1 Samuel 27:1-28:2; 30:1-8 "The Portrait Hall": Reversed Photo Image

Have you ever seen a photo that was printed as a negative? The white is black and the black white. The color spectrum is opposite of the reality. For many of us, we live times in our lives dissatisfied with our soul condition – and things that are morally wrong and emotionally harmful begin to look more appealing or more potentially fulfilling. We buy into the deception that something on the outside can solve the problem that we have on the inside, a nagging dissatisfaction with the state of our walk with God, and our soul’s health. When left in that state, we are destined to follow wrong assumptions to wrong actions.

David struggled through this negative image time several times in his life. One of the profound times of inner dissatisfaction is captured in our story today, when David made a series of wrong moves in his life. Can you identify? What did David do to get out of the problem?

Key Principle: When I seek to solve my problems apart from seeking God Himself, I end up at a dead end.

Verse 1 is one of the most tragic moments in David’s life.

Watch out for the wrong time! The text begins with the word “then” (27:1). If you listen hard, you can hear the exhaustion in the word…”then”. David was promised a throne ten chapters of the story before. Saul had chased him and been humbled by him repeatedly. David thought it would never end, and was WORN OUT. It was the wrong time to draw conclusions about life and make changes that would have devastating consequences. It is not the time to make decisions that will draw you to God, but a terrible time to decide the problems outweigh God’s ability to heal your wounds!

Don’t seek the wrong person! The tragic words, “David said to himself”, reflect that David sought the wrong person to solve his exhaustion and discontent inside. (27:1b). You aren’t designed to fix all your own problems! David was consistently strong when he turned to God in pain, but consistently wrong when he turned to his own solutions! (Compare 1 Samuel 21 and the time he ate the bread, and fled to Achish acting insane. The end of the story was death to many who David loved!)

Don’t surrender to wrong beliefs! The verse moves on to say, “I will perish one day by the hand of Saul.” The substance of the claim negated what God’s Word on the subject said, in essence David was reversing God’s promises of 16:1 and 16:12. He was making the claim that God wouldn’t deliver and he needed to solve his own situation. He disagreed with God’s revealed truth.

Don’t decide based on wrong assumptions!  David said, “there is nothing better for me than to escape” (27:1b). How tragic! Because David figured out a way to ease his discomfort, he saw no value to drawing close to God and discerning His will. He knew what to do, or at least he thought he did. Yet, if you asked him that evening how he was in his walk with God, he knew in his heart he was walking on his own…

Question: What if what God was teaching him on the run was the best way for him to learn? What if the greatest blessing to the kingdom and to his Master would come through his temporary discomfort? Is ease always the best thing?

Don’t surrender to wrong actions! David used the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” philosophy when he “arose and crossed over” (27:2). He had been there before, and he knew it would solve one problem only to cause many others (chapter 21). Yet, in a deluded and worn out state, he gave in and crossed over.

Don’t become the wrong example! David not only crossed over, he took men who were not with him in his previous foray into sinful crossing over. The passage says “six hundred men who were with him” (27:2b). Even when you won’t make the right decision, remember the tragedy only grows when you lead others into the pit with you!

Don’t become comfortable in the wrong fulfillment! David surrounded himself with the comforts of home while out in the world. “Each with his household” (27:3) speaks of the comfort of the men as they settled in to a life accommodating to the world! People do it every Sunday. They come in saying the same words they used when they were on fire for God, knowing the fire has long since been doused with the water of worldly pleasures, fulfillments and thinking.

Don’t enlist in the wrong service! David and his men began to work to make the world happy with them (27:4-7). They served the objectives of another God rather than their own. The short term was they found a greater ease of life. The long term was they became virtually unusable to the Lord for His greater purposes. They became swallowed by the world’s objectives and soon the fruit would show!

Don’t succumb to wrong values! David and his men surrendered even the most basic sense of integrity to become deceivers of the first order (27:8-28:2). They had many justifications inside of why they couldn’t be honest with God in their situation, but they placed themselves in the situation to begin with.

Many unclear and gray choices arrive in the lives of believers who have consistently put themselves in wrong service positions! Remember that when you surrender the high ground of the service you place yourself in, you create the value dilemmas you must then live with!

What can I do when all these things are true of me? (30:1-8)

  1. Understand that when trouble comes, it will overtake you and those you have led into it (30:1-2).
  2. Recognize the sore trouble that is coming is a direct result of your choices, and the pain is God’s way of bringing you to your senses (30:3-5).
  3. Face the fact that you can only be changed by a heart change that you must desire. When we find other things as the center of our fulfillment, sometimes God must remove them to help us understand the deception. He alone is our peace. He is our Master. Every other service that is not for Him is essentially idolatry. It is slowly killing the truth in us! (30:6).
  4. Seek God’s answers as to how to step back to Him. He WILL answer. He wants you. That is what this whole exercise has been about! (30:7-8)

How do I know what to do? The answer is not in the magazine rack or the brochures, it must be found by first settling the important things on your knees. Remember, when I seek to solve my problems apart from seeking God Himself, I end up at a dead end.