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Summary: This sermon looks at Psalm 13 and what we should try to learn in the difficult and discouraging moments of our lives.

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When A Long Time Seems Like A Long Time

NLF 2/9/03 1 Samuel 24:1-22 Hebrews 11:32-40

Text Psalms 13:1-6

The title of today’s message is “When a Long Time, Seems Like A Long Time.” There are times in our lives, when we can’t believe how quickly the time has flown by, yet there are other times when it has seemed like forever. A lot of it has to do with what we’re going through at the moment we start looking at the clock.

The story is told of a Sunday class that had been asked the question, “in your time of discouragement, what is your favorite Scripture.” A young man said, “the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want Psalm 23:1.”

A middle age woman said, “God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1. Another woman said, “In this world you shall have tribulations, but be of good cheer, I have overcome this world. John 16:33-35.

Then old Mr. John who was 80 years old, with head of white hair and dark black skin, stood up and said with as much strength as he could muster, “and it came to pass” 85 times in the bible. The class started to laugh a little thinking that old Mr. John’s lack of memory was getting the best of him. When the snickering stopped, he said. At 30 I lost my job with six hungry mouths and a wife to feed. I didn’t know how I would make it.

At 40 my eldest son was killed overseas in the war. It knocked me down. At 50 my house burned to the ground. Nothing was saved out of the house. At 60 my wife of 40 years got cancer. It slowly ate away at her. We cried together many a night on our knees in prayer. At 65 she died. I still miss her today.

The agony I went through in each of these situations was unbelievable. I wondered where was God. But each time I looked in the bible I saw one of those 85 verses that said, “and it came to pass.” I felt that God was telling me, my pain and my circumstances were also going to pass and that God would get me through it.

Saints, when a long time seems like a long time, we need to remember Old Mr. John’s verse, “and it came to pass.” In our Scripture reading this morning we were introduced to a young man by the name of David. David is in his early 20’s and is doing his best to serve God.

As a matter of fact, just a few years earlier, Samuel had poured oil on his head, and anointed him as the future king of the land. The only problem with knowing the future is that it makes us think, it’s going to happen tomorrow with minimal inconvenience to our lives.

Everybody wants a prophecy of what God wants to do in their lives, but if God shows us what He has to take us through in order to get there, many of us would ask God for an alternative based more on our liking.

Now David knew that he was serving God to the best of his ability. But the picture being painted of David by King Saul who wanted to get rid of him was quite different. David was being described as a thug, a terrorist, and an outlaw.

A reward was being offered to anybody who could report where he was. Now even though David had done his best to faithfully serve King Saul, Saul was jealous of David and was determined to kill him.

In the chapter before our Scripture reading, King Saul almost had captured David and his men. The king and his massive number of troops were going up one side of the mountain and David and his mere 600 men were running for their lives down the other side. It looked as though all hope was lost, when suddenly a messenger arrived at King Saul, to let him know, the Philistine army were raiding the country. Saul immediately gave orders to break off the chase of David, and go back to fight the Philistines.

After dealing with the Philistines, Saul’s jealousy sent him after David again. This time Saul chose three thousand of his best soldiers to go after David. It just so happened that David and his men were hiding in a cave.

King Saul and his men were outside the cave, but didn’t know David and his men were there. The king wanted to take a nap. His officers suggested, “why don’t you go and sleep in the cool of the cave. We will stand guard out here.”

King Saul, fell into a deep sleep. He never heard David’s men urging David to kill him. They told him, “this is God’s plan for your life. Kill your enemy now and become king.” Yet David refused to try to take something that God had promised to give him. The most he could do, was cut off a piece of Saul’s robe.

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