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"Life's Lessons from the Battlefield"

Life's Lessons from the Battlefield
1 Samuel 31: 1- 6 / 2 Samuel 1-14

1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philis-tines, and fell slain on Mount Gilboa.

2 Then the Philistines followed hard after Saul and his sons. And the Philistines killed Jona-than, Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul’s sons.
3 The battle became fierce against Saul. The archers hit him, and he was severely wounded by the archers.
4 Then Saul said to his armor bearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised men come and thrust me through and abuse me.”
But his armor bearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. Therefore, Saul took a sword and fell on it.
5 And when his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his sword, and died with him.
6 So Saul, his three sons, his armor bearer, and all his men died together that same day.
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1 Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David had returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had stayed two days in Ziklag,
2 on the third day, behold, it happened that a man came from Saul’s camp with his clothes torn and dust on his head. So it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the ground and prostrated himself.
3 And David said to him, “Where have you come from?” So he said to him, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.”
4 Then David said to him, “How did the matter go? Please tell me.”
And he answered, “The people have fled from the battle, many of the people are fallen and dead, and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead al-so.”
5 So David said to the young man who told him, “How do you know that Saul and Jonathan his son are dead?”
6 Then the young man who told him said, “As I happened by chance to be on Mount Gilboa, there was Saul, leaning on his spear; and indeed the chariots and horsemen fol-lowed hard after him.
7 Now when he looked behind him, he saw me and called to me. And I answered, ‘Here I am.’
8 And he said to me, ‘Who are you?’ So I an-swered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’
9 He said to me again, ‘Please stand over me and kill me, for anguish has come upon me, but my life still remains in me.’
10 So I stood over him and killed him, be-cause I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown that was on his head and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them here to my lord.”
11 Therefore David took hold of his own clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him.
12 And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son, for the people of the Lord and for the house of Isra-el, because they had fallen by the sword.

13 Then David said to the young man who told him, “Where are you from?”
And he answered, “I am the son of an alien, an Amalekite.”

14 So David said to him, “How was it you were not afraid to put forth your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?”
15 Then David called one of the young men and said, “Go near, and execute him!” And he struck him so that he died.
16 So David said to him, “Your blood is on your own head, for your own mouth has testi-fied against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord’s anointed. ’”

Introduction:

One of the most dangerous places in the world is a modern day battle field. In war people say things, see things and do things that they never have to do anywhere else in life.

War is heartless and life lived in war leaves vic-tims in its paths where ever men are engaged in its activities. Lessons from the battle field will teach us that life being lived in rebellion against God is a horrible way to live! It is horrible be-cause it is filled with consequences and activi-ties that will cause you pain and heartache.

Today we will examine the text by looking at three different men, and examine what life and consequences are like on the battlefield.

Background

Our narrative opens up reflecting on the murder of the King, his sons and the innocent men of Is-rael who had been killed in battle with the Phil-istines.

The war they were in was an ancient war. They had been in battle with each other for years. However, it wasn't until recently that king Saul had been murdered, and now the news of his tragedy had spread across the country and eve-rybody is talking about what happened.

David was not in Israel when he got the news. He was still a fugitive and living life on the run. However, the news travels to him in a distant land by the hand of common enemy, who was filled with deceit.

David was being hunted by Saul himself, and was not allowed to live in his own country Isra-el. He didn't have any “beef” with Saul but Saul had one with David.
So in many ways Saul was and enemy to David but David was no enemy to Saul.
War is in the air, death is claiming its victims, injustice was giving out sentences and the con-sequences for Saul's sin was on display in the land.

It’s a painful narrative, and sorrow has filled the pages of the text. Nevertheless, there are life-lessons we can learn from living on the battle-field.

I. Bad news from the battle
1. Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David had returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had stayed two days in Ziklag,
2 on the third day, behold, it happened that a man came from Saul’s camp with his clothes torn and dust on his head. So it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the ground and prostrated himself.
3 And David said to him, “Where have you come from?” So he said to him, “I have es-caped from the camp of Israel.”
4 Then David said to him, “How did the matter go? Please tell me.”

And he answered, “The people have fled from the battle, many of the people are fallen and dead, and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also.”

5 So David said to the young man who told him, “How do you know that Saul and Jonathan his son are dead?”

Note:

When we arrive at this text we see David in Ziklag. Where he has just returned from a war with the Amalekites. The text calls his battle with them a slaughter.

The Amalekites were enemies to Israel, and they had just stolen David’s family and all of his soldier’s families. (Ch. 30) David and his men went to war for their family and took back eve-rything that the Amalekites had stolen from them (1 Sam. 30:18)

So we learn that there were two major wars be-ing fought at the same time in the same region. Which is a picture of warfare being fought all around the children of God.

Then the text says that on the 3rd day after the battle a man came to David as a messenger from Saul’s battle.

He was with torn clothes, dust thrown over his body, he prostrated himself and he came with bad news, of the king’s death, the loss of life from other soldiers and that Israel had fallen.

Observation

The second thing I see in this text is that bad news travels along way, but good news is sel-dom ever reported.

This man had travelled from Mt. Gilboa to Ziklag to deliver the bad news.

The good news was that David got his family back from an enemy that took them captive but the bad news was that the king and the country he loved had just suffered defeat in another bat-tle.

Question

• Is there anybody here that knows that any kind of war is always filled with bad news?
• Is there anybody here that knows that in war people we love get killed, families get sepa-rated, and suffering is everyone’s badge?
• Is there anybody here that knows that we see the same thing in spiritual warfare when we have believers who have been defeated on the battle field by the wicked one himself.
• Is there anybody here that knows that spiritual warfare is evil, when it causes you to lose the ones you love.
• Is there anybody here that knows that our war-fare is real and that there will be casualties from within our ranks as believers

The third thing I learn in this verse is that in spiritual warfare we will have to keep an eye out for the messengers of death…

Some time they come in innocence and some-time they come with motifs. David’s messenger came with a hidden motif.

Textual observation

The man in this text comes to David with a par-tial report, and a pseudo cause for delivering the message.

• He comes to David as the lone survivor of the camp of Saul, as if he was one of Saul's troops.
• He comes to David as one who seems con-cerned.
• He comes to David as one who is need of help.
• He comes to David as one who respects Da-vid, but he also comes to David as a man with a lie.
• He is a bad news messenger and guilty of be-ing an enemy in disguise.

There are 4 life lessons to be learned about bad news in the battle…

We can learn that every messenger in spiritual warfare is not on your side!

We can learn that all news in the battle is not from God or given on behalf of God.

We can learn that this bad news had a motif with it, and deceit was laced within it.

And finally we can learn that this bad news came to take David off of course and to discour-age him and the men he is leading for the glory of God.

II. Bad Witness from the battle

6 Then the young man who told him said, “As I happened by chance to be on Mount Gilboa, there was Saul, leaning on his spear; and in-deed the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him.

7 Now when he looked behind him, he saw me and called to me. And I answered, ‘Here I am.’

8 And he said to me, ‘Who are you?’ So I an-swered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’

9 He said to me again, ‘Please stand over me and kill me, for anguish has come upon me, but my life still remains in me.’

10 So I stood over him and killed him, because I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown that was on his head and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them here to my lord.”

Note:
When we arrive at this portion of the text we see this man as a bad witness of what happened in the battle.

The first thing I noticed is this battle was not fought with the Amalekites but rather with the Philistines. 1 Samuel 31 indicates that it was the Philistines that Killed Saul, while David was in War with the Amalekites in 1 Samuel chapter 30.

The second thing I notice is that in Chapter 31 Saul commits suicide in the battle and falls on his sword, nobody takes his life.
The text says that Saul asks his armor bearer to kill him, but the armor bearer is too afraid to kill his king.

In fact, the armor bearer takes his own life to show his honor for Saul. He waits until Saul dies and then Kills himself. The armor bearer is Hebrew also. The king would have never had an amour bearer who was an Amalekite.

This makes me wonder why is this Amalekite lying about the battle and lying about being there?

Note:

He says that he saw the battle on Mt. Gilboa, and that Saul called him over to where he was, and asked him who he was, and asked him to kill him! [twice?]

According to chapter 31 of first Samuel, this false witness is lying. Not only is he lying, but he is trying to deceive David so that he will not know the truth about the battle.

That’s why the text opens up with the truth that David have slaughtered the Amalekites…to share with us that something unusual is happen-ing in the passage!

Secondly he not only lies but he steals! He took the kings crown and jewelry and brought them to David to show his loyalty and preference for King prematurely.

There are several things wrong here with the witness of this Amalekite, can I say some more?

1. He was the enemy from the tribe that stole David’s family, so he can’t be trusted!
2. He was not in the battle fighting with Israel, he was a grave robber who was stealing possessions from the dead, so he can’t be trusted!
3. The reason he was able to get the kings jewels was because he happened to get to Saul before the Philistines did. He can’t be trusted! [see ch.31:8-9]
4. This man was not an eye witness to the bat-tle but he was false witness trying make David think he down with Saul and Israel, so he can’t be trusted!
5. He was a deceiver, who had travelled along way to attempt to get next to David as an al-ly in war. Take it from me, he can’t be trusted!
6. Everybody around the region knew that Saul was chasing David, and that David was a mighty warrior who would not fight king Saul.
7. There was a hit record out about David. It said Saul won his thousands but David his ten thousands. Even the enemies knew the social media feed of Israel.

This man also knew that David had just defeat-ed the Amalekites and he wanted a way to get next to the new King of Israel. He was a low down liar, thief, and robber who made a living off of the battle fields of men.

Application

Spiritual warfare is filled with deceit and trick-ery from the enemies of your soul.

They will lie to you, slip up next to you, attempt to reward you, say kind things to you, smile in your face and try to stab you in the back.
That’s what this Amalekite did to David!
He was a false witness with a motif!

In first Samuel Chapter 31 we see what really happened in the battle, and he was nowhere around the battle! [So he can’t be trusted!]

He reminds me of the Song that was sang some years ago by the Temptations called Smiling Faces…

"Smiling Faces Sometimes"

Smiling faces sometimes pretend to be your friend
Smiling faces show no traces of the evil that lurks within
Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes
They don't tell the truth
Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof

The truth is in the eyes
Cause the eyes don't lie, amen
Remember a smile is just
A frown turned upside down

Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes
They don't tell the truth,
Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof

Beware, beware of the handshake
That hides the snake
I'm telling you beware
Beware of the pat on the back
It just might hold you back
Jealousy (jealousy)
Misery (misery)
Envy I tell you, you can't see behind smiling faces

Smiling faces sometimes they don't tell the truth
Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof

Your enemy won't do you no harm
Cause you'll know where he's coming from
Don't let the handshake and the smile fool ya
Take my advice I'm only try' to school ya

I don’t know about you but I believe that there is a lot of truth to that song sang by the tempta-tions.

This Amalekite came to David as smiling face of peace but he belonged to tribe of enemies. He motif was wrong, his message was wrong, his heart was wrong and you can’t trust an en-emy to bring you good news from a faraway country.

Observation

A trusted source in my library said that the Amalekite brought the news and claimed to be the one who finally took Saul’s life.

In the following verse we find these words…

“10 So I stood over him and killed him, be-cause I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown that was on his head and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them here to my lord.”

“My friend said concerning this text that if Saul had obeyed the Lord in 1 Sam. 15 and killed all of the Amalekites, like Yahweh told him too this would not have happened. So here we see the consequences of Saul’s sin against God!
The sin we fail to slay is the one that slays us. [See Deut. 25:17–19.] Saul’s sin of disobedi-ence cost him his life!”

I told him I agree, and that the sin that we fail to get rid of will always get the last word at the funeral!

Thirdly, he tells David of the news of killing his king, as if he did the king a favor and David a favor. He presents it like he was doing the hon-orable thing and keeping the Philistines from doing it.

This message is not good news, its bad news, because David wouldn't even kill Saul when he had the opportunity to do it!

This validates that he was not a good witness that could be trusted on the battle field.

Application:
There are 4 life lessons we can learn from bad witnesses on the battle field.

• Be careful family whose words you take in on the battle field. Every witness cannot be trusted!
• Be careful family who you entertain in the battle. Every witness cannot be trusted!
• Be careful family which report you identify with in the battle. Every witness cannot be trusted!
• Be careful family not to let the gifts, the ac-tions, or the pseudo praise of a stranger lead you into a position of danger, that will ulti-mately end in your own demise. Every wit-ness cannot be trusted!

This Amalekite was not on David’s side and he was not a friend to Israel like he portrayed.
He was a thief, a robber, a liar, and pseudo mes-senger out for his own property.

Sounds just like the devil, the world and the flesh. It’s possible to be in a fight with one of these big three, and one of them plays the roll like they are on your side while all the time they are waiting to do you in!

Always remember that the world the flesh or the devil can never be trusted…so always check the source of the witness when it comes to give you the report!

III. Bad feeling about the Battle

11 Therefore David took hold of his own clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him.

12 And they mourned and wept and fasted un-til evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son, for the people of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.

13 Then David said to the young man who told him, “Where are you from?”
And he answered, “I am the son of an alien, an Amalekite.”

14 So David said to him, “How was it you were not afraid to put forth your hand to de-stroy the Lord’s anointed?”

15 Then David called one of the young men and said, “Go near, and execute him!” And he struck him so that he died.

16 So David said to him, “Your blood is on your own head, for your own mouth has testi-fied against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord’s anointed. ’”

Note:
When we come to this portion of the text, we see the bad feelings that David and his men have at the hearing of this bad news report.

• They are grieved and mourning as a Hebrew community.
• Though they were Saul’s enemies they yet cannot rejoice over his death
• They were running for their lives but here they stop running in order to mourn for Saul, Jonathon, the Israeli soldiers, and all of the house of Israel.
• They saw the frailness of humanity, and they fasted and prayed for God to do some-thing in the life of the living. Those who were left behind and would have to endure the sor-rows and pains of warfare.

Observation

Here we see the heart of one who has been oppressed, ostracized, talked about, mistreated, disrespected and even rejected, but yet refuse to rejoice in the death of his enemy!

• David understands that Saul’s death is not a victory for him and his men.
• David understands that his death meant that Israel lost their king, Jonathon lost his father, the people lost their sons and the leaders of their homes.
• David understands that when a man dies in battle nobody wins.

Application:

Spiritual warfare is the same. When we lose to Satan, the world or the flesh in our battles, no man can rejoice.

When the enemies of our soul can destroy us it is a time of mourning, fasting, praying and grieving for those who have been defeated by them.

Secondly I notice that David and his men committed themselves to pray all of that day.

There are 4 things that I learn from David and his men in dealing with their feelings about the loss of life on the battle field!

• They sought the lord for instruction on what to do.
• They sought the lord for comfort.
• They sought the lord for consolation.
• They sought the lord for communion.

They model for us what true concern looks like even for those who were not concerned about them.

Finally, this text shows us what happens when they come out of prayer at the evening time.

The bible says that David questioned the en-emy!

“14 So David said to him, “How was it you were not afraid to put forth your hand to de-stroy the Lord’s anointed?”

15 Then David called one of the young men and said, “Go near, and execute him!” And he struck him so that he died.

16 So David said to him, “Your blood is on your own head, for your own mouth has testi-fied against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord’s anointed. ’”

Note:

When we look at the final verses of this pas-sage we learn that the Lord was going to use the bad feeling that David and his men were experi-encing for his honor and glory in the earth.

A close friend in my library states that it was in the midst of his grief, that David remembered his duty to obey the Torah, which prescribed the death of all Amalekites (cf. 15:18–19; Exo-dus 17:15–16; Deut 25:17–19).

This remembrance came after prayer! It was prayer that called his heart to obey the word of God!
David did not hesitate to execute judgment on him. Because the word of God commanded that it be done!
And also Destroying the Lord’s anointed was equivalent to rejecting the Lord, since it repre-sented the ultimate rejection of Gods designated leader.

Observation

I have no doubt that the Amalekite expected David to reward him. However, instead of crowning him with honor, David decreed that “your blood be on your head” (v. 16).

Since he “killed the Lord’s anointed,” David ordered one of his men to “strike him down” (v. 15).

When I look at this text I am glad to see that David models for us what it looks like to obey the lord in on the battle field of Spiritual war-fare.

He also demonstrates that we have an obliga-tion to listen to the voice of the Lord and obey the word after we hear him speak to us after prayer.

He models for us that we must slay the sins that God tells us to slay.
We must not let live what the Lord has called an enemy to his people and to his name!

Because David obeyed the Lord, in this matter he fulfilled the righteousness that the Lord de-creed be taken against Amalek.

We can learn from this passage that the Lord expects obedience on the battle fields of life! David models obedience in warfare and what true loyalty to God ought to look like in the life of a believer!

Jesus did this! When he was sent to earth to redeem man from the auction block of sin, he entered onto the battle fields of eternity!

In obedience he humbled himself and came in the form of a servant. He defeated the devil out on the old rugged cross, by dying in the place of humanity.

He was brutally murdered and placed in an-other man’s tomb. But early Sunday morning he was raised back to life. He raised with all power of heaven and earth in his hands.

Because of his obedience God has given him the name that’s above all names! That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow!

Names on earth, in heaven and underneath the earth. God the Father has crowned him Lord of Lords and King of Kings, all because of his obedience to God the father on the battlefield.

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