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Friends in Need, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
July 29, 2022 7:05 am

Friends in Need, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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July 29, 2022 7:05 am

David: A Man of Passion and Destiny

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Today, from Chuck Swindoll. Yes, when we're knocked down and feeling like a failure, there's nothing more comforting than a compassionate friend.

Today, on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll reminds us of the season when King David had been knocked off his pedestal. Graciously, God provided a kind-hearted friend. So, how about you? Have you made some regrettable mistakes along your journey? Broken someone's trust? Well, in those moments when you're feeling down and defeated, you don't need a critic.

What you need is someone to help you get up. Chuck titled today's message, Friends in Need. Intimate friends, these are people with whom we have regular contact, a deep commitment in mutual character development. We are not only open, but we anxiously await their counsel and their reproof.

We are free to criticize, free to correct, and absolutely free to embrace and encourage because there is a built-in mutual understanding. If you know what's good for you, you don't have many intimate friends. You can't trust that many people. You have a few, very few people, maybe one, two, sometime as many as three, with whom you can absolutely unveil the truth of your life.

There are precious few people with whom you can be that honest. Now, as we look at 2 Samuel chapter 15, let me show you the situation in which David found himself. First of all, personally, he was virtually destroyed by guilt. He had gone into Bathsheba.

He had killed Bathsheba's husband. He lost his baby. His whole world began to crumble.

So, personally, he was really under the gun. Second, domestically, his home was shattered. A son rapes a sister. A boy rebels and leads a conspiracy against the throne.

His name is Absalom. And David is literally driven from the throne and he loses touch with family. And that's the third, his political career is destroyed. Now, does David need a sheltering tree? Oh man, if ever a man did, he did.

Now, watch it happen. The king's servants, verse 15, said to the king, your servants are ready to do whatever my Lord the king chooses. So the king went out, all his household with him. Verse 17, the king went out and all the people with him, they stopped at the last house.

And there was kind of a passing review, few women, children, and they're running for their lives. He needed a tree to give him some shelter. Just somebody that'll say, David, I'm there with you.

I don't have the answer, but man, my heart goes out to you. God sends a sheltering tree. Here are five of them. Here we go.

Ittai the Gittite. Suddenly he comes out of the woodwork and he says to David, in effect, I stand with you, my friend. Life or death, I'm here. David says, verse 22, pass and go and pass over. So they go over the hill and they leave Zion and they're on their way with the king to someplace, no man's land, without any promise. But he's with his friend.

Ittai the Gittite is a Zadok and Abiathar are second. They came up until all the people had finished passing from the city. So we got people passing, leaving the city, and here come these two guys hauling the ark, this piece of furniture from Jerusalem. They say, where do we go from here? We're with you, David. Now notice what David says to them.

He doesn't say, let's go together. He asks them a favor. Verse 25, the king said to them, return the ark of God to the city. And so he says to those men, hey, why don't you go back to the city and why don't you minister there? You're needed there.

And that's exactly what they did. The king said, are you not the seer? Verse 27, aren't you a prophet?

Return to the city in peace with your two sons. See, I'm going to wait at the fords in the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me. So Zadok and Abiathar returned the ark of God to Jerusalem and remained there. They had some things to lose, by the way.

Their duty at that moment was to obey their friend and to trust his wisdom. It meant that they were going into a life of hardship and insecurity, privation, suffering, and possibly death. Now verse 30, David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives and wept as he went.

Boy, this is a broken man. His head was covered and he walked barefoot. Well, picture that king barefooted, head covered, and all the people who were with him each covered his head and went up weeping as they went. Verse 32, here's the third friend. It happened as David was coming to the summit where God was worshiped, that behold, Hushai the Archite.

What does he do? He met David with his coat torn and had dust on his head. And this Hushai was so touched with David's feelings, he met David and bore the marks of this compassionate feeling and David spotted it. So David gave him a very significant task.

He says, now you don't come with me, that'll be a burden. If you return to the city and say to Absalom, I'll be your servant, O king, as I've been your father's servant in time past, so I'll now be your servant, then you can thwart the counsel of Ahithophel for me. Who in the world is Ahithophel? Well, he's a counselor of Absalom. And what he's saying is this, I want to set up a strategy of spying. And Hushai, the best thing you can become is a turncoat. And we'll set up a chain of command so that that information that comes from the heart of the king, Absalom, will pass through messengers one by one, first with your lips and then all the way to my ears, and then we will find a way to turn that throne against him. And that is exactly what happens in chapter 17. As a matter of fact, I made a list of the names involved in that communication line that led to the overthrow of Absalom.

Listen to him. Hushai, Zadok, Abiathar, an unknown girl who took a message, Jonathan, Ahimaaz, an unnamed woman who hid two messengers in a disguised well, and finally the errand boy that ran the message to David. Why in the world would I take the time to list that bunch of people? Because they are friends. None of which will ever be in the limelight in any biography you'll read in the life of David.

And I've read them. Nobody bothers to cover this segment of David's life. But this was when the chips were down, the last house, the last ditch. He has nobody around and he says to Hushai, listen, you're my friend. You fake it. You act like you're Absalom's follower and you get the information and by and by we will turn this thing against him.

And that's exactly what happened. Okay, you with us? Yetai, the Getite, Zadok, and Abiathar. Hushai, Hushai, the what was he? Arkite, Hushai, the Arkite. Now here's a fourth one.

Look at chapter 17 verse 27. And now I love this bunch. There are three of them. Great guys, Shobi, Micah, and Barzillai.

Lots of luck on the spelling. 1727. Now here they are. David had come to Mahanaim. If you check your concordance, you'll find out the first mention of Mahanaim is in Genesis 32 one where angels came and ministered to Jacob. And here we have David out in the middle of nowhere, Mahanaim, and these angels come in the form of three men. Three men.

And look at what they do. Shobi, the son of Nahash, of Rabbah, the son of Ammon. Son of Ammon? That's an enemy of David. Remember that. Micah, the son of Ammon, from Lo-de-bar.

Remember that. And Barzillai, the Gileadite from, I can't pronounce that, brought these people, brought these things. Beds, basins, pottery, wheat, barley, flour, grain, beans, lentils, part seeds, honey, curds, sheep, and cheese. They put all of that in a crock pot. And they brought all of that to David. And they says, hey pal, here's the sleeping bags.

Here's China, says pottery. They fed all those troops out there and they dumped all that good stuff on them. Cheese and neat food. And you know why?

Because the people were hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness. That's when a friend comes through. Hey, you know David wasn't the type to wave a big flag and say, we're hungry. Show me.

Help us out, pal. But you see, when you got a friend like this, he knows you're hungry. He knows you're thirsty. He knows you don't have a bed. Beautiful thing about close friends is they don't have to be told.

They're there. Oh man, that's good stuff. I love it. I see it so practically in our Christian life and we make it so theologically impeccable that nobody cares.

It's just good exposition. Friends, this is good living. This is what you do when the bills come due and the bottom drops out and there's nobody else around. You got somebody that comes to your door and says, you know, we got a good job.

No reason in the world we ought to keep all this money. Hey, you take this. You guys can use that. Or a friend that says, you're coming? Hey, stay here.

It doesn't matter. We'll pack the kids up. You just put in here.

We love you. Let's go eat. And they don't take you to the Golden Arches. Man, they take you to some super joint where they just lay the feed bag on you.

That's a friend. Are we on the same frequency? Some of you look at me tonight like, where in the world are you, Chuck? Hey, gang, this is it. This is, this is a rubber meet the road Christianity. This is where we got to pull it off. When there's nobody else around that'll do it, this is when we come through.

I'll tell you, we Christians will kick them when they're down, but there's a precious few that'll reach down and say, my friend, get on your feet. I'm there. You can't run me away. Now, did they have reasons not to come?

All right, hang on. Shobi from the sons of Ammon could have said, oh, David has fought the Ammonites and he has been so cruel. There's no way I'm going to take a hot dog to David.

That's what Shobi could have thought. Well, how about, how about Micah? Micah, verse 27. Let me dig into your memory bank for a moment. See where he's from? He's the son of Ammon from Lo-de-bar. Who was in Lo-de-bar? Come on.

Huh? Come on. Who was in Lo-de-bar? Mephibosheth.

Sixty-four thousand dollars. Hey, Mephibosheth. Who in the world is Mephibosheth?

Well, I'm glad you, no, I won't go into all of that. Mephibosheth is a super guy. He's a cripple that was kin to Jonathan. He was his son, remember? And because he ran from the throne thinking that his life would be taken, he finally wound up in the middle of the desert.

Lo-de-bar means no pasture land. And there was one guy that had a house and he said of this cripple who came up on crutches, oh, you stay here. His name is Micah. Micah's the kind of guy that takes care of people when they're in need. And so Mephibosheth lived there and Micah could have thought, I've done my thing. I fulfilled my responsibility.

David had to take care of himself. There's one more guy here named Barzillai. You check the next chapter. He's 80 years old. I'm retired. Everybody doesn't say that. You know what he said? He said, sure, Shelby.

Sure, Micah, man, we'll get that stuff together. So he kills a few sheep and makes a pile of curds. Where in the world do curds come from?

I think it's the worst sounding stuff in the world. Anybody that eats curds is really hungry, I'll tell you. This guy, putting it down.

Sheep and curds. Whoo! He did it. Well, they loved David. Man, sensitive friends dumped all that stuff on him. And David ate like he's going out of style. And finally, you know, the end of his life, his son dies. He just comes to an abrupt ending. He's dead. And now we find David, man, old man, frying pan into the fire.

It's bad already. And he hears that Absalom's been murdered. And the world caves in.

He can't get it off his shoulders. In the end of chapter 18, verse 33, the king deeply moved, went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And he said as he walked, oh, my son, Absalom. He wails, my son, my son.

Would I had died instead of you, my son, my son. That's the end. You've never been there. You can't understand that. You know what he needs? He needs a friend.

And God sends him Joab. David can't get over the grief. He's caught in that trap.

Sometime grief does that to you. You're in a cave and somebody locks the door. You can't get out of that cave. You try your best. You fake it and you can't do it. And you're still in there.

And all of a sudden a friend climbs in. That's Joab. Look at verse one. It was told Joab, the king is weeping and mourns for Absalom. And the victory that day was turned to mourning for all the people. And the people heard it and said that day, the king is grieved for his son. Now, listen, they were seeing it as God's deliverance. God took care of Absalom. David, get back on the throne.

Now's your chance. And David is absorbed in grief in the cave. Can't go on.

It's so dark and it's so empty and there's nobody around to say, come on, David, get back. Your leadership is needed. Joab comes in and in verse four, the king covered his face and cried with a loud voice, oh, oh, oh, Absalom. And Joab, verse five, cared enough to confront.

That's a friend. Joab came and said, today you've covered with shame the faces of all your servants who today have saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives and the lives of your concubines. You have shown today that princes and servants are nothing to you. For I know this day that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead, you would be pleased. Come on, David, get on your feet.

Get over this grief. There's a job to be done. Verse seven, go, arise, speak kindly to your servants.

I swear by the Lord, if you don't go out, not a man will pass the night with you. It would be worse for you than all the evil that's come upon you from your youth until now. That's a friend. You've licked your wounds long enough, David. Man, God's come and he's done something that's broken your heart.

But friend, it's bigger than a boy. Verse eight, the king arose, sat in the gate when they told the people, the king is sitting at the gate. The people came before the king.

Wow, he's back on target. And there was Joab in that ministry of helping David when he bottomed out. I'll tell you, when I came across this, it just thrilled me to death. I love messages like this because it puts the glory where it belongs in the Lord's hands as he works through no names. Ittai the Gittite, Zadok, Abiathor, Hushai, Shobi, Micah, Barzillai, Joab. But those are the heroes that helped David pull it off, holding David up. Is that your ministry?

Praise God, you're not in the limelight. You keep those that are in that frontline work there. You're in the trenches, putting it together, encouraging and ministering and supporting and giving. I never knew the man, but my life was indirectly shaped by him because he was such a builder of men. His name is Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators. Trotman spent his life for people, just building them. Trotman died suddenly at Screwn Lake up in New York on a boat, took a quick turn, and he suddenly dumped out of the boat. And this fine statesman swam around as best he could and paddled up to a girl and lifted her up, and then he went under. And Larson, who was on the boat, said later the entire United States Navy could not have saved Dawson Trotman that day.

It was his time. The widow knew nothing of it on the shore. Her name is Lila. She was walking along the shoreline when the boat arrived, panic-stricken. They couldn't get him. They had no net.

They had no way of pulling him in. They came to the shoreline, and one man came running toward Lila, saying, Lila, Doss is gone! He's gone! And she calmly said, our God is in the heavens.

He has done whatever he's been pleased to do. Billy Graham had the funeral. What a funeral. He had it because Dawson Trotman was the man that did his first follow-up work. He was the first one to say to Billy, I believe in you, and I'll follow up all those brand-new people that come forward. Graham preached the funeral. Time magazine was there.

A week later, they had a picture of him in the magazine, had a caption under it, Dawson Trotman, always holding somebody up. That is a friend, a sheltering tree. Let's bow together. It just may be that the Lord has just told you enough in the lives of all these no-names to say, that's my calling for you. You be among the support personnel. You be the one that hauls the food. You be the one that runs the errands. You be the one that makes those calls and goes down those hospital hallways and stops off in those rooms and loves those people back to health. You be the giver.

You be the one that holds them up. Forgive us, our great God, for our understanding of the Christian life. We have really missed it. We put the glory in the lap of men. We highlight a few rather than giving you the glory and saying thank you to those that make those few lives possible. We're so enamored of the the lights, the headlines, the Davids, and we forget the Itites and the Abiathars and the unknowns.

People like us, thank you very much, Lord, for those sheltering trees that have loved us through the hard times. In Jesus' name, Amen. You're listening to Insight for Living and the Bible teaching of Chuck Swindoll.

He titled today's message, based on David's story recorded in the Old Testament book of 2 Samuel, Friends in Need. To learn more about this ministry, we invite you to visit us online at In addition to hearing Chuck's daily messages, our team at Insight for Living has curated a wonderful collection of resources for your entire family, and it's all available on our website. Right now is a wonderful season for recreational reading, and our website clearly illustrates a wide variety of great options, including creative choices for your children.

You'll find more information online at slash summer. Let me draw your attention to one of Chuck's most popular books because it'll help your entire family grow deeper in their Christian walk. It's called Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life. This classic volume of 144 readings will help you grow closer to God in whatever stage of life you happen to be in.

It'll also help you identify what's truly most important in life through the practical and sometimes fun activities offered at the end of each chapter. To purchase Chuck's devotional book called Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life, go to slash offer or call us. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. As a nonprofit ministry, we are completely reliant on the voluntary contributions from those who value Chuck's Bible teaching. As God prompts you to give, please follow his leading.

If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888 or go online to slash donate. You've heard him teach about the Holy Land using word pictures to make us feel like we're actually strolling through the old city. Learning about Jerusalem is fascinating for sure, but seeing the land of Israel with your own eyes is life-changing.

In fact, it's absolutely magnificent. And now you can see Israel with Chuck Swindoll and the gracious hosts and experts assembled by Insight for Living Ministries. Join us on an unforgettable 12-day tour, March 5th through the 16th, 2023. At special sites along the way, I will teach from God's Word. We'll worship at the Mount of Beatitudes and share the Lord's Table at the Garden Tomb. In fact, we'll sail the Sea of Galilee together and we'll visit places where Jesus walked and taught. To learn more, call 1-888-447-0444.

Just imagine walking along those sacred sites and seeing the Bible come to life before your very eyes. Mark your calendar for March 5th through the 16th, 2023, and make your reservation by calling 1-888-447-0444 or go to slash events. Insight for Living Ministries tour to Israel is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. I'm Bill Meyer, inviting you to join us when Chuck Swindoll presents a message about being big enough to forgive, Monday on Insight for Living. The preceding message, Friends in Need, was copyrighted in 1978, 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 / 2023-03-18 20:49:15 / 2023-03-18 20:58:48 / 10

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