The Way to Face Problems
I Samuel 19:8-24
I Samuel 19, weíre going to begin reading in verse 8...
>Thatís like reading the paper.
The history of our world has been a history of war.
Domestic wars...territorial wars...national wars...world wars.
I wonder how many people throughout the history of the world have died in war.
And all of it stems from the fall of the human race.
If man could ever get a grip on what sin has done to him and his race...
He would surely come to Jesus and be saved.
The reason a lot of folks donít have any appreciation for the good news...
Is theyíve never heard the bad news.
And the bad news is that sin is real and sin has devastated the human race.
>We come to a time in Davidís life, and weíve seen David riding a pretty high wave.
Weíve seen David leaving the shepherd field and coming to the palace, being the court musician.
He became a full-time staffer.
I mean his numbers have been going up.
But God very seldom lets his children continue to ride the high wave...
Without from time to time knocking us off the surfboard.
God continuously reminds us of who we are, what we are, whose we are, and what he wants us to do.
And so now David enters into some pretty dark days.
And heís going to be in them for a while.
He is facing a very severe problem.
>Now itís one thing to have to deal with problems that we bring on ourselves.
And to be real honest with you, most of us bring a lot of the problems on ourselves.
Sometimes weíre like Pogo in the funny papers.
He said, "I have seen the enemy and it is us."
Sometimes we are our own worst enemy.
Sometimes we find ourselves in bad situations because weíve done something we shouldnít have...
Or weíve not done something we should have done.
Itís bad enough to be facing problems that we bring on ourselves...
But I tell you, when you have to face problems that were not of your doing, thatís something else entirely.
Today I want us to see the problem that David faced and the prayer that David prayed...
And the protection that David enjoyed.
>First of all, the problem he faced.
What was his problem?
His problem was Saul, his father-in-law.
Now they had not always had a bad relationship.
As a matter of fact, turn back to Chapter 16...just a couple of pages back.
Look in verse 21...
It was a love at first sight relationship.
Saul loved David, and David loved Saul.
They just hit it off well...it was a great beginning.
>Look over in chapter 18:7...
This is of course after the slaying of Goliath and they are on their way back into town.
Here were two men who had a strong mutual respect and love for each other...
And now problems begin to arise in their relationship and itís for no reason except jealousy.
Jealousy is a terrible thing.
Jealousy will affect the way you see things.
Jealousy will affect the way you hear things.
Jealousy will affect the way you feel about things.
Jealousy is a terrible thing to have in your life.
And Saul became overwhelmed with it.
It wasnít a temporary, momentary, fleeting thing.
It was an obsession with him.
He couldnít handle it.
The idea that someone would praise anybody else more than him...
But especially this shepherd boy who would have never done anything in Saulís mind if Saul hadnít promoted it.
>Look in verse 12 of chapter 18...
You see, thatís what jealousy will do.
Jealousy will make you fear things you have no reason to fear.
Jealousy makes you afraid of people you donít have to be afraid of.
Jealousy will make you be afraid of situations you donít have to be afraid of.
But Saul feared David.
He had no reason to fear.
David had not done anything.
Was not going to do anything.
But Saul feared him.
So their relationship that was a loving relationship went to one that was divided by jealousy and now there is fear.
Jealousy always breeds fear.
>Look in verse 29...
You see, it is progressively getting worse.
Jealousy led to fear, and fear led to more fear.
Finally nothing would satisfy Saul except Davidís death.
>Look in chapter 19, verse 1...tell it (verses 1-7).
>But then verse 8 takes up...
You see, war was where David shined forth.
While he was a good shepherd and a good harp player, he was a great warrior.
And David would go out into battle against the Philistines and every time he came back in...
The people were singing his praises because of his great military conquests.
And that just sets Saul off again.
And the evil spirit comes back upon him.
Verse 9 says...
Thereís something wrong with Saul.
Why isnít Saul out there fighting?
Why is he just sitting at home holding a spear in his hand?
Iíll tell you why.
Because his jealousy that led to fear led to more fear had led him to believe...
That if he goes out in the battlefield David will have him killed on the front lines of battle...
Which is the same thing Saul had been trying to do to David.
"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."
Thatís why Saul wasnít going out.
And as David would come in, Saul could hear the people as they shouted the praises of David...
And shouted the victories of David.
And here was Saul sitting in solitude in his palace with a spear in his hand.
>Well when David comes off the battlefield he doesnít come into Saulís presence and gloat.
He comes in, picks up his harp and begins to play.
He recognizes that Saul is troubled and his primary job is still to soothe Saul when he is out of sorts.
And so he begins to play the harp.
And this time Saul will not be soothed.
And again, this is now the third time he tries this.
He takes that javelin and throws it at David.
If David doesnít get out of the way, heís dead.
But he does get out of the way, and the javelin drives into the wall.
And that was the problem David faced.
>But that wasnít his only problem.
Not only did he have a lunatic father-in-law, he had a problem at home.
He was married to Michal, and while the Bible has some good things to say about Michal...
Thereís something here that is very troubling.
She does at least warn her husband.
"Iíve heard, David, that my daddy plans to kill you tonight...
And if you donít get out of town, you wonít be alive to see morning...
Heís determined to kill you...you need to go."
And so David escapes down a wall.
And sure enough, Saul comes, but before Saul comes, Michal, Davidís wife, "took an idol."
Now I have to ask you, "What was she doing with an idol in her house?"
God said, "Thou shalt make no graven image."
Godís law was specific.
No other gods.
And yet here was an idol.
A pagan idol.
What was she doing with that in her house?
And not only that, why did David let her have it in his house?
>I donít really have an answer for you except that I can tell you...
This seems to be the first point of compromise in Davidís life.
If you can remember a time up to this point where David has compromised...
Then you feel free to stand up and speak it out.
I just donít remember.
I have seen him in the shepherd field...
I have seen him in the palace...
Iíve seen him out in the battlefield...
Iíve seen him when nobody knew anything about him.
Iíve seen him when people were praising him...
And heís been the same, steadfast, faithful man of God.
But why did he let his wife have an idol in their house?
I donít know.
It appears to me this was the beginning of compromise in Davidís life.
It doesnít mean God was through with him.
Heís gonna have many more victories and his best days are yet to come...
But you and I have the privilege of knowing the end from the beginning.
We know whatís gonna happen to David down there in the years ahead.
But already here before he is ever crowned king, there is a little crack in his armor.
Why was that idol there?
>Well the second thing I want you to see, not only the problem he faced...
But the prayer he prayed.
What verse was that prayer in?
You say, "Itís not there."
Turn over to Psalm 59:1, says "deliver".
You see that little fine print up there before verse 1?
Now if you have a KJV or NIV itís there.
If you have another version it might not be there.
But do you see that little introduction?
If itís not in your Bible, let me read it to you out of mine.
Or you have a pew Bible there they are all NIV versions.
It would be there.
"To the director of music to the tune of do not destroy, when Saul had sent men to watch Davidís house in order to kill him."
This is a psalm that David wrote.
This is a prayer that David prayed when Saul sent men to watch the house in order to kill him.
When did that happen?
Look back in I Samuel 19:11.
>And so that tells me that Psalm 59 was written in the night while Saulís men were watching Davidís house to kill him.
And so here is the prayer.
Now some of the psalms you have to guess what situation they come out of.
But you donít have to guess here...weíre told.
This was Davidís psalm as he faced the greatest problem heíd ever faced with his own self...how to handle Saul.
Goliath was not a problem...Goliath was an enemy.
But David loved Saul.
And Saul wanted to kill him.
>What do you do with your problems?
Do you eat your fingernails?
Do you drink Mylanta?
Do you worry and fret?
What do you do with your problems?
>Well David took his to the Lord, but I want you to see now in Psalm 59...
I donít have time to preach Psalm 59.
Iím not gonna read all of it.
But I do want you to know thereís a difference in the way it starts out and the way it ends up.
David starts out in panic and ends up singing.
He starts out, "Deliver me from my enemies, O God; protect me from those who rise up against me.
Deliver me from the evildoers and save me from bloodthirsty men."
Iím telling you, heís scared.
You see, there is a sense of despair here.
Heís overwhelmed by fear.
He wasnít afraid when he fought Goliath.
But when he fought Goliath his wife didnít have an idol in her house.
"Help me...save me...deliver me."
And all the way down through verse 7, thereís a picture of terror in his prayer.
But then he begins to calm down.
If you read those first seven verses, he calls God by a lot of different names.
You know thatís a pretty good way to get out of being afraid.
Just start calling the names of God.
He is the God of Israel...he is the God of peace...
Heís the God of glory...heís the God of mercy...
Heís the God of grace...heís the God of deliverance...
Heís the God of refuge.
If you are afraid, just begin mentioning the names of God.
It will do two things.
#1 Ė it will help you...
#2 Ė it will send the devil in a tizzy.
I want to tell you, the devil is not afraid of the name "Thompson" and heís not afraid of the name "Baptist".
But I tell you, the name "Jesus" sends him on his way.
You just begin to name the name.
And so David names all of these names, and he begins to pass from fear into confidence.
And that despair becomes a basis of decision when he gets his confidence.
>Look in verse 8: but you O Lord laugh at them.
Well the same ones heís been talking about.
Those bloody men...those enemies...those that are gonna kill him.
These that have caused him to be panic-stricken.
These that have set him over a great barrel of fear.
Look in verse 9: because of his strength.
Not my strength, "his strength".
I want to tell you, if you want to do battle against the devil within your strength...
Youíd just as well to stay at the house.
You canít do it...youíre not gonna make it...heíll whip you.
O my strength, I watch for you.
Iím gonna wait on Godís strength.
You, O God are my fortress.
What is he doing?
Heís putting God between himself and his trouble.
Now does he remember this lesson the rest of his life? No, he doesnít.
But here David recognized that if there was nothing between he and his enemies...
His enemies would prevail.
So he puts God between himself.
God is my strength.
God is my defense.
God strengthens me from within...he protects me from without.
I am possessed by him and I am encompassed by him.
Thatís good...thatís a good way to live.
He started out in panic...he got a grip.
>And look down in verse 16: but I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love.
What had they said?
"Youíre gonna be dead by morning."
"Oh no, Iím gonna be singing by morning.
As a matter of fact, Iím gonna start singing right now...
Iím gonna sing all night, and Iíll be singing come morning."
Because God has strengthened me within and surrounded me without.
I can sing now for thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.
For you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble, oh my strength, I sing praises to you.
You see, when folks donít sing they lose a dimension of praise that they wonít have any other way...
But they also lose a dimension of power that they cannot have any other way.
There is a spiritual dynamic that comes from singing that you canít get anywhere else.
And we have a God worthy of our songs.
He says heís my God of defense and my God of mercy.
Therefore, Iíll sing.
Notice he says, "I sing praise to you."
You donít have to sing for the minister of music...you donít have to sing for the pastor...
You just sing unto God.
He started out in despair...he ends up in delight.
He started out in defeat...he ends up in victory.
He started out crying and he ends up singing.
Does prayer make a difference?
Yes, but itís not always in the circumstances.
David started out crying.
He ended up singing and nothing on the outside had changed.
Saul was still looking for him.
The messengers were still camped out.
Nothing had changed except David.
You see, sometimes prayer changes the circumstance and sometimes prayer changes you.
Either way it works, amen?
>Now the last thing.
Not only the problem he faced and the prayer he offered...
But the protection he enjoyed.
And you gotta go back now to I Samuel 19.
And I have to tell you this is interesting.
Saul sends three squadron of soldiers.
They are called messengers but the only message they want to deliver was the message of death.
They didnít go to find out about Davidís condition...
They didnít go to see what was going on...
They went to kill him.
And so here comes the first squadron of soldiers.
They find out that David has gone down to Ramah, down there close to Samuel.
And so they go off down there and sure enough there is Samuel and heís teaching a bunch of prophets...
And the spirit of God falls and all of those prophets begin to prophesy.
They commence to preaching.
And here are these cold-hearted, murderous-hearted, devilish soldiers whoíve come to kill Godís appointed king.
And the HS of God falls upon them and they begin preaching.
Iíd like to have been there.
I mean there they are...got their weapons in their hand...
Gone down to kill David, and they just start preaching.
Can you imagine when they go home and tell their wives...
"Honey, youíll never believe. Today I went down to kill a guy and I just started preaching."
"Well what have you been on now?"
>Saul sends a second squadron, sword in their hand, ready to cut off Davidís head.
They get down there, see all those soldiers over there preaching and they say...
"Look at that, isnít that embarrassing? Soldiers out there acting like fools prophesying.
Whereís David? Weíre gonna kill him."
The HS of God comes on them and they begin to preach.
"Well glory to God, hallelujah, amen? Isnít God good? Letís just have a meeting."
>Saul hears about it and sends that third bunch.
I mean this is the prime guard.
These are the big shots...these are the toughies.
You can see them, dragging out of Marlboro country...and they see all those other soldiers.
"What a despicable sight. Youíre an embarrassment to your mothers.
You ought to turn in your shield. Whereís David?"
And the HS of God comes upon them and they begin preaching.
I donít know who theyíre preaching to...theyíre all just preaching.
Everybody there is preaching.
Saul hears about it again.
He said, "Well I could not trust the first group...I could not trust the second group...I could not trust the third group...
Iíll go myself."
And here he comes.
Looks at all three of those squadron.
What a pathetic sight.
"Youíre an embarrassment to me. Whereís David? Iíll kill him."
The HS comes upon Saul and he starts preaching, and I mean he really gets with it.
He takes off his clothes...now I have loosened my tie in the past...I took off my coat...
I ainít never preached naked.
Iím not making it up...itís right here in the Bible.
If you donít like it, take it up with God...He wrote it...not me.
And not only does he get naked, he lays down on the ground before Samuel, Godís prophet.
And laying there naked as a jaybird all night long and all day long there he was just preaching.
And Samuel saying, "This is better than Andy Griffith. Oh boy!"
Having a time.
Thatís the protection David enjoyed.
God doesnít have to kill all of our enemies.
He can just make a fool of them.
He can strip Ďem naked and let Ďem go to preaching.
What a might God we serve!
God is in control.
Question: Have you ever made the journey from sighing to singing?
Have you ever made the journey from despair to delight?
Have you ever made the journey from defeat to victory?
When prayer doesnít change things, has it changed you?