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January 7, 2022 12:00 am
There is a game of cat and mouse being played in 1 Samuel 23-24, and it isn't between Saul and David; it's between God and Saul. God has been hounding Saul at every turn, and now He will give him one last chance to surrender.
Interestingly, Joan help the same event and bring to entirely different interpretation. 600 men solve this as God's will and to get back to take the throne of soul the kingdom and and one man sees this as God's will to spare Saul's life. This is God's will for you to kill him.
This is God's will for me to show David had the opportunity and the conflict and rivalry once and for all. King Saul was vulnerable and David had the opportunity to kill him and really wouldn't be self-defense, but David would not lift his hand against God's anointed king in all of this, God was trying to get Saul's attention and drive Saul to repentance. This is wisdom for the heart stay with us as Stephen David opens God's word with a lesson called the cat in the mouse more people worldwide have watched this series animated series Tom and Jerry, more than any other animated series ever created effect to show you how much times have changed. I found out that the two men.
The created and wrote the original series from 1940 to 1958. Actually, one eight Academy awards show you how times have changed.
Right there, watch the cartoon. It is one basic premise, really simple. A rather dimwitted cat and also nothing more about that tries to catch a rather clever mouse and in the end, the mouse always wins is, the dungeon factored into Jerry the mouse finally wins evades capture but to the delight of the audience. You know Tom the cat is a getting frozen, getting sliced getting shop getting oiled cotton have his needle stuck in the electrical outlets pounded into the ground like telephone poles and it's my favorite show. I love it. You know, Tom always survives, of course, and comes back in the chase is on. Once again, for decades, our English language is further described the battle of wits and it uses the phrase playing cat and mouse.
It just struck me that we have here are a couple of chapters will get to just a few moments where it is sort of brains over brawn.
It's a battle of nerves at the battle of wits. It's really a chase Saul, is that it is the captain David is the mouse. Maybe at the very outset that I don't want to say this here at the very outset of our study you've arrived you come in here and it's been one more week for you where you have been chased unfairly treated. Maybe accused struggling in some battle of wits to survive. You feel like the mouse you barely have time to catch your breath. Let me encourage you.
First of all, the make sure that you're running because you're doing the right thing, not the wrong thing that Peter the apostle always encourage us to make sure that if we suffer were suffering for righteousness sake and not the cause of unrighteousness.
That's a good encouragement running for doing the right reason. I can remember growing up as a kid. One of the neighbor boys and I in the summertime exploring the woods near our subdivision until dark and then coming home between the woods and our home was an apartment complex in two-story apartment complex in the central area downstairs in the main corridor was a large gray box with all the fuses and it ran all of the electricity for that entire apartment welding was all connected to one big gray lever we'd scatter out to make sure nobody was downstairs and we pull that lever and run out of that apartment complex thinking.
We were just having the greatest of times on one particular occasion was the last time we ever did it.
We scouted around the what was down there pull the lever ran out underneath the balcony and just over our heads on that balcony were two young adult men dressed in army fatigues they heard the slam of the electricity go out and they saw scurry underneath them and I look behind me and I saw one of those men leap over that balcony and land on the ground like G.I. Joe, we were off the chase was on it for admin for some shortcuts that we know we hadn't gotten away, you have a different pastor today sherbet. We never did that ever will show you today somebody is being chased not for doing the wrong thing, but for doing the right thing. So if you take your Bibles and turn back to first Samuel let's rejoin our study in the biography of the singer King David and I don't mean to trivialize the text as I introduce it. This is not a cartoon happens to be a matter of life and the only just survey for a civil drop in every once in a while the text in chapter 23 because I want to give Jeff 24 chapter 23 opens with trouble trouble in the city of chela.
It's about 3 miles south of the cave of the dualism which is where we left David in our last study verse one tells us that the Philistines are fighting against chela and are robbing the threshing floor.
This would have been. Of course, incredibly devastating and discouraging and dangerous. The Philistines are robbing the threshing floors.
What that means, of courses, after all of the work of the Israelites. After all of that, you know that that the planting and attending in the in the end than the harvesting and in the threshing where the wheat is separated from the chaff. Perhaps it's already bagged and ready to either sell or distribute to the to those that live in the city at that point in time the Philistines would come in and they parade threshing floor steel alloy somebody tells David the chapter opens sure who well is the fact that David Harry is on the run for his life with is now 600 mighty men, and they care enough about Israel that they go to hell here at this moment.
David is acting like a king. Then Saul and so they gather their forces and they they basically attacked the Philistines they push them back.
They liberate the city they save the day and evidently they're invited to stay in the city and send out are invited indoors after perhaps months on the run and are given more than likely the first homemade meals, a padded quite some time. Trouble is the leaders of the city are loyal to Saul and so they concoct this this plan to betray David a plan that David discovers he and his men.
Verse 13 tells us escape when they were kinda given their desperate conditions all over again and and were told there that verse that they wince wherever they could go just cut it summarizes the desperation.
Brandon on the run. They went wherever they could go random is that that the middle part of verse 14. You're given the statement the kind of sums up his life.
Saul saw him every day read that every single either directly or indirectly. But God did not give him into his hand.
So is betrayed by the citizens of chela.
He's risked his life to save theirs.
David and his men are once again forced to run for their lives. Verse 15 tells us they find another place to hide their in the in the wilderness of Ziff imagine that where you now I'm hiding out in the wilderness of Ziff.
One bright spot always out there. Jonathan patient visits for 17 informs us that while there, Jonathan encourages David infected tells David is going to be the next king of Israel and somewhere recently.
A few months ago a year earlier were not told the evident purposes of God for David's life have become known and common knowledge. David is the air to the throne. What happens is Jonathan just sort of pulls off the mask and delivers Saul's true motive for trying to kill David.
Verse 17 notice. You shall be king over Israel. I will be next to you that is not going to assist you saw my father also knows this is all about David. Everybody knows it.
Those raving episodes those spheres flying through the air. You those those tears the chase. Saul is literally fighting in rebellion against the will of God is been sent down by Samuel. He will fight till he dies and is also fighting the will of God for your life. David he knows he knows he knows you're going to become king here in this text Jonathan David separates his loyal friends, though never see each other again this side of Paradise and then about the time you think maybe David will catch his breath as he fights betray him to King Saul. The chase is on again like this if I'd say the Saul verse, verse 19, then the fights went up to Saul and Jimmy is saying is not David hiding among us now verse 20 come down okay according to all your heart's desire to calm down and are part shall be to surrender him into the king's hand. Saul said, may you be blessed by the Lord, for you have had compassion on what a hypocrite. Saul doesn't need compassion.
I need to spanking is a rebellious, spoiled, self-centered little boy. You can just feel the tension mounting all monitors read a few verses were David is hiding out east he's on a hill in the armies of Saul are encircling a look at verse 25. Saul and his men went to see Kim. That is to track them down. David was told. So we went down to the rock and lived in the wilderness of million. Saul heard that he pursued after David in the wilderness of man. Saul went on one side of the mountain and David and his men on the other side of the mountain and David was hurrying to get away from Saul and as Saul and his men were closing in on David and his men to capture them. A messenger came to Saul saying her income for the blessings of Israel. No answer. Saul returned from pursuing David that was a close call. The mouse had been cornered. Cat was ready to pounce. In fact, notice verse 28 the David call this mountain the rock of escape we stopped we had a name doesn't dedicate this hill thank God this is this is the mountain on the rock of escape, even silver chases and over. David is to find another place to hide. So chapter 24 opens at verse one. They are hiding out in the wilderness of the Getty only set the scene and Getty can be translated spring of the goat. It was a perfect hideout for David it was an oasis in the desert wilderness. It had freshwater springs and waterfalls cascading down rocky cliffs, lush vegetation, countless caves dotted in those limestone hills high above the Dead Sea. Perfect place to not only hide but have a lookout with food and water.
They could've spotted Saul's approach from miles away now.
About this time you have to say there is no rest for the weary. Keep in mind Saul has entirely convinced the people that David is the aggressor. The David is the liar that David is the usurper that David wants to kill him. David here that is living with unfairness and unkindness and injustice. The truth is the King wants him dead. David is been doing the right thing all along. In order to help you send some of the despair. Let me retell an illustration from John Phillips commentary on this particular passage John Phillips know the Lord wrote about one pastor's home in one of the Soviet occupied countries just after World War II, a Lutheran pastor and his family served in the church there. The Lutheran pastor had an attractive single daughter who worked in the office of the government agency communist government agency.
Eventually, the Communist Party secretary. Her boss gave her choice either.
She became his mistress or her father would be arrested on trumped up charges the church closed ministry and under constant pressure and growing fear for her father's life without her parents ever knowing she tragically gave within a few months she discovered that she was going to have a child in anguish, guilt and despair. She hung herself. She left a note in her pocket explaining what had brought her to utter despair taking her life party leader found her body and in the note inside her pocket and he confronted his superior with the note, the official denied it took the letter and then privately tore it up even secretly forged another letter supposedly from this young lady slipped it into her pocket when she was found by officials. The note said that she had been molested by her father and could no longer stand shame. The police arrested the father. The church was closed. He was sent to prison where he was often beaten by the other prisoners who hated such criminals, all the while this pastor's wife and family, church grieved with the surprising and unexpected unexplained events. Several years later that Soviet official responsible for the death of that young girl was arrested for embezzlement and placed into the same prison and into the same cell.
He confessed to this pastor, truth, for the first time they now knew the story into this man's utter amazement. This father for gave claiming the purposes of God fully be accomplished and understood. One day take how you feel right now and apply it to this man, David, because we know the end of the story we just skip over the EAA is being chased is lost his wife, his prospects is hope. In fact, as is on the run he will write one of his famous songs relative to what's happening in this context were studying today and he will say, O God save me by thy name vindicate me by your mind for strangers have risen against me.
Ruthless men seek my life, behold, God is my helper, the Lord is the upholder of my life. In other words, God, if you don't hold me up on that can make it one more day's only at this moment that something unbelievable happens in fax 600 of David's men will unanimously agree can only mean one thing to God is given David the opportunity to settle the score to strike back to get even worse to install took 3000 chosen men out of all Israel and went to see David and his men in front of the wild goats rocks that let me to say a few words here. Saul has now chosen 3000 elites troops.
These are the best. These are especially skilled warrior that David is slipped away. Not this time. He's going to chase him down in a crusher and that David would've been able to see miles away would've seen Saul. They chose a cave verse three references the sheepfold is what this is referring to is how shepherds would place walls of stone around cave entrances to create a buffer and protection for sheep that they would bring into the cave. Davis chosen one of those caves. Verse three and Saul came to the sheepfold by the way work. There's a cave and Saul went in to relieve himself. Your translation may read he covered his feet to euphemism for going to the bathroom. I think this is earthly, it's simple but I think God is given us this fact to let us know that Saul at this moment is totally vulnerable to an attack is no idea that 600 pairs of eyes are watching him sit there and not Texaco gas station reading his newspaper scholars.
In fact, have a comment from historical studies on even these rather transparent issues that Saul suffered from constipation and it was called.
Even back in ancient days curse of King all that to say Saul wasn't in that cave for a few seconds more than likely struggling to relieve themselves evidently so distracted Brampton quite a bit of discomfort almost as much discomfort as my own right now having to explain this verse the move on so preoccupied and even hear the whispering somewhere deep in that cave and here's whether whispering verse for the man, but David said here's the day which the Lord said to you. This is, behold, I will give your enemy into your hand. David the fact that that Saul has chosen to use this card around him. This is from God strike him down. God has set this up. Can you imagine their excitement as they see David slip through the dimness of this cave with Goliath's sword in his hand was for the middle part David Rose and stealthily cut off a corner you would expect it to say ahead of corner of souls wrote that his head a piece of his robe. You could translate this David cut off the wing probably some emblem in his train that signified his royal authority because immediately David feels guilty that is going to forfeit verse five says his heart struck him. That is his conscience convicted you cut a piece of cloth away. Besides, that's it your royal road. He's wearing learned from David here.
One of the marks of growing in grace is a sensitive conscience, even the smallest offense. A minor reaction that first self-centered thought becomes to you to heavy await to carry for very long before confessing to get Mrs. David's chance to get even and he feels guilty, not even touching the king's robe and cutting some of it off as he knew he did it in a spirit of defiance verse six he said was men. The Lord forbid that I should do this thing, my lord. The Lord's anointed even put out my hand against him, seeing he is the Lord's anointed. So David persuaded his men depressed his men with these words and did not permit them to attack Saul is an interesting ladies and gentlemen have the same event can bring to entirely different interpretation. 600 men saw this as God's will and opportunity to get back to take the throne of soul that kingdom and and one man sees this as God's will to spare Saul's life.
This is God's will for you to kill him. This is God's will for me to show grace. Saul gets up and leaves the cave. He is oblivious to the fact that the obsession of his murderers in the and hatred has just saved his skin. Now keep in mind before we get to the next verse that David is not going to harm the king but he is going to confront the king, he might not be able to change Saul's heart, but he will deliver the facts and challenge Saul's obsession. Look at verse eight. Afterward, David also arose when out of the cave and call after Saul my lord the king installed behind him. David bowed with his face to the earth and paid homage. David said to Saul, why do you listen to the words of men who say, behold, David seeks your harm. In other words, Saul. People are talking, but you're listening to the wrong people, by the way, they don't want to lose your crown because those their own place their own power. That's what they really care about.
So David effectively begins by saying stop listening to the wrong gossip the wrong people is 11 see my father by the way, touching reminder Saul my father-in-law look my father see the corner of your robe in my hand. For by the fact that I cut off the corner of your robe and did not kill you buy that you want to know and see that there is no wrong or treason in my hands are not sinned against you. Though you hunt my life to take it. Philip Keller wrote on this confrontation.
Colorfully these words can you see David there is some safe distance away. Can you see them suddenly hold up his arm to display the train of Saul's royal robe see it fluttering in the wind one and cut away by the razor-sharp sword of Goliath here was proof he wasn't just saying to Saul, he was loyal he was acting in the result.
By the way is somewhat believable. It's wonderful. It's short-lived but it's wonderful. Saul begins to cry. We were 16 little parcel lifted up his voice, and wept. He said to David, you are more righteous than I for you prepaid me good whereas I've paid you've declared this day how you dealt well with me and that you did not kill me with the Lord put me into your hands. Saul is overwhelmed the truth of this encounter this close encounter with death, fully realizing that just happened shakes him to core here stands the king of his weeping Saul is weeping but will anything really changed for him were just about out of time for today were going to conclude this lesson on Monday when we return. Thanks for tuning into wisdom for the heart Stephen baby is working through a series on the life of King David called the singer today's lesson is entitled the cat in the mouse between now and our next broadcast. I hope you'll take advantage of a special offer we have for you. It's only available on our website because it's a free e-book that you can download it's called two babies really go to heaven when they die. You'll find this resource on our website which is wisdom online.org part two of this lesson will air at this same time Monday. Join us for that here on wisdom