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Dodging Spears – Part 2 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
May 22, 2024 1:00 am

Dodging Spears – Part 2 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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May 22, 2024 1:00 am

How should we respond when someone’s self-absorption is destroying everything around them? Saul’s jealousy led him to threaten David’s life. In this message, Pastor Lutzer teaches us how to dodge a “spear” like David escaping from Saul. Let’s learn all the lessons God wants to teach us from those impossible people.

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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. When God deposed King Saul, David was anointed to be king of Israel. Well, Saul didn't go quietly. Instead, he pursued David with spears for ten years. So, what lessons was God teaching David, and perhaps you and me?

Stay with us. 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, it seems that jealousy was a major component in Saul's hatred of David. Dave, you're absolutely right, and I have to say, and I know I've said this before, that King Saul is of great interest to me, because he shows human nature at its most deceptive worst. And of course, David had to live with that for ten full years, and yet David's kindness at the end is a great lesson for us. You know, those of you who listen to Running to Win, sometimes you hear one message or part of a message, would you like to receive this entire sermon series?

You can have it in permanent form. Ask for when you've been wronged, and for info, go to or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now, at the end of this message, I'm going to be giving you that contact info again, but let us remember, jealousy is evil, and has led many people to destructive responses. 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 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 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 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. Second, very important, don't become a spear thrower. You know, if many of us had been David, we'd have probably wrenched that spear out of the wall and said, just watch this all.

We'd have tossed it back really fast and very hard. And we'd have said, OK, I missed you, but I'm going to go to the local college and I'm going to take a spear thrower's class. And I'm going to show you who's going to throw spears. You think you're good at throwing a spear?

I'll throw you some spears and then you'll find out. David could have killed Saul two times. Saul was sleeping, you remember the story, and David came along and actually cut off part of his cloak. And later on, David was high on the cliffs. And when Saul awoke, he said, in effect, you look at what I have. I have part of your cloak here, Saul.

I could have killed you. All of David's men thought that David was crazy for not killing him. David said, I will not put forth my hand and touch the Lord's anointed. Wait a moment, David, get some sense. You are the Lord's anointed too. Chapter 15, Saul disobeys God. Chapter 16, God tells Samuel, go find someone else to be king. He goes and meets the sons of Jesse and ends up anointing David. David could have said, oh, Saul, so you think you're anointed?

Well, I just want you to know that I'm just as anointed as much as you are. And if you think that you can throw spears, boy, you haven't seen anything yet. Because you'd better put some armor on because the spears are coming your way. You remember what Jesus said, do not render evil for evil. You'll never change a spear thrower by becoming better at throwing spears than he is.

Don't you dare become a spear thrower. And if you're tempted to, you think of the message that I preached last time in this series about forgiveness, laying it all down. And then third, learn the lessons that God wants to teach you in the experience. You see, as Jean Edwards points out, the whole point, the whole point of allowing Saul to continue to rule for 10 long years pursuing David. David running even among the Philistines, David going insane. He acted insane.

And truly evil people will sometimes drive you insane. For 10 long years, from one cave to another, from one group of men to the other, what in the world is God doing? But Saul, why doesn't he just wipe him out and give the kingdom to David as planned? What God was doing is making sure that he was taking out of David's heart the potential, the potential of becoming Saul number two. David had it within him to become a spear thrower. He had it within him to be able to do what his own son Absalom did, namely to split the kingdom and to rebel against his father.

All of those seeds were in David's heart. And God says, I'm not going to have this man become a Saul number two. The only way I can take the soul out of his heart is to let him be pursued for 10 long years of fright, of difficulty, of challenge, and of hopelessness. And God says, I'm interested in brokenness.

I'm interested in brokenness. It is my firm conviction, having ministered for so long, and some of you know how long that really is, don't you? It is my firm conviction that there are some people that God wants to simply have lived in pain, in pain. But it's to bring about brokenness.

I was thinking about that this morning. Brokenness may be more important in God's sight than success. Ouch, that hurt. Some time ago, I was having breakfast with a friend of mine who actually is in another state and was telling me about his marriage. It was a terrible story. Living with a woman who perhaps because of abuse when she was young was exceedingly critical, exceedingly difficult to live with, the kind that everything that you basically do is wrong. Remember that old joke? If a man says something in the forest and his wife isn't there to hear it, is he still wrong?

They can have company over and everything is sweet and wonderful, but when the company leaves, the criticism begins. I was listening to him and I thought to myself, I don't know. I don't know how I could put up with that. But then he said this. He said, you know that all of my life I've been a very impatient person. I couldn't listen to people who had problems in their marriage or with their children or whatever.

I just said, you know, get with it, work it out and get going. He said, now I have a listening ear because I have a broken heart. Only pain will do that. And for some people, it's circumstances, it's health, for other people, it's people, impossible, obnoxious people.

Brokenness, secondly, patience. Ten long years. What was David doing in these 10 years as he ran from cave to cave?

He was writing songs. Do you know that if David hadn't had this experience, we would have missed this? I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord, let the humble hear it and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord and he answered me and delivered me from all of my fears. This poor man cried and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all of his troubles.

We also might have missed this. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices. Refrain from anger and forsake wrath.

Do not fret yourself, it tends only to evil, for evildoers will be cut off. But those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land. He wrote about more than a dozen psalms during that period of time. How could David have the reputation of being the world's most famous and universal comforter?

Through what he went through with Saul, but he would not touch the Lord's anointed. I remember going through a difficult time in my own life. There was pain in my heart because of something that had happened. And I remember getting a schedule and reading through the book of Psalms every single month. Reading five or six Psalms a day. I read like that for over a year. Every single month through the book of Psalms.

Every time I saw new insights. Every time I would look into the life of David and I would be encouraged. How could David have done that? Unless God had put a soul over him. And a soul who irritated him and a soul who had oil on his forehead, but a spear in his pocket.

It is patience. But also I think triumph, you know, when David was installed as king. He could really say, I'm here because God did this. I didn't manipulate to become king. I didn't set forth my hand to touch the Lord's anointed.

I didn't try to work this thing out so that I would get what I want. God, I'm yours. The kingdom is yours.

Let's all have it for as long as you will. My times are in thy hand. By the way, it was when he was fleeing from Saul. He said, it is better to fall into the hands of God than the hands of men. And that's how it happened, folks.

Triumph. Jesus is the greatest example. He could have called 10,000 angels. He says, do you not know that I could speak a word? He said, and 10 legions of angels would come and deliver me.

Talk about somebody who could be out from under the spear throwers. But he makes one of the most amazing statements. This statement takes my breath away every time I quote it. It's from the Gospel of Luke. When they come to take Jesus, he says these astounding words to his captors, to his spear throwers. He says, this hour and the power of darkness today is yours. Wow. Today you win. And there he hung on the cross, allowing evil to triumph.

And they're on the cross, evil triumphs. I need to emphasize today, by the way, I was going to do that earlier, that I'm not talking about abuse taking place in your home. If you are a parent and someone is abusing your children or you know of abuse, you must report it.

I'm not talking about that kind of situations. And by the way, for those of you who are listening, who are child abusers, I have a word for you today. It comes directly from God. Stop it.

Stop it. Speaking today about the triumph of what God does in our lives when he puts people next to us who have the heart of King Saul. Who have the heart of King Saul. Jesus said, this hour and the power of darkness is yours. He hangs on the cross. He dies, but he's raised again in triumph, in victory. Every principality and every power and every name that is named is now under his feet. And he is Lord of all.

He is King and he is God. Let's let God exalt us. Let's let God exonerate us.

Let us let God break us. That out of the depths of our experience, we might find his grace while living in pain. Adelaide Pollard, 1907, I believe here in Chicago, was at a prayer meeting and somebody prayed in the prayer meeting, Lord, have your way with us. And she went home that night and said, wow, what a statement, Lord, have your way with us. And so she wrote a song. I think I remember the first stanza.

It goes like this. Have thine own way, Lord, have thine own way. Thou art the potter, I am the clay. Mold me and make me after thy will while I am waiting, yielded and still. Wait, I say, on the Lord.

Advice from David in a cave. Let's pray. Our Father, today we pray that you might make us comforters, that you might break us, that you might, Lord God, pour grace into our pain. We pray today that you might help us to represent you and your gospel and give to you the people that are out there who would do us harm. How many of you say today, Pastor Lutzer, I have somebody I have to give to God today.

I have a situation, let's put it that way. I have a situation I have to give to God. Would you raise your hand, please? Throughout the whole bottom in the balcony, too.

I'm looking at the balcony, too. Father, we ask in Jesus' name, take these situations. Mold us, make us, break us after your will while we are waiting, yielded and still in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen.

Amen. Well, my friend, I do want to clarify that if you're living with a spear thrower, go for help, especially if there is an abuser in your home. I always tell people don't walk, but run for counsel, for help. Do whatever is necessary. I don't want to give the impression that if we're living with a spear thrower, we have to just stand there and take all the spears.

But we still do have to ask this question. What is there for me to learn in the midst of this? Well, if you've been listening to this series of messages, you know that we are covering a lot of territory about human relationships. And we are making available to you this sermon series.

It's entitled When You've Been Wronged. You can have it in permanent form. Why? So that you can listen to these messages again and again.

But more importantly, perhaps, you can also give these messages to others who are going through painful circumstances and difficulties. So here's what you do. Go to That's Or pick up the phone and call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now, if you're like me, oftentimes you want to write something down, but it comes too quickly. So here is that contact info once again.

Go to or call us at 1-888-218-9337. And thank you in advance for your prayers, for your love, for your support. Together we're making a difference. It's time again for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question you may have about the Bible or the Christian life. It's good to separate fact from fancy when it comes to the afterlife.

Jerry is a Running to Win listener who wants some clarification. He asks, when Christians die and go to the Lord, can they really look down and see us here on earth? I always hear this on the news whenever they give tribute to someone who's already gone, especially in the secular media. Pastor Lutzer, what's your take? Yes, Jerry, whatever you do, don't get your theology from the secular media.

I know exactly what you're talking about. Somebody dies and they say, oh, he's looking down from heaven and he's seeing this or seeing that. We have no evidence in the Bible that that is the case. There is a passage in the 12th chapter of Hebrews where it says that we are surrounded with a great cloud of witnesses. Let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us and let us run the race. People have interpreted that to mean that there are people in heaven watching us run the race. But actually, in context, it is not a matter of them watching us, but we who look back to those who successfully ran the race, namely the whole list of heroes in Hebrews chapter 11.

So it is wrong for us to interpret that passage in that way. The people who die and go to heaven, I'm sure that they are busy, I'm sure that they are worshiping the Lord, they are connecting with others, they are in a state of incompleteness because their resurrection body has not yet been received, but there's no evidence that they see us. Now, Jerry, having said that, it's possible, it seems to me, that someone in heaven could ask Jesus how a relative is doing. For example, a wife goes on to heaven, she could ask Jesus, how's my husband doing? And I would think that Jesus would tell her, but that's speculation.

Fact is, no evidence that they can see us. So don't get caught up by what the media has to say about somebody who dies. Thank you, Jerry, for the question. Thank you, Pastor Lutzer, for the answer. If you'd like to hear your question answered, you can. All you have to do is go to our website at and click on Ask Pastor Lutzer, or you can call us with the question 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, Illinois, 60614. Running to Win is all about helping you find God's roadmap for your race of life. It's almost fashionable to sue someone these days. Court dockets are full as people demand payback for injustice. The apostle Paul has some words for those of us who'd like nothing better than to stick it to a fellow believer in court. Next time, the sad saga of believers suing each other. Don't miss Erwin Lutzer with Christians in the Courtroom. Thanks for listening. This is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-22 02:57:39 / 2024-05-22 03:06:05 / 8

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