Lessons from David pt 3
David - A fugitive with integrity
Saul – A king with no integrity
Thesis: A fugitive with integrity will have the blessing of the Lord more so than a king with no integrity.
The Scripture texts we will be looking at today continue to paint a portrait of two lives. These two life stories communicate to us today the importance of having integrity and a strong relationship with the Lord.
David’s story shows how he was a man after God’s own heart. The result of this heart attitude and passion led him to become king. He goes from nobody to somebody to a fugitive to a king. His life story shows us what God will do with a person who is passionate for God and His ways. His life story is filled with applause and victory! David’s life of integrity propelled him to the top.
Saul’s story shows us what happens to a man who disobeys God, lacks integrity and forsakes others. His life ends in depression, defeat and suicide and the loss of his kingship. His life warns us to the destruction of sin and rebellion against God. His life story is filled with sorrow and tragedy. Saul’s life of sin and rebellion pulled him down a slippery slope to suicide and death.
I honestly believe that these two biographies were placed in the Bible by God as history lessons for us. To learn what to do in your life and what not to do in life!
Every day we make choices in life – we make choices based on our level of integrity and these choices bring ramifications to our lives in the present and in the future. These two stories drive home the point that integrity counts to God. Integrity does make a difference in our life – a huge difference – it will determine our destiny and impact us our entire lives.
Opening Video Illustration: Blue Fish TV – Test – integrity
Have you ever been where this girl finds herself? What would you do? What did you do?
Let me say it again, “Integrity matters – it impacts our lives!”
Texts: I Samuel 22-29; II Samuel 1-3
David was a man on the run – running for his life-dodging the king and his hit men. But David was unlike most fugitives because he was a fugitive with integrity.
Integrity, we hear this word a lot today but what does it mean? Webster defines it as, “The quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness, honesty, and sincerity.” White states this about integrity.”
My dictionary defines integrity as “consistency and sincerity, with no deception or pretense.”
Integrity’s overriding quality is wholeness: There is no discrepancy between what a person of integrity appears to be on the outside and what he is on the inside. For the Christian specifically, integrity means we live according to what we say we believe, according to the Scriptures. It means we live by God’s Word and by God’s direction.
Psalms speaks of the benefits of one who has integrity. Listen to what it says:
NIV Psalms 112:4-10
4. Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.
5. Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice.
6. Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever.
7. He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
8. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.
9. He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be lifted high in honor.
10. The wicked man will see and be vexed, he will gnash his teeth and waste away; the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.
Psalms tells us that if you have integrity and you practice it diligently you will experience and inner peace. It does not matter if you’re a fugitive at the hand of a king with no integrity. It does not matter if you are being chased and you risk losing your life-what matters is how you act. What matters is your character. White notes, ‘When we practice integrity, we will experience a deep inner peace, knowing that we have not violated our conscience or hurt someone else’s. We can be confident that when someone examines us, we will be proven innocent of wrongdoing. In, contrast, when our lives lack moral wholeness, we live in constant peril of being ‘found out’ as frauds” (David, Swindoll, pg. 35).
Proverbs 10:9 states, “The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.”
Share the illustrations from the movie the “Fugitive” – Dr. Kimble could have shot the U.S. Marshal in the sewer but he did not, he could have. When he was in the hospital with the little child he could have ignored the patient –but he did not. He could have let the other doctor at the end shoot the Marshal but he saved his life even after the Marshal tried to kill him as he was escaping from the Cook County Jail. In the movie I cheered for Dr. Kimble – Why? The man had integrity!
This next video reinforces the idea that we must live our lives with integrity.
Video Illustration: Integrity at work from Bluefish Tv
This man paid the price for living a life with integrity but in the end this man will be blessed by God for making the right choices in life and in work.
Integrity – the essence of a person’s inner qualities – ones that God sees and knows.
David was a fugitive with integrity. His life paints a portrait of what a person with integrity looks like and acts like.
Let’s highlight this section of David’s life:
A fugitive with integrity does not become self absorbed but instead focuses on helping others (I Samuel 22:1-5; 20-23; 23:1-13)
A fugitive with integrity always keeps his word to others (I Samuel 23:14-18)
A fugitive with integrity always inquires of the Lord (I Samuel 22:1-5; 23:1-4, 9-13)
A fugitive with integrity is protected by the Lord (I Samuel 23:16-29)
A fugitive with integrity never takes matters into his own hand in dealing with God’s anointed (I Samuel 24)
A fugitive with integrity listens to God rather than others (I Samuel 24, 26)
A fugitive with integrity knows when to listen to others when it’s the right thing to do (I Samuel 25)
A fugitive with integrity still does not take matters into his own hands if the opportunity avails itself a second time (I Samuel 26).
A fugitive with integrity sometimes make mistakes and they out of fear run to the wrong side for protection (I Samuel 27)
A fugitive with integrity even has a good reputation with his enemies (I Samuel 29:6-11)
A fugitive with integrity has compassion for others (I Samuel 22:20-23; 23:1-24; 25:23-35; 26; 30:21-25)
A fugitive with integrity always enforces what is right (II Samuel 1:1-16; 4)
Let’s just pull out a few of the main qualities of integrity that David displayed in his life.
I. A fugitive with integrity never focuses on their plight in life but rather focuses on helping others.
a. David did this with:
i. His men and their families
1. David helped and trained his men in the Lord as we shared last week.
2. He took them in and led them with integrity.
a. Let me ask you the question- Do you lead with integrity?
i. Does your behavior match your teaching?
1. Do you teach Mt. 18 but not follow Mt. 18 on how to handle disagreements.
2. Saul’s did not
a. Witch at Endor (I Samuel 28)
ii. Do you lay unbearable burdens on your fellow servants?
1. Saul did this that’s why 400 ran to David they were under heavy King Saul’s taxes and burdens.
iii. Do you do what you do so you will impress people?
1. Saul did this and it got him in big trouble with God- He did not do what he was suppose to in I Samuel 15 because he said in verse 24”…I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them.”
iv. Do you delight when your students surpass you?
1. Saul did not. It is stated in I Samuel 18:9 “And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.’
2. Why? Because he was successful in battle more than Saul was and the people sang about it.
v. Do you mold people into the image of Jesus or into your image?
1. Matthew 23:15 states, “You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.”
2. Saul was out to keep his throne and have everyone bow to him not God!
vi. Do you keep up appearances “An image of integrity with God” yet in secret you binge on sin?
1. Saul did this I Samuel 13:7-15
vii. Do you consider yourself more important than others?
1. Saul did!
2. David did not.
a. I Samuel 18:23 Taking Michal as his wife –he said only a poor man-not worthy.
b. I Samuel 24:14 ‘Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea?
ii. With the town of Keriath
1. David responded to their need- He went and protected them from the Philistines (I Samuel 23:1-6)
iii. With Abagail’s husband Nabal by protecting his sheep and men (I Samuel 25)
iv. With Abagail’s plea for her family and people.
1. David did not continue his desire to avenging against Nabal’s rudeness and mean spiritedness.
2. His denial of food and his hurling of insults to David and his men for doing a kind deed revealed his integrity level and almost cost him, his family and servants lives (I Samuel 25).
a. But Abagail addressed David’s heart of integrity.
b. Saul on the other hand was not a man with integrity and he always sought to take from others not give.
i. With his relationship to God and gift of kingship.
ii. With David (I Samuel 18:12-16)
iii. With his kids- when Jonathan challenged him about David he tried to kill his own son. He gave his daughter away to another man after David’s escape.
iv. With Samuel not obeying the Lord’s commands and then trying to lie about it (I Samuel 15:15-29)
v. With the men of God – especially the murder of the priests of Nob lacked integrity (I Samuel 22:6-23)
c. A fugitive with integrity will have the blessing of the Lord more so than a king with no integrity!
T.S. - It’s no excuse to not be a person of integrity no matter what you status or position in life may be. It’s also important to remember that an individual with integrity seeks God’s direction.
II. A fugitive with integrity always seeks guidance from the Lord and usually receives it.
a. David in almost all circumstances inquired to the Lord for direction.
i. This is a key to success while you are on the run or in a successful position in life.
1. John Ortberg’s quote, “Prayer involves an old paradox in our day. Almost everyone talks to God. Newsweek magazine noted that in a recent survey more Americans said they pray in a given week than work, exercise, or have sexual relations. Of the 13 percent of Americans who claim to be atheist or agnostic, one in five prays daily. So why are we so often ambivalent about the notion of God talking to us? One recalls Lily Tomlin’s line in the play The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life In The Universe: ‘Why is it that when we speak to God we are said to be praying, but when God speaks to us we are said to be schizophrenic? Why should God’s end of the line be equipped with a receiver but no mouthpiece” (135)?
ii. David did this in I Samuel 23: 2 (on whether to go fight); 23:9-12 (On whether to stay in Keilah); 30:7-9 (Whether to pursue the Amalekites).
1. Ortberg notes, “In the early church, believers would gather together and ask God to guide them in their choices-a practice that continues widely among Christians today. Members of the Church of the Savior in Washington D.C., speak of “sounding the call’-calling a group of believers together to pray together for guidance when someone is facing and important decision. We can ‘sound the call’ with those in our community of believers when we need wisdom for finances, relationships, or jobs” (149).
iii. David used the ephod to get direction and insight from above.
b. Saul lost his connection with God because of lack of integrity so he then sought direction from evil sources.
i. His character drove him further away from the Lord
ii. I Samuel 15 was his down fall –disobedience cost him the kingdom.
iii. Consulting the witch at Endor (I Samuel 28)
1. Shows how far he had fallen from the Lord’s ways!
c. A fugitive with integrity will have the blessing of the Lord more so than a king with no integrity!
T.S. - Men and women of integrity seek guidance from the Lord and if these men and women of integrity do not do it they pay the price.
III. A fugitive with integrity is not perfect and David was not.
a. David was not perfect – somehow he became tired of running from Saul and went to live in the land of the Philistines where he knew Saul would not dog him.
i. It never says in Scripture God told him to go there- It states, ‘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” (I Samuel 27:1)
ii. David blows it here – God had been protecting him all along.
iii. What happens is his own thinking once again sends him to live with his enemies –and the enemies of Israel.
iv. Result –he starts lying again-living in deception
v. He even gets to the point of being willing to go fight against Israel.
b. I believe God preserved David a couple of times from making drastic mistakes.
i. With Abigail and Nabal (I Samuel 25)
ii. With him going to fight against Israel in (I Samuel 29, 30)
1. I think the Lord placed it on the hearts of the rulers to reject David and his men from fighting against Israel
2. This in essence was a blessing because when they returned home they found their town burned down and everything gone-if they would have stayed and fought they would have lost everything.
3. The phrase were it says “David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God” (I Samuel 30:6)
a. I believe David’s men where mad because they felt that going to fight against Israel was wrong and God was punishing them. And they looked at their leader and rightly blamed him.
4. But David came to his senses and he once again inquired of the Lord. I believe God gave him a wake up call! He responded appropriately.
5. Result was they with God’s help saved their families from the Amalekites.
c. Why did David get restored and not Saul? It was a matter of the condition of the heart. One was humble and moldable the other was not.
d. A fugitive with integrity will have the blessing of the Lord more so than a king with no integrity!
T.S. - We need to remember to always inquire of the Lord even if we blow it. A man and women of integrity runs back to God for direction and restoration. Men and women of integrity must also have compassion and grace for others because of the grace and compassion that God has shown them.
IV. A fugitive with integrity treats others with compassion, grace and empathy
a. I Samuel 30:18-31
i. David did this with the men who where to tired to fight.
1. The others did not want to financially bless them. But David overrode their greed.
ii. David did this with innocent people.
1. He spared Nabal’s family and servants out of compassion.
iii. David did this with Saul and Jonathan’s death.
1. This man genuinely wept for the death of these two.
iv. David did this with the way Abner was killed.
1. His unashamed mourning shows how he cared for people and was not afraid to show it even when others in his group disagreed.
b. A fugitive with integrity will have the blessing of the Lord more so than a king with no integrity!
T.S. - When we have experienced grace and compassion from God then we should do the same for others-that’s integrity in action. Fugitives with integrity need to realize that their character will eventually propel then into leadership positions. It’s a result of God honoring men and women of integrity.
A fugitive with integrity will have the blessing of the Lord more so than a king with no integrity.
A fugitive with integrity looks like our hero David:
1. A fugitive with integrity never becomes self absorbed they focus on helping others rather than moan and groan about the unfairness in life.
2. A fugitive with integrity must always seek direction from the Lord.
3. A fugitive with integrity is not always perfect but even if he/she makes the wrong choices then run back to God and repent and seek his direction again.
4. A fugitive with integrity always treats others with fairness, compassion, grace, empathy and generosity.
A fugitive with integrity will become a leader with integrity. David became one and made the nation of Israel a mighty kingdom for the Lord! Saul paid the ultimate price for not having integrity!
Altar call – So let me ask you a few questions:
“ Are you a man or woman of integrity?”
“ Are you like David or like Saul?”
“ Are you the same on the outside as you are on the inside?”
“Do you lead others with integrity?”
“Do you want to be like David – Our nobody who became somebody turned fugitive but destined to become a king?”