<< Previous | Topical Index | Next >>"DAVID STRENGTHENED HIMSELF IN THE LORD HIS GOD" 1 Samuel 30:6 INTRODUCTION 1. What's the first thing you do in time of trouble? a. Everybody has problems from time to time, but not everyone tries to solve their problems in the same way b. What IS the best way? 2. One person in the Bible who had more than his share of trouble was King David... a. For example: 1) He was pursued by King Saul 2) He barely escaped several assassination attempts 3) He had to spend much time hiding in the wilderness 4) His entire family was kidnapped on one occasion 5) His friends turned against him and were ready to kill him 6) He suffered the shame of having committed adultery and murder 7) His son Amnon raped his daughter Tamar 8) His other son Absalom murdered Amnon 9) Absalom led a revolt against his father 10) Absalom himself was killed, much to David's grief b. Need I go on? David was certainly a man with many problems! 3. Yet somehow, he survived them all and has come to be remembered as "a man after God's own heart." How was he able to do this? [I believe we can find the answer as we consider what David did when faced with one of his most serious problems, as recorded in 1 Sam 30: 1-6...] I. WHAT DAVID DID IN TIMES OF TROUBLE A. THE CONTEXT OF 1 SAMUEL 30:1-6 ... 1. At this time in his life, David was living in Ziklag a. Having fled from King Saul b. And was now aligned with the Philistines 2. The Philistines were preparing to battle King Saul, and David and his men had gone to join with the Philistines 3. But the Philistines did not fully trust David, so they sent him and his men back to Ziklag B. READING 1 SAMUEL 30:1-6 , WE FIND... 1. That the town of Ziklag had been attacked and burned by the Amalekites - 1 2. The women and children had been kidnapped, including those of his family - 2-5 3. Naturally David is distressed; but on top of this, the people are ready to kill him for not having been there when he was needed - 6 C. BUT NOTICE CAREFULLY THE LAST PART OF VERSE SIX... 1. What does David do when he has lost his family, and his own life is threatened? 2. The Scriptures say, "But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God." 3. This is what David did first in times of trouble... a. He strengthened himself in the Lord his God! b. With the strength he received, he was then able to deal with whatever the problem was before him! [But what does it mean to "strengthen himself in the Lord his God"? In an effort to answer this question, I found it helpful to consider some of the Psalms written by David during troublesome times...] II. HOW DAVID STRENGTHENED HIMSELF IN THE LORD HIS GOD A. IN TIMES OF TROUBLE, DAVID OFTEN COMPOSED PSALMS... 1. While pursued by Saul, he wrote Psalm 59 - cf. Ps 59:1-4 2. When imprisoned in Gath, he wrote Psalm 56 - cf. Ps 56:1-2 3. Fleeing from Absalom, he wrote Psalm 3 - cf. Ps 3:1-2 4. Hiding in the wilderness of Judah, he wrote Psalm 63 B. FROM THESE PSALMS, WE CAN GLEAN HOW "DAVID STRENGTHENED HIMSELF IN THE LORD HIS GOD"... 1. From Psalm 56, we learn that David would place his trust in God to help him - Ps 56:3-4 ,9-11 2. From Psalm 59, we learn that David was determined to continue praising God for His help - Ps 59:16-17 3. From Psalm 63, we see that David overcame his problem of loneliness by... a. Seeking the Lord - Ps 63:1-2 b. Praising and praying - Ps 63:3-5 c. Meditating upon the Lord - Ps 63:6-7 4. In each of these psalms, David is basically saying the same thing... a. In time of trouble, put your trust in the Lord b. Stay close to Him, through praising Him and praying to Him c. Do this, and you will be made strong as the Lord supports you! - cf. Ps 63:8 [This was how "David strengthened himself in the Lord his God", and was able to face and overcome his problems with the help the Lord gave him. How about us today? In times of trouble, do we follow David's example? Consider a few thoughts along this line...] III. DEALING WITH OUR PROBLEMS TODAY A. WE FACE MANY PROBLEMS, EVEN AS CHRISTIANS... 1. Some are related to family, or other matters of personal concern 2. Some are related to jobs, and the issue of financial security B. IN MANY CASES, PEOPLE TRY TO TACKLE THEIR PROBLEMS ALONE... 1. They leave God completely out of the picture 2. Sometimes they even forsake Him entirely... a. By no longer praising Him and praying to Him daily b. By neglecting the assembly in which we gather to edify one another and worship God 3. The reasoning is often expressed this way: "Let me get my life straight, then I will be able to serve God and live for Him." C. BUT GOD IS ANGERED IF WE SEEK TO SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS WITHOUT HIM! 1. God considers such a person as cursed! - cf. Jer 17:5-8 2. A good example of God's displeasure when His people fail to look to Him for strength is found in Isaiah... a. When attacked by Assyria, Israel placed her trust in Egypt - Isa 30:1-2 b. Because of this, God promised to frustrate the efforts of Israel to solve her problems by herself! - Isa 30:3 ; 31:1-3 c. Yes, God wanted Israel to trust in Him, not themselves - Isa 30:15-16 3. Even so today, God wants us to put our trust in Him - cf. Ja 4:8 ; 1 Pe 5:6-7 a. The truth of the matter is this... 1) It is NOT "God helps those who help themselves" 2) But rather "God helps those who trust in the Lord with all their heart, and lean not on their own understanding"! - cf. Pro 3:5-6 b. When we leave God out of the picture in solving problems... 1) One thing is certain: God leaves us to deal with those problems on our own, and without His help! 2) Another thing is possible: In an act of loving discipline, God might frustrate our efforts to solve our problems independent of His help (He certainly disciplined Israel that way!) CONCLUSION 1. So let us learn from one experienced in dealing with problems (David)... a. In times of trouble, look to the Lord for your strength! b. Trust in the Lord, and be steadfast in praising Him and praying to Him c. Don't forsake Him, nor forsake the assembly of the saints in which we draw near to Him 2. Let what David said of himself be true of us as well: "My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me." (Psa 63:8 ) 3. Remember that those who trust in God will find strength, deliverance, and true happiness! Do you trust in the Lord? Or in your own strength? Let the Lord be your deliverance! Especially when it pertains to the problem of the guilt of sin...<< Previous | Topical Index | Next >>
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