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Dodging Spears – Part 1 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
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May 21, 2024 1:00 am

Dodging Spears – Part 1 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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May 21, 2024 1:00 am

Narcissists are out to make sure they look better than anyone else. After David was anointed king, Saul wasn’t about to give his kingdom up for anything. In this message from 1 Samuel 10, Pastor Lutzer outlines five characteristics of destroyers like Saul. “Spear throwers” are willing to hurt anyone to keep up appearances.

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.

Someone's out to get me. That's what David must have thought as Israel's King Saul tried to kill him for ten long years. Many people face perennial attack by those who want to do them harm. What drives these spear throwers?

Today, what to do when reconciliation is not possible? From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, David's respect for Saul as King was amazing, even as he had to duck when Saul aimed a spear at him. You're absolutely right, and I've written a book entitled When You've Been Wronged, and one of the chapters in the book is living with a spear thrower. And I have to tell you, Dave, that a number of years ago, I preached a message on this at a Bible conference. When I was finished, a man came and said, you know, I've heard many, many messages, but I've never heard a message that dealt with spear throwers. But of course, all of us know that we are talking to people right now at this moment who are listening to this broadcast, and they're living with a spear thrower.

How do you do it? Are there lessons to be learned? Well, as you mentioned in the intro, Dave, one of the things that David did was duck. But what else? In a few moments, I'm going to be giving you some info as to how this book can be yours, When You've Been Wronged. It'll give you hope, it'll give you insight, and we believe it will help you tremendously on your spiritual journey. But for now, let's listen to God's word.

I have to begin today by asking you a question. Have you ever met a spear thrower? A spear thrower is a person who hurts others. Spear thrower is self-absorbed.

He could be called a destroyer, and sometimes he's very religious and he does this under the guise of verses of scripture and spiritual commitment. I'm not talking about people with horns. I'm talking about people with whom you work in your office, talking about the family that you married into.

You know, those wonderful, loving relatives who turned out to be very dysfunctional and very obnoxious. You know, they're the ones that I'm talking about. In fact, spear throwers are everywhere on every level of society. And as we shall find, spear throwing is something that you and I can do as well. In fact, there may be many spear throwers who are listening to this message.

But remember, we've learned, haven't we, that they are always thinking it applies to somebody else. Well, spear throwers, why am I preaching on this? Because we're in a series entitled Suffering Wrong. As part of the series, I'll be speaking on the topic of Christians taking others to court.

Paul says, would you not rather suffer wrong? I'm going to be speaking about the high cost of reconciliation. There's a price to be paid to be reconciled to others, and it's a price you and I must be willing to pay.

All that is part of the series. We've spoken about forgiveness. We've spoken about people who take offenses into their souls and keep them there. And so today, what we want to do is to find out why God allows spear throwers to exist, sometimes in prominent places, and also what the lessons are that God has to teach us because we are next to a spear thrower in the relationships of life. I'm thinking of King Saul. King Saul is a very interesting study. As a matter of fact, in a hotel room in Canada this past fall, I took out about two hours, to outline what I would hope someday would be six messages on Saul because he is so fascinating.

But it's going to have to be a while before I preach those messages because this, in effect, is a summary of all of those messages thrown together. Saul was the kind of man who was afraid of the people, the Bible says. One thing you discover about spear throwers is this, that it is not necessary for them to be good, but it is very necessary for them to appear good.

To a spear thrower, appearances are everything. But who is this man called Saul? Take your Bibles, please, and turn to 1 Samuel, chapter 10.

That's where we're beginning today. 1 Samuel, chapter 10. Israel needs a king and Samuel is commissioned by God to find the one whom the Lord would choose.

1 Samuel, chapter 10, verse 1. Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his, that is on Saul's head, and kissed him and said, has not the Lord anointed you to be prince over his people, Israel, and you shall reign over the people of the Lord and will save them from the hand of their surrounding enemies. Characteristic number one of Saul, he was anointed by God.

Chosen by God, anointed of God. Second, you'll notice that he had the prophetic gift. Samuel told him that the Holy Spirit of God, verse 6, will rush upon you and you will prophesy and you'll be turned into another man. Verse 9, when he turned his back to leave Samuel, that is when Saul turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart and all those signs came to pass that day when they came to give you. Behold, a group of prophets met him and the Spirit of God rushed on him and he prophesied among them. And the people said, is Saul also of the prophets?

And the answer is yes, the prophetic gift. He was striking in appearance. The end of the chapter says that when they were going to crown him, they couldn't find him apparently because of his humility. He was hiding somewhere and they brought him out and he was taller than everyone else. All of us know that the people who are tall get the breaks in life. And so there is Saul who's also tall.

And I hope to do better than that later on. But here he is, a specimen of humanity, the very kind of man that every godly woman in Israel would like to marry. Because women who are godly, they desire a man who has spiritual leadership. They desire a man who is committed, a man with a prophetic gift.

They desire someone who has oil on his forehead put there by the ordained will and the purpose of God. This was your best seminary student that a young woman could possibly marry. And he had all those gifts. That's not the end of the gifts that he had. He was also one who could put an army together in the next chapter. If we read it, he puts an army together and he wins victories for Israel. God's man for God's possession, for God's use among the people for that moment in a nation's history. What goes wrong with a man like this?

What's happening? For this, we have to turn to the 18th chapter of Samuel, not 19, but 18. You'll notice in between time, David kills Goliath. And it says in chapter 18, verse 6 of 1 Samuel, as they were coming home when David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel singing and dancing to meet King Saul with tambourines and with songs of joy and with musical instruments. And the women sang to one another as they celebrated, Saul has struck down his thousands and David his tens of thousands. Verse eight, Saul was very angry and this saying displeased him. He said, they have ascribed to David ten thousands.

To me, they have ascribed thousands. And what more can he have but the kingdom and so I'd David from that day on the next day, a harmful or evil spirit from God rushed upon Saul and he raved within his house while David was playing the lyre as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand and Saul hurled the spear for he thought I will pin David to the wall, but David evaded him twice. Anointed, called, gifted prophet, spear thrower.

What are the characteristics of a spear thrower? Let's look at these characteristics of King Saul. First, he believed that the kingdom was his and not God's. The kingdom was his and not God's. Follow carefully that in chapter 15, he disobeyed God.

That comes before 18. In chapter 15, he disobeys God and Samuel says to him, because of your disobedience, God has taken the kingdom from you and is going to give it to somebody else. What should Saul have said at that point? Saul should have said, Oh God, the kingdom is yours and you can give it to whomsoever you will. I disobeyed you. I have no right to this kingdom.

It was a gift from your loving hand to mine. Give it to whomsoever you will. It's what he should have said, but he's going to hang on to the kingdom until his knuckles turn white. He will not give up that kingdom for anything. There are people whom God blesses. He puts them in positions of authority. He gives them vocations.

He may give them money. And yet when you try to remove them from the kingdom, even though they may be under someone else's authority and you try to remove them from the kingdom, they become angry and violent and they become very, very upset and they'll turn out to be spear throwers because they think that the kingdom is theirs. And no one has the right to take my kingdom from me.

Could I say it among my peers? I've known pastors like that. No one will take this church from me. I've seen pastors split churches down to 20% of their original membership because nobody's going to take this kingdom from me. They worked with people like that. People who maybe have bypassed their usefulness, they think that the minute they leave, this organization is going to collapse and they have no idea that if they were to leave, the organization would finally earn some money and gets on its way.

I'm connecting now, huh? I believe the kingdom was his, not God's. Totally obsessed with insecurity and jealousy. What more can David have but the kingdom paranoia? He didn't have to fear David. David was not going to grasp the kingdom. He didn't have to fear David, but there is this within him. Everybody's out to get me. This is going to happen to me and everybody's out there and I can't trust nobody. And because I can't trust nobody, I'll cut everybody down and make sure that I begin to manipulate so that I can keep the kingdom. Another thing about Saul that we can put under this that I can mention only hurriedly is he will blame others for his failures and be quick to take credit for other people's successes.

That's the kind of a heart that Saul had. Have you met someone like that? This past week I was in another state and meeting with some pastors and we're talking, they were actually talking about someone. The person, he won't attend anything unless it's his party. If he didn't organize it, if his name is not, he's not going to be there. In other words, what he, and then he's offended if people don't attend his party, but you'd better attend my party, but I'm not going to attend yours. Met people like that. They have to be the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral.

If they're not in the middle of it, they're not there. And what they will do is try to destroy anyone who'll take them from their little pyramid. Number three, he tried to drive a wedge between people. Oh, listen to me.

Spear throwers will do this. This is what Saul did. He tried to convince his son of all things, Jonathan, to kill David.

Thankfully, Jonathan didn't. There are times when you should not obey your earthly father. And later on, you know what Saul says? He says to his own son, you are the son of a perverse woman.

Pardon me. He should have said, you are the son of a perverse father. But spear throwers don't look at it that way. Also, what he tried to do is to manipulate and to kill with kindness. Oh, go ahead, marry my daughter, hoping that when David does, the Philistines will come and kill David.

All kinds of manipulation, sometimes done with a smile and all kinds of kindness. Now the question is, why does God let a guy like this live and rule for so long? By the way, he also played by a different set of rules. The Bible says that he took out all of the witches from the land. He says, I'm going to do away with all occultism. All witches must die.

And when he's in a tight place, he goes to a witch. Because what happens in his mind is the rules that apply to you do not apply to me. It's called the law of the grand exception. Now, why is it that God chose Saul and let him rule so long? Gene Edwards in his book, The Tale of Three Kings, an excellent little book that has inspired much of what I'm sharing with you today, says, why does God do such a thing? The answer is both simple and shocking. He sometimes gives unworthy vessels a greater portion of power so that it might eventually be revealed for all to see the true state of the internal nakedness within that man.

Wow. God sometimes exalts people, anoints them. There's oil on their forehead. They have the gift of prophecy. They are natural born leaders and they accomplish things and yet they are spear throwers and they are mad so that we might see what it is.

Raw naked human nature in all of its deceptions and perverseness. Now, as we shall see, there's a reason, of course, for God to do that. And if I may have a second quote at this point from Gene Edwards, he says, he says that God wants to take out the Saul in us. Could there be anyone here today who has a little bit of Saul in them?

Is that even possible or do we weed them all out before they come in here? Edwards says, Saul is in your bloodstream in the marrow of your bones. He makes up the very flesh and muscle of your heart. He is mixed into your soul. He inhabits the nuclei of your atoms. King Saul is one with you. And I are King Saul. Now, how do we react if we have spears thrown at us? What should you do if you are living with someone who loves to throw spears?

Could I give you a bit of advice? Number one, duck. Okay.

Duck. David escaped out of his presence twice. David didn't hang around to become a martyr.

He didn't say, now, Saul, you missed me twice. So here I am. And then he has a t-shirt with a target on it and say, here I am. I want to, I want to die here.

No, no. He actually escaped. It's not wrong to get away from a spear thrower.

If you can, if you can put physical distance between you and the spear thrower, that's a very, very good idea. You say, but I can't run. I can't to run and hide. There are no caves that I can hide in.

Well, a couple of ideas as to how to duck. First of all, don't take it personally. Don't take it personally.

You have to understand something about spear throwers. You have to realize that the evil that is in their heart, they see as belonging to others. And therefore you see the hostility and the anger that you receive very probably, and the accusations even that are made are very probably accusations that apply to them. So, so there are times when we have to take people very personally and very seriously because they are pointing out things in our lives.

And there are other times when we simply have to say, okay, he's looking into his own heart and thinking he's seeing me. Spear throwers are that way. You can't reason with them. Now, of course, there are many that you can reason with.

I'm talking about extremes. If you've ever met someone who is truly evil, you'll discover that you cannot reason with them because everything that you say is going to be turned a half turn so that it'll come back at you. It will go through this filter and in the end, the filter will come out, making you look bad because remember, spear throwers are not interested in the truth.

They are only interested in their own version of it. They know what they know what they know. So the first thing you should do if you can is try to get out of the way. Of course, we know exactly that that's what David did. Saul hurls a spear at him and David got out of the way and fled. So one of the lessons that we should learn is this, that if you are confronted with a spear thrower, if it is possible for you to put some distance between you and the spear thrower, you do that. Of course, if you're married to someone or if there's someone in your family who is a spear thrower, that's an entirely different subject, isn't it? And yet in the midst of this, as I point out in my book, When You've Been Wronged, David wrote several psalms, psalms that encourage us, psalms that remind us to depend upon God. And what was God doing during those 10 years?

Well, he was taking the soul out of David's heart. I hope that you have a pen or pencil handy because I'm going to be giving you some info as to how this book can be yours. It's entitled When You've Been Wronged. Here's what you do. Go to That's or pick up the phone and call us at 1-888-218-9337. And from my heart to yours, I want to thank you so much for supporting this ministry. It's because of people just like you that running to win can go around the world.

Here's what you do right now. Go to or pick up the phone and call us at 1-888-218-9337, the title of the book When You've Been Wronged. I think it'll help you to move from bitterness to forgiveness. It's time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question about the Bible or the Christian life. When you read the news, it seems the end times are right around the corner, and the Bible tells of a powerful one-world leader who will emerge in those times, a man it calls the Antichrist. A listener named Patricia wrote with this intriguing question. Pastor Lutzer, will the Antichrist know he is the Antichrist before he emerges? Well, Patricia, I'm going to give you a very simple and a very short answer.

I think that the answer is no. I don't think that Judas knew that he was going to turn out to be the Judas that we know of in the New Testament. I think that most world leaders, when they take positions on the stage of history, they have no idea exactly knowing where they are going. And I suppose that Antichrist, who I believe will arise in Europe, is going to find a tremendous amount of support from people. He's going to be a peace candidate, and he just thinks that he is going to be the ruler of a certain territory. But as time develops, and as he gains power, he becomes more evil. And he might not know what the Bible says about the Antichrist, and suddenly he's going to realize that he has tremendous power. He's going to desire worship, and he will not know, probably, how it will all end. Thank you, Pastor Lutzer, for that answer for Patricia's question.

If you'd like to hear your question answered, go to our website at and click on Ask Pastor Lutzer. Or call us at 1-888-218-9337. That's 1-888-218-9337.

You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60614. I just wish he'd stop it. When you're under constant attack, you cry out to God to intervene, to end the long misery. Next time, the lessons God was teaching David, and perhaps you and me, as Saul pursued him. For Pastor Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-21 02:32:51 / 2024-05-21 02:41:22 / 9

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