Chapter 3 & 4 of Facing Your Giants
Saul explodes in anger when he learns that David was to be anointed, King. He orders his servants and his son, Jonathan, to kill David but they refuse. Saul tries himself to murder David with a spear but misses so he sends his men to kill him and once again David escapes.
David asks Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my iniquity, and what is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life?” I Samuel 20:1 Jonathan has no explanation for David and has every right to wish David dead because he was in line to be king when Saul dies. Jonathan remains a true friend and protects David. “Who can justify the rage of Saul?” Max asked.
There are Sauls in our life. Max writes: “Who knows why a father torments a child, a wife belittles her husband, a boss pits employees against each other? But they do.” “How does God respond in such cases? Nuke the nemesis? We may want him to. How will he treat yours; I can’t say. But how will he treat you, I can. He will send you a Jonathan.”
“Major in your evil emperor if you chose. Paint horns on his picture. Throw darts at her portrait. Make and memorize a list of everything the Spam-brain took: your childhood, career, marriage, health. Live a Saul saturated life. Wallow in the sludge of pain. You’ll feel better, won’t you?” Or will you? Linger too long in the stench of your hurt and you’ll smell like the toxin you despise.”
“Oh, to have a friend like Jonathan. A soul mate who protects you, who seeks nothing but your interest, wants nothing but your happiness. You feel safe with that person. God gave David such a friend. He gave you one as well. You can find that friend in Jesus Christ. Among Jesus final words: “I am with you always, even until the end of the world.” (Matt. 28:20)
Max concludes this chapter: “Your Saul took much, but Jesus Christ gave you more. Let Jesus be your friend. Talk to him. Spare no detail. Disclose your fear and describe your dread. Will your Saul disappear? Who knows? And in a sense, does it matter? You just found a friend for life. What could be better than that?”
Max begins: “The desperate man sits in the corner of the church assembly. Dry mouth, moist palms. He scarcely moves. He feels out of place in a room of disciples, but where else can he go? He just violated every belief he cherished. Hurt every person he loves. Spent a night doing what he swore he he’d never do. And now on Sunday, he sits and stares. He doesn’t speak. If these people knew what I did…”
“Scared, guilty and alone. He could be an addict, a thief, a child-beater, a wife-cheater. He could be she-single, pregnant, confused. He could be any number of people, for any number of people come to God’s people in his condition-hopeless, hapless, helpless.”
“How will the congregation react? Criticism or compassion? Rejection or acceptance? Raised eyebrows or extended hands?”
I want to interject a thought here. Sometimes we Christians can get self- righteous. My sins are NOT as bad as his or hers. Romans 3:23 tells us: “for we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. I Corinthians 13 illustrates love: “it is not self-seeking; it keeps no record of wrongs.”
David goes on the run after Saul tries six times to have him killed. He runs to the small town of Nob seeking sanctuary and lies to Ahimelech the priest of that town. David begins a series of lies by telling the priest he’s on a secret mission for Saul. He tells the priest that is ok for him and his men to eat the holy bread. He lies again when he tells the priest he has no weapon to defend himself and takes the very sword with which he killed Goliath. “David has lost his God focus.”
Max continues: “Where can the desperate go? They can go to a sanctuary. God’s church. They can look for an Ahimelech, a church leader with a heart for desperate souls.”
The church is NOT the building on the corner, but it is the group of people who seek refuge and to worship there.
“Bread and blades. Food and equipment. The church exists to provide both. Does she succeed in doing so? Not always. People-helping is never a tidy trade because people who need help don’t lead tidy lives. They enter the church as fugitives, seeking shelter from angry Sauls in some cases, bad decisions in others.”
“David teaches the desperate to seek help amidst God’s people. David stumbles in this story. Desperate souls always do. But at least he stumbles into the right place—into God’s sanctuary, where God meets and ministers to hopeless hearts.”
If you need sanctuary go and find that church to help you. If you are part of that church, be willing to help God administer his love.
Facing Your Giants - Max Lucado - 2006 - Thomas Nelson Publishing
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