Circumstances may present the idea as good, those around you may be cheering it on as a good idea. But is it really?Greensburg Church of the Nazarene
**not a word for word transcript, but the sermon manuscript**
GOOD IDEA BAD IDEA
READING THE TEXT: 1 Samuel 24:3-7
3 Saul came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave. 4 The men said, “This is the day the Lord spoke of when he said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.’” Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. 5 Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. 6 He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, or lift my hand against him; for he is the anointed of the Lord.” 7 With these word David rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way. (NIV)
This is the Word of God, for the people of God, thanks be to God.
Anyone work at a job where your boss hates you? Are there any students in here who are convinced that their teacher does not like you? My youngest sister once had a high school English teacher ask, “Are you related to Jason and Travis Barnett?” When she replied, “yes,” the teacher let it be known that was not a good start.
David, the one who fought Goliath and would later become king, found himself in a hostile work environment. After slaying the giant, King Saul had invited David to the palace to play the harp for him. Of course, David was famous in the nation for being a mighty warrior and God had anointed him as the future king. Saul was jealous of the popularity and angry about his royal line not continuing. On two separate occasions, Saul hurls a spear at David’s head as he is playing the harp. Now David is being chased all over the countryside, pursued by Saul and his men.
IN THE TEXT
***(v3-4) GOOD IDEA***
Verse 3 tells us that Saul needed a bathroom break, so he found a cave and went inside. He sought privacy, like we would, away from his men. But Saul did not know David and his men were hiding inside the cave. It was dark and Saul was in no position to defend himself.
As I had mentioned earlier, God has anointed David the future king. David could only take this role once Saul was out of the way. And here Saul created an opportunity for David to seize what was promised. David’s men recognized the moment, saying, “Can you believe it? This is the day God was talking about when he said, ‘I’ll put your enemy in your hands. You can do whatever you want with him.’” Divine providence seemed to place David’s enemy directly into his hands. It seemed like a good idea.
***(v5-7) BAD IDEA***
David sneaks up and cuts off a piece of Saul’s royal robe. Whether Saul was wearing the robe, or it was next to him is irrelevant. What is relevant is that David got close enough to kill Saul but instead only takes a piece off Saul’s robe.
Immediately, David is filled with guilt. He had the opportunity to kill Saul, David may have even approached Saul with the intent to kill him. From our perspective and that of his men, David had every right to defend himself and put an end to the danger. And it even seemed that it was divine appointment. But David only cuts off part of Saul’s robe, and even that was too much for his conscience.
Remember, Saul was anointed by God as king. David was anointed to be the future king, but that only would happen after Saul died. While God anointed David for the future, Saul was still the divinely appointed king. David understood it was God who placed Saul on the throne, and God did not give him permission to kill Saul. God would be the one to remove Saul. He also understood that this would set a model disrespectful to the office of king and to God.
After telling his men why he spared Saul’s life, verse 7 mentions, “David rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. This implies they did not agree with David’s understanding. If David did not have the stomach to do it himself, they were ready to do it for him. But David would not allow them to disrespect the king or God. It seemed like a good idea, but really it was a bad idea.
FROM THE TEXT: A war that rages
What does this have to do with us? The obvious connection many draw from this passage is a call to respect those in authority. And that is certainly true, we should respect our leaders. Our point certainly connects with that idea, but the real issue is war that rages in our heart. A war that ravages our minds as we attempt to choose between a good idea and a bad idea. There is only one way to know for sure. What does your heart tell you?
Your heart is not based on the crowd. The crowd may chant your name, cheering you on in a particular direction. They may see the circumstances surrounding the idea, declaring the way must be good because all the stars have aligned, and the ducks are all in a row. But it does not matter what the circumstances are saying, nor how loudly the crowd is cheering you. They may even say, “God is showing you it is okay.” But what does your heart say?
When I ask, “what does your heart say?” I am not talking about a heart that is enslaved to sin, constantly pursuing fleshly passions. What does your heart that is surrendered to Christ say? Only a heart surrendered to God is sensitive enough to hear the Savior call. Crowds chant your name, but Christ whispers to your surrendered heart, letting you know the difference between a good idea and a bad idea. This was how David was able to remain faithful to God when the signs and the crowd were chanting for him to pick the bad idea.
BEYOND THE TEXT: A voice that whispers
Jesus said, “My sheep recognize my voice.” (John 10:27) After Jesus had resurrected in John 20, Mary Magdalene did not recognize Him until He spoke her name. If your heart belongs to God, you will hear the Savior’s call. And if your heart is sensitive enough to hear Christ’s voice, you will be able to distinguish between a good idea and a bad idea. Even when the lines are blurred and you make a mistake, if your heart is that sensitive will never wander far because the Master’s voice will always guide you back home.
Earlier in the gospel of John, the apostle records Jesus saying, “The one who belongs to God listens and responds to God’s words. You don’t listen and respond because you don’t belong to God.” (John 8:47, NET) David belonged to God. He had spears chucked at his head, was forced from his home, and David was on the run. He had done nothing wrong. All those emotions were swirling in his heart and mind as David clutched that knife, creeping toward Saul. His men were chanting “go for it” and the circumstances seemed to be good. But God’s whisper stopped David from murder, and convicted David for even harming his Saul’s robe. If God can do that in David’s life, He can do that in yours.
CALL TO RESPONSE:
Do you belong to God? If your heart is surrendered to Christ, you will hear His whisper above all the noise. Can you hear it? Even if you have picked some bad ideas lately, or for a lifetime, that sensitiveness to it as a mistake is a blessing from God. It is his way of calling you home. Follow Jesus’s voice, that is the good idea.
Season 1 Episode 33, "Most important question." The text for the message is from Mark 8:27-30, part 1 of a series called The Son of Man. The question we are trying to answer is "What is the most important question?"