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1 Samuel 23:1-14

Loyalty God's Way

  • Shawn Dean
  • Weekend Messages
  • August 05, 2018

In this passage from1 Samuel 23, Pastor Shawn will share principles about loyalty and how God would have us apply to our lives from it.

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

Loyalty God’s Way

I Samuel 23:1-14

When you think of Loyalty, who or what comes to mind?

For me, the Armed Forces come to mind –

•Loyalty is integral to everything we do – US Air Force

•Loyalty defines our Allegiance – US Army

•Loyalty and the Oath – US Navy

•Once a Marine, always a Marine – US Marine Corps

•We are loyal and accountable to the public trust – US Coast Guard

•Loyalty. Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, your unit and other Soldiers – US National Guard

We’re going to talk about loyalty in the passage today…and what God would have us apply to our lives from it.

Because David learns a lesson on loyalty the hard way…that loyalty is very shallow…

Who can you name without hesitation are your loyal friends?More importantly, who would have you on their list as a loyal friend?

•David is leading a group of 600 men and is hiding in the desert from King Saul who wants to destroy him.

•While this is going on the Philistine Army is looting the farmer’s threshing floors and stealing their food.

•Threshing floors are the last phase of the harvest where…

•You might ask, where was King Saul – wasn’t it his responsibility to protect these folks?

I.  David Inquires of the Lord

•David hears whats going on and these are his people – he asks God if he can go and do something to help them…

•Note David “inquires of the Lord” throughout the text – a lesson for another day – but don’t miss his example of seeking the Lord for direction.Do we do that routinely?

Jeremiah 29:11; For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 

A.God protects us in the midst of resistance

•God says to go but David’s men are afraid – Why?

•600 vs Philistine Army & King Saul

•David inquires of the Lord again and God tells him to go – that “I will give the Philistines into your hand”

•The lesson here is that God ministers to our resistance – trust Him.

Psalm 32:7; You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.

•David attacked the Philistines and won.

•God’s wisdom here is again greater than ours.

Illus – Pharaoh chased the children of Israel to the Red Sea…

Testimony – Philadelphia family move…

B. Our adversaries have no power

  • Saul gets excited about the possibility of trapping David, surprising him, destroying him.
  • David knew what Saul had planned.

Psalm 138:7; Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me.

  • Once again David inquires of God about what is happening to verify what he is hearing – God confirms it all.
  • So David leaves with his men, Saul hears about it and gave up the expedition 

II.  Lessons in Loyalty

I find this turn of events to be amazing in light of our topic; Loyalty.

•The people of Keilah were being attacked by the Philistine Army because King Saul was preoccupied with David.

  • Who came to their aid; not King Saul…it was David and his men who helped and defended them.
  • Yet God told David that the people of Keilah would indeed turn on him and allow Saul to come for him.
  • Now don’t you just scratch your head a little bit and wonder, where’s the love and loyalty for David?

Do we have an event in our closet where this has happened to us & you are still bitter?Or – – have we done it to others?

•These folks were simply too afraid of King Saul to be loyal to the one who truly protected them.

It does make a difference – to Christ Himself…

A. Loyalty in the 21st Century

•Loyalty in the 21st Century is a problem and if it’s a problem for Christians, we need to address it.

•I’ve heard business owners say they would take a person with 50% efficiency if they had 100% loyalty. Training will cure the inefficiency they say.

Back in the day when I hired people for both corporate positions and my own company…

I didn’t care whether they went to Stanford or Oregon State but of course since Mr. Knight was a Duck…

•Loyalty is a great commodity, but it is most difficult to find – Why?

•Because self-preservation wins today…

1 John 3:17; But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?

A. David’s example shows us loyalty’s pain

David saw it first hand in Keilah – these folks were willing to put a knife in his back even after all he did for them.

We all have run into a Keilah in our lives…

Luke 22:48; But Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”

•One fact about betrayal – it hurts – it hurtsa lot at the time it occurs and sometimes for a long time after.

Psalm 41:9; Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.

•If you’ve done something long enough you have a story – after 35 years in the business world – I have several stories.

•Some of the pastors at the Oregon Calvary Chapel conference had stories too…

What’s the lesson God has for us on this topic?

•If I or you are not careful, these events of disloyalty in our life can make us cynical, less drawn to pursue relationships for fear of more hurt.

Testimony – Business examples

•Another’s disloyalty can not allow us to be a hermit, to be a rock – to put up walls – not wanting relationships but wanting isolation.

Romans 16:17; I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 

•God not only worked on me after these episodes but he molded me into thriving on relationships.

•Seeing how those who trusted me were more open to hearing about Christ in my life…

•Yet in the midst of this blessing – He allowed several others to come into my life…

B.God is a faithful friend

Romans 3:3; What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? 

•Faithfulness means He will exhort and teach us, He will not simply say things to make us feel better.

Illus – Olive press in Nazareth – with each of the 3 cycles the oil became more valuable and refined – With trials in our life, God presses in and refines us to be more like Christ.

  • If you are in this place today – wounded, hurt, a bit isolated – know that God is bigger than that!He wants to refine you…

Romans 12:2; Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

  • He created us to have relationships – He gave His son to die on a cross – so that we could have a personal relationship with Him!
  • Yes, it’s important we have loyal people, friends in our life but how do we find them?
  • No one is 100% pure and it takes time to discern loyalty.

I consider Pastor Rich a loyal friend…

  • God has put some of these people in each of our lives – Don’t be a rock or an island.
  • Let these people touch your life – a mom, sister, friend, uncle, pastor?

C. Loyalty to others pleases God

Proverbs 18:24; A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. 

•Aloyal friend should have permission to be speak into our life; a spouse for example is called to help us become more like Christ.

When you look at the many great men or women of God in the scriptures, you will find loyalty to be front and center in their relationships –

•Joshua was loyal to Moses

•Abraham was loyal to Lot

•Jonathon was loyal to David

•David was loyal to Saul

•Ruth was loyal to Naomi

•The Lord Jesus was loyal to Peter

•And Barnabas was loyal to John Mark

I’d like to outline 3 principles of how you can become a loyal friend.

1) Value relationships above personal gain

•The critical point here is when faced with betrayal or personal gain, do we choose the relationship?

•Jonathon was loyal to David even with the promise to be King if David was gone.

•He valued his relationship with David more than the promised gain.

•God will take care of the gain if we treat people right.

2) Learn how to forgive others from our heart

•Friends will disappoint us – they will make mistakes – they are still sinful – they will from time to time let us down.

•People who know how to turn hurt into history will forgive people from the heart.

•Only God gives us the ability to do this.

Psalm 103:12; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

3) See people for what they can become rather than who they are right now.

•The greatest example I can think of is we parents remain loyal to our teenagers.

•It’s the reason parents don’t sell their teenagers into slavery…

•We love them through tough times, tough choices, because we see and know the Godly potential in them for the future.

•Barnabas stuck with John Mark after he deserted he and Paul…

2 Timothy 4:11;Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me in ministry.

•God wants you to be a friend, a loyal friend to someone –

•Rise above the folks in Keilah and be loyal God’s way…

1 Samuel 23:1-14     NASB


1 Then they told David, saying, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are plundering the threshing floors.” 2 So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the Lord said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and deliver Keilah.” 3 But David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more then if we go to Keilah against the ranks of the Philistines?” 4 Then David inquired of the Lord once more. And the Lord answered him and said, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand.” 5 So David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines; and he led away their livestock and struck them with a great slaughter. Thus David delivered the inhabitants of Keilah.
6 Now it came about, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand. 7 When it was told Saul that David had come to Keilah, Saul said, “God has delivered him into my hand, for he shut himself in by entering a city with double gates and bars.” 8 So Saul summoned all the people for war, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men. 9 Now David knew that Saul was plotting evil against him; so he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.” 10 Then David said, “O Lord God of Israel, Your servant has heard for certain that Saul is seeking to come to Keilah to destroy the city on my account. 11 Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down just as Your servant has heard? O Lord God of Israel, I pray, tell Your servant.” And the Lord said, “He will come down.” 12 Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the Lord said, “They will surrender you.” 13 Then David and his men, about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah, and they went wherever they could go. When it was told Saul that David had escaped from Keilah, he gave up the pursuit. 14 David stayed in the wilderness in the strongholds, and remained in the hill country in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand.

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