26 Then the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is not David hiding himself on the hill of Hachilah, which is on the east of Jeshimon?” 2 So Saul arose and went down to the wilderness of Ziph with three thousand chosen men of Israel to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph. 3 And Saul encamped on the hill of Hachilah, which is beside the road on the east of Jeshimon. But David remained in the wilderness. When he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness, 4 David sent out spies and learned that Saul had indeed come. 5 Then David rose and came to the place where Saul had encamped. And David saw the place where Saul lay, with Abner the son of Ner, the commander of his army. Saul was lying within the encampment, while the army was encamped around him.
1 Samuel 26:1-5 (ESV)
For those who are fairly new to Red Village Church, perhaps even visiting for the first time this morning, let me share just some brief cliff notes on our church history. Red Village Church will officially be 13 years old this coming winter.
As it was 13 years ago, in December 2010, that the church received her first members. A group of 14 of us signed our church covenant, where we agreed on setting our collective hearts on fulfilling a set of ideals that we believe we see in the Scripture in terms of what a healthy church should be striving towards.
Within that, as Red Village received her first members, we did so with a simple motto. That motto simply states, “Red Village Church, where a wooden cross and an empty tomb mean everything.” This means that what Jesus accomplished for us in his death and resurrection was to be at the core of all that we were doing and all that we were hoping to accomplish.
As mentioned, that was 13 years ago this coming December. And God, in his grace and kindness over the years, has continued to sustain our little church family by continuing to bring new people into the family who have signed the same church covenant and added their voices to our family motto.
13 years of receiving new members, which testify to 13 years of the evidence of God’s grace on our church. Now, in 13 years, a lot can happen in church life, which certainly has been true for us.
In 13 years, we have had an ever-changing church family in terms of who makes up the family. Our beloved city of Madison is fairly transient, so the makeup of our church has reflected that. Every year, we can have a real portion of our church move out of Madison to a different part of the country and at times even different parts of the world. This has included a fairly significant number of us who have gone out from us to the foreign mission field. It’s also a huge evidence of grace on our church family, how God in His grace has chosen to use our church family to proclaim our family motto of: “A wooden cross and an empty tomb,” literally all over the world.
Although I am sure for those of us who have been around for any amount of time, it can be weary to see so many come and go. In our 13 years, we have had several different places to meet in.
We started out meeting on Sunday nights in a small church building near Camp Randall. From there, we met in a handful of different schools that required us to set up and take down every Sunday morning. If you were part of those set up and take down teams, you know that was a lot of work.
Five years ago, we were able to purchase this building to be a more permanent home for us. On one end, it meant no more weekly set up and take down work, but on the other end, having our own building has meant a lot of ongoing work that is needed to maintain the building. So over 13 years, a lot of work throughout the church family just to create space for us to meet and worship together on Sundays. This itself can cause weariness. But then when we consider all of the work put into the various ministries that we do as we meet, there has been even more work to create even more weariness.
For us, just consider how many different people are serving today in all of the different areas of service. A lot. And now multiply that by every Sunday over 13 years. A lot of work.
For us, even though we do think what we are doing right now on Sunday morning is the most important and central ministry that we do, we know this is not the only work of ministry that we do.
We have small groups throughout the week that require a lot of work and effort. From the start, we have also tried to do our best to find organic ways to care for each other and be in each other’s lives. Over 13 years, this has meant a lot of work, including things like hosting wedding and baby showers, organizing meal trains, helping others move, offering babysitting, assisting with home projects, or simply putting in the work to be a good friend by being there for one another.
We’ve done things like inviting others over to play board games or watch a movie, hanging out, or showing support to one another in different activities we are involved in. There has been a lot of work, a lot of good, albeit weary work, done over almost 13 years. We’ve done this not to earn God’s love but because through Jesus, the wooden cross, and empty tomb, we believe that we are loved in such a way that we are compelled to do good for the glory of God.
Now, I share all of this not simply to give those who are new or visiting with us some cliff notes on our church, but I share all of that because I also wanted to share for a couple of other reasons as well.
First, I share all of this to also share one of the ongoing concerns that I have had over the past almost 13 years of Red Village, which is the concern that over time, as a church family, we would grow weary in doing good. That we might be tempted to stop altogether. I particularly have that concern for those who have been with us for any amount of time. There has been a lot of weary work over the years. And I think we know this: it can be easier to start out doing good, the good things God would have us do, whatever that might be, but it is so much harder to continue to do good, to persevere in doing good. Because at times, good things can become weary things. So weary that we are tempted to stop doing them.
In fact, this concern that I have is really not my concern that I came up with on my own, but this really is one of the concerns of the New Testament, where multiple times the New Testament speaks towards this reality of the difficulty of continuing to do good in ways that honor the Lord.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
2 Thessalonians 3:13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
To say it again it can be somewhat easy to do something good but it is much harder much wearier to continue to do good.
Secondly, I wanted to mention this at the start today to hopefully help set us up for our text today. This is a text where we see David continuing to do good in God-honoring ways even though that had to be weary work for him to do. Weary work where he had to face the temptation to quit doing altogether. Before we get to our text let me briefly reminder where we have been in our study of 1 Samuel That helps us recognize how weary a work this had to be for David. If you remember David first came on the scene in 1 Samuel In chapter 16 Where we first met him As a young overlooked shepherd boy Who was unexpectedly anointed to be King of Israel the King coming from God’s own heart Which made David to be much different the present king of that time.
A man named Saul, who became King because of the sinful hearts of the people in 1 Samuel, shortly after David was anointed King. This required him to be a king in waiting because Saul was still on the throne. We read that David became very popular and well-liked to those around him, including King Saul. God used David to do good to Saul by providing comfort to Saul when he was being tormented and by achieving great military victories for Saul, helping defeat Saul’s enemies on the battlefield.
In chapters 17 and 18, we read that not only did David quickly become popular among those around him, but he also quickly gained popularity throughout the land. This really started when David famously killed the giant man Goliath, making him an overnight celebrity with star-like status throughout the kingdom.
In our study, as David became more and more popular due to the various good works that he was doing, Saul started to have a change of heart in his thoughts towards David. Saul became more and more bitter and paranoid towards David because he began to recognize that David was a threat to his power and control as king. So, from chapter 18 onward, Saul started to act out in bitterness and paranoia in such stark ways where obsessively he tried to take David’s life in multiple different ways, starting with the attempt to kill David by pinning him to the wall with his trusty spear.
And as Saul was on his obsessive quest to kill David, it naturally put David and a small band of his men on the run, where they attempted to hide from Saul in order to save their own lives.
We do not know exactly how much time had passed from chapter 18 to our text today in chapter 26, but I think it is safe to say some real time has passed. In fact, if we back up to when David was anointed to be King in chapter 16, which most likely happened when David was still in his teens, some scholars think it was actually 13 years from then to our text today, and maybe 4 years from Saul’s first attempt to kill David to the scene in our text today. So, some real time where a lot had happened in David’s life, where in that time, David did a lot of good, including saving Saul’s life, which he did just a couple of chapters back in chapter 24.
To say it again, this good work over many years had to leave David weary, with some temptation to give up on the good work that he was doing.
So with all that being said, if you could look back with me starting at verse 1, where we read that the Ziphites came to Saul who was at his home in Gibeah, and as they came to him, they had something they wanted to tell him.
“King Saul, is not David your rival who you are seeking to kill? Is he not hiding himself on the hill of Hachilah, east of Jeshimon?”
Now, a couple of quick thoughts here. First, we already met the Ziphites in chapter 23, where in that scene, much like today, they went to Saul to, in a sense, rat out David and betray him by offering up to Saul where David was hiding.
As we work through the text today, we are going to come across a lot of parallels to things that already happened in 1 Samuel to David. These parallels, I think, would have only made it that much harder for David to not grow weary in doing good. At least for me, the parallels would have made me cynical, where I would just want to throw my hands up in the air and quit.
For example, if I were David, I would be like, “Here again, the Ziphites are up to their same old antics. They’re ratting me out again. I am so sick of these people. Why can’t they just leave me alone?”
Just think how easy it would be to get cynical here and how hard it would be to continue to trust in the Lord and do good.
Secondly, we will circle back to this a bit at the end, but take note that Psalm 54 was written by David when the Ziphites went to Saul to tell him, “Is not David hiding out among us?” I mentioned this a few weeks back, but so many of the Psalms we love were written by David when he was on the run in 1 Samuel, where David was in weary places as he waited on the Lord and His timing for him to more officially become king.
Yet in his weary places, rather than running from God, David’s model was to run to God in worship. So rather than being cynical and bitter towards the Ziphites, he used their evil acts towards him to drive him to worship, which is the ultimate good we must set our hearts towards – to worship God.
Verse 2: As Saul received this news from the Ziphites, it was news to his ears. So we read that he arose and went down to the wilderness of Ziph with 3000 of his best-chosen men to seek David out. This is a similar parallel to chapter 24, where likewise Saul took 3000 of his men to find David, who at the time was hiding in the Engedi. And by the way, I mentioned this a couple of weeks back, but I think it is worth mentioning here: In chapter 24, after David spared Saul’s life, remember how Saul, with tears in his eyes, promised to be good towards David going forward, seemingly accepting that David was going to be king.
Today, just two chapters later, Saul already was going back on his word, where our scene today proves that Saul wasn’t really repenting of his actions towards David; rather, he was just showing some remorse, some worldly sorrow, which we will see he will do again in our text today.
Verse 3: As Saul and his army of 3000 arrived, we read that they set up camp on the hill in Hachilah, which was near the road just east of Jeshimon. As Saul set up his camp, no doubt David and his men heard and saw them coming. Because Saul had such a large army of men with him, at least in comparison to David and his 600 men, we read that David decided it was wisest to just remain hidden in the wilderness and figure out what to do from there rather than try to engage in battle.
So, in Verse 4, as David and his men put their plan together, they thought it was best to send out a few spies or scouts just to make sure that indeed it was Saul who was there and not some other military party. And in our text, seemingly as the scouts returned to David in Verse 5, they confirmed that indeed it was Saul who arrived on the scene. As this information was confirmed, we read that David got up and, perhaps surprisingly, headed right to Saul’s camp.
Now, if it were me, I would have gone in the opposite direction, but here, brave David went to where Saul was. As he got to the camp, he was able to find some kind of high ground where he could look down on Saul’s camp and get a lay of the land. This allowed David to pinpoint the place where Saul would lay, which would have been the most well-protected place in the camp, right next to the commander of his army. In our text, we learn that the commander was a man named Abner, the son of Ner. We met Abner already in chapter 14, where we learned that he was Saul’s cousin.
In our text today, Saul’s tent was in the middle with Abner’s tent next to him, and the rest of the army camped all around, seemingly in multiple layers of tents circling around Saul’s. This setup would have made it virtually impossible to get to Saul, which was the point.
In Verse 5, as David got the layout of the camp, we read that he had another surprising idea, a desire to go down into the camp of Saul and make his way through the circle of tents all the way to Saul’s.
In Verse 6, with this desire, David started to ask those around him who were willing to join him on this mission. He specifically asked Ahimelech the Hittite and Joab’s brother Abishai, the son of Zeruiah. We read that Abishai agreed to David’s desire by simply telling David, “I am in; I will go down with you.”
Now, let’s not underestimate how much courage and trust in the Lord David and Abishai had here. This was a dangerous desire, to say the least.
Verse 7: With their confirmed desire, the two men waited until nightfall to head down to the camp. Even though they were acting in courage and trust, they wanted to exercise some wisdom to not test the Lord. It was wisest to wait for night to come and sneak around the camp under the cover of darkness.
In our text, as nightfall came, we read that Saul, Abner, and the rest of the camp fell fast asleep. Our text tells us that as Saul slept, he did so next to his trusty spear stuck in the ground right next to his head. Perhaps this was the same spear he had tried multiple times to pin David to the wall with.
Now, it’s hard to know why Saul laid right next to his spear stuck into the ground. Perhaps there was nothing of real significance for Saul to do that, but I do think that the spear had some symbolism of authority. So perhaps even as he slept, he wanted others to see that he was in charge, that he was the King.
In Verse 8, as David and Abishai sneaked around, amazingly, they were able to make their way through all of the layers of circles, 3000 men worth, as they got all the way into the innermost heavily protected part of the camp, Saul’s tent.
As the two men made their way all the way to Saul, we read that Abishai said something very similar to what David’s men said to him in Chapter 24 when Saul went to relieve himself in a cave where David was hiding. This is another parallel in the text. Abishai said, “David, God has given your enemy into your hand this day,” virtually the same thing David’s men said in Chapter 24 in the cave.
In our text today, Abishai said to David, “David, just say the word, and please let me go over to Saul’s spear and give him a taste of his own medicine by letting me strike him down with one swift blow that will surely take his life, because David, I won’t need to strike him a second time.”
Now, think of how tempting this had to be for David to act on this counsel by Abishai, to justify giving the word to strike Saul dead. After all, this opportunity came to him a second time, and a second time he got the same counsel. So, why not this time, let’s kill Saul? After all, I could justify that he had done plenty of good to Saul over the years. As mentioned just 2 chapters back, he spared Saul’s life, and here in the text today, Saul was the one who went against his word when he said he was not going to seek to kill David anymore. Really, Saul had it coming. If I were David, I am just so tired and weary over the many years of doing good. At this point, I have earned this; I deserve this. Doing good is not paying off.
However, as we continue reading, David didn’t do that. David did not grow weary in doing good. So, yet another parallel in Verse 9, as David responded back to Abishai in a very similar way he did to his men in the cave, by disciplining Abishai with his words and his actions.
David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy Saul, for who can put out his hand against the Lord’s anointed?” This was referring to the point that before David was anointed to be King, Saul was anointed to be king.
Abishai, do not harm the Lord’s anointed, for who can strike down the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless? The implied answer is no one. To strike down the Lord’s anointed comes with guilt.
So, in Verse 10, Abishai, rather than striking down Saul, suggests that they trust in the Lord, be patient, and not take matters into their own hands. He continues, “As the Lord lives, we can trust a time is coming when Saul will not live. Either the Lord himself will strike him down, or Saul will grow old, and it will be his time to die, or Saul will eventually perish in battle. However it happens, whenever it happens, Saul’s life will come to an end. But let’s not be the ones who are responsible for that happening. Let’s do good here and spare Saul’s life.”
David responds to Abishai in Verse 11, saying, “Lord forbid that I should put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed. So, Abishai, what we are going to do is, rather than taking the spear to kill Saul, let’s take that spear that is at his head, as well as that jar of water, and let’s head back and leave Saul alone.”
So with that, in Verse 12, David took the spear and the water jar, and the two men made their way out of the camp. They did so in ways that no man saw it or knew what just happened. The entire camp slept through it all, which happened because our text tells us that the Lord put Saul and his camp into a deep sleep.
So, with Saul and the men in deep sleep, we read in Verse 13 that David was able to get all the way over to the other side of the camp, where he was able to stand afar on top of a hill, a safe distance away. As David reached this safe distance, it was time for the camp to wake up. In Verse 14, David acted as the alarm clock as he called out to the army, specifically to Abner, shouting, “Will you not answer, Abner?” As David’s voice woke up the camp, and this question landed on Abner’s ears, we read that Abner was a little uncertain about who it was calling out from the hill, perhaps still in a bit of the fog that comes when coming out of a deep sleep.
So, we read that as Abner was rubbing the sleep out of his eye, he responded back to David, “Who are you? Who are you that calls us to the king? Identify yourself to us.”
To which David responded back to Abner in Verse 15 with a series of questions for him. “Abner, are you not a man? Who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not kept watch over the Lord the king?” In short, David pointed out to Abner that he, as the commander of the King’s army, held an incredible position of honor and responsibility, yet he didn’t even know that someone speaking of himself had come in to destroy the king, his Lord. David questioned Abner, “How could you let that happen? Why were you not faithful to do the good thing given to you, to watch over the king?”
In Verse 16, David continued, “Abner, that thing that you have done, it is not good. It is not good that you didn’t protect the king. David said to Abner, “Abner, as the Lord lives, you deserve to die. You deserve to die because you were not faithful to your responsibility. You did not do the good thing you were entrusted with, as you did not keep watch over your lord, the Lord’s anointed.”
And Abner, if you do not believe me that people came into the camp who could have destroyed the king, take a close look at what I am holding in my hands. Does this look familiar to you, Abner? Even with sleep in your eyes, you can see that I am holding the king’s spear and jar of water that was at his head. Abner, faithless Abner, that is how close I was to Saul, that is how easy it could have been for me to take his life because you failed to do the good thing of protecting his life.
In Verse 17, as David was putting Abner on blast, another parallel occurred because we read that Saul also was awakened by David’s voice. As Saul could hear the voice coming down from the hill, he started to recognize whose voice it belonged to. So, similar to Chapter 24 and the scene at the cave, Saul called out, “Is this your voice, my son David?”
To which David responded, “It is my voice, my lord, O king.” Here, David continued to do further good by showing honor to the King, which I’m sure was not an easy thing to do.
Verse 18: As David identified himself to Saul, David then asked Saul a series of questions. “Saul, who do you continue to pursue after me, even though I have proven to be nothing more than your faithful servant? Saul, tell me my charges, what have I done that you are so obsessed with trying to take my life? Tell me, Saul, what is the exact evil that is on my hands? Tell me, Saul, why do you continue to seek my life?”
I kind of get the sense that David was exasperated here. Seriously, Saul, we are doing this again. Not only are we doing this because the Ziphites are ratting me out again, but seriously, Saul, I am needing to ask you the same basic questions that I have already asked you. Questions that prove my innocence, but yet I am doing the same good thing.
Verse 19: Therefore, let my lord the King hear the words of me, his servant. If it is the Lord God who has stirred you up against me for something that I have done wrong, then I pray that the Lord accepts an offering where I will seek His forgiveness. Meaning, Saul, I will own it if I did evil and I brought this on myself. But, Saul, if you are stirred up against me because of men, which I am sure also refers back to the previous conversation between these two in Chapter 24 when David called out Saul for his foolish counsel, which only inflamed Saul’s bitter jealousy and paranoid heart.”
Saul, if all of this continues to happen because of your sinful and foolish men who you continue to listen to, may they be cursed before the Lord. For their sinful and evil hearts have driven me out this day in ways that I have no share in the heritage of the Lord. This is just a reference to Saul’s kingdom being the promised land for God’s people, which we learned at the start of our study of 1 Samuel was where the ark of God was located, the central location of worship. So what David was saying here is that he was on the run by the hands of evil men in ways that he was not able to worship God in the ways he desired to do so. The evil men were taking that from him.
Not only were the evil men taking that from David, but in the end of Verse 19, as David was on the run, he was having to hide out in foreign lands where it was as if the evil men in Saul’s corner were saying, “Go and serve other gods,” rather than the one true and living God.
Verse 20: “Now therefore, Saul, let not my blood fall to the earth away from the presence of the Lord, for the king of Israel has come out to seek a single flea, like the one who hunts a partridge in the mountains.” This is yet another parallel to Chapter 24 where David likewise questioned Saul on why he was spending so much time, energy, and effort trying to kill him.
Even though to David, in his own eyes, he was nothing more than a dead dog, a single flea, here David was continuing to not count himself more highly than he ought. This can also be weary work. Naturally, we often want to count ourselves more highly than we ought, whether it be through pride that puffs up or pride that cowers down. To say it again, David is trying to stay humble, even though he was frustrated and exasperated.
Verse 21: As David confronted Saul, you guessed it, another parallel. We read that Saul responded back to David, like he did in previous passages. “David, I have sinned, my son David. Please return to me and my court, and I promise, this time will be different. I will do you no harm. Yes, I know, I know, I know. I have said this in the past as well, only for me to go back on my word. But this time, it is different. This time, I really do see that my life was precious in your eyes, and this time, trust me, I really do see that I have acted foolishly and made a great mistake.”
By the time we get to Chapter 28, we will see that this latest promise of Saul in our text today will prove to be no different from his past promises that he didn’t keep. This is just more of Saul’s cyclical sinful behavior where he ran his mouth, made promises that he could not keep. This was more worldly sorrow rather than genuine godly grief with repentance and faith.
Verse 22: As David heard Saul’s latest empty promise, we read that he responded back, “Saul, here is the spear, O King. Let one of your young men come up here and take it back to give to you. For, O King, I trust that the Lord rewards every man for his righteousness and every man for his faithfulness. For it was the Lord who, once again, gave you into my hand today. But rather than taking your life, I continued to trust in the Lord. Which is why I did not put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed.”
To keep saying it, this would have been the easy thing to do. For weary David, it would have been so easy for David to throw his hands in the air and say, “I am done. I can’t handle this anymore. I have done plenty of good to Saul. I can’t do it anymore.”
That would have been so easy for David to do. Verse 24: “Saul, behold, as your life, O King, was once again precious this day in my sight, so may my life be precious in the sight of the Lord. And may He be the one who delivers me yet again out of all tribulation.” David had plenty of tribulation at this point. His life was not easy up to this point. A good portion of David’s young life was either at war or on the run. Plenty of weary-filled tribulation. Yet despite the many ups and downs, David set his heart to trust in the Lord through the rollercoaster of his life. Trusting that God was good and it was good for David to do good to others even though so many things in David’s life were not good.
Finally, this morning, our text ends with verse 25, with Saul one last time responding back to David with one last parallel to something he said previously more than once in 1 Samuel: “Blessed be you, my son David. You will do many things and will succeed in them.” Which here was just more of Saul running his mouth. And with that, the two men went their separate ways, with David going his way as Saul returned back to his place, back home in Gibeah.
Now, just wanting to be clear, we do not do good with the hopes that God will accept our worship. That is not the Christian message. The New Testament tells us it is by grace through faith in Jesus and His work on our behalf that we are accepted by God. The work of Christ on the wooden cross and the empty tomb is the basis of our acceptance. Friends, here is the truth of the Scripture: we all have sinned; we all have fallen short. In a very real sense, all of us had a hand in crucifying Jesus, who is the true Lord’s anointed.
However, as Christians, we respond to God’s grace by worshiping Him. Our worship flows from a heart transformed by His love. It is an expression of our gratitude and love for what He has done for us. Worship reminds us that God is the ultimate source of our strength and endurance. When we gather together to worship, we are strengthened and encouraged to continue doing good, even when it’s tough.
Second pillar is Community. We are not called to live the Christian life in isolation. We are part of a community of believers, and this community is a source of support and encouragement. When we grow weary in doing good, our brothers and sisters in Christ can lift us up and remind us of our calling to love and serve others.
The third pillar is Outreach. Our mission as Christians is not just to do good within the walls of our church but to reach out to a world in need. Outreach can be challenging, and we may face resistance or obstacles. But we press on because we are driven by our love for God and our desire to share His love with others. Our outreach efforts can bring hope and transformation to individuals and communities, and this is a powerful motivator to not grow weary.
Lastly, Discipleship. We are called to grow in our faith and understanding of God’s Word. Discipleship equips us with the knowledge and wisdom to navigate the challenges of life and to persevere in doing good. When we study God’s Word, we are reminded of His promises and the examples of faithful men and women who endured hardships while doing good.
Now, as we begin to close this time, I do want to finish kind of where we started. And the ongoing encouragement of the NT to not grow weary in doing good is always a concern because doing good, persevering in doing good, is not always easy. It might be easy to start doing good, but not easy to continue to do good over years and years, especially if those years and years are filled with many ups and downs.
And now, I want to finish this off by using our four church pillars to help us think through and apply the call to not grow weary in doing good.
The first pillar is Worship. Now, just wanting to be clear, we do not do good with the hopes that God will accept our Worship. That is not the Christian message. The NT tells us it is by grace through faith in Jesus and His work on our behalf that is how we are accepted by God – the work of Christ on the wooden cross and the empty tomb. That is the basis of our acceptance. Friends, here is the truth of the Scripture: we all have sinned, we all have fallen short. In a very real sense, all of us had a hand in crucifying Jesus, who is the true Lord’s anointed.
And because we all have sinned, we all are filled with guilt; none of us are guiltless. But the good news is that God, in His love and mercy, sent His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die for us in our place, to take on the punishment of our sin, only to rise again on the third day. As mentioned, all who by faith turn from sin and turn to Jesus would be accepted by God in ways that we could now worship Him.
For those of us here who have faith in Christ, a very real part of our ongoing worship of Christ for who He is and what He has done for us is to walk in good works that He has prepared for us beforehand. In the text, as mentioned, for David, worship was at the center. Psalm 54 is a great text on worship where David worshipped the Lord despite the Ziphites once again betraying him. In the text, when David confronted Saul from the safe location, what broke David’s heart was how all of what Saul was doing was hindering his worship, where he was not able to fully enjoy and share in the heritage of the Lord.
Friends, for those who have faith in Christ in all of the ups and downs of life, do not grow weary in worshipping Jesus by doing good. And for those here who do not yet have faith in Christ, I would like to invite you right now to humbly turn and trust in Him, in His good work that He accomplished on the cross and in His resurrection, where His blood was spilled and fell to the ground for guilty sinners just like you. It is incredibly prideful to think that somehow you can earn favor from God by doing good works as if you do not need Jesus. Red Village, don’t grow weary in worship.
Second Pillar: Connect. Let me give you two reasons why we really do hope everyone in the church is connecting. First, we can’t really do good if we are not connecting with others. In the Scriptures, so much of doing good involves doing good towards others – serving others, caring for others, encouraging others, and using your spiritual gifts for others. This includes others that you don’t necessarily like. In fact, Jesus even told us that even sinners love those who love them and do good to them, but we are to love your enemies and do good towards them.
Which is the ongoing model, David and his ongoing doing good towards Saul, who was not good at all towards David. Friends, if we are going to do good as a means of worship, we have to connect with others. Second, if we are going to do good, we need to connect in ways that we help each other. To keep saying it, it can be hard to do good, especially over time, so we need each other to help each other to not give up and give in to sin.
In the cave in chapter 24, that is what David did for the men who were with him, who no doubt were also weary from being on the run. David helped them, discipled them on the how and why to do good in sparing Saul’s life. The same thing happened in our text today with Abishai; that is what David did again. As David discipled him on the how and why to do good by once again sparing Saul’s life.
Friends, this is the real reason why we want to stay connected – to help each other here to do good. And by the way, for those who are new to Red Village or even visiting today, we would love to connect with you in ways that you join our church family.
Red Village, do not grow weary in connecting. Third, I think one of the real ways that we grow is right here, by staying committed to doing good even when we are weary. To say it one last time, the easy thing is when things are hard is to quit, to walk away, to give in to sin. But friends, if we are going to grow in our faith, we must persevere in doing good, even during the many challenges of life where we are tempted to be cynical and throw our hands up in the air out of frustration and exasperation. Those times really are times we can grow the most, trusting that in the end, the Lord will reward every man for his righteousness and faithfulness. Red Village, do not grow weary in growing.
And the last one, Fourth: Go. The words of our Lord in Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Which reminds us that when we connect, it just can’t be with other Christians. If we are going to truly worship the Lord and do good, we must also connect with those who have yet to know Christ. And if we are not connecting with those who do not know Christ, there is a real issue. Our Lord calls us to Go by doing good and proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ to a world that needs to hear it.
In fact, 13 years ago when we started, that was one of the great hopes that we had, that we would faithfully go to those around us with the message of Christ. And this desire is reflected in our church covenant. We will work together with great passion, zeal, and urgency to spread the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to all the nations of the earth. Red Village, may we not grow weary in our call to Go.
That, by God’s grace, for many more years to come, we might see many others all over the world join us in proclaiming that the wooden cross and empty tomb really do mean everything. Because it is the greatest of all good.