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Life's Most Subtle Temptation, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
June 15, 2022 7:05 am

Life's Most Subtle Temptation, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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June 15, 2022 7:05 am

David: A Man of Passion and Destiny

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Today on Insight for Living. I wish I could promise you that when you do what is right, your enemy will in this way suddenly see his wrong and turn and repent and view you correctly. But I can't make that kind of promise. You're responsible for telling a person the truth who can do something about it, but it is impossible to make him change his opinion. Your conscience will be clear. When someone you once loved does something to undermine your relationship, few things hurt more deeply and few things are more difficult to overcome.

It's tempting to lash out in revenge. Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll continues a message introduced earlier this week. We're in 1 Samuel chapter 24 where we find a dramatic standoff between David and his predecessor. Saul was deeply jealous of David's rising reputation. If you happen to miss any portion of Chuck's message, we'll begin with helpful highlights.

Chuck titled this message, Life's Most Subtle Temptation. Don't forget where we've been with David. What a great guy. He was promoted to a place as an officer in the Israeli army. Just before this promotion, he killed a giant. Remember Goliath? The women in the street sang, Saul has slain his thousands, but David his ten thousands. Saul wasn't a big enough man to watch the man his junior promoted above him in popularity, so Saul viewed him with suspicion.

Remember what happened? He tried to take his life more than once and finally he demoted him from the army. He stripped him of his rank and David became a fugitive in the wilderness of Judah. Here is David safe and secure in one of the caves in En-Gedi. Now remember David has been injured by a mad man named Saul who is hunting for him.

Now so much for the situation. Verse 1, it came about when Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, behold David is in the wilderness of En-Gedi. Ah, Saul's mine.

Let's go get him. Verse 3, and he, that Saul, came to the sheep foals on the way where there was a cave and Saul went in to relieve himself. Look at verse 4. The men of David said to him, say David, this is the day which the Lord said to you. Can't you see him in the cave? This is the day which the Lord said to you, I'm about to give your enemy into your hand and you shall do to him as it seems good to you.

Go get him. They said David, the Lord's put him right here. Here's a sword. Look at what David did.

I love this. David arose and cut off the edge of Saul's robe secretly. And he now notice he began to experience justified guilt.

That's the first thing that happened. Verse 5, it came about afterward that David's conscience bothered him because he had cut off the edge of Saul's robe. David says, that wasn't right.

I can't do that. It bothered him. Verse 6, he said to his men, far be it from me because of the Lord that I should do this thing to my superior, to my Lord. The Lord's anointed. To stretch out my hand against him since he is the Lord's anointed. Man, David said that is the king.

I haven't any business doing that. So the second thing, he declared a righteous principle. Had he been done wrong? Absolutely. Was Saul in the wrong? Absolutely. Was it David's job to make it right?

No. It's God's job. So the third thing, it was absolute confidence in God. The temptation came, absolutely it will come, and he wrestled with guilt which was justified.

He hung his life on a righteous principle and then he stood fast in confidence, absolute confidence in God to make right, even in the face of the opposition. You will not hear from counselors. You will not hear from friends to do that. Unless your counselor or your friend is doing it God's way, and God's way is vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. And that's what David did. Now verse 8, look at the conversation.

This is so good. Now afterward David arose and went out of the cave and called after Saul, my Lord the king. And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the ground and prostrated himself. And David said to Saul, why do you listen to the words of men, saying behold David seeks to harm you?

Now wait a minute. David with a garment in his hand is talking to Saul. He was bothered by the garment that he had in his hand, but he didn't just say Saul, here's your robe bag. He said, you're listening to false counsel against me that reveals lies about me. Why do you listen to the words of men, behold David seeks to harm you?

That's a lie. Verse 10, let me give you verbal proof Saul. This day your eyes have seen that the Lord had given you today in my hand in the cave, and some said to kill you, but my eye had pity on you. And I said, I will not stretch out my hand against my word, for he's the Lord's anointed. He told the truth. And you've got to tell it to the person to whom it matters. Don't tell it to your friends. You've got to come to terms with the individual with whom there is the battle.

That's tough. Now, so far it's just verbal proof. Saul could say, you're not any different. Look at verse 11, now my father see, indeed, see the edge of your robe in my hand, and he holds up the garment, for in that I cut off the edge of your robe and did not kill you. Know and perceive there is no evil or rebellion in my hands. I have not sinned against you, though you are lying in wait for my life to take it. May the Lord judge between you and me.

Oh, man, that is important. You see, he was just dangling his righteousness. No, you know David better than that by now.

He's not built like that. A man of integrity, he said, Saul, you're listening to lies. They are not truth. I could have taken your life. I didn't. And as proof, here's the garment. When you were vulnerable, I didn't fight.

I didn't strike. May God judge between you and me. Now, Saul's response, I want to read from the Living Bible.

Now you follow along. Verse 16. Saul called back. Is it really you, my son David?

Then Saul began to cry. And he said to David, you are a better man than I am. For you have repaid me good for evil.

Yes. You have been wonderfully kind to me today, for when the Lord delivered me into your hand, you didn't kill me. Who else in all the world would let his enemy get away when he had him in his power? May the Lord reward you well for the kindness you have shown me today. When a man's ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace. Now wait a minute. Let's come back to reality.

This is one case study. I wish I could promise you that when you do what is right, your enemy will in this way suddenly see his wrong and turn and repent and view you correctly. But I can't make that kind of promise.

Which brings up the second part of what I want to say. You're responsible for telling a person the truth who can do something about it, but it is impossible to make him change his opinion. He may die believing the lie.

That's why you can't change depravity. But down inside your heart you will know the fulfillment of that sense of righteous dealings. Your conscience will be clear.

I speak from experience. He confessed, David, you're a better man than I am. I see the whole picture. Now look at verse 20. He recognized David as the next king. Handwriting was on the wall. Behold, I know that you shall surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand.

You're the man, David, not me. And then he asked for a favor. You see, in those days when an eastern dynasty was overthrown by the next regime, the new regime would exterminate everyone in the old. And he pled for his family. He said, swear to me by the Lord that you will not cut off my descendants after me and that you will not destroy my name from my father's household. And David swore to Saul. Remember Mephibosheth? Does that name mean anything to you tonight? That little crippled fellow that was Jonathan's son who ran for his life and fell and became crippled in both his feet. And the nurse picked him up and carried him to a place called Lodabar.

We'll get into it later. And David, when he went to the throne and finally things were moving along, leaned back one day and thought, hey, I made a promise to Saul. This is the promise that I would do well for his descendants.

Is there any man in the house of Saul that I need to remember and be merciful to? And somebody said, well, there's this Mephibosheth. David says, go get him. And he went and got him and brought this crippled fellow up to him, scared to death, knees knocking. He knew that was the end. And David put him right at his table and he ate at the king's table for the rest of his life. David fulfilled his promise. But David is wise. Will you notice in closing, Saul went to his home, but David and his men went to the stronghold.

Ah, that's wise. David didn't go with Saul to his home. He knew Saul too well. Before we're through with this book, you'll see Saul turn again on David. Now you see, you get snatches of hope and suddenly that kind of person that wants to believe a lie will turn on you again and again. You'll get your hopes up and again you'll believe a lie, which brings me to three very helpful, helpful principles to live by when mistreatment happens.

Here's the first one. Since man is depraved, expect to be mistreated. Well, how's that for counsel?

Everybody ready for a great week? Let's all expect to be mistreated. Well, I'll say one thing, you'll never be let down. We expect too much from depraved manhood.

Human individuals who are depraved by nature mistreat. Quit getting your hopes up that tomorrow you're going to meet a depraved person that's going to be great. If a depraved person is great, it's just a momentary break in the rule before he's right back in it again. You know, I have a thing on disappointments. I think we can really live above any other disappointments if we keep our expectation level down. Disappointment is nothing more than a broken expectation. So plan on having a rotten day and you'll never be disappointed. It's a terrible counsel.

Terrible. No, seriously, stop putting so much stock in a depraved person. The same nature that beats in the heart of Saul beats in the heart of every person here, myself included. And when we are involved in the flesh, we will respond like Saul. We've talked a lot about being offended.

You might be the person tonight that's doing the offense. Now come to terms with it. Call it sin. Since man is depraved, expect mistreatment. Second, since mistreatment is inevitable, anticipate feelings of revenge. Now, word that right. I'm not saying retaliate. I'm saying anticipate the feelings of revenge. It's the nature of the beast.

Boy, you can hardly meet anybody that's raunchier than the carnal Christian. By the way, we sure could learn a lot about this if our parents, you know, would do the job in helping us. No. It occurred to me that this is a learned trait. Handling mistreatment doesn't come naturally. It would be interesting to me, don't hold your hands up, but just think about it. How many of you had parents that taught you how to handle mistreatment?

I would think very few. Dr. Albert Siegel said in the Stanford Observer, this is a very unique approach, when it comes to rearing children, every society is only 20 years away from barbarism. Twenty years is all we have to accomplish the task of civilizing the infants who are born into our midst each year. These savages know nothing of our language, our culture, our religion, our values, our customs, our interpersonal relations. These infants are totally ignorant about communism, fascism, democracy, civil liberties, respect, decency, customs, conventions, and manners. The barbarian must be tamed if civilization is to survive.

I got four barbarians. No wonder we're having trouble. This is all part of survival techniques that have to be learned. Who taught you?

Probably no one. Life, huh? And you do as you are done too, which is why Jesus' truth is so revolutionary. Do unto them as you would have them do to you, not as they do to you. Rare is the individual who will not retaliate.

Rare, rare, rare. Third, you with me? Since man is depraved, expect to be mistreated. Since mistreatment is inevitable, anticipate feelings of revenge. Since revenge is predictable, refuse to fight in the flesh. That's the final picture.

That's the final snapshot. That's why David came out on top. His men said, go get him, David. He almost did.

I'm convinced. But he got there and got cold feet and cut off the robe. And then later, wow, God did his homework. He said, I can't handle it.

And he made it right. I'm sure there are some here living just like that, just waiting till your moment comes. I'd like us to come to terms with that. I'd like you to close your eyes. I'd like you to, I'm not going to pray for a few moments. We're going to build an altar. Let's just build an altar right now. I just want you to bow. I want you to focus right now on that person. Maybe there's more than one. That person that you're just waiting for your moment, if you operate it in the flesh, you're going to pin them.

You're going to get back. Okay, let's talk to God about that person. Let's call him by name.

You follow along. Okay, here we go. Dear God, I acknowledge this moment that Jesus Christ took my sins when he didn't deserve them. And I confess to you that I am resentful of, and you fill in the blank, by name. Even though Jesus died for me and my sins, I am holding against, name the person, the treatment he or she is giving to me.

Please forgive me. Tonight I ask you to free me from this bondage and to keep me from it for the rest of my life. I claim God's power through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Heavenly Father, at this time of year when the beauty of the season is upon us, there is healing that needs to take place so the beauty can be appreciated. Forgive us for excusing and rationalizing around this deep taproot of bitterness.

Expose it tonight in all its ugliness and put it to death. Thank you for Jesus Christ who went through hell for us and gives us the power that we need to overcome the worst kind of condition in our lives. Because this is a learned trait, help us to grow in the process that we might live above the bondage. I pray through Christ. Amen. If anyone had a reason to take revenge, it was David.

But instead, rather than holding resentment, David chose to let it go. You're listening to Insight for Living and a message from Chuck Swindoll titled Life's Most Subtle Temptation. To learn more about this ministry, be sure to visit us online at insightworld.org. Right now, I'm pleased to remind you that Chuck wrote a biography that coincides with this teaching series on David.

And it's available right now by giving us a call or visiting our online store. The biography on David includes 24 chapters, including one that features today's presentation. If you're looking for a book to read this summer, one that will refresh your spirit and inspire you to reach for God's best, we highly recommend this one. It's called David, a Man of Passion and Destiny. To purchase a copy right now, call us.

If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888 or go online to insight.org slash offer. Here's Chuck. Thanks Bill. Lest you think your Bible teacher lives in a protective bubble devoid of any disappointments and unwanted surprises, let me assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. My world is no different than your world. The Swindolls are not immune from the travails and the trials of this life. Even so, my heart is revived because God has proven himself faithful over and over again. That's what we love about David, right?

In our current study, we're allowed a front row seat in the theater of David's extraordinary life. His humble career started on the dusty hillside where he was caring for his father's smelly sheep. You remember that. Later, he would bear arms. During one season, David slumped into depression and ultimately, he occupied the highest office in the land. What contrasts he endured.

Before you're too impressed, remember this. David's trajectory to the top was punctuated with embarrassing missteps. He was far from perfect. And yet, God pointed to David and said this of him. There, that one right there.

He's a man after my own heart. Well here at Insight for Living Ministries, this is our hope-filled message to a generation that's struggling for survival. This is our grace-filled message to a world that's bogged down in guilt and in shame. This is our radical message to a culture that's dissatisfied with the status quo.

And now, as we draw another season to a close, June 30th is the deadline. Would you be among those who make it possible for us to share Insight for Living far and wide? God has been so good to this nonprofit ministry. And yet, our financial goal for June remains enormous. And he's allowing each of us to be a part of his master plan of provision.

That includes you. As God prompts you to give, please respond right away. You'll never regret following his lead. And please keep listening as we examine David's life in our lifelong pursuit of becoming a man or a woman after God's own heart. Thanks Chuck. As you're prepared to join with us in providing these daily programs, we invite you to give generously. So let me tell you how you can respond. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888.

That's 800-772-8888. Or you can give online at Insight.org slash donate. Your gifts truly make a difference. Let me share a comment from a grateful friend who said, Pastor Chuck, I started reading your books 25 years ago through our pastor in the Philippines. It was a great help in my spiritual growth. Then one day my stubborn and rebellious heart went astray. I hid from God for a number of years. I ignored him because I was enjoying and loving my sins.

And it was exactly a year ago today that I ran back to his arms. I thank God for your life. We love receiving encouraging messages like that. Once again, our web address is Insight.org slash donate, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

Living with someone who has a short fuse? I'm Bill Meyer. Join us tomorrow when Chuck Swindoll describes what to feed an angry man on Insight for Living. The preceding message, life's most subtle temptation, was copyrighted in 1977, 1988, 1997, and 2009. And the sound recording was copyrighted in 2009 by Charles R. Swindoll Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-05 06:44:34 / 2023-04-05 06:53:09 / 9

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