Sermon Title:  Escaping from the Cave

Summary:  You can try to run from conflict, but in some cases you cannot avoid
it.  God gives sound, practical principles in dealing with conflict.  We should not
lose focus on Godís will and be willing to forgive and make amends even when
we are not in the wrong.

Function:  To motivate the hearers to work through conflicts with others in a
Godly way

Text:  1 Sam 24:1-22

Scripture Reading:  Luke 6:31-35


Intro:
1.  Ever had a problem with unresolvable conflict?
	a.  Maybe with a co-worker, neighbor 
	b.  Family member, spouse, children
2.  Maybe want to run away, change name, but usually canít run from conflict
3.  Text will deal with conflict

The Background Leading Up to our Text

I.  Last time, we left David in the valley standing over a defeated Giant
	A.  David began to prosper in a huge way (18:1-7)
		1.  Became a way hero - v.5,7
		2.  Gained a true freind - v.1
		3.  (18:20) - Gained a wife who loved him
		4.  He is now a part of the royal family
	B.  Imagine how life changed for David
		1.  From obscurity to celebrity in victory parades
		2.  Now lives life at the palace - huge step up
		3.  18:16, 30 - All Israel loved David, highly esteemed
	C.  Unlike Saul, didnít go to his head
	D.  Life was good, but didnít stay that way

II.  Trouble began to escalte for David
	A.  First signs of trouble came when Saul became afraid of David
		1.  (18:6-12) - Tried to pin David to the wall
		2.  (18:25) - Dowry for wife, 100 Philistine forskins
	B.  Saul tries to get Jonathan to Assasinate David
		1.  19:1ff - Jonathan talks Saul out of it
		2.  David returns to the palace, has to go out to war again
		3.  Once again, David was successful
		4.  Saul tries to spear David again! (19:10)
	C.  Saul systematically takes away everything David has
		1.  (19:11-12) - Loses his wife and his home - Had to flee
			a.  Saul sent assassins to kill David
			b.  Michal snuck him out, and David ran for his life
		  	c.  Where could he go?  To Samuel, stayed at Naioth
		2.  Loses Samuel
			a.  Saul found out, David on the run again
			b.  So David lost Samuel
		3.  Loses his friend Jonathan
			a.  Saul had kept his plot from Jonathan
			b.  Jonathan investigated
				- Saul suspected Jonathan helping David
				- In a rage, he tried to speak Jonathan
			c.  Jonathan met David and told him
			d.  They had to part - David lost his freind
		4.  Loses his dignity (21:10-15)
			a.  Went where Saul not follow - to Gath!
			b.  They recognize him and arrest him
			c.  Prentended to be crazy so they let him go
	D.  Canít be at home, canít be with enemy
		1.  Psalm 142 - Captures the emotion of that time
		2.  Have you ever been in a cave?
			a.  It is a cold, dark, lonely place
			b.  For some it a place of anger, resentment, bitterness
			b.  For others a place a fear, hopelessness, despair
		3.  Is there any escape from the cave?

Letís look at what we need when in the cave

I.  Fellowship
	A.  David felt alone, he craved fellowship
	B.  But David was not truly alone
		1.  He had the fellowship of God (Psalm 142:5-6)
		2.  He then had the fellowship of others (Psalm 142:7)
			a.  Fellowship with God goes with fellowship with others
			b.  If we walk in light, we have fellowship with one another
		3.  (1 Sam 22:1-2) David didnít remain alone in the cave
			a.  Other in distress, discontent, in debt came
			b.  These people who could identify with David
			c.  400 people in hard times in the cave
			d.  This beginning of Davidís army, his mighty men
		4.  Isnít that what the church is all about - Fellowship
	C.  Fellowship not some touchy feely thing
		1.  In Bible, fellowship often involve work and difficulty
			a.  (Phil 1:7) - Fellowship in confirmation of Gospel
				- Involve their witness and difficulty like Paulís
			b.  (Phil 2:1ff) - Fellowship in the Spirit = attitude of Christ
			c.  (Phil 3:10) - Fellowship of his sufferings
		2.  It involves a fierce devotion to well being of each other
	D.  What does it look like?
		1.  Cave may not be a pleasant place, but Iíll go there with you
		2.  I will be tough with you when you need toughness
		3.  I will be tender with you when you need tenderness
		4.  In any case, I will be ďwith youĒ

II.  Forgiveness - the kind that you give (24:1-6)
	A.  David could have quickly solved the problem
		1.  No one would blame him
			- Could have seen it as Godís will like his men did
		2.  Cut off a peice of Saulís robe
			a.  Bothered Davidís conscience.  Why?
			b.  Robe symbolized ruling authrity, David violated it?
			c.  Maybe it was simply humiliating?
		3.  David proves to Saul he wasnít out to hurt him
			a.  David had every right at this point to take revenge
			b.  Instead, David forgives
	B.  Why forgive someone who has wronged you?
		1.  God wants you to
			a.  If you donít forgive, God not forgive you
			b.  We are to love enemies
		2.  When you donít forgive, you are trapped in the cave
			a.  You are enslaved to anger and bitterness
			b.  It can ruin your life
			c.  Can affect other relationships that you have
	C.  ILL:  Knew someone who had been in bad abusive marriage
		1.  Angry, bitter person - Hated his ex
		2.  Not able to have a decent freindship with ANYONE
		3.  A wise woman once told him - did you forgive and pray for her?
		4.  It was like a weight was lifted off his shoulders
	D.  David was not one to hold a grudge
		1.  Look at what the grudge did to Saul - made him crazy
		2.  We need to be willing to forgive and let things go

III.  Focus -on Godís will 
	A.  That is what kept David from harming Saul
	B.  Two things show Davidís focus 
		1.  (24:6-11) - David did not retaliate
			a.  v.6 - ďTore/cut in piecesĒ his men with these words
				- Picture of an argument or fight
				- They wanted to kill Saul, David stopped them
			b.  He recognized Saul as Yahwehís annointed one
				- He belongs to Yahweh
				- To attack him would be an assault on Yahweh
				- Is that true of us today as Christians?
		2.  (24:12-15) - David let God be the avenger
			a.  Rom 12:19 - Not take own revenge, Vengeance is mine
			b.  This principle applied in 1 Cor 6 - lawsuits
				- If brother wrongs you, not take to court
				- Take the loss
				- Jas 5 - God will take care of it
	C.  We need to focus on Godís will in conflict 
		1.  If focus on self - will want to take revenge
		2.  Focus on Godís will - what he want me to do?
			(Invitation - Maybe it is to become a Christian)
	D.  In conflict -- Ask:  What can I do that will honor God?
		1.  You will ALWAYS win with this focus
			a.  David won in the long run
			b.  Saul never did stop, but God took care of it
		2.  Sometimes those who harrass you never stop
		3.  But if you keep honoring God as the focus, you will always win

Concl:
1.  Are you experiencing a cave?
	a.  Is it a teacher at school? 
	b.  Maybe your boss, co-worker, neighbor
	c.  Relative, parent, child
	d.  Maybe another Christian
2.  What to do about it?  
	a.  Probably not as bad as what David went through
	b.  But principles still apply
		- Fellowship, Forgiveness, Focus
3.  Which one of these three the biggest challenge for you?


Questions for Small Group Discussion