Ben Lander and glad to be a pastor here at our church. For those of you who are new here in this room or new with us online, you have the opportunity this morning to finish with us. The book of first Samuel. We’ve been working for about 18 weeks through the book of First Samuel, and today we’re bringing it to a close, and so we’re going to have a short Easter series, and then we’re going to begin in the book of First Peter. And so that’s exciting. That’s what’s coming up, something to look forward to. But it’s been a really good journey. We’ve been going through this narrative, these stories of Saul and David, and I just want to remind you kind of where we’ve come from this. This story is connected to chapters 27 28 And so, just to briefly remind you of where we’ve come from Chapter 27 we see David take things into his own hands and he decides, You know what I am afraid of, Saul. I’ve been running from Saul for so long. I just I’d be safer if I could just get out of Israel and so in fear he acts and he decides to leave Israel. He runs back to the same guy, hawkish, the same philistine that he ran to before that. We looked at halfway through the book, the guy where David was acting like a crazy man and letting his spit drool down his beard and and a key. She’s like, I don’t need more crazy people around here to get out of here. Well, he runs back to the same guy and he doesn’t inquire The Lord. He doesn’t trust Lord, he just runs and he’s out of there. And then, um, he does some some wild things. He basically starts and engages in guerilla warfare, where he’s in Zeke Lag and him and his men then start to conduct these raids on these small, outlying villages of Philistines. And what they do is they commit genocide. They exterminate every single person, man, woman and child in these little villages because they don’t want any word getting back to a fish that this is happening. And so they are doing all of that. Chapter 29 picks up with all of the Philistine forces gathering together and getting ready to fight Israel. Okay, um, and they conduct this military parade, and so they have all of these different forces kind of trumped by the leaders of the Philistines, and they are kind of loosely connected. You know, Philistines are loosely connected as a group of people, but they really have a number of separate areas that are led by different men. And so they each ruled separately. But then they kind of gathered together and say, We’re going to take on Israel here in this battle. And the other philistine leaders see David and his men in a Kesha’s forces. And they’re like, Wait a second here. This is the guy. You know who this is. You know, they go to occasions like this. Is David the guy who took out Goliath, right? This is the guy who they sing songs about. Saul has killed his thousands. David his tens of thousands. And don’t you realize many of those thousands are us, right? They were not happy there, like this guy is going to turn on us. And so David and his crew get kicked out of this military parade and then and he’s just like you got to go home And so they head back to their temporary home in the philistine country called Zik Lag. Remember David’s doing his own thing. He didn’t consult the Lord, he didn’t. He just acted out of fear. And he took his men and all of their families, everybody, and packed it up and went to Zeke leg. So I’m going to pray, and then we’re gonna pick up. We’re gonna spend most of our time in First Samuel, Chapter 30. So turn with me there. While I pray when we pray that you speak to us this morning from your word, we pray that you would, uh, speak to us through these principles and help us help us open up the eyes of our hearts to your word. Today in Jesus’ name. Amen. Okay. So David and his men reached sick lag. So Chapter 30 versus one through five. Here, David and his men arrive in zip lock. On the third day, the Imola kites had raided the Negev and attacked in burns Oclock. They also had kidnapped the women and everyone in it from the youngest to the oldest. They killed no one, but they had carried them off as they went on their way. When David and his men arrived at the town, they found it burned. Their wives, sons and daughters had been kidnapped. So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength to weep. David’s two wives had been captured. Him om of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nepal in Carmel. Okay, so David comes back and his men come back to their homeland to this temporary home and what they find it, everything is gone. Everyone, all of their livestock, all of their possessions. Everything is gone. And this is bad. This is really bad. All of the money that they worked for all their wealth, everything is completely and utterly gone. And they were devastated. And we can see that because they were weeping aloud until they had no more strength left to weep. I don’t know about you. On occasion I weep and on even rarer occasion, I’ve you know, like wept aloud where I can’t contain myself. Just a few times I remember one time where I drove in my car to a park because, you know, I just needed to weep aloud. And so, you know, probably 20 or 30 minutes. But, I mean, I never wept to the point where I was, you know, couldn’t weep anymore most of time for me. I don’t know about you, but after 10 minutes of a good cry, you know, you kind of feel better and you feel good. But these men lost everything. And you’ve got to also remember, put yourself in their mindset. These are the men who are conducting these raids and genocidal raids. And they were killing everyone. I mean, everyone. And so think about that. What’s flashing through their mind when all of a sudden everybody’s gone and they’ve just been engaged in this for a while. They’re probably thinking, you know what? The way that we’ve treated people, they are going to try to get back at us here. You know, we’ve killed everyone, So not only will they probably, you know, kill everybody, but they’ll probably torture them first. And so, you know, they are just devastated. And then they become angry because they’re really upset. And so what they do is they turn and to blame the person who is at fault here, which is David. So Verse six. David was in an extremely difficult position because the troops talked about stoning them, stoning him for they were all bitter over the loss of their sons and daughters. So not only did David himself have to deal with his grief and weeping so much, they ran on the strength because his own family was gone. But now he has all his men turn on him and they’re blaming him and they’re going after the man. They’re at the point where they want to stone him and kill him and be done with him. It was his fault. They went off. They did their own thing. David was acting out of fear. He made the decision to take them to this place. He made the decision to bring them up to the Philistine army to fight against Israel, and they were away from their family. He didn’t set any guards or anything like that. But now they’re angry. David’s the culprit. They want to kill them. So this is an immensely stressful life and death situation for David, and it’s at this point where David is at this extremely stressful life and death time, where he stops and he has a change of heart and he turns back to the Lord Read verse six. But David found strength and the Lord his God. This verse marks a turning point. A key. And this is significance. David found strength in the Lord has gone. When everything was crumbling now and everything was coming against him, he lost everything. And now his men are wanting to kill him. He finally gets the point where he turns back to God. There’s three principles in these chapters that I want to talk about today. And the first one is that God strengthens those who go to him for strength. David went to God for strength and God strengthen him. God will strengthen those who go to him for strength. Not only had David been on the run from Saul for a long time now, everything was gone. All the livestock, all the wealth, all the gold, all the silver, everything was gone. All the families and he went and he got away by himself and he got with the Lord. The passage here doesn’t tell us exactly what happened Exactly how he did this. What he said to God, we don’t have any of that. However we do have the Psalms and the Psalms give us a window into the life of David and what he was feeling and what he was saying to God, when experiencing incredible difficulty and distress. And so we get a chance to look at the Psalms and to see exactly how David may have been able to be strengthened by God. Psalm 18 6 says. In my distress, I called the Lord. I cried to my God for help. Psalm 34 4. I sought the Lord and he answered me and he delivered me from all my fears. David had just been acting in fear throughout this whole time. Now he turns to the Lord and is strengthened by him. Psalm 40 I waited patiently for the Lord and he turned to me and heard my cry. And he lifted me out of the slimy pit out of the mud and the Meyer and set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand Psalm 42 5. Why are you downcast? All my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God for I will yet praise him My savior and my God. Some 56 When I’m afraid I will trust in you in God, whose word I praise and God, I trust I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me and Psalm 60 to 1? My soul finds rest in God alone. He’s my fortress. I will never be shaken. There’s more and more and more As you go through the Psalms. You see David running to God, expressing his emotions, expressing what’s going on and then finding his strength and his rest in God, allowing God to be a fortress that he runs to to be strengthened, to be refreshed, to be restored. And that’s what David did. Verse six year David was an extremely difficult position because the troops talked about stoning him. They’re all bitter over the loss of their sons and daughters. But David found strength and the Lord his God, God strengthens those who run to him for strength. God is the one who sustains us against anything, even losing everything. David didn’t give up. He didn’t give in. He could have just cashed and said, Do you know what? That’s it. I’ve been running long enough. This is it. I’m tired of this God. And he could have just stopped and given up, but he didn’t. Instead, he went to the Lord and he found strength. God strengthened him. And there are many times in my life where I have needed to go to the Lord. I’ve needed to run to him because of my distress. Many times where people have turned against me. You know, wounded people wound people. And sometimes as I’ve tried to help people, they have turned and wounded, lashed out with hurtful words and actions. I felt betrayal and those words piercing my heart. And the only thing I could do is run to the Lord. And you know what he did indeed strengthen me and continues to strengthen me. God strengthens those who go to him for strength. Will you find your strength in the Lord so continuing on in this passage, David? Then Verse seven says to abaya thar the priest the son of a him. Elek, bring me the f it. Both are brought it to him and David inquired of the Lord. Shall I pursue this rating party? You see the switch he goes, Lord, he gets strength in the Lord. And now he has that change of heart. Now he has that trust depends upon God. Now he’s strengthened in the Lord. And so he inquires of God. He should have been that long time ago, right? He was doing his own thing. He was filled with fear. And so he did his own decisions. But now he says, Okay, Lord, what do you want me to? Should I pursue these people with the raiding party? Will I overtake them? Pursue them? God answers, you will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue. Now he is the assurance from God that God is with him and we’ll do this thing. And so what happens then as they pursue? And they find this Egyptian who has been, you know, out in the desert for three days. He’s just about dead, and they give him some food and water. Revive him. And they asked him, you know, who are you with? And he’s like I was with the family kites. They took all these people from Zeke Lag, and they’re like, Can you lead us to them? And he said, Yeah, I will, as long as you don’t kill me. And so so they do, and he led David down and they were able to fight from dusk until the evening and the next day. And none of these Raiders got away, except for 400 who rode off on Camels. Kind of picture that in your mind it’s kind of a fun scene. Verse 18 David recovered everything the al Maliki’s had taken, including his two wives. Nothing was missing young or old boy or girl plunder or anything else that they had taken now one other important detail to when they were going to pursue them and they met with the Egyptians. There’s 200 guys, and David of David’s 600 had to stay back there, just exhausted. They were done. They were spent, they’ve been weeping and they lost all strength. And they got to this point. They’re like we can’t go any farther. So they left him with some supplies. Okay, so Verse 20 he took all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock, saying, This is David’s plunder. Then David came to the 200 men who had been too exhausted to follow him and who were left behind a poseur at the Bazaar Valley. They came out to meet David and the men with them as David. His men approach. They asked them how they were. But all the evil men and the troublemakers among David’s father said, because they didn’t go with us will not share with them. The plunder we recovered Harvard. Each man could take his own wife and Children and go. But David replied, No, my brothers, you must not do that with what the Lord has given us. He has protected us and delivered us into the hands delivered into our hands, the raiding party that came against us, who listen to what you say. The share of the man who stayed with the supplies to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share like and David made this a statute and ordinance for Israel in that day. It continues to get to this day. So David, because he had found strength in God because he had been guided by God. Now they have this this amazing experience, and God provides all that they would get back. But there’s this is an interesting, like why is this story included. You know, you’re reading through this story. As people were reading this, they would have understood that that this rule and regulation that was in place for many, many years that this concept that the plunder gets shared amongst all the reward is shared hands. And so this is the kind of the explanatory story, the background information of how that law and rule and regulation came about. But not only does the principle apply to that to those soldiers there, but the principle applies today too, because in the church we remembers the body of Christ. And the principle is this is that there are different roles, but everyone shares in the reward. Okay, that’s what David put in place. No, this is right. Even though they stay back, the supplies they should share in the rewards. And that is part of the church here, too. And the church were in a battle. But it’s not against flesh and blood. And we all have different roles as part of the body of Christ. All of us have different skills and talents and abilities. And when we become believers, we get the Holy Spirit. And with that we get a spiritual gift and it’s so good and we all get to share in the reward and the fruit of the body of Christ of the church. I love how Paul talks about in first Corinthians 12, he describes this body. He says there are many parts but one body, and he talks about how, as believers we received the spirit we get to share in that and to not envy each other. He talks about, you know, don’t as a hand wish you were an eye and don’t as an ear. I wish your ear and all these kinds of things. But Verse 26 of Chapter 12 says If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it. And if one member rejoices honored, all the members rejoice with it. Here’s this principle that we together as the church we are sharing in the honor and the rewards. David put forth this principle for battle and we to share in the reward of what happens as a church and making disciples and the outcome and the reward for our spiritual work. Her body of believers and God is using us as sore church to have an impact in this city and in this state and in this world, and you all as a part of that get to share in the reward of that. And so I encourage you and challenge you. Fellow Christians don’t look around the room and wish you or someone else don’t look around the room and wish you had a different set of talents or abilities or skills or spiritual gifts. I used to do that when I was younger. I wanted to be a church planting extraordinaire. I wanted to get famous and be a famous Christian, and, uh, I had all these plans and ideas of your planting all these churches and things like that. But the problem was, that’s not who God made me to be. That’s not how he gifted me. And so I was going forth and trying to do these things, trying to be someone that I’m not, and I kept failing. And so God humbled me and humbled me because I had that pride and ego and it was not good. And he humbled me through failure. And I have learned now to embrace my role as a servant leader as a shepherd, as a right hand man. That is who God has made me to be, and it’s so good to live in that before, I would just be left frustrated because I was trying to be someone that I was not, and it was not working. But now I’m used by God and the way he designed me to be, and it’s so fulfilling and satisfying and I love it and it’s just the right spot being in the middle of God’s will in doing what he wants me to do, using the skills, talents and abilities and spiritual gifts he’s given to me exactly the way he wants me to use them. And it’s for his glory. And it’s good. The Book of Philippians. It’s essentially a long thank you note, uh, you know, you kind of get lost in that because of the rich theology in that book. But it’s it’s essentially a thank you note from Paul to the church in Philippi because they had sent money to support him. And I love the verse in Chapter four towards the end of the book, he says. Even in Thessaloniki, you sent me help for my needs more than once not that I seek the gift, but I seek fruit that should increase to your credit, you know? So Paul saying, Hey, you sent money, but you’re sharing in the reward of all these churches that I’m planting all these works that I’m doing this apostolic effort that I’m providing, It’s your sharing in it. And just as we’re sending out Brock and Megan to Alaska and we have a chance to partner with them financially when you’re giving to them and that work, you’re partnering with them and you share in that reward, you’re sharing the things that are going on there and the work that God is doing. And it’s so good. It’s this principle here that you’re rewarded together. So use the gifts and talents and abilities that the Lord has given you for the glory of God. If you do, you share in the credit and reward that we’re all involved with here as a church. Even if you think I’m just doing something little tiny behind the scenes now, it’s not. You know this little thing get to share, and one day you’ll see that you’ll be astounded when God rewards you for that. So moving to the last chapter of this book, we go back again to the story of Saul. And if you recall from Chapter 28 Solid sunk to new lows, he’d consulted a medium in order to talk to Samuel to get a message from the Lord. And the message that the Lord gave saw that day is that he said, Tomorrow you and your sons are going to die. And so what? That’s exactly what happens. Chapter 31 describes the battle that happens between the Israelites and the Philistines that David and his managers left. They left that battle lines. They’ve gone down to sick leg. That battle happens, and Saul and his sons are killed. Salt wounded. He seeks to have someone kill him instead of letting his enemies kill him. The armor bearer refuses, and so he ends up trying to take his own life. The Philistines then take his body cut off his head, fasten his body to the wall of Beth Shan and the people of Jagdish Gilead, go through that the night and recover the bodies of him and his sons and bury their bones at J. Bish. And it’s a sad end Not only does Saul here turn to a medium and stoop to those lows, but then he culminates and tries to even take his own life. And with that, the actions and the kingship of Saul ends with this book. We see that part of the story come to the close. This book here describes two different leaders, describes David and describes Saul, and we get to see the similarities and the contrast between them as two different leaders. And what we see actually is that there are a lot of similarities between these two men. They both make a tremendous amount of mistakes. They both engage in wicked deeds. Both David and Saul continually take matters into their own hands. And David, you see kind of this wavering back and forth between following God and not following God but David’s life and solves life. Both show us that we desperately need Jesus. We all make mistakes, and we all need Jesus, who covers sin. We all need Christ’s forgiveness and restoration. The one big difference between David and Saul was that David had a heart after God’s heart. He kept turning back to God. He kept seeking after God he kept going to God, where Saul kept doing his own thing. But the last principle we want to look at this morning as we look at the death of Saul is just that Number three is God keeps his word. It’s called and told Salt. Tomorrow you and your sons are going to die. And they did. God had promised David many years beforehand you will be king, and it didn’t happen as David anticipated or envisioned. It didn’t happen as he saw it. But God will always keep his word. And God did keep his word. You can trust God’s word. It will be fulfilled. Many question God’s word today. Many question this book. Almost every part of our culture around us tells us to question God’s word, that it isn’t right from creation in the very beginning, to heaven and hell in the very end and everything in between. It is questions, and there are so many people saying so many different things. We just don’t know what the media or the government are. All of these things that people are saying part of the difficulty The last couple years, so many people have lied and twist the truth, to gain power or to gain whatever. It’s just gotten out of control. And there’s all these conspiracy theories that ever is in. And there’s a rise of people saying whatever they want to get whatever they want. I recently had a friend at work. Just tell me in exasperation. I just I just don’t know what’s true or what’s not true. I don’t know who to believe, but fortunately, brothers and sisters, we have this rock we can stand upon. We have the word of God that we can stand firm upon. He will fulfill his word, and this is true. Let’s stand on God’s word, not conspiracy theories. Let’s stand in God’s word. Not on what popular culture says. What is right or good or true should be valued, not valued. In the last days, this book talks about how evil be proclaimed good and good evil, and we’re seeing that before our very eyes. But to close this morning, let’s stand on God’s word. Let’s be strengthened in the Lord and run to him for strength each and every day. I love Paul’s attitude, he said, though outwardly I’m wasting away inwardly and being renewed day by day. That is the strength. God is the source of your strength. Run to him for strength. No matter what you face, big or small, run to him for strength and then fully embrace your role as part of Christ’s body. His church. Let’s pray, Florida, As we bring this series to close in this book too close, we just do. Thank you. Thank you for the example that we found here in your word. And these principles we do just run to you, Lord, we once again place our faith and trust in dependence upon you and stand on your word. Thank you, Lord, that you want to be involved in our hearts and lives yield ourselves to you in Jesus’ name. Amen.