Summary: A series on the life of David as God makes over his heart to prepare him for his role as King. This sermons focuses on a period of David’s life when he lost his prayer.
Sy Pennington Video
YOU HAVEN’T GOT A PRAYER
When I was 20 years old I met a beautiful young lady named Paige. She was intelligent, she loved God and she attended the church I was going to. I wanted to ask her out on a date. I was painfully shy back then. It’s probably hard for you to believe, but I was. Especially when it came to girls. I was trying to muster the courage to ask Paige for a date and I was commiserating with some of my friends about this when this guy laughs at me and says, “You want to ask Paige out, You haven’t got a prayer. Every guy in Harrison County is after her. Don’t embarrass yourself. You haven’t got a prayer.” I lost heart with this comment. And I never did ask Paige for a date. It was not one of my finest hours.
This is not David’s finest hour. The years of breathing through a straw and staying one step ahead of Saul took a toll on David. He is losing heart and abandoning daily reliance on God. He now wants to live by his own wits, in a self reliant strategy. Up to this time David consistently drew his strength from God and drew his guidance from inquiring of the Lord. But Chapter 27 is a turning point for David… his patience with God is wearing thin and his confidence in God’s protection has evaporated. David is living life without a prayer.
WEARING DOWN WHEN YOU HAVEN’T GOT A PRAYER
David is feeling like Custer at the Little Big Horn.
Saul has been getting the best of David, leaving him sleeping in caves, lurking behind trees. Six hundred soldiers depend on David for leadership and provision. These six hundred men have wives and children. David has two wives of his own (all but guaranteeing tension in his tent).
Running from a crazed king. Hiding in hills. Leading a ragtag group of soldiers. Feeding more than a thousand mouths. Saul has not been able to kill David’s body with a spear, but David’s heart is dying inside. He’s losing courage. He’s wearing down. He’s losing his relationship with God. He no longer depends on God. David reasons that Saul will kill him one day. So, the best thing to do is to go to the camp of the enemy, so that Saul will stop searching for him.
But David thought to himself, "One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand." 1 Samuel 27:1 (NIV)
No hope and, most of all, no God. David focuses on Saul. He hangs Saul’s poster on his wall and replays his voice messages. David immerses himself in his fear until his fear takes over: “I will be destroyed.” Contrast that with how he approached Goliath. When he was fighting Goliath he minored in Goliath and majored in God. The years of running from Saul has changed the focus of David’s life. He’s now squarely focused on Saul and God is not mentioned.
He knows better. On brighter days and in healthier moments, David modeled heaven’s therapy for the tough days. The first time he faced the Philistines in the wilderness, “David inquired of the Lord” (1 Sam.23:2). When he felt small against his enemy, “David inquired of the Lord” (1 Sam. 23:4). When attacked by the Amalekites, “David inquired of the Lord” (1 Sam. 30:8). Puzzled about what to do after the death of Saul, “David inquired of the Lord” (2 Sam 2:1). When crowned as king and pursued by the Philistines, “David inquired of the Lord” (2 Sam. 5:19). David defeated them, yet they mounted another attack, so “David inquired of the Lord” (2 Sam. 5:23). David kept God’s number on speed dial.
Confused? David talked to God. Challenged? He talked to God. Afraid? He talked to God…most of the time. But not this time. On this occasion, David talks to himself. And he’s not giving himself good advice. He doesn’t even seek the counsel of his advisers. When Saul first lashed out, David turned to Samuel. As the attacks continued, David turned to Samuel. As the attacks continued, David asked Jonathan for advice. When weapons and breadless, he took refuge among the priests of Nob. In this case, however, David consults David. Poor choice. David had forgotten that God led. But in a wave of weariness, David surrenders to his fears, loses heart and loses his dependence upon God.
Transition: Once David gives up, he gets out.
STRANGE BEDFELLOWS WHEN YOU HAVEN’T GOT A PRAYER
So David leaves, and Saul calls off the hunt. David defects into the hands of the enemy. He leads his men into the land of idols and false gods and pitched his tent in Goliath’s backyard. He plops down in the pasture of Satan himself.