Summary: This could be anyone of us, what would these people think if they knew what I have done. Face this Giant and watch him fall. We must remember that the church is a hospital for sinners not a rest home for saints.
The Giant of Desperation.
There is a desperate person who sits in the corner of the assembly today. Dry mouth, moist palms, scarcely moves for fear of detection. He feels out of place in a room full of saints, but where else will he go? He has violated every belief he every had, he has hurt every person he has ever loved, he has done what he has sworn he will never do. Now comes Sunday and sits and stares, he thinks What if these people knew what I did…” Maybe that person is you this morning, scared, guilty, alone.
It could be an addict, at thief, a child beater, a wife cheater. He could even be a she, single, pregnant, confused. That could be any one of us this morning, any number of people come where God’s people are assembled in this condition, hopeless, hapless, and helpless.
How will we react? What will this person find? Criticism or compassion, rejection or acceptance, raised eyebrows or extended hands? What will they find?
I remember a story from a mission house preacher. There was a young woman who had come to the mission, hungry, helpless, addicted, sick and alone. She had prostituted herself to have money for her addiction. The men who normally came around grew tired of her, she could not get the money for her fix. She decided to sell her baby daughter, men would pay big bucks to have their way with this little girl. She had prostituted her daughter, now her daughter has an STD. The mission preacher asked why she did not turn to the church for help. “Why would I go there, I already feel bad for what I have done, going there would only make me feel worse.”
The church is a hospital for sinners, not a rest home for saints.
Sometimes the hurting will not come here because they don’t want to hear how bad a sinner they are. David was in the same situation. He was a wanted man, his face was on posters in every post office in the kingdom. He was Saul’s #1 public enemy. He runs, always looking over his shoulder, sleeps with one eye open, eats at the local restaurant with a seat next to the exit.
What happened? About three years prior David was in the field watching his father’s sheep, the overlooked runt of the liter went from serenading sheep to serenading Saul. He was one time covered with oil from Samuel and filled with the Holy Spirit from God. After the sixth attempt on his life, he finally got the message and was on the lam. He got the point Saul does not like me. He kissed his wife goodbye and runs out. Where will he go?
Bethlehem? He goes there and he puts his family at risk. Enemy territory? That’s for another time. For now he chooses another hideout. He goes to church.
1SA 21:1 David went to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest.
Ahimelech is the great grandson of Eli, he headed up a monastery of sorts. David rushes there for sanctuary.
There is a law that says anyone seeking refuge from the “blood avenger” may go to a designated city and find refuge there. Nob could have been a city of sanctuary.
However the priest wonders why David, a warrior, son in law to the King, would come to Nob. David is desperate, he buys time by lying to the priest.
1SA 21:2 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. 3 Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find."
Desperate people sometimes resort to desperate measures. He is on the run and needs a place to hide, but he is also hungry. The Giant of desperation often leaves us in this condition. Tired from running, tired from hiding, tired of lies and deception, lets face this giant.
The church is not a rest home for saints, but a hospital for sinners.
Lets go back to that woman who had prostituted herself for her drug habit. What could we do? She already knows that what she is doing is wrong. Should we give her money so she won’t have to prostitute herself anymore? No, I don’t think that throwing money at the problem is the answer. Should we tell her she needs Jesus? Yeah, but that is not enough is it.
What about a woman who has to work as a bartender? What should we do if someone like that should come here? Tell her to get a different job and she can fellowship with us? Hmm somehow that does not seem to fit either.