Keep on Fighting
1 Samuel 30
November 6, 2005
Veteran’s Day Message
On November 11, 1918, a treaty was signed by the Allies and the Germans to end the hostilities of World War I. In 1938, congress passed a bill to declare November 11 Armistice Day to honor the veterans of World War I.
In the 1940’s, there was a movement to change the day to include honoring the soldiers who fought in World War II and the name Armistice Day was eventually changed to Veteran’s Day to honor all of America’s soldiers from all of the wars.
The purpose of Veteran’s Day is to remember those who have given their lives to protect the freedoms that our country enjoys, to pay tribute to those who have selflessly served our country and defended our freedom and to honor those who currently serve in our armed forces.
From the birth of our nation we have realized that freedom is never free. Our freedoms have been paid for with the blood of those who answered the call to stand when our country needed them the most. Our history is filled with battle after battle in our fight for freedom. We have too easily forgotten that our freedoms are never free.
In our quest for freedom there have been some battles that have shaped the soul of our nation.
• Washington’s crossing the Delaware to attack the Hessian camp at Trenton
• The Union Army’s stand at a small Pennsylvania town called Gettysburg
• The Allies storming the beaches of Normandy on D-Day
• Operation Desert Storm that freed Kuwait from the Iraqi invasion
• Our current world wide efforts to rid civilized society of the threat of terrorism
This morning as we remember the battles fought and the victories won for our nation, I want to look at an important battle fought by David as a reminder of the battle we are called to fight daily as Christians. Open your Bibles to 1 Samuel 30:1
I. David fought a battle with despair (1-6)
Imagine returning home to find your home burned to the ground, virtually every possession you owned stolen and your family kidnaped. This was exactly what David and his men found that day when they returned to their settlement at Ziklag.
The raid occurred while the men were away and the settlement was relatively defenseless. The Amalekites were well known for their ability to strike quickly and seemingly disappear. The Amalekites are remembered most for their attack against Israel just as they were entering the region of the Middle East and Joshua led a victorious assault against them.
The men with David may have begun to blame themselves for the incident. They adopted an “If only” attitude. If only we had been here this would not have happened. If only we had not left our families here. If only we had not come to support David.
These men had returned to Ziklag to find their homes in smoldering ruins. They found every possession snatched away and their families taken as prisoners. They did not know where the Amalekites went, what they had done with their families or even if they could catch them. In short, they had just come home to find that they had lost everything.
David was not immune to the effects of the raid and he too suffered a great personal loss. David lost his home and all of his possessions. At the end of David’s life we know that he had trophies from various victories including his battle with Goliath. Some of these things may have been taken from him.
David’s wives were taken from him. Ahinoam was the mother of David’s first son Amnon and Abigail was the wife of Nabal who stopped David from destroying Nabal’s household. She became David’s wife following Nabal’s death and bore his second son Chileab.
David suffers an additional loss, the support of his men. Look again at verse 6: David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him
These men who had fought at David’s were now talking of killing him. Despair will cause people to turn on their best friend. David is in good company of leaders who were threatened with stoning. The Israelites threatened to stone Moses and the Jews threatened to stone Jesus. The same kind of thing happens in churches today. People get frustrated, upset, flustered or fearful and they will put a target on the leaders of the church.
When you come into the church and you complain, blame others for problems and criticize, who are you acting like? Not Jesus, that’s for sure. The only one who benefits from those kinds of behaviors in a church is Satan.
David overcame the despair
But David found strength in the LORD his God
David understood a fundamental fact that we so often forget, God is our source of strength. When our strength comes to an end that is where God’s strength begins. You will never know the depth of God’s strength until you admit that you are weak.
What are you battling today?
• Family problems - God brings wholeness
• Habitual sin - God brings victory
• Personal illness or pain - God brings healing
• Spiritual dryness - God brings refreshment
When you feel that you are in a corner and your back is against the wall, don’t give in to target finding. Stop looking for someone else to blame for your problems. Stop allowing people to blame you for their problems. Stop blaming yourself for difficult situations.
Three steps to find your strength in God
1.) Admit that you are weak
2.) Let go and let God
3.) Place your faith in god to get you through
II. David fought a battle for direction (7-
When the chips are down, David seeks God’s direction. It could have been very easy for David to have relied on his our abilities and moved forward but instead he seeks God before he does anything. How often do we decide the course of action before we seek God’s direction?
We are especially guilty of this when things are going wrong and we jump into action without thinking and without praying. Notice how David handled things. He was in deep distress because his men were talking about stoning him. He asks for God’s guidance and does not take action until he get it. David was not willing to do his own thing but instead he waited on God.
God has the ability to run everything in the entire universe and he doesn’t need your help to do it. I think that He has more than enough ability to help direct your life. Our problem is thinking that we don’t need His guidance and His direction in our lives.
What areas of your life need God’s guidance?
• Decision Making - God gives wisdom
• Discipleship - God gives understanding
• Spiritual well being - God gives forgiveness
The requirement is prayer. God cannot and will not give direction for your life if you never seek it.
III. David fought a battle of deliverance
David follows the leading of God and pursues the enemy raiders. As the pursuit goes on 200 men must remain with the supplies because they do not have the strength to go on. David continues the pursuit with just 400 men and soon find the enemy camp.
The raiders have spent a great deal of time celebrating their success and have become drunk and are completely distracted. David takes advantage of the opportunity and attacks the raiding party. The victory is absolute and swift. David destroys all of the Amalekites except 400 young men who fled on camels.
David recovers everything that was taken from them. Every man finds his family unharmed. Every single item that was taken was reclaimed. To make this even more remarkable David gains a great additional plunder from the raiders. Not only does David get everything back, he goes home with more than he started with.
When we follow God we are required to take action. It is absolutely impossible to follow God and stay in the same place. What would have happened if David had done nothing after God gave him direction? Nothing.
What have you allowed Satan to steal from you?
Satan will settle for the small stuff first because we are more likely to let little things go. He aims to take your passion to serve Jesus, your love for other people, your time in the Word, your thirst for holiness, your desire for more of God, your excitement about worship or even joy in the fellowship. Satan will take whatever you let him steal.
God will help you take back that which has been stolen from you. God expects us to obey because deliverance comes only when we obey.
We have a battle to fight and a victory to win. Now is the time to take back the things that Satan has stolen from you. Let me tell you a powerful truth, Satan has no power over you. The only power that Satan has over your life is the power you give to him.
Today, let me encourage you if you are feeling defeated, discouraged or down. The victory that I have been talking about does not come from our human efforts or our human will or our human ability.
The victory that you so desperately need has already been won. Jesus won our battle nearly 2000 years ago at Golgotha and sealed it with empty tomb. We have victory in Jesus! There is no sin that He will not forgive. No hurt that he cannot heal. No barrier He cannot overcome. No problem He cannot solve.
The victory we have in Jesus is greater than any difficulty we can ever face. This morning, if you are feeling less than victorious come rediscover your victory. Come forward and find that Jesus gives a victory we cannot lose.