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Summary: A series on the life of David as God makes over his heart to become king. This sermon focuses on the development of David’s conscience.

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PRESSURE-TREATED CONSCIENCE

Extreme Home Makeover Heart Edition (Episode 3)

If you want to build something that will last exposed to the elements you have to use a certain type of lumber. What type of lumber do you use? I’m building a tree house for my kids. I used a lot of pressure treated lumber. I want it to last.

Pressure treated wood is wood that has undergone a process to make it more durable so that it is not susceptible to water, rot, termites, or fungus.

To make the wood so long lasting, it is first treated with chemical preservatives, then placed in a cylinder under pressure. The pressure forces the chemicals deep into the wood which then becomes a barrier against natural enemies like termites and decay.

We’re in a series of messages focusing on an extreme makeover that God is performing on David. God has chosen David as the future King of Israel. But he’s not ready to rule God’s people. So begins a ten year makeover of David’s heart, to prepare him for the throne. Along the way we’re discovering some of the key characteristics that God wants to develop in our hearts. The first week we saw that God wants courage in our hearts. Last week we looked at the balance between the lion and the fox. Today we’re going to see that one of God’s top priorities for a heart makeover is our conscience.

David is under pressure, a wanted man in Saul’s court. His young face decorates post office posters. His name tops Saul’s to kill list. He runs, looking over his shoulder, sleeping with one eye open, and eating with his chair near to the restaurant exit.

What a blurring series of events. Was it just two or three years ago that he was tending flocks in Bethlehem? Back then the big day was watching sheep sleep. Then came Samuel, the old prophet with a horn of oil. As the oil covered David, so did God’s Spirit.

David went from serenading sheep to serenading Saul. The overlooked runt of Jesse’s litter became the talk of the town, King Arthur to Israel’s Camelot years, handsome and humble. Enemies feared him. Michal married him. Saul hated him.

After the sixth attempt on his life, David gets the point. Saul doesn’t like me. With a price on his head and a posse on his trail, he kisses Michal and life in the court good-bye and runs.

But where can he go? To Bethlehem and jeopardize the lives of this family? Into enemy territory and risk his own? That becomes and option later. For now, he chooses another hideout. “Now David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest” (1 Sam. 21:1).

Scholars point to a hill one mile northeast of Jerusalem as the likely site of the ancient city of Nob. There, Ahimelech, the great-grandson of Eli, headed up a monastery of sorts. Eighty-five priests served in Nob, earning it the nickname “the city of the priests”. David rushes to the small town, seeking sanctuary from his enemies. David is desperate. David is under pressure.

What will guide David while he’s desperate and under pressure? Will he listen to his conscience? Will he do the right thing? It’s Crunch Time…What’s ya gonna do?!

CONSCIENCE INFORMS MY “OUGHTS” AND MY “OUGHT NOTS”

(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, [15] since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) Romans 2:14-15 (NIV)

God speaks to us through our conscience. The Holy Spirit uses our conscience as a megaphone to amplify his guidance.

We can ignore our conscience. Our conscience can become calloused like the fingers of a guitar player who plucks on a string repeatedly.

Groups of individuals have a collective conscience. Families, organizations, nations have a conscience.

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SELF SERVING SHORTCUTS ERODE THE CONSCIENCE

It’s Crunch Time…What’s ya gonna do?!

Desperate, David resorts to lies. This surprises us. So far David has been stellar, spotless, stainless. He stayed calm when his brother snapped; he remained strong when Goliath roared; he kept his cool when Saul lost his.

But now he lies. Blatantly. Convincingly. Saul hasn’t sent him on a mission. He’s not on secret royal business. He’s a fugitive. Unfairly, yes. But a fugitive none the less. And he lies about it.

David answered Ahimelech the priest, "The king charged me with a certain matter and said to me, ’No one is to know anything about your mission and your instructions.’ As for my men, I have told them to meet me at a certain place. 1 Samuel 21:2

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