Sunday, June 24, 2018

Learn Manhood from David #1 Refuse to Compromise

[Now] your kingdom must end, for the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart. The LORD has already appointed him to be the leader of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command
(Said God the King through the Prophet Samuel to King Saul, 1 Samuel 13:14, NLT)

Men experience tough times; God never promised we wouldn’t. And though the Bible doesn’t reveal how to escape our hardships, it does show us how to get through them. James 1:2 says, “Dear brothers and sisters when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” “…when troubles come…” So, it’s not whether we will face tough times, but when.

We can learn a lot about dealing with tough times from David. In the midst of hardship, he didn’t compromise – which says a lot about the kind of man David was. Many men cave under pressure but David held strong. Here’s what was going on at the time: Israel was involved in a religious war. The priesthood was corrupt (Eli’s, the high priest, sons both priests were corrupt! See 1 Samuel 2:12-13) and the judges were dishonest and abusive (Samuel’s, the prophet, sons both judges were wicked! See 1 Samuel 8:1). During the war, Palestine had captured the Ark of the Covenant, Israel’s symbol of God’s presence. Israel was in the thick of spiritual darkness. They refused to listen to the Prophet Samuel’s warnings and openly rebelled against God’s Word.

With the people’s eyes diverted from God, they looked at the world around them and saw what appeared to be the perfect solution – a king. They complained and demanded to Samuel, “Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have” (1 Samuel 8:5). Although Samuel warned the people about the consequences of demanding a king, their tunnel vision and lack of concern for God’s plan created a powerful movement to find a king (read 1 Samuel 8:6-22). So God gave Israel over to its careless and impatient demands and allows ‘the Plan B’ king – people’s choice – to take the throne. This king set the stage for Israel’s long and tumultuous history.

The man Samuel anointed as king was Saul “the most handsome man in Israel – head and shoulders taller than anyone else in the land” (1 Samuel 9:2). This man and his exploits significantly shaped David’s own destiny. In fact, we often find that Saul serves as the classic bad example when we contrast his actions with David’s. Saul became David’s boss, nemesis, and bounty hunter. Saul typically reacted to challenges very differently than David. Instead of obeying God and refusing to compromise, Saul caved in and tried to engineer the circumstances to his own benefit. Here are three (3) examples of how Saul is different from David in dealing with tough times:

Taking Responsibility
He tries to justify his actions
(1 Samuel 15:15)
He took ownership of his sin
(2 Samuel 12:13)
He was afraid of the people and did what they demanded (1 Samuel 15:24)
The fear of the Lord caused him to repent (2 Samuel 12:13)
He ends up became a fearful king
(1 Samuel 17:11)
He was courageous always
(1 Samuel 17:32; 2 Samuel 17:8)

Men must endure hardships, challenges, and temptations in tough times and refuse to compromise. As Patrick Henry writes, “Adversity toughens manhood, and the characteristic of the good or the great man is not that he has been exempt from the evils of life, but that he has surmounted them.” The big question that keeps in my mind as I think of these two characters is this: When times get tough, am I more like Saul or David?

Teach me your ways, O LORD,
that I may live according to your truth!
Grant me purity of heart,
so that I may honor you
(Psalms 86:11)

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