The Anointed & the World: His Own Did Not Receive Him, 1 Samuel 23


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“The Anointed & the World: His Own Did Not Receive Him”

1 Samuel 23

September 22, 2019

Faith Presbyterian Church – Evening Service

Pr. Nicoletti

 

We are continuing in First Samuel this evening, looking tonight at chapter twenty-three. Saul is king of Israel. David has been anointed as the next king. David has not sought to overthrow Saul … but Saul has sought to kill David. David, for his part, has tried again and again to de-escalate things with Saul, avoiding him rather than confronting him. David now is on the run, but he also has a following of several hundred men with him. Saul continues to pursue them.

 

With that all in mind, we turn to First Samuel chapter twenty-three. Please listen carefully, for this is God’s word for us this evening:

 

23:1 Now they told David, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are robbing the threshing floors.” Therefore David inquired of Yahweh, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And Yahweh said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and save Keilah.” But David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are afraid here in Judah; how much more than if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” Then David inquired of Yahweh again. And Yahweh answered him, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand.” And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines and brought away their livestock and struck them with a great blow. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.

When Abiathar the son of Ahimelech had fled to David to Keilah, he had come down with an ephod in his hand. Now it was told Saul that David had come to Keilah. And Saul said, “God has given him into my hand, for he has shut himself in by entering a town that has gates and bars.” And Saul summoned all the people to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men. David knew that Saul was plotting harm against him. And he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.” 10 Then David said, “O Yahweh, the God of Israel, your servant has surely heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah, to destroy the city on my account. 11 Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? O Yahweh, the God of Israel, please tell your servant.” And Yahweh said, “He will come down.” 12 Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And Yahweh said, “They will surrender you.” 13 Then David and his men, who were about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah, and they went wherever they could go. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he gave up the expedition. 14 And David remained in the strongholds in the wilderness, in the hill country of the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand.

15 David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life. David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh. 16 And Jonathan, Saul’s son, rose and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in God. 17 And he said to him, “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Saul my father also knows this.” 18 And the two of them made a covenant before Yahweh. David remained at Horesh, and Jonathan went home.

19 Then the Ziphites went up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is not David hiding among us in the strongholds at Horesh, on the hill of Hachilah, which is south of Jeshimon? 20 Now come down, O king, according to all your heart’s desire to come down, and our part shall be to surrender him into the king’s hand.” 21 And Saul said, “May you be blessed by Yahweh, for you have had compassion on me. 22 Go, make yet more sure. Know and see the place where his foot is, and who has seen him there, for it is told me that he is very cunning. 23 See therefore and take note of all the lurking places where he hides, and come back to me with sure information. Then I will go with you. And if he is in the land, I will search him out among all the thousands of Judah.” 24 And they arose and went to Ziph ahead of Saul.

Now David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the Arabah to the south of Jeshimon. 25 And Saul and his men went to seek him. And David was told, so he went down to the rock and lived in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon. 26 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. As Saul and his men were closing in on David and his men to capture them, 27 a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid against the land.” 28 So Saul returned from pursuing after David and went against the Philistines. Therefore that place was called the Rock of Escape. 29 And David went up from there and lived in the strongholds of Engedi.

 

This is the Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

 

Let’s pray …

 

Lord, your hands have made and fashioned us;

give us understanding that we may learn your commandments,

that we your people might rejoice together,

as we see the work that you are doing in each of us.

Let your steadfast love comfort us,

according to your promises.

Work now in our hearts, to conform them to your word,

that we may not be put to shame,

but might delight in you.

Teach us from your word now, we ask,

in Jesus’s name. Amen

[Based on Psalm 119:73, 74, 76, 80]

 

In the events that play out in our text this evening, we see how the world relates to God’s anointed one, and how God relates to his anointed one.

 

Because David is God’s anointed one. God has anointed David with oil and set him apart as a man after his own heart, who will be king and lord over the people of God.

 

We saw all that back in chapter sixteen, but we get a reminder of it in our text this evening as well. Because in verse six we learn that the ephod of God was with David. And in some ways that are similar to the ark, the ephod also was a symbol of God’s presence. [Leithart, 131] It was a sign that God was present with David. But it wasn’t only symbolic, it was also practical. The ephod was used to cast lots in order to ask God questions, and God spoke through the lots cast using the ephod. [Alter, 141; Firth, 250; David 237n]

 

And so, the presence of the ephod reminds us that David is the Lord’s, is Yahweh’s anointed, and that Yahweh is with David, both present with him and directing him.

 

And so … what does he direct him to do?

 

Well, Yahweh calls on his anointed to sacrificially serve and save those who are in need. More specifically, David is called on to serve and save three different groups or people.

 

Most immediately, David goes to sacrificially save the Keilahites. David learns, apparently from on the ground sources, that the Philistines are fighting and plundering the people of Keilah – a town in Judah by their border with the Philistines. [Firth 248-9; Alter, 141]

 

And so, David comes, and he saves the inhabitants of Keilah.

 

But the inhabitants of Keilah are not the only ones he served by driving the Philistines out of the land. Such an act also served those living in the region around Keilah. Had David not acted, then it would be those people who would likely have been next on the Philistines’ list. David served and saved both the people of Keilah, and the people of the surrounding land.

 

But in addition to that, David was also serving Saul. It was, after all, the king who was supposed to protect the kingdom. And Saul was the king. And Keilah was part of the kingdom. But Saul was not acting. And so, David steps in. He acts as if he is still one of Saul’s military leaders, and he serves Saul by defending Saul’s kingdom from the Philistines.

 

And so, David, the Lord’s anointed one, comes to sacrificially serve and save the people of Keilah, the people of the surrounding region, and even Saul himself.

 

And his act of service and deliverance was a sacrificial act. That’s part of the reason for all the back-and-forth in verses two through four – David inquires of Yahweh twice because his men recognize how risky, how sacrificial, it is for them to go to Keilah. They know some may die. They know they are putting themselves at risk. The act of service and saving here is a sacrificial act.

 

And it’s an act that David did not owe to any of those who received it. David was under no obligation to serve the people of Keilah, or the surrounding region. [Firth, 249] And he especially did not owe Saul anything – Saul who keeps trying to murder David.

 

But even though it was a risky and sacrificial act, and even though David did not owe it to them, David went anyway. And he went because the Lord commanded him to. He went out of obedience and submission to God.

 

Out of faithful obedience to God, David, God’s anointed one, comes to sacrificially serve and save the inhabitants of Keilah, the inhabitants of the surrounding region, and even Saul.

 

And then one by one, each of those whom David has saved and sacrificially served, betrays him.

 

Despite the good that the Lord’s anointed has done, sinful human beings betray him, even as he seeks to sacrificially serve them.

 

The most glaring case of this is Saul.

 

Saul, in some ways, is the one whom David has been most kind in serving. Despite Saul’s repeated murder attempts on David, David still had put himself at risk to protect Saul’s kingdom. That is grace and mercy. And Saul replies with more betrayal. When he heard what David had done, instead of seeking to see how God was at work in David, Saul assumes in verse seven that the Lord must be handing David over to Saul, so Saul can kill him. Saul is trying to murder the Lord’s anointed, and he thinks he is doing the Lord a favor in the process. [Firth, 250] And so Saul betrays David.

 

And Saul’s betrayal of David shows how twisted his vision of reality is at this point. Because the Philistines – who were enemies of God’s people – in Keilah did not cause Saul to mobilize. But David – the savior of God’s people – his presence in Keilah got Saul going. Saul ignores his true enemies, the Philistines, and tries to kill the would-be savior of Israel, David. This is the nature of Saul’s betrayal of David. [Alter, 145]

 

Next, Keilah betrays David, even after he had just sacrificially put himself at risk in order to save them. Or at least … they would have betrayed him. The Lord warns David in verse twelve that the hearts of the men of Keilah are such that despite what David has done for them, once Saul brought threats to them, once allegiance to David would cost them something, at that point they would betray him. The Keilahites are willing to betray David out of fear of what loyalty to him might cost them.

 

And then we come to the surrounding region. Ziph, where David goes to in verse fourteen, was also in Judah, and was just a few miles from Keilah. [Firth, 248; Alter, 143] In other words, Ziph was one of the surrounding regions that benefited from David’s work to save Keilah, because in doing so, David repelled the Philistines, so that they, the Ziphites, would not be next on the Philistine’s list to attack. David had also served the Ziphites.

 

But in nineteen the Ziphites proactively betray David to Saul. We’re not told why the Ziphites did this. It may have been out of fear … though the way they are so proactive about it indicates that it very well may have been because they hoped their betrayal would lead to a reward from Saul. [Firth, 525; Alter, 144]

 

Despite the good he has done for them, in Saul, in the Keilahites, in the Ziphites, we see that sinful human beings betray the Lord’s anointed, even as he is seeking to sacrificially serve and save them.

 

This is discouraging. This makes things look dark for David. But then, after that we get a beam of hope. We get a reminder of what the Lord does.

 

Because again, and again, with each betrayal, we see that in the end the Lord delivers his anointed.

 

We see that first when David is in Keilah. The Lord brings word to David that Saul is on his way, and when David seeks Yahweh’s guidance, he gives it to him, and thus delivers him.

 

We see it again in Ziph. Once more David is warned, and he flees to Maon. Once more the Lord has delivered him.

 

And then Saul pursues David in Maon. And this time things get closer than before. Saul is on one side of a mountain; David and his men are on the other side of the mountain. And Saul’s men are closing in, in what some commentators have suggested was a pincer move, coming around David to hit him from both sides. [Firth, 252; Alter, 145]

 

And then, we read in verse twenty-seven that “A messenger came to Saul, saying ‘Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid against the land.’” And so, Saul withdraws from pursuing David, and goes back to deal with the Philistines.

 

And the fact that it is a Philistine attack that rescues David from the hand of Saul deserves some reflection. Because on two occasions back in chapter eighteen of First Samuel, Saul tried to use the Philistines as a tool, as a weapon, to kill David. [18:18, 21] Saul, we are told, on more than one occasion, sent David out against the Philistines in the hopes, and with the design, that the Philistines might kill David. Saul treated the Philistines as his weapon, to kill the Lord’s anointed.

 

And now, in chapter twenty-three, the Lord takes the Philistines, he takes that weapon that Saul had tried to use against David, and he turns it around. In verse twenty-seven, the Lord uses the Philistines to save David from Saul. [Leithart, 132]

 

And so, in the end, we see that the Lord delivers his anointed one – and sometimes he even does it with the very weapons his enemies had tried to use against him.

 

Taken all together, what do we see here?

 

We see first that the Lord is with his anointed one.

 

We see second, that the Lord’s anointed comes to sacrificially serve and save those in need – even when it will cost him, even when he does not owe it to them, even then, he will do it in faithful submission to God.

 

We see third that despite all this, sinful human beings betray the Lord’s anointed, even as he is seeking to serve them.

 

And fourth and finally, we see that in the end the Lord delivers his anointed – sometimes even using the very weapons of his enemies to do it.

 

This is the pattern of David, the Lord’s anointed, in First Samuel twenty-three.

 

And as we have seen again and again in the Book of Samuel, David, the Lord’s anointed one, points us to the greater Anointed One. He points us to his heir, Jesus Christ.

 

“Christ” after all means just that – it means Anointed One. Jesus is not only the Son of David, he is not only the heir to David’s throne, but he is the Anointed One, the Messiah. And as is often the case, the Lord works through David in ways that point forward to how he will work through David’s Son, the Christ, the greater Anointed One.

 

For in the life and work of Christ we see the same pattern that we see emerge in the life and work of David in First Samuel twenty-three.

 

To begin, as the Lord was with David, the anointed one, so we know that the Lord is not only with Christ, but Christ is the Lord. He is the Son of God, he is one with the Father, and he is anointed by the Holy Spirit.

 

And Christ, the Anointed One, comes to sacrificially save and serve those in need. He comes to rescue sinful humanity from the disaster that they have brought upon themselves. He comes to free us from our slavery to sin and Satan. He comes to release us from the power of death.

 

And he does it though he owes us nothing. He does it though we have no claim on him, and he has no obligation to us. Still he comes to save us.

 

He comes to save us though it will cost him dearly. Though it costs him his life on the cross.

 

And he does it all because the Father sends him. He does it because the Father calls him to. He does it because he will show us favor even when we do not deserve it.

 

Christ comes to sacrificially serve and save humanity … and sinful humanity responds by nailing him to a tree. We respond with betrayal. We respond by rejecting him. We respond by hunting him down. We respond by whipping him, and beating him, and mocking him. We respond by murdering him. We, as human beings, carry out an execution on Christ that would make whatever Saul had planned for David look remarkably tame. We, sinful humans that we are, reject and betray the Lord’s Anointed, killing him even as he is seeking to sacrificially serve and save us.

 

But then … in Christ we also see that in the end the Lord delivers his Anointed. Because the story does not end with the cross or the tomb. Christ emerges from the grave. Christ is raised from the dead. Christ is vindicated and delivered in his resurrection, and his ascension to his throne in heaven where he sits today, reigning over the universe until he returns to earth.

 

And we might even notice that in Christ’s death and resurrection, just as he does in First Samuel twenty-three, the Lord uses the very weapons of his enemies in order to deliver his Anointed.

 

The world and the devil came at Christ with the weapon of death. That was their solution. That was what they would use. They used death against Christ to put an end to him. Yet … it was through his death that Christ defeated death. It was through his death that he defeated sin. It was through his death that he defeated Satan. It was through his death that he overcame the world. When the enemies of God came at Christ, the Anointed One, with the weapon of death, God turned that weapon around so that it was by the death of Christ that he conquered all his enemies and delivered his people.

 

Christ, the Anointed One, was one with the Lord, he came to sacrificially serve those in need, he was scorned by the ones he came to save, betrayed by those he came to rescue, but in the end, he was delivered and vindicated – resurrected and raised to a place above all others.

 

And as we see Christ following the pattern of David, that brings a couple points of application for us.

 

First, we must ask ourselves if we are like the betrayers of the anointed one in First Samuel twenty-three. We might consider those betrayers in order of hostility, from greatest to least.

 

First, there is Saul. Saul is openly hostile to the Lord’s Anointed, convinced that David means him harm when he actually means to help him, convinced that he, that Saul, is in the right in his opposition to David, even though Saul is in the wrong.

 

If that is you … if you are openly and admittedly hostile to the Lord’s Anointed One – to Jesus Christ … then I’m glad you’re here with us this evening … and I want to encourage you to consider Saul.

 

Saul operates on a kind of paranoia. And we too can suffer from a sort of spiritual paranoia … the false conviction that those working for our spiritual good are actually working for our harm.

 

And spiritual paranoia can be easy to spot in others … but hard to spot in ourselves.

 

We can look at others – we can look at Saul – and ask “How could he not consider that he was wrong? How could he not listen to someone else’s perspective regarding David?” And those are good questions for Saul. They are also good questions for you if you believe that Jesus Christ is a threat to your spiritual wellbeing.

 

Tonight, I want you to begin to consider that you might be wrong. That Christ might be like David in this story, and your hostility to him might mirror that of Saul’s.

 

And then beyond tonight, I want you to consider listening to someone else’s perspective. Consider asking a Christian you trust why they believe what they believe. Consider that they might be seeing Christ more clearly than you are.

 

After Saul, there are the Ziphites.

 

The Ziphites have benefited from David’s sacrificial service … at least indirectly. And I’m sure they appreciate how they’ve benefited … and they don’t seem to have anything personally against David … but when a better offer emerges … when they do the math of their situation and see that they’ll profit more by betraying David than by following him, then they are ready to turn on him.

 

And nominalism can breed spiritual Ziphites – those who call themselves Christians … but are not really committed to the Lord. Those who are fine when their association with Christ is benefiting them … but if a better offer is out there, they’re willing to turn on him.

 

And you should ask yourself if that’s you. Are you here mainly just because it’s the easiest thing for you to do? Because in your family life or some other area of life the benefits of involvement at the church outweigh the benefits of leaving the church? At least for now? Are you identifying with Christ and receiving some indirect benefits from him … but truth be told if a better offer presented itself, you’d probably go check it out?

 

The problem with the Ziphites is they assume David is not really the king and will not one day sit on the throne in Israel. Because if he will one day be king then their approach is disastrous.

 

And in the same way, the problem for spiritual Ziphites is they fail to seriously consider that Jesus Christ might really be the king of the universe – that he might really reign over the world one day.

 

Because if he is king … and he is … and if he will reign … and he will … then a spiritual Ziphite needs to radically reconsider the way she relates to him. He is not a means to an end, he is the king who will reign over this earth forever.

 

Finally, there are the Keilahites. And the Keilahites are those who do not hate David, they do not seek to betray him … but who … when things get tough … when the costs get real … they are willing to turn on him.

 

The fundamental flaw in the Keilahites is they want David … but they don’t want their relationship with David to really cost them anything. They’re fine with it costing him something … but not with it costing them anything. But allegiance to the Lord’s Anointed always costs something.

 

And when it comes to Christ, you should ask yourself if that is your expectation too. Do you like Jesus … but at the same time expect, and even demand, that your allegiance to him cost you nothing?

 

The Keilahites show us the sad conclusion of such an approach.

 

So, we get these three fairly different pictures of betrayal – different at least in degree. And then in contrast we are directed once more to observe Jonathan. In the midst of the betrayals of Saul, the Keilahites, and the Ziphites, we have, in verses sixteen through eighteen, a brief snapshot again of the faithfulness of Jonathan.

 

Jonathan knew his allegiance to David would cost him. It meant that he, that Jonathan, would never be king. It meant that he would never have peace with his father Saul. He knew there were real costs, but far from running from those costs, he embraced them. He accepted them. He solidified his commitment to them in a covenant.

 

Jonathan reminds us how we should approach the Lord’s Anointed: in faithful allegiance to him, and willing to accept the costs that come.

 

We are called to approach Christ in the same way – humbly accepting the cost that comes with our relationship to him.

 

That is the first piece of application for us.

 

Second … if you are a Christian here, you are not only to see yourself in those who are around the Lord’s Anointed One.

 

But you are also to see yourself in the Anointed One. You are to see yourself in Christ.

 

Because you are. The Church is the Body of Christ. Christ is the Head of the Church. Christ and his Church are united so closely that what is true of one is often true of the other. Christ followed this pattern we have been considering tonight in his earthly ministry, but he has not stopped since his ascension. He continues to work in the world, now through his Body the Church.

 

Moreover, we as Christians share, in some sense, in Christ’s anointing. If “Christ” means “Anointed One” then we as “Christians” are those who are united to the Anointed One, and who must then in some sense share in his anointing.

 

We are called as Christ’s Body to walk in his footsteps and do his work in the world, and so when we see the pattern of the Anointed One in First Samuel twenty-three, we are not just seeing what Christ did for us, we are seeing what we are called to do and to be in this world.

 

And so first, we are to be a people among whom the Lord is present. We are to be a people who seek and earnestly pursue the Lord’s presence. We are to be a people who rely on the Lord’s guidance. Notice that one of the differences between David and Saul is that David again and again is inquiring of God about what he should do, while Saul just assumes he knows what God wants him to do. The anointed one, and the Anointed Community is one that looks to God to be present among them and guide them, through his Word, through his Spirit, through his wisdom and leading. The Lord is present among his anointed.

 

Second, the Church, the anointed community, is called to sacrificially serve those in need – even when it costs them, even when they don’t owe it to those in need … they are to do it anyway as an act of faithful submission to their God.

 

David going out to defend the Kailahites because the Lord called him to … that is a picture of how the Church is supposed to be in the world. We as a church and we as individual members of the Church are called to sacrificially serve those in need.

 

There are people out there in need. People living lives that are enslaved to the fear of death. People living in slavery to sin. People living under the oppression of this sinful world. People living under the tyranny of the devil.

 

They are Keilahites to us. Because we are the Church, the Body of the Anointed One. And the Church is the Body of Christ, given as a gift, for the life of the world. You and I are to go, not because we owe it to those in need, but because this is what God has called us to – because Christ is our head, and that is what he has done for us.

 

So where might God be calling you to do that? Where might he be calling you to sacrificially serve, and maybe even save, those under the power of the enemy?

 

We talk here about opportunities to serve – about involvement in Better English on 6th or Progress House or the Homes of Naomi Ruth and Boaz. We have members who have served at Tacoma Rescue Mission or CareNet. And that only names a few, and says nothing of ministry opportunities within our congregation.

 

As one united to Christ, the Anointed One, where is God calling you to go and to serve? To serve and work to save a Keilahite near you?

 

And if you already have a place where you are serving like that, then be encouraged. Be reminded here that in your service, you are walking in the ways of David and of Christ our Lord.

 

Be encouraged … but also be warned. Because as with David, and as with Christ, so with us: Despite all that we might do, sinful human beings betray the Lord’s anointed, even as we might be seeking to sacrificially serve them.

 

We often try very hard to figure out how we as Christians, as Christ’s people, can avoid the anger or the betrayal of the world.

 

For some Christians, they hope that if they serve enough, if they do enough good works for the world, the world will not turn on them.

 

But the response to David’s service in Keilah stands in sharp contrast to that. Now, it is true, as Jesus says, that sometimes when we live faithfully and love our neighbors, then they will see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. [Matthew 5:16] But Jesus also said, just five verses before that, that his faithful followers would be reviled and slandered on his account. [Matthew 5:11]

 

And when the world does come after us, they will often think they are doing something good, and righteous, and even approved of by God. We saw that in verse seven with Saul. Saul seems convinced that the Lord is behind and approves of his intention to kill David.

 

It reminds us of John 16:2, where Jesus tells his followers “Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.”

 

We are to reach out, and we are to serve the Keilahites in need. Some will see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. But our works of sacrificial service will be no guard against the betrayal of this world, any more than it was for David … or any more than it was for Jesus.

 

We can note too that retreating is unlikely to provide any more safety. David was attacked in Keilah. But he was also attacked in the wilderness of Ziph after he had retreated from those who would pursue him. And then he was pursued even further in the wilderness of Maon. And Christians have seen the same thing. Retreat offers no real safety. The world and the devil are willing to make the trip.

 

So, as the Body of Christ, as those united to the Anointed One, we are called to sacrificially serve those in need … but we should not be surprised when a sinful world turns on us nonetheless.

 

But as with David, and as with Christ, that is not the end of the story.

 

Because we remember as well that in the end the Lord delivers his anointed … the Lord delivers his people.

 

And the Lord does that often in this life. In many small ways God delivers and shields his people from those who would do them harm.

 

But it is of course on that last day, at the return of Christ, that we will receive our ultimate long-awaited deliverance.

 

Because not even death can undo those united to the Lord’s Anointed One.

 

In the martyrs we see how God uses the very weapons of his enemies to deliver his beloved people.

 

Because the tool by which the enemies of God sought to stop Christ’s people becomes the means by which the Lord delivers them. In the death of the martyrs, far from bringing them to an end, God, through their deaths, ushers them into eternity. In the death of the martyrs, far from putting an end to their faith, God, through their deaths, transforms their faith into sight. In the death of the martyrs, far from putting an end to their influence on the world, God, through their deaths, increases their influence in the world. We see in Revelation five that the souls of the martyrs have the ear of God, as they rest under his heavenly altar. In death, they have far more power than their oppressors had in life.

 

In the end, the Lord delivers his anointed. He does it in this life. But he does it also in death. And he will do it most of all on that day when Christ returns, and vanquishes the forces of sin and death and Satan once and for all, and casts them out of his presence, and raises his people to dwell with him forever in a new heaven and a new earth. In the end the Lord delivers those who are his.

 

And that is why we can follow our Lord where he calls us. That is why we can walk in his footprints and step out into a hostile world. That is why we can accept that the world may turn on us, and we can accept it without running away or cowering. Because the Lord delivers his anointed.

 

And we hope for deliverances in this life – but that is not our greatest hope. Our greatest hope is the day when our deliverance will be complete, and the dead will be raised, and all things will be made new.

 

That is what Christ saved us for. That is what brought him out of heaven to suffer and die on our behalf. That is the reality he already enjoys now, at the Father’s right hand. And that is what enables us to serve without fear of what the world, the flesh, and the devil may do to us.

 

Brothers and sisters, let us seek to have the Lord among us. Let us serve others as Christ our Lord has served us. Let us remain faithful whatever hardship or opposition may come our way. And let us look to the great deliverance that is to come – the glorious resurrection which Christ has purchased for us with his blood.

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

This sermon draws on material from:

 

Alter, Robert. The David Story: A Translation with Commentary of 1 and 2 Samuel. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 1999.

Davis, Dale Ralph. I Samuel: Looking on the Heart. Ross-shire, Great Britain: Christian Focus, 2000.

Firth, David G. 1 & 2 Samuel. Apollos Old Testament Commentary. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2009.

Leithart, Peter J. A Son to Me: An Exposition of 1 & 2 Samuel. Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2003.