Sunday PM April 5th, 2020

“Becoming a Person After God’s Own Heart”

“Foolish Decisions By Intelligent People”

1 Samuel 27:1-12

 

I want you to place yourself in David’s sandals for just a moment. You were told as a teenager that you were going to be the next king of Israel. Samuel, the man of God, came and anointed you for that office. The next thing you know, you are in the royal palace playing and singing for the king. Then, like a whirlwind, one activity after another took place in your life that brought you into national prominence. You killed Goliath with a single stone thrown from your sling. You were promoted in the army and made the captain over a thousand men. You married the king’s daughter and were best friends with the king’s son. It seemed that every event in your life was bringing you ever closer to the day when you would step up and claim the throne of the land.

Then, things began to happen. Cracks began to appear in the perfectly constructed life you enjoyed so much. You fell out of favor with the king, and he even tried to kill you ! Your relationship with your wife came to an end. You could no longer fellowship with your best friend. You were demoted and lost your position in the army. The next thing you know, you are a fugitive, running for your very life from an insane king who is determined to kill you.

Yet, even as you run from your enemy, you continue to carry yourself well. You spare his life when the opportunity to kill him is virtually handed to you. You show compassion when dealing with others you could have destroyed. You even continue to seek God’s direction for your life, believing that someday His promises for your life will all be fulfilled.

Then, one day, something changes. The world is different today. For the first time, it looks like God may have forgotten all about you. It looks like your enemies will eventually prevail. You become discouraged, disillusioned and find yourself trapped in the pit of hopelessness. While you are in that state of despair, you make a foolish decision that alters the course of your life, brings you troubles that you could have never imagined, and leaves you broken spiritually.

That, in a nutshell, is the life of David up to this point. Our text finds David hunted, hounded and haunted. He is defeated, discouraged and depressed. While he is in that condition, he makes a foolish decision that will produce some very serious consequences in his life. David decided to give up on God’s plan for his life. He decided that God must have forgotten about him. He decided that God’s plan for his life had failed. David took his life in his own hands and began to live for himself as he wanted to live.

David pictures people who have been saved by the grace of God and who began their walk with God very well. But somewhere along the way, things didn’t go as they had envisioned and they became defeated, disillusioned and discouraged. In their weakened spiritual condition, they made a terrible decision that had terrible consequences in their lives. Instead of staying close to the Lord and following His will for their lives, they chose to walk away from God and live lives of carnality and compromise. They made a tragic decision and paid a high price.

 

I. The Reasons for David’s Decision, v. 27:1.

A. David Trusted the Wrong Confidant. David is pictured having a conversation with himself. Instead of turning to God in prayer, as he had so often done, David turns to himself for counsel. The advice he receives from himself is anything but wise. When David communed with his heart, he immediately forgot all the great promises which the Lord had made to him. David even thinks that he knows what will happen out there in the future.

B. David Reached the Wrong Conclusions. Because David listened to his heart, he chose to abandon the path of life God had placed him on years before. He decided that he would be better off fleeing to the land of the Philistines, where he thought he would be safe from King Saul. Imagine, the future king of Israel, running to the arch enemies of God to beg for help ! That’s the kind of trouble David’s heart got him into !

Beware of trusting your own heart ! When we consult the heart, we will get in touch with our human nature. Our old, human nature is fallen and it always looks at things from an earthly level.

You see, your heart will say things like, “This church is dead”, “These people don’t like you”, “God is being unfair to you”, “You would be better off if you stayed home, or went somewhere else”, “That preacher is mean”, “You are really missing out ! There’s nothing wrong with living it up every now and then”, “Just once won’t hurt”, “Just a little won’t matter”, and so on.

Many of you know exactly what I am talking about, don’t you ? Your heart will trick you, deceive you, lie to you, and lead you down the wrong path of life. If you listen to your heart, you will find yourself living a life of spiritual compromise and you will find yourself a backslider on the outs with God !

David made wrong decisions because he listened to his heart and it led him astray. Be very careful, my friends, some are heading in that same direction today.

 

II. The Results of David’s Decision, vs. 27:2-30:6.

A. The People In David’s Life Were Affected, vs. 27:2-3. Because of the foolish decision David made, everyone whose life touched David was affected as well. All 600 of his men and their families, his own wives and children, everyone around David was brought down by his decision ! All of those people where brought into a place of compromise and temptation because one man listened to his heart instead of listening to the Lord.

Romans 14:7 says, “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.” That basically means that everything we do in our lives touches those around us. When a husband or a wife step out of God’s will, it affects their marriage. When one or both parents refuse to live by God’s standards, it has an impact on their children. People at school, at work and at church are touched by the way we live our lives. We never know who is watching, or who might be hindered when we give in to the advice of the heart and walk away from God.

B. The Pattern of David’s Life Was Affected, vs. 27:5-12. Not only did David’s decision affect the people around him, the very way David lived his life was altered. In other words, his decision to walk away from the Lord changed him completely. Look at some of the things the Bible reveals about this tragic time in David’s life.

  • David lived with a sense of false security. He thought he was safe.
  • David sought help and ran with the wrong crowd. He literally aligned himself with the enemy.
  • David did things there that he never would have done before. The whole fabric of David’s life was altered by the decision he made.
  • David stayed there for 16 months. I am sure he was there longer than he intended to be.

It is also worthy to note that no Psalms are attributed to David during this period of his life. When a believer makes that fatal decision to walk away from the Lord and from the place of blessing, their life will be affected in a negative way. You cannot walk away from God and not be affected ! If walking away from the Lord does not alter your life, then I would venture to say that you were not His to begin with !

C. The Peace of David’s Life Was Affected, vs. 29:1-30:6a. David has fallen about as far as a man can fall. He is out of God’s will, off God’s path and actively working with the enemy against the people of God. But, thankfully, David was not having a good time. You see, his sin affected the people in his life, it affected the pattern of his life, but it also affected the peace of his life.

Let’s not think for one second that we can walk away from the Lord and do so without consequences ! There will be a price to pay and God will have no trouble collecting that price from our lives ! Before you make a foolish decision and walk away from the Lord, consider the price that you might have to pay.

 

III. The Recovery from David’s Decision, vs. 30:6-8.

I am glad that we get to witness David’s recovery from his sin as well.

A. David Repented Before the Lord, v. 30:6c. When David finally hits the bottom, when he has lost all that a man can lose, at long last, David looks toward Heaven again. Perhaps he realized, as he looked at the broken lives shattered all around him, that everything that had happened was the result of one foolish conversion with his own heart, followed by one foolish decision on his part. David turned his gaze heavenward once again in humble repentance.

B. David Relied Upon the Lord, v. 30:7. Now, David does what he should have done at the beginning of this episode of his life, David calls on the Lord in prayer to seek God’s will and God’s help. David is back in a place where he can rely on the lord once again.

C. David Returned to the Lord, vs. 30:8-9. When David hears the Lord’s direction for his life, he does not hesitate, but he goes out immediately to do what the Lord has told him to do. He is not walking in David’s will any longer, He is back in God’s will, walking God’s path once again. David has been fully restored !

Most of what we have learned from David has been a lesson in what a person should not do. But, in this last passage, David clearly shows us what we are supposed to do when we have allowed ourselves to walk away from the Lord.

The first step in getting things right is repentance. When sin is confessed and handled God’s way, He will forgive that sin and restore the fallen saint.

 

Regardless of how smart we may be, regardless of how long we may have been saved, or regardless of how high we may climb on the spiritual ladder, we are still capable of making foolish decisions. But we are also capable of repenting and turning back to God, if we will.

 

Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it ?”