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Summary: Saul was a man who wept and repented often, but never really changed. 3 points: 1. Beware of a low after a high. 2. Don't serve God with just your lips, but your heart also. 3. It is not how you start out, but how you end up that counts.

Don't Give God Lip Service

PPT 1 Message Title

PPT 2 text

1Sa 26:25 Then Saul said to David, "Blessed are you, my son David; you will both accomplish much and surely prevail." So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.

I am taking a little liberty with the text, but if you know the story of these two men, you will realize that my message is biblically accurate.

My liberty is simply this: the text describes literal truth, I am applying it figuratively, which is still true of both men's lives. The literal is David continued in his nomadic life and Saul returned to the seat of his government. The figurative is David continued moving forward spiritually, while Saul returned to his sinful pattern of life.

The story in context is that Saul, jealous of David and knowing that he would be king after him, is scouring the earth looking for David to kill him, and thus remove the threat (supposed) to his throne.

Saul and his men have come to where they heard David was hiding, and had pitched their tents while they searched the surrounding area to find him. That night as Saul and his men slept, David and his cousin Abishai snuck into Saul's encampment. Finding him fast asleep, Abishai proposed killing Saul on the spot, stating that God had delivered him into David's hand. David refused saying that Saul was God's anointed and he wouldn't lift his hand against God's choice to be the leader of His people. Instead they took Saul's spear, and jug of water and snuck a short distance away. At a safe distance they revealed themselves and David publicly rebuked Saul's commander in chief (Abner) for not properly protecting his king. Then David tells Saul he could have killed him, but he didn't because he wishes him no ill will, and anyone who tells him otherwise should be cursed before the Lord, for they are lying. Saul realizing David could have killed him, and that he has been wrong to chase him with murderous intent says, 1Sa 26:21 Then Saul said, "I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will not harm you again because my life was precious in your sight this day. Behold, I have played the fool and have committed a serious error."

The chapter concludes with this mornings text. Saul stating that David will accomplish much and prevail, then David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place. Want I want to propose to you today is that Saul not only returned to his capital, but he also returned to his evil ways. The very next event we read in the life of Saul, is him going to the witch of Endor for counsel, because we are specifically told that God wouldn't speak to him anymore. Both facts are reflective of the truth that he never really repented like he told David he had. The next event after Saul's meeting with the witch of Endor is his death, and that of his son Jonathan at the hands of the Philistines. The bible indicates his death at the hands of the enemy was a punishment for his sinful life. (1 Samuel 28:16-19). Not something we would expect to read in scripture, if Saul had really repented as he stated in chapter 26.

David for his part does something very stupid after his meeting with Saul in chapter 26. Here is our story in context:

PPT 3 text

1Sa 26:25 Then Saul said to David, "Blessed are you, my son David; you will both accomplish much and surely prevail." So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.

1Sa 27:1 Then David said to himself, "Now I will perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than to escape into the land of the Philistines. Saul then will despair of searching for me anymore in all the territory of Israel, and I will escape from his hand.

Now with that as a background I want to make a few brief points:

1. Beware of a low after a high.

2. Don't serve God with just your lips, but your heart also.

3. It is not how you start out, but how you end up that counts.

1. Beware of a low after a high.

David had acted heroically and taken the high road spiritually, but in the very next verse he succumbs to a serious case of depression. Note: God had just wonderfully shown him that not only was He watching his six, but that he could take Saul out anytime He wanted to. David's faith should have been at an all time high, but in fact it was at an all time low. This reminds me of Elijah at Mount Carmel. God miraculously puts a water soaked sacrifice on fire, he also rids the country of 450 false prophets in a matter of moments. The next thing we read is Elijah fighting suicidal thoughts and thinks that Jezebel was going to get him. It is a strange curiosity of life that after victory we must be especially careful of defeat/temptation being close on it's heels. It may simply be a matter of human physiology that we expend so much emotional/mental collateral that we are left empty after a victory. But I think, it is often more of a spiritual rebound attack of the enemy. Either way, be on your toes, especially after a moment of celebration.

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