Summary: How should we respond when we have been hurt? Well – Don’t Cut Corners. David did not seek revenge because he respected Saul’s authority over him
TITLE: DON’T CUT CORNERS
SCRIPTURE: I SAMUEL 24:1-12
This is an interesting and exciting text this morning that visits a portion of the life of David that shows an important truth we can learn that will help us to maintain our integrity that will ultimately lead to a blessed and productive life. This text is filled with many twists and turns and oftentimes difficult to keep up. It is critical that we have a basic foundation to understand what has taken place in the life of David up to this point.
Let’s make sure we understand what is taking place here in this text -- KING SAUL was hunting David to kill him, because of JEALOUSY, and after chasing him all around the country, he finally moves in on him and has David cornered. Just when you think David is Toast, God steps in and intervenes. All of a sudden in the midst of the text the Bible says -- just then a messenger arrives and gives King Saul the word the PHILISTINES ARE RAIDING JUDAH, so he broke off with his men and went to defend his country.
As soon as he returned from chasing off the Philistines, King Saul renews his pursuit of David. Now, these Philistines were a constant problem, and after experiencing so many battles with them you would 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 to hold off the Philistines and other nations. Instead King Saul takes 3,000 of his best men and heads off after David again.
• 3,000 of his best men to chase and pursue David
• His best Navy Seals
• His best Para-Troopers
• His best Special Forces
• To pursue one man -- David
King Saul has heard that David and his men were hiding out in the CAVES OF THE WILD GOATS.
• This doesn't seem to be a very good place for David to be staying
• You would have to wonder why Saul would be so anxious to disturb him
• I mean really, what harm to the kingdom could a man be who lives cooped up in a smelly goat cave?
• But as long as he was alive, Saul considered him as threat
That is what Jealousy will do. Jealousy is one of those demons that just seems to take everything over when it is felt – even when you know on the inside that your jealousy doesn’t make sense. Somehow, it often still rips through and takes you hostage. King Saul grew jealous over what God had imparted into David who would become the next king. We must be careful my brothers and sisters not to become jealous as to what God is doing for those around us instead of appreciating the gifting in them.
• Oftentimes when we have a dislike for someone for no apparent reason – Jealousy
• Oftentimes when the sight of someone disturbs us – Jealousy
• Oftentimes when we never have anything good to say about someone – Jealousy
• Most of the time Jealousy doesn’t make sense
We find David on the run again, David and his men—some 600 strong—come to a place called EN GEDI, an oasis on the western shore of the Dead Sea.
• There the barren mountains rise almost straight up from the shore
• The mountains are limestone, laced with steep ravines, honeycombed with caverns
• It was made to order for a man running from the law
• If you ever take a trip to the Holy Land, your tour bus will pass by En Gedi on the way to Masada
• When you are there, look over to the right and you will probably see wild goats on the mountainside
One more detail. David and his men have found a cave large enough for all 600 of them. They are hiding in the angles and passageways back from the entrance. With that we must run back to the details of the text.
• After Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, ‘David is in the Desert of En Gedi.’
• So Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel and set out to look for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats
Here the text takes another interesting turn. Saul hears the call of nature and steps inside the nearest cave. Little does he know the man he seeks is only a few yards away, hidden by the rocks and by the darkness. Just in case you missed it in the text -- Saul went in to relieve himself. See it there in VS. 3 “…AND SAUL WENT IN TO COVER HIS FEET….” That is Biblical Antiquity for letting us know, Saul had to pause and “take care of personal business.” And David and his men were far back in the same cave.