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Archive for the ‘1 Samuel 19’ Category

One of my all time favorite foods is Hot and Sour soup. It’s a Chinese dish. I first discovered it when I lived in Boston. Now anytime we go out for Chinese food I try out the Hot and Sour soup to see how it compares. There are different styles and ways of making it and some are better than others.

Well, recently Marie and I were up in Carlisle and we decided to go out for lunch at a Thai restaurant. With my meal I received a bowl of Tom Yum soup. I had never even heard of it before. I wasn’t expecting much. But it was amazing! I was so impressed. It has a kind of citrus and ginger flavor to it.

I told my wife all about it and she tried it when we were out in Pittsburgh a few weeks back and she liked it as well. I remember saying, “Where has this been all my life? Why have I lived this long without knowing about this soup?”

This morning I can tell you all about how good Hot and Sour soup is, or how good Tom Yum soup is, and you can hear others talk about it as well. But here’s the truth: You will never know for yourself, until you try it. You have to taste it, and then you will see, I believe, that it is good.

In our Scripture for this morning, we hear the Psalmist talking about God in similar terms. Psalm 34:8 says, “O taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34 is attributed to David. And for sure David knew a lot about the Lord and his goodness. And here he is telling us from his own experience that the Lord is good. He’s saying, “I know. This is my testimony.”

But he us also inviting us to find this out for ourselves – “Taste and see.” He’s saying, “Experience the Lord for yourself and then you will know that he is good.”

What I want us to do this morning is look at three examples from David’s early life, of God’s goodness to him – so that we can hear and clearly understand his testimony to us. We begin with one of the most familiar of all Bible stories –

David and Goliath – 1 Samuel 17

David was just a young man and no one even knew who he was at the time. Goliath was a famous Philistine warrior. And he was a giant – nine feet, nine inches tall. And he was well armed:

  • He had a bronze helmet
  • He wore armor that weighed 125 pounds
  • He had additional bronze armor on his legs
  • He had a thick bronze javelin with an iron spear tip alone that weighed 15 pounds
  • He had a large sword
  • He had a shield bearer with him

He challenged anyone in Israel to come and fight him. And he did this for 40 days. And out of fear, no one would fight Goliath. And so he taunted the Israelites and the Lord God.

But David was not afraid. He said, “The Lord . . . will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” – 17:37.

As David came out to face him, with a shepherd’s staff and a sling Goliath cursed him and insulted him. But David said, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts . . .” – 17:45.

Even though Goliath was older, bigger, had armor and more and better weapons – God was good to David. God saved David’s life and gave him the victory. Without a sword, but with only a sling and a stone.

Next comes the story of –

Saul’s rejection and persecution of David – 1 Samuel 18-20

After killing Goliath, David was famous. He became a part of Saul’s army, a leader and eventually Saul’s son in law. And we are told that David was successful in everything he did – 18:5; 14. And precisely because of this Saul became jealous. He was even afraid David might take his throne. He became paranoid – 18:6-9.

And in his paranoia, Saul determined to kill David. He made a number of attempts on his life:

  • He threw a spear at him and tried to pin him to the wall – 18:11
  • He sent him on a mission designed to kill him – 18:25
  • He threw another spear at him – 19:10
  • He laid a trap for him at his home – 19:11-17
  • He tried to catch him in the city of Naioth when he was with the prophet Samuel – 19:18-34

Saul wanted David dead.

In all this, David was falsely accused, even though he had been faithful to Saul in every way. He was rejected; his own father in law now hated him. He was made an outcast. He had to leave his wife and home and run for his life. And he was in constant danger. The most powerful man in the land wanted him dead. And he had spies and servants everywhere. As David said at one point, “there is but a step between me and death” – 20:3.

But as we learn in the story God watched over and delivered David from all of this. God spared him and saved him. God was very good to him in each of these instances.

And then for a final story, we have the very interesting episode of –

David and king Achish – 1 Samuel 21:10-15

This is actually the story that tradition connects with Psalm 34, our Scripture today.

David, trying to escape Saul’s grasp, fled to Achish, king of the Philistine city of Gath. He must have thought that this would be the one place where Saul could never get him, in the city of his arch enemy.

But then Achish’s servants told him who he was. “Hey, this is David. You know, the one about whom it is sung, ‘Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands’?’ that is, ten thousands of Philistines. Here David is, the most famous killer of Philistines ever, looking for refuge from Philistines. And in the background it has to be remembered that Goliath was from this city of Gath.

When David heard this talk between Achish and his servants he became very afraid. He must have thought, “Wow, this was a big mistake! What was I thinking?” and, “How in the world am I going to get out of here? And his solution is certainly out of the ordinary. It says, “So right there in front of everyone, David pretended to be insane. He acted confused and scratched up the doors of the town gate, while drooling in his beard.” – 21:13 (CEV).

He put on quite a show! Achish was like, “I don’t need any more madmen in my kingdom. Don’t I have enough already?” And so he sent him away. He could have easily taken advantage of David being there, whether crazy or not, and killed an enemy. But somehow God used this unorthodox response of David to save him, keeping Achish from seeing the opportunity that was before him and rescuing David from a bad decision.

———————

Well, we could go on and on with stories of the Lord being good to David. But this is enough to make clear that David knew from personal experience that “the Lord is good.” God was kind to him. God took care of him. And God provided for him. Even in the midst of many troubles.

And what David is doing in Psalm 34:8 is inviting us to discover this as well – “Taste and see.” Find out for yourself. Don’t just listen to others.

Wherever you are at today, whether you don’t know anything about the Lord, or have heard things here and there – “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Discover the truth and the reality of God’s goodness for yourself. If like David, you are facing an impossible situation – look to God for help. If you are afraid or have been rejected or have made bad decisions,  like David – ask God to help you. Enter into a relationship with God. Seek to walk in God’s ways and then receive of his care, his love and his provision, like David did.

William Higgins

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