Summary: "Is there not a cause?" David's question is a pretty good question today, too. What are we concerned about? What cause motivates our lives, our church? You see, we need a cause that motivates us! (Powerpoints available - #158)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Powerpoints used with this message are available for ree. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request #158.)
A. In the New King James Version of the Bible, in 1 Samuel 17:29, we read these words, "And David said, ‘What have I done now? Is there not a cause?’"
Do you know what was happening when David spoke those words? He was a shepherd boy sent by his father to take food to his older brothers on the front lines of the army of Israel, facing the Philistine army camped on the other side of the valley.
But no fighting was going on because they were all afraid of Goliath. Each day, this nine foot giant of a Philistine warrior would stalk out & challenge anyone in the army of Israel to one-on-one combat, but no one was brave enough to accept his challenge.
That's when David arrived on the scene. He heard Goliath's boastings & couldn't understand why no one was doing anything about it. "Why are you letting this idolatrous man taunt the armies of the living God?” he asked. “I know that God will give the victory to Israel!"
Vs. 28 tells us, "Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, ‘Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness?
‘I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.'" That is when David asked,"What have I done now? Is there not a cause?"
B. Just what was David asking? Was he asking, "Why are you criticizing me? Can't I even ask questions around here?" Well, maybe that is what he was asking.
But possibly there is more to his question than that. Maybe David was asking, "Why are you hassling me when there is something much more important to be concerned about? Why isn't anybody doing anything about Goliath? That's the problem, that’s the cause you ought to be concerned about."
PROP. Now I think that David's question is a pretty good question today, too. What are we concerned about? What cause motivates our lives, our church? You see, we need a cause that motivates us!
I. WE NEED A CAUSE THAT MOTIVATES US
ILL. Not far from Lincoln, KS, stands a strange group of tombstones. John Davis had them erected. A self made man, he became rather wealthy, much to the surprise of his wife's family, because they always said that she had married beneath herself.
When his wife died, Davis erected a large & elaborate monument to her memory. He was so pleased with it that he ordered another, & then another.
When someone suggested, "Mr. Davis, instead of putting up so many tombstones, why not furnish a park for the city in her memory, or put in a pool for the children?" he replied, "Hey, what has this town ever done for me?"
The remaining years of his life were dedicated to this strange cause of erecting monuments in her memory. When John Davis died at 92, he had spent nearly half a million dollars on tombstones.
He had a cause all right, but it died with him. All that is left today are tomb-stones slowly deteriorating, victims of time, victims of vandalism, victims of neglect.
ILL. A number of years ago, Dave Cowen was a star basketball center for the Boston Celtics when he quit without any warning. He just walked off the court, showered, dressed, & drove away. The only explanation he ever gave was, "I just didn't feel right about myself. I needed to get my head together."
He had everything fame, a body in prime physical condition, & lots of money. Sportscasters, management, his team & the fans were all dumb founded. But he was searching for something, a sense of purpose, a feeling of accomplishment, a cause bigger than himself.
Think what you may, fame, possessions, money, by themselves don't provide inner fulfillment. We need a purpose, a cause bigger than ourselves, if we are ever going to have a real sense of accomplishment & peace in life.
APPL. It is the same way with a church. A church has to have a cause outside of its own walls. If it doesn't, then it is just another social club in the community. The church is to be a hospital for sinners, not a rest home for saints.
ILL. One of the hymns we sing says, "Others, Lord, yes others. Let this my motto be. Let me live for others that I may live for thee."
B. It is sad when you have no purpose which lifts you out of yourself to a higher plane, something that you can live for, suffer for, fight for, & for which you might even be willing to die.