The Awakening Series
Contributed by Christian Cheong on Jul 24, 2016 (message contributor)
Summary: God uses a tragedy to awaken David and brought him to Himself. David was brought to the end of himself and he came to understand his need of God.
How long does it take for you to know that you’ve made a mistake? How long does it take for you to know that you’ve taken a wrong road?
It can takes from a few minutes to a few years. And for some, we may still be travelling on the wrong path and not knowing it.
I have this experience quite a few times. I drive to the same place every morning at about the same time each day. One day, when I need to go somewhere else, I find myself driving to the same old place. I was already halfway through the journey before I realised I’m heading towards the wrong direction. That awakening did come, but after 10 or 20 minutes.
That’s driving on the road, but when it comes to the journeys we take in life – the choices we make or the direction we take – that’s a different story. That awakening moment does not come easy and quick. It can take years before we realise we are on the wrong path.
It’s like the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15. It takes a pig pen to wake the younger son up to the fact that he has a great home. It takes some time with the pigs for him to realise he could spend time with his loving father.
Such awakening moments are very important. They are turning points in our lives.
• If we are on the wrong path today, then we must pray that these awakening moments come soonest, and not late.
• It will take a crisis to awaken David. God will have to take everything from him, before David came to the realisation that God is WHO he needs.
We saw last week God’s perspective of David’s time in the land of the Philistines.
• Today we are going to look from David’s perspective.
• Let me paint the context again and see how David got himself into this mess.
It starts with 1 Sam 27 when David decided that he would run into the land of the Philistines and befriend them.
• WHY? There is no hope of a safe-haven in Israel. “Even Keilah, the Israelite city I saved (1 Sam 23), cannot be my refuge.”
• Saul has rejected me. Israel has rejected me. Let me befriend the Philistines.
We learned 3 weeks ago that this depressing thought originated from himself. It wasn’t a right reading of the reality:
• God has anointed him to be King of Israel and God is preparing him for it.
• God has been protecting David despite the dangers, according to 1 Sam 23:14 “Day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands.”
• So don’t let discouragement distort your perspective. Don’t be convinced by your own thoughts; be convinced by the truth of God’s Word!
David went into the land of the Philistine and befriended the King of Gath, ACHISH.
• He was able to gain his trust so well, that Achish made him his servant and then his bodyguard for life (28:2).
• Can you imagine this, David serving the Philistines? He started off as a fighter of the Philistine giant GOLIATH (1 Sam 17), now a servant of a Philistine King.
• They are enemies of Israel, but now it doesn’t matter. David has already built a home among them in Ziklag (land of the Philistines).
And then this very tricky situation happened - 1 Sam 28:1-2. The Philistines are gathering to war against Israel.
• Achish says, “You must join us. I expect you to, since you are now my men.”
• We really do not know what David was thinking. He went along and gathered at Aphek (way up North), with the rest of the Philistines army.
Achish trusted David, but not the rest of the Philistine rulers. They demanded that he leave. They do not want an Israelite group to be at their rear end.
• And by God’s grace, David and his men were forced to return home to Ziklag. By God’s grace because God would not allow David to fight his own men.
• David felt rejected by Saul, rejected by Israel, and now rejected by the Philistines.
David is really heading south, not just geographically, but emotionally and spiritually.
• But that’s not the end of his woes yet. When he returned to Ziklag, he found the whole city burned down.
• Let’s read 1 Sam 30:1-8. That’s the awakening moment!
God brought him to the rock bottom. He hit the pit and was forced to look up.
• The prodigal son is now in the pig pen – he lost everything.
• Amalekites took the opportunity while the Philistines are all gathered to the North, to ravage the South.