Summary: Do you only bless the Lord when things are good? Warfare is inevitable as it was for King David. Yet, David say, "I Will bless the Lord at all times."
“I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalms 34:1 NLT
This morning as we address today’s message, “I Will” I want us to examine ourselves and make a determination not on someone else’s stance but your own individual stance in the Lord. As I traveled from Newport News to Washington, DC and then from DC to Blacksburg, Virginia, I saw the wonders of God. I saw the majestic beauty of the mountains. I witnessed God’s hands as He kept us from danger and how even in the midst of torrential rain, God had His covering upon us. I said, “Who could do this but God…we serve a mighty, mighty good God.” I pondered how many of us believe that at all times? How many of us choose to bless the Lord and see His wondrous works even in torrential times? Church, I must confess sometimes, the times become so heavy that I too become unfocused on God’s goodness.
This year (2015) we’re heard numerous messages on our Church theme “Transformation through Warfare births Reformation.” Now, I don’t know about you but I’ve been experiencing quite a bit of warfare since January at the inception of our theme. Many of us have endured warfare spiritually, physically, financially, mentally, and emotionally. Church, I’m telling you that warfare is inevitable; it will occur and it happens when you least expect it, just like the torrential rain that surfaced spontaneously. Has anybody here ever had a spontaneous storm surface in your life? I know I’m not the only one who has experienced that. Can I get an amen here!
Looking at our text, Psalms 34, we notice that King David was engaged in warfare. See the writing of this psalm of David, regards a time when David pretended to be insane in front of Abimelech. David fled for his life because Saul was trying to kill David solely because Saul was jealous of David. To escape from Saul, David flees to Gath and encounters Achish whom he feared as well. David jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. David didn’t seek the Lord’s guidance but made a determination out of his own will. Whenever we move out of our limited knowledge the probability is we will ‘jump out of the fire into the frying pan.’ That’s why the scripture instructs us to “trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thy own understanding.” The result of David’s decision was Abimelech expelled him from Gath even though David was the King of Israel (Gath was a Philistine City in the nation of Israel). Technically Abimelech was under the ruleship of the King of Israel, who happened to be David. As I read this psalm, I questioned why did David pretend to be insane yet he said, “I will bless the Lord at all times.” To fully understand this, we must “study to show thyself approved unto God so that we can rightly divide God’s word.” The writing of David’s psalm is a result of his experience recorded in 1 Samuel 21:10-15 (Look along with me):
10 David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath.
11 But the servants of Achish said to him, “Isn’t this David, the king of the land?
Isn’t he the one they sing about in their dances:
“‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands’”
12 David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath.
13 So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.
14 Achish said to his servants, “Look at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me?
15 Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?”
Before, we go any further church, it’s important to understand that the Psalm heading speaks of "Abimelech," while the historical account speaks of "Achish." However the "Abimelech" of the psalm is the same person as the "Achish" of the historical record in 1 Samuel 21. The names are not contradictory. In 1 Samuel 21, Achish is the king’s personal name; however, in Psalm 34, Abimelech is his title of royalty.
Nonetheless as recorded in 1 Samuel 21, David walked in fear for he knew execution was inevitable if caught. To save his life, he pretended to be insane with saliva falling from his beard. (David knew that the Philistines had a law pertaining to releasing a madman!) So they let David go. I surmise that when David (realized the bad step that he took) and found himself in the presence of Achish (also known as Abimelech) he stopped relying on his own skills of evasion and placed his trust in God.