the slaying of Goliath not only spelled triumph for David, it spelled trouble as well. It meant trouble with David’s King Saul. For Saul was instantly jealous of David, wished him ill, and began a campaign of persecution which lasted to the day of his death.
*First Saul eyed David with a resentful, envious eye. Then twice he (threw) a javelin at David. King Saul plotted against David. He sent a gang of bullies to murder David in his bed. He hounded him all over the country. And so it went until David, for all his trust in the Lord, began to weary of this deadly game of hide and seek. At last, David’s faith failed. (I would say his faith faltered.)
*Phillips goes on to tell us that David went to the priest and told four lies in a single breath, conning the priest into giving his men showbread to eat, and also giving David the sword of Goliath. Then David made a momentous decision, he would go where Saul would never reach him. He would go down to Goliath’s home town of Gath, and seek asylum with Abimelech otherwise known as Achish, one of the great Philistine lords. (1)
*Guess what Abimelech’s servants did as soon as they realized who David was? They grabbed him and took him to their king. What were you thinking, David?
*1 Samuel 21:10 - 22:1 tells us more:
10. Then David arose and fled that day from before Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.
11. And the servants of Achish said to him, "Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of him to one another in dances, saying: `Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands’?’’
12. Now David took these words to heart, and was very much afraid of Achish the king of Gath.
13. So he changed his behavior before them, feigned madness in their hands, scratched on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva fall down on his beard.
14. Then Achish said to his servants, "Look, you see the man is insane. Why have you brought him to me?
15. Have I need of madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?’’
1. David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. . .
*David wrote Psalm 34 sometime after his escape from the people in Gath. Maybe he was still hiding out in that cave. Maybe he was looking back years later. But as David wrote, he was writing from a new perspective. Now David is committed to doing the right thing. Now he is committed to making the right decisions in life. And now is the time for us to commit to do the right thing. This is our decision time.
1. First: It is time to exalt the Lord.
*As a matter of fact, it is always time to exalt the Lord! It is always time to praise the Lord. As David said in vs. 1, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” That was David’s commitment, and it has to be a commitment, because, guess what? We don’t always feel like praising the Lord. But God is worthy of our praise, even when we don’t feel like it!
*Notice that David made his commitment to exalt the Lord, knowing that praise is contagious. As David said in vs. 2, “My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad.” Praise is contagious. (By the way, so is gossip, so is complaining, so is cursing.) Knowing this, David calls us to join him in praise in vs. 3, “Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together.”
*Then in vs. 4-7, David gives us a few of the causes for our praise, a few of the great reasons why every believer should exalt the Lord. David said what we could say: