Scripture: 1 Samuel 20:30–31; 21:1–4, 6, 8–9; 17:47; 22:10–11, 13–17, 22;
Psalm 9:9–10; Matthew 11:28–29
1. The ways of God are most unappealing and seemingly irrelevant when we are
angry, isolated, or afraid.
2. These three conditions have the power to undermine the resolve of even the most dedicated, devout, and disciplined among us. They can cause us to crash through every moral and ethical boundary we’ve set for ourselves.
3. They contributed to our greatest regrets and will be part of future regrets.
We feel compelled to do something . . . anything.
4. We rely on instinct . . . what comes naturally . . . what worked before.
5. We often make decisions that complicate our lives—decisions that have consequences far worse than the pain associated with loneliness, fear, and rejection. These consequences often leave us feeling more lonely, afraid, or rejected.
6. Canoe illustration: when you grab the sides, you are history. When you canoe, you learn to work against your instincts. It’s counterintuitive. When you are overcome with these emotions, the same is true.
7. I watch otherwise discerning, intelligent people make bad, life-‐complicating decisions when facing these three emotions.
· David was a legend. He had married the king’s daughter and was friends with the king’s son. He was a folk hero for killing the Philistine champion.
· King Saul was jealous. He hurled a spear at David. David stopped showing up for dinner. Saul asked Jonathan where he was.
· Jonathan covered for him and Saul sensed it. His own family was conspiring against him.
1 Samuel 20:30–31
· Jonathan warned David, who was 22.
· David was alone, afraid for his life, rejected by the man/nation he bled for. He’d done nothing wrong.
Isolated – Angry – Afraid
He panicked and entered survival mode.
1 Samuel 21:1–4, 6, 8–9
1 Samuel 17:47
Fear – Anger – Loneliness
Those three giants have the potential to cause us to forget the defeated giants of the past, don’t they?
1 Samuel 21:9
A flawed weapon. A flawed response. A disastrous outcome.
And there we are . . .
When we need God most, we’re apt to lean in least. We opt for things that never worked before . . . that didn’t get us to where we are . . . that often lead to regret.
We can see it in others. It’s hard to see in the mirror. Your situation is different, isn’t it? That’s what David thought.
If God were with me, this wouldn’t be happening to me.
It’s easy to trust God when we have nothing to trust him with and nothing to trust him for.
It’s harder to trust him when something of value starts slipping away.
David takes Goliath’s sword and flees to the Philistines. They don’t trust him. He fakes insanity—scratching and drooling. He flees to a cave. He finally comes to the end of himself.
He finds a prophet and asks, “What would God have me do?” But the damage was done.
Saul’s chief herdsman saw David with the priest. He reports to Saul . . .
1 Samuel 22:10–11, 13–17
1 Samuel 22:22
I am responsible for the death of your whole family.
Taking matters into our own hands feels good. It just rarely turns out good.
What is your loneliness, anger, or fear causing you to consider that you’ve never
Who is your loneliness, anger, or fear causing you to consider that you know you shouldn’t consider?
Who, besides you, do your considerations put at risk? What advice would you give somebody who is you?
I know what advice David would give. He wrote it in his journal:
Psalm 9:9–10 9 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.
“I thought I had been forsaken, but I was mistaken.” Don’t make that mistake!
One thousand years later, David’s most famous descendant would look into the eyes of frightened, over-‐taxed, seemingly abandoned Israelites and say: Matthew 11:28–29
When you feel forsaken, you are mistaken. Don’t run; remember. Don’t move until you are led. Psalm 9:9 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Psalm 9:9 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, your stronghold in times of trouble.