Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Who cares about a title?

1 Samuel 24
David Spares Saul's Life
1 After Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, "David is in the Desert of En Gedi." 2 So Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel and set out to look for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats.
3 He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave. 4 The men said, "This is the day the LORD spoke of when he said [a] to you, 'I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.' " Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul's robe.

5 Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. 6 He said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD's anointed, or lift my hand against him; for he is the anointed of the LORD." 7 With these words David rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way.

8 Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, "My lord the king!" When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. 9 He said to Saul, "Why do you listen when men say, 'David is bent on harming you'? 10 This day you have seen with your own eyes how the LORD delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, 'I will not lift my hand against my master, because he is the LORD's anointed.' 11 See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. Now understand and recognize that I am not guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life. 12 May the LORD judge between you and me. And may the LORD avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you. 13 As the old saying goes, 'From evildoers come evil deeds,' so my hand will not touch you.

14 "Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea? 15 May the LORD be our judge and decide between us. May he consider my cause and uphold it; may he vindicate me by delivering me from your hand."

16 When David finished saying this, Saul asked, "Is that your voice, David my son?" And he wept aloud. 17 "You are more righteous than I," he said. "You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly. 18 You have just now told me of the good you did to me; the LORD delivered me into your hands, but you did not kill me. 19 When a man finds his enemy, does he let him get away unharmed? May the LORD reward you well for the way you treated me today. 20 I know that you will surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands. 21 Now swear to me by the LORD that you will not cut off my descendants or wipe out my name from my father's family."

22 So David gave his oath to Saul. Then Saul returned home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.

David had the chance to kill Saul. Saul certainly had tried to kill David, numerous times, in fact! He was jealous of and afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, and he was a mighty warrior. Saul was out to get David. He knew God was planning to give David the throne of Israel, which was bad news for Saul, as he was the current king. But David chose to obey God, and not to kill Saul, even when he had the perfect opportunity. No one would have thought him wrong to do it, but David cared more about what God thought. So, he spared Saul's life, and postponed his rule as king of Israel. He waited on God's timing, even though he could have ended his immediate problems, which included living on the run, always fearing a knife in the back. He life was in danger. Every day. He could have justified his actions, but he chose to let God handle it. And God got the glory, because Saul and all three of his sons died on the same day a little while later, clearing the throne for none other than merciful, obedient David. David also had the opportunity, after this encounter with Saul, to write more of the book of Psalms, which have spoken to peoples' hearts for three thousand years.
I am struggling with God's seeming inaction in my current circumstances. I am finding myself falling for a man who is not a Christian. I am becoming discontent in my job. I KNOW KNOW KNOW that I absolutely cannot go down that road with this guy, but some attention sure seems better than the none I have from my "Mr. Right" that God is taking his sweet time bringing around. Friends, please pray for me to find my strength and self-control in the Lord, and for peace and intimate relationship in the waiting time. I am feeling a bit left behind, also, as friends move on to other jobs (to places I DO NOT feel called, so it's not jealousy), but as I wait for God to call me elsewhere, I feel..forgotten about. I could see how hard it would have been for David not to just kill Saul, take the throne and forget about his anxiety-filled life on the run. Wouldn't it have been nice for him to feel peaceful and taken care of? But he chose obedience over expedience and ease, and was greatly rewarded. His relationship with God was strengthened, and you just know God's heart was pleased by his trust. God, give me a heart like David's. I get tired of waiting for God, and feel like maybe my own way isn't so bad. This is where I must battle feelings with truth. That's been my struggle the past week or so, but I know that I will continue to trust God, because there is no other way.
This sermon, by Dr. Michael Youssef, is what I draw today's post from.


Kathy S. said...

Keep pressing into the Lord as you are, and you will have victory (and the desires of your heart!)

Great insight on obedience. It's hard to stay put when our longings are such a driving force, isn't it? Like Paul says, "I die daily" or "I beat my body into submission and make it a slave"

Not very comforting, but worthwhile. I am praying for you!

Mariel said...

I am praying for you, dear one! Stand on the FAITH that your God SEES you and has a GOOD plan for your life!!! A godly marriage is WORTH WAITING FOR!!

"He could have justified his actions, but he chose to let God handle it." How often are we in this situation! My ugly words, bitterness...whatever towards my friend, hubby, kids...I think I am justified...David WAS justified, but he choose to LET GOD!!! I am choosing to be kind and LET GOD!! I am praying you, too, dear oen, LET GOD!!! His ways are higher, His thoughts are far beyond what we could have imagined for ourselves!!! Trust Him!

I respect and esteem your honesty here and thank you for the opportunity to pray for you!

prayers and hugs~ M

jeleasure said...

Hey Angela,
When I was in the Army at Ft. Mead, I met this girl from University of Maryland at a secular party in College Park, Md.
She is a Christian and had no business being at this party. Anyway, after a few dates, she told me I was not what she needed in her life.
I tried to play the church game and she saw through it. After five years had gone by, I was thinking about her. I called and had a real nice talk with her. She said that I had changed, however, she became very seriously involved with someone.
The moral of the story is, she did what was right for her and I both. She got the man God wanted her to have, and I grew spiritually, and am now married to the woman God wanted me to be married to.
Chin up.

Chatty Kelly said...

First, love your title today! Too funny!

Second - I pray you will be able to wait on God. I know how hard it is, but worthwhile in the end! So hang in there.

Edie said...

My dear friend Angela, so many things crossed my mind as I read this post. I know how you love the Lord and I know Exactly what you are going through. I have never been married. That doesn't mean I never will be married, just that it isn't His time yet.

Listen, 18 years ago, shortly after I gave my life to Christ, the Holy Spirit prompted me to pray concerning marriage. He must have asked if I was willing to remain single for Him if that was what He wanted cause that's what I prayed. Yes Lord, I am willing. Not too long after that He gave me, what I call, an Abraham promise. He told me that He did not plan for me to remain single. Now you know why it's an Abraham promise. :)

I'm not married yet and not seeing anyone. That's part of the story too but it's 4:30 am and I really have to get to bed. In any case, He wanted me to trust Him with every area of my life. I'm not saying that He might not have someone right around the corner for you. Just that I can tell you from the bottom of my heart He can satisfy you like nothing else.

You would not be happy with a man who does not love the Lord. Just imagine it, you want to tithe - he says NO WAY! You want to share what God is teaching you - he shows little or no interest and tries to change the subject. You want to pray about a major decision - he thinks that is ridiculous and just decides without God. Even if he is accepting that You love the Lord, he won't love him with you. You won't be walking hand in hand toward Christ, you would be pulled in two different directions.

I know you know all these things but our emotions can get in the way of our focus. I have to get some sleep now but you can email me if you want to talk.

Praying for you - Love ya

DidiLyn said...

I absolutely love how you communicate your learning process, struggles and questions. I keep saying "uh huh" and "oh, I know!" to you while I'm reading.
Thank you for your encouragemnet on my blog about my daughter. You have no idea how it brightens my spirit hearing you now that you have come out the other side. THANK YOU!

Edie said...

Hi Angela - You said "But don't worry, I am leaning on God instead." There was never any doubt. Your love for the Lord is more than evident. Praying your week gets better. - Love ya

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Love Dr. Youssef.

Pinkshoelady said...

Sweet Angela,
Let me first say I understand everything you said more than you will ever know.
I was a beautiful, 33 year old when I FINALLY got married. I watched in my 20's as freind after freind found the man God had for them and married. I "Fell" for the wrong guy more than once and God's protective hand and some major mistakes pulled me back. One thing I had purposed in my heart (but not until my late 20's after several mistakes) was that I would not, let me repeat that I WOULD NOT marry a man who did not love God more than me! After a "Preacher boy" who I believed had to be the one broke up with me because (get this) I was too short. He wanted a tall wife so he would be sure to have tall children. (He is a fantastic minister but an idiot too. Anyway, after he broke up with me I said that was it! No more dating! God will be my husband! God my first love then sent my wonderful spirit filled Preaching man to me. It took a while to recognize him. God just kept forcing us together. God has a beautiful plan for you. He has chosen a remarkable man to lead your family someday. Stick by your principles. Let God be your Husband for now. I am praying for you with authority in this area because I have been there! I have been married now almost 13 years. We are still crazy in love and worshipping our First love together!

I love you my friend!

Angela said...

You all are the most awesome bloggy friends ever. I am so grateful for your loving advice and the time you take to share your hearts with me.