I Samuel 19: Deliverance
Deliverance is defined as the act of being set free; liberated. God heard the cries of his people in Egypt and said to Moses: “I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians…” (Exodus 3)
This chapter starts out with Saul speaking to Jonathan and all his servants, that they should kill David. Jonathan goes to warn David. This chapter in the life of David is the beginning of how God delivers David time after time over the coming years of David’s life as an innocent fugitive on the run. Four times in this chapter Saul attempts to have David killed.
1. Jonathan intervenes on David’s behalf to his father, King Saul. He reminds him of David’s faithful service; how he killed Goliath, risking his own life. In verse 5, we read: “…the Lord brought about great deliverance for all Israel. And you will sin against innocent blood to kill David. Saul agrees not to kill David. “So Jonathan brought David to Saul.”
2. Saul in one of his fits of rage, attempts to kill David with a spear. David’s quickness allows him to escape.
3. Saul sends messengers to David’s home to watch him and kill him in the morning. Micah, David’s wife and intervenes to help David escape, letting him down out of the window. She then places a dummy in her bed to deceive the soldiers sent to kill David. Psalm 59 describes this event.
4. David goes to Samuel, the one who anointed him and tells him all Saul has done to him. Saul learns of David’s whereabouts and sends three teams to assassinate David and each team is overcome by the Spirit of God. Saul goes himself and he also is overcome by the Spirit of God.
Notice in the first encounter, Jonathan reveals who is responsible for deliverance- the Lord. Here we also see a picture of Jesus, as Paul writes in Romans 5: 1- “…. We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jesus brought us before God the Father, faultless before His throne.
In the second account where David’s quickness allows him to dodge the spear intended to take his life David realizes, even the gift of his athleticism is from God as he writes in Psalm 139:
David understood the Lord had been present at his conception and had arranged his genetic structure. He wrote: “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made I secret and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book* they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalm 139) We were all created with the same detail, personally by God. We were created for a purpose. Paul writes: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2: 10) This explains why David was created with the talents and abilities he had. God gave them to David for a purpose. *How interesting that over 3,000 years ago, the Word of God tells us we were created according to God’s book. In the beginning of the 21st century, in June of 2000, President Bill Clinton held an event in the White House which was covered by the international press and a live hook up to Tony Blair in London as an international team under the leadership of Dr. Francis Collins, a committed Christian, medical doctor and science extraordinaire had broken the human genome code consisting of all the DNA of our species, the hereditary code of life. This code was written in a complex, cryptic 4 letter code, 3 billion letters long. Dr. Collins said, “It’s a happy day for the world. It is humbling for me, and awe-inspiring, to realize we have caught the first glimpse of our own instruction book, previously known only to God.” Clinton said, “today we are learning the language in which God created life. We are gaining even more awe for the complexity, the beauty, and the wonder of God’s most divine and sacred gift.” (The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, by Francis S. Collins) In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…..this is where the story starts. It is where Paul begin his witness on Mars Hill to the Greek philosophers.
The key to David’s success is stated in I Samuel 16:18: “…the Lord is with him.” This was the secret of Joseph’s success, of Joshua’s success, of Samuel’s success and it is the key and basis for success in the Christian life today. David knew his gifts and he experienced the power of God in using those gifts in his daily life. David loved the Lord and worshipped Him. When you love the Lord with all your heart you long to serve Him and do the work He has called you to do.
Notice what David said before he faced Goliath: “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” (I Samuel 17: 37) We, who are believers, have been delivered from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His marvelous light.
Micah acts to save David in the third attempt. And it the fourth attempt- it is the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit who delivers David from three groups who were sent to kill him and even from King Saul himself. In fact, it was the Spirit of God acting through Jonathan’s mediation with his father, David’s own quickness, and Micah’s help which were all inspired by the Spirit.
Deliverance is the act of being set free. Do you know what will set you free? Deliver you from what holds you captive? ‘Jesus said to those Jews who believed, if you continue in my word, you are my disciples indeed.’ This is a very important statement because it tells us what is the earmark and habit of a disciple: they continue in the Word of God day and night. Jesus then said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” And then four verses later, Jesus substitutes His name for the truth, “If the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8: 31- 36) In the movie, “ A Few Good Men”, starring Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson, Nicholson as a Colonel of the Marines stationed in Guantanamo Bay has a memorable line, “ You Can’t handle the truth!” Can you handle the truth? Paul wrote to Timothy and us and admonished us “To study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightfully dividing the Word of Truth.”
Jesus said in John 14: “Let not your hearts be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me.” Jesus is telling us the remedy for a troubled heart is to believe in Him. “In my Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you , I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am , there may you be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know. Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth and the life. “ In John 16, Jesus tells them it is to their advantage He goes away, so He can send the Helper. “However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all the truth;” Notice He, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. Who is Truth, the Lord Jesus. His Spirit comes to dwell within us- and will never leave us nor forsake us. The Spirit of Truth is with us to guide us in truth.
In John 18, during his arrest, Jesus is brought before Pilate and the conversation between Jesus and Pilate is of great interest. Listen in on this conversation as Jesus speaks to Pilate: “For this reason I was born and for this CAUSE I came into the world that I should be a witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth, hears my voice.
Truth in the 21st century is an endangered species. Do you know why truth is an endangered species? Because the enemy of your soul knows the Truth – the person of Jesus Christ can set you free. And it is faith in the Truth of who He is and what He did and believing in Him that sets you free. It is still the cross. It is still the blood of Christ which cleanses us of our sins and sets us free and allows us to be brought faultless before the throne of Almighty God by our Deliverer, our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. Satan has been trying to keep the truth for mankind since the garden of Eden.
Jesus invites people to believe in Him. I know there is a heaven, for Jesus, who is the Truth, said, if it were not so, he would have told me. I know there is a hell, a place of torment, which Jesus told us about it and described it in Luke 16.
The Spirit is our sure and absolute ultimate protection. We must trust the Lord with ALL OUR HEART. God enemies are under His control. How futile and foolish to go your own way and disregard God. Remember to always go to God for help when you are in trouble.
David fled to Samuel, God’s prophet. David was seeking the will of God. He wants to draw near to God. He wants to know how God would have him respond in this life-threatening situation.
I know you have problems you are facing, have faced or will face in the future. But let us consider David’s situation. David’s world is falling apart, or so it must seem to him. He has lost his job. He has lost his home. He will be hunted and persecuted for the next 10 years. He has to run for his life. What has he done to deserve this? Nothing. Absolutely nothing, but obey God. Serve God. Worship God. Love God. He has been faithful to God and David has also been faithful to King Saul. Yet King Saul is jealous of David and is determined to put him to death.
David has become an innocent fugitive.
So let’s observe what David does in these dire circumstances. Is he disappointed in how his life is going and how God is allowing him to be treated? Is he angry with God? Does he run and hide? No. David goes to Samuel. He goes to God’s prophet. He seeks refuge in God.
What do you do when life disappoints you? When it seems God is punishing you rather than rewarding your obedience and your service to Him and for Him? Does your flesh whisper to you- why are you being treated this way? Why has God turned His back on you? Do you turn away from God? This is exactly what the enemy of your soul wants you to do. You must turn to God. Run to Him. Draw near to God.
Job had every reason to curse God for the trouble which had fallen on him. He must have felt crushed by all God has allowed to happen to him. His wife told him to curse God and die. She was used by the enemy to get Job to give up on God. Abandon God. If you abandon God, you abandon all hope, for He is the God of all hope. The only source of hope which does not disappoint. Now it is hard for you to get too upset about David’s dire circumstances because you know how the story ends. David came to learn this truth: “THOUGH I WALK IN THE MIDST OF TROUBLE, YOU WILL REVIVE ME; YOU WILL STRETCH OUT YOUR HAND AGAINST THE WRATH OF MY ENEMIES AND YOU RIGHT HAND WILL SAVE ME. THE LORD WILL PERFECT THAT WHICH CONCERNS ME.”( Psalm 138: 7&8)
Are you upset with God today? Are you wondering why these things keep happening? Are you facing dire circumstances and crying out to God? Do you really just want to say to God- “God give me a break- gives us a break here Lord; we are worn out and we are barely hanging on. What about those promises you made to us that you would never put more on us than we can bear? Where is the way to escape or get through this? Be still and listen as Jesus tells you, I am the way, the truth and the life. Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God believe also in me. (John 14) I am working all things together for good for those who love me…
The mistake people make when things go wrong and their world is turned upside down is they move further away from God. They stop reading their Bible. They stop praying. They stop attending church, Bible study and fellowship with believers. Be honest- have you ever had a time when you were disappointed with God and they way He treated you? I have. And I believe based on scripture, others did also.
Do you see what David did? He went to Samuel. He poured out his heart to Samuel. “So David fled and escaped and went to Samuel at Ramah, and told all that Saul had done to him.”
I confess I do not like suffering. I do not like to see my loved ones suffer. Neither does God. We have a high priest, the Lord Jesus who is our advocate. He intercedes for us and understands us, because He has suffered also. He has suffered pain. He has suffered hunger and thirst. He has been forsaken by his followers, forsaken by His own Father, had one of his own disciples who betrayed Him, they spit on Him, they beat Him, plucked His beard, brutally beat Him and then crucified Him. We are told to look to Jesus, ‘the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Do you see the cross came before the joy of being the author and finisher of our faith. This tells us suffering comes before joy. Death comes before life. And Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.” The cross is a symbol of suffering.
LIFE IS DIFFICULT.
Life is filled with decisions. We want to make the right choices. Those choices which glorify God and benefit us and others. We need God’s guidance. How do we draw near to Him?
1. Cleansing. Is anything in my life hindering me from hearing from God has to say. Cleansing comes from confession. I John 1: 9. Ask the Spirit to search your heart.
2. Surrendering. Submit to God’s instructions. “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God that He might exalt you in DUE TIME, casting all your cares upon Him who cares for you. (I Peter 5: 6) It takes time. There are no short cuts. Waiting the right way is important.
3. Asking. James said, you have not, because you ask not. “Now this is the confidence we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions we have asked of Him.”
4. Meditating. God promise us if we meditate on His word day and night and do what is says we will have success. His word is a lamp unto our feet and a light upon our path.
5. Believing. I love the story in Mark 11 of the man whose son is sick. He desperately wants someone to heal his son, yet even the disciples cannot. Jesus tells him all things are possible to those who believe. The man blurts out- I believe, help my unbelief. Do you have an area of your life, a problem which has been there for years, which seems as if God can do nothing about? And you confess you have come to have a stronghold of unbelief. Pray Lord, I believe, help my unbelief. For when this man prayed this prayer, his son was healed.
6. Waiting. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked;” (is your flesh or someone else mocking God, by saying God is not going to help you out of this problem) for whatever a man sows, that will he also reap. For he who sows to the flesh will to the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in DUE SEASON WE SHALL REAP IF WE DO NOT LOSE HEART.
7. Receiving. When we obediently seek the will of God, we can be sure that He’ll hear us and give us the wisdom we need to make the right choices. Do not doubt. Be single minded, not double minded. He will keep in perfect peace whose mind is steadfast on Him, because He trusts God.
Now just as you are not worried about David’s problems, because you know how they will turn out. Guess what? God has said He will work all things together for good for those who love God who are the called according to His purpose.
So what do we say to these things- these problems which hinder you- the spears being thrown at you, the enemies who wait for you each morning? If God is for us (and He is!) who or what can be against us. If we are heirs to the promises made to Abraham, Joshua, David, then all we have to do is not grow weary in well doing and God will supply power to the weak, to not grow faint for in due season we will reap what we have sown..
It is not quitting time it is waiting and working time. Harvest time is near.
In the meanwhile know you have already been delivered.