Pastor Carolyn Poteet

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October 27


Carolyn Poteet


"The Cave Confrontation "


Psalm 57:1-11
1 Samuel 24:1-2

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October 24, 2019

"I will not lay my hand on my lord, because
he is the Lord's anointed." 
~ 1 Samuel 24:10 

Greetings in the Name of the Lord, Jesus Christ!
Many thanks to Pastor Steve for preaching last Sunday and making it possible for me to get away for a conference and a little beach time. I am grateful for the Bible's reminder that even Jesus needed time away - he even took naps! It is easy for us to get caught up in the busy-ness of life, but it is often in times of rest that we finally can lower the noise level enough to hear the still small voice. I hope you can each find time to rest and enjoy the beauty of this season - especially before we hit the busy-ness of the holidays!

This week as we continue our series In the Line of the King, we will be looking at a climactic moment in the conflict between Saul and David. Saul has hated David for years and has been trying to kill him every chance he gets. One of Saul's spies tells Saul where David and his men are hiding, and Saul again sets off in hot pursuit.

David is in En Gedi, on the east side of the Dead Sea. The remarkable thing about En Gedi is that even though it is in the midst of the desert, it is one of the few places in the region that has a fresh-water spring running into a waterfall all year long. David fled to it both for shelter and for streams of living water. And yet a betrayer has sent his enemy straight to him.

In 1 Samuel 24, Saul arrives in En Gedi to hunt for David. He needs to take a pitstop, so he goes into a cave, the exact cave where David and his men are hiding. David's men urge him on, telling him that now is his chance to vindicate himself and kill Saul. David creeps forward but instead of killing Saul, he only cuts off a corner of Saul's robe.

David immediately realizes that even that action was taking the Lord's vengeance into human hands, and he repents and prevents his men from doing any harm to the king.

Only when Saul leaves the cave does David reveal himself and use the corner of Saul's robe as evidence of how he had shown mercy to Saul. He vows not to harm Saul and declares his trust that the Lord will judge between them. Saul realizes his life has been spared by someone who had every right to take it, He even acknowledges, "I know that you will surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands" (1 Samuel 24:10). They depart in peace, but unfortunately, just two chapters later, 1 Samuel 26 describes Saul again trying to attack David and David sparing his life.

What are we to make of this story in our own lives? I believe this story is about two important issues: trusting the Lord and the right use of power. David shows absolutely remarkable trust in the Lord. Even when his enemy was within his grasp, he decided that the Lord's judgment on Saul would be far greater than anything David could do himself. The power of life and death over Saul was in David's hands, and he lets it go. By laying down that power, he picks up the banner of trust and faithfulness to God's plan.

As Pastor Steve saw Jesus in the actions of Jonathan last week, a man who had every right to be king but instead gave it away, this week we can see Jesus in David. Jesus had every right to grab the power of the King of Kings, to call 10,000 angels to wipe out everyone in Jerusalem who stood against him. He had the right to save his own life. He had the right to exert the power of the universe against everyone who was against the Father. And yet he didn't. He laid it all down. He let go of the power. He even said, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."

Why did He do that? Because He knew that the Father's plan would lead to ultimate victory-victory over sin and death and also victory for us! We are part of the "them" in "Father, forgive them." He temporarily set aside His power in order to reach permanent victory for us, his dearly beloved children.

What would our world look like if more people set aside power for the sake of the love of God? What if we set aside our human power to demonstrate our trust in God's holy power? So many parts of our world are trapped in a cycle of vengeance, the oppressed becoming the oppressor. It is only when one side lays down power for the sake of the gospel that God's power, love, and forgiveness can begin to bring healing.

May we, like David, trust the Lord so deeply that we too can see the Lord's deliverance in times of trouble.

Pastor Carolyn
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