Summary: Sometimes innocent people suffer because of the sins of others.
Suffering Because of Others
September 11, 2011 Evening Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: Sometimes innocent people suffer because of the sins of others.
Focus Passage: I Samuel 22:1-23
Supplemental Passages: For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. (1 Peter 2:20 NASB)
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. (James 1:2-3 NASB)
For the choir director. A Maskil of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul and said to him, "David has come to the house of Ahimelech." Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man? The lovingkindness of God endures all day long. Your tongue devises destruction, Like a sharp razor, O worker of deceit. You love evil more than good, Falsehood more than speaking what is right. Selah. You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue. But God will break you down forever; He will snatch you up and tear you away from your tent, And uproot you from the land of the living. Selah. The righteous will see and fear, And will laugh at him, saying, "Behold, the man who would not make God his refuge, But trusted in the abundance of his riches And was strong in his evil desire." But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever. I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it, And I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones. (Psalms 52:1-9 NASB)
Introduction: A man found a cocoon of the emperor moth and took it home to watch it emerge. One day a small opening appeared, and for several hours the moth struggled but couldn't seem to force its body past a certain point.
Deciding something was wrong, the man took scissors and snipped the remaining bit of cocoon. The moth emerged easily, its body large and swollen, the wings small and shriveled.
He expected that in a few hours the wings would spread out in their natural beauty, but they did not. Instead of developing into a creature free to fly, the moth spent its life dragging around a swollen body and shriveled wings.
The constricting cocoon and the struggle necessary to pass through the tiny opening are God's way of forcing fluid from the body into the wings. The "merciful" snip was, in reality, cruel. Sometimes the struggle is exactly what we need. Beth Landers.
I. Suffering because of Jealousy
a. King Saul was jealous of David
b. David was God’s chosen and Saul resented him for it.
c. Sometimes people are jealous of us and they hurt us or steal from us.
II. Suffering because of Deceit
a. David lied to Ahimalech
b. Ahimalech wasn’t guilty before the king. He thought he was being merciful to David and his men, not realizing he was being lied to.
c. People will lie to us and we don’t know it. We are swindled and cheated out of property and money.
III. Suffering because of Abandonment
a. None of the God-fearing guard would kill the priests, but they didn’t protect them, either
b. King Saul no longer feared God and had Doeg kill the priests
c. People will abandon us to protect themselves or abandon us because they, themselves, are selfish or foolish.
Invitation: Sometimes, there is no deliverance. Sometimes we suffer despite crying out to God. Sometimes bad things DO happen to good people, but it is because bad people are in charge.
Missionary Billie Wilcox, on the lessons of a disaster: While my husband Frank and I were living in Pakistan many years ago, our six-month-old baby died. An old Punjabi who heard of our grief came to comfort us. "A tragedy like this is similar to being plunged into boiling water," he explained. "If you are an egg, your affliction will make you hard-boiled and unresponsive. If you are a potato, you will emerge soft and pliable, resilient and adaptable." It may sound funny to God, but there have been times when I have prayed, "O Lord, let me be a potato." Guideposts Magazine.