Crutch Removing – It’s amazing how life can take a sudden turn. One day you are on top of the world walking around with Goliath’s head in your hand. The next day, it’s your head, that is wanted. In the short space of a few years, David went from a shepherd boy, to super hero, to the top of the 10 Most Wanted criminals list. God was doing some crutch removing.
By Delbert Young
Scriptures: 1 Samuel 18:10-12; 1 Samuel 19:12; 1 Samuel 18:16; 1 Samuel 18:25; 1 Samuel 19:18; 1 Samuel 20:1; 1 Samuel 20:30; 1 Samuel 20:33; (NLT) 1 Samuel 21:10-11; 1 Samuel 21:12-13; Deuteronomy 33:27
1 Samuel 18:10-12 The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the harp, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice. SAUL WAS AFRAID OF DAVID, because the LORD was with David but had left Saul.
We talked about the Spirit of the Lord departing from Saul and the coming of an evil spirit from the Lord in previous lessons. We should understand better now how all that works out.
The verse said Saul was afraid of David… People who are out to get you are usually afraid of you. They would never say that and probably do not realize it, but it’s true. They fear you did and can again injure them in some way. That’s why they are out to get you. They think they only hate you, but the reason they hate you is they fear you. You don’t fear someone if you are truly in authority or in control. It’s when we are not truly in authority or control that we begin to focus on someone in a “I’m gonna get you” way. In Saul’s mind, he felt David had injured him and would again. Saul was afraid of David.
After several failed attempts to kill David, Saul sent men to position themselves to ambush David the next morning. Saul’s daughter Michal, who was also David’s wife, learned about the plot and warned David. Michal helped David escape through a window.
1 Samuel 19:12 So Michal let David down through a window, and he fled and escaped.
The great giant slayer and army commander David, slipped out a window. God was doing some crutch removing. Have you ever gotten to that sort of place? There you were with all your success, feeling you had accomplished so much, only to find yourself trying to escape through a window of opportunity to simply survive.
If so, it set in motion for you, and for David, a series of events as the Lord was crutch removing. He removed crutch after crutch from David’s life. The next chapters of David’s life are concerned with the crutch removing. Here’s today’s lesson. There are times in our lives when nothing goes right. We blame and rebuke the devil, the spouse, the kids, the boss, the preacher, people, the dog and cat, the moon, the weather, anything, and everything, when, in fact, IT’S GOD doing crutch removing. Why does God do that? Let’s see if we can figure out why.
GOD DEALS WITH 5 SIGNIFICANT CRUTCH REMOVING ISSUES. How many think crutch removing sounds like fun? You’re right. It’s not, but it’s necessary.
(1) David lost his job and position. God placed David in a great position to learn. He learned to command army forces and lead. He learned covenant friendship with Jonathan. That was more valuable than words can explain. He learned love and married (more about that later). David learned to love people and he was loveable. David learned he was a leader.
1 Samuel 18:16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them in their campaigns.
God established David well and provided teaching for David he could receive no other way. Never take where you are in life, or what you learn while there, for granted. These will be the very things you must know to excel in life. God provided those times for you.
David was way up the corporate ladder, but God removed it all literally overnight. Out the window David went, literally running for his life. Now, for David, there is no regular income, no position of authority – crutch removing. There is the embarrassment of failure and rejection – crutch removing. Have you ever lost a job or been demoted in position? It’s a horrible crutch removing. It’s humiliating. I lost one job in my life. I was humiliated. It seemed everyone knew. It seemed all my friends knew. My family knew. I was no longer wanted or needed. It was a bad time. God was doing some crutch removing.
So, let’s think about that. You lost your job or position. How did that work out for you? Let me tell you how it worked out for me. It began a series for about a decade of God removing crutches just like with David. Eventually, it brought me not only to the Lord. It brought me here to do what I now love to do. Probably, had the loss of position not happened, I would not be here doing my passion. God was doing some crutch removing.
We saw in our first lesson how God is always working behind our scenes. Even in things like the unexpected termination from a position. It might broadside us, but it doesn’t broadside God. When crazy things happen, remember, God is working behind the scenes. Was he working behind the scenes of David’s life? Yes he was. He is working behind the scenes of your life too. Count on that. David lost his position.
(2) David lost his wife. During the Goliath situation, Saul said one of the rewards for the man who killed Goliath was Saul’s daughter in marriage. That daughter’s name was Merab (May-rawb). Well, imagine this. Saul didn’t allow Merab to marry David. However, he had another daughter named Michal who fell in love with David.
1 Samuel 18:20 Now Saul’s daughter Michal was in love with David, and when they told Saul about it, he was pleased.
It pleased Saul because maniac Saul used Michal, his own daughter, as bait to kill David.
1 Samuel 18:25 Saul replied, “Say to David, ‘The king wants no other price for the bride than a hundred Philistine foreskins, to take revenge on his enemies.'” Saul’s plan was to have David fall by the hands of the Philistines.
Saul wanted a dowry of a hundred Philistine foreskins (talk about a sick mind). Michal loved David and David must have loved Michal, for he gave Saul two hundred foreskins (1Sa 18:27). Saul’s scheme to kill David failed again.
When David ran out the window, David lost his wife and love. Saul gave Michal to another man. I’ve never lost my wife. I can’t imagine the inward ripping that must take place. I know men and women who lost their spouse. I have a close friend in the ministry who lost his wife. He told me it was the worst thing that ever happened to him. Even through that, my friend sees how God worked on his heart through that time and even used that tragedy in his life. David lost his position. David lost his wife.
(3) David lost his Samuel.
1 Samuel 19:18 When David had fled and made his escape, he went to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there.
Samuel took David to Naioth. The word is from the Hebrew root naveh meaning at home; lovely. There are certain people who just take you home.
It was Samuel who anointed David, ignited the God-given vision within David, and began David’s vision to be king. That’s home. The old saying, “Home is where the heart is,” means a lot. There are only a few people, in a lifetime, who take you back to your heart. You never forget the person who helped ignite a spiritual spark in you. You never forget the person who opened heaven for you and helped you see God and purpose. Every time you see that person, or get around that person, it’s like going home. You may call him or her your spiritual father or mother. Samuel was more than a mentor to David. Samuel took David to Naioth – home.
The last mention of Samuel prior to this was when he anointed David. The next reference after this is 1 Samuel 25:1. It says, “Now Samuel died…” The last major thing, and perhaps the most important thing, Samuel did was anoint David and then help David. Who is your Samuel? Who’s Samuel are you?
Saul heard David was at Naioth, so David took off again. Samuel was old and could not go. David lost his position. David lost his wife. David lost his Samuel.
(4) David lost his covenant friend, Jonathan.
1 Samuel 20:1 Then David fled from Naioth at Ramah and went to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to take my life?”
We talked about David’s covenant friend in our last lesson. In a lifetime, we only have one or two covenant friends. Jonathan was not only David’s friend. Jonathan was Saul’s son. Initially, Jonathan did not believe that his father was actually trying to kill David. So, Jonathan and David devised a plan to prove or disprove that Saul was out to kill David. There would be a festival. David and Jonathan “threw out a fleece.” If Saul became angry because David was not there, Jonathan would know. Well, angry is not the word for what happened. Saul asked Jonathan where David was and Jonathan told Saul that Jonathan excused David… Let’s just read it.
1 Samuel 20:30 Saul’s anger flared up AT JONATHAN and he said to him, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don’t I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you?
Wow! What a guy Saul was! No need to translate that into today’s terms. Saul didn’t stop there.
1 Samuel 20:33 But Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him. Then Jonathan knew that his father intended to kill David.
Remember, the guy is demon possessed and anger controlled. We have seen when anger controls us, we are insane. Try never to allow your anger to control you especially concerning your children. You will say and do insane things.
Jonathan told David that David was correct. Saul did intend to kill David. David and Jonathan wept together. They covenanted together for their heritage and went their ways. As sad as it is, if God has to, he will remove the crutch of a covenant friend. Sadly, after this 1 Samuel records only one more time that David and Jonathan would see each other (1Sa 23:18). Jonathan will soon die.
I can’t imagine not being able to connect with a covenant friend. Perhaps you have lost a covenant friend. How heart wrenching it must be. David lost his position, his wife, his Samuel, his covenant friend.
(5) David lost his self-respect. That’s about as low as you can go.
(NLT) 1 Samuel 21:10-11 That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath. But the servants of Achish said to him, “Isn’t this David, the king of the land? Isn’t he the one they sing about in their dances: “‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.”
You remember who came from Gath, don’t you? Goliath. Gath was the Washington D.C. of the Philistines who were the ancient enemies of Israel. Only a few years prior, David killed the Philistines champion Goliath. He didn’t only kill him. He decapitated him, mocked, and paraded around with Goliath’s head in his hand. It was from that event, the people sang “Saul has slain his thousand, and David his tens of thousands.” David became the commander of Saul’s army, killing and defeating Philistines. What about the two hundred foreskins? What in the world is David thinking?
Have you ever done something so dumb that when caught, you could not explain how stupid you had been? You tried to play it off. You said something like, “I went crazy. I lost my mind. I don’t know what I was thinking.” That’s what David did.
1 Samuel 21:12-13 David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath. So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.
You gotta get the picture. Here is the great giant killer, super hero. Here is the king’s son-in-law. Here is the leader of the armies of Israel. He’s rolling around in the dirt pretending to be insane, scratching on doors, and dribbling bubbled saliva down his beard like a madman. David lost his self-respect.
David kept finding another crutch and another crutch and God kept removing them. Why? Why does God do that? As long as you lean on something else, you can’t lean on God. As long as you lean on something or someone else, something or someone becomes your god. David had a good position, but lost it. David had a wife who loved him, but lost her. David had a Samuel, but lost him. David had a great friend, but lost him. David had self-respect, but lost it. Most of us would rebuke the devil, or think God was angry with us. In reality, it’s not the devil and God loves us and is teaching us to trust hisEVERLASTING ARMS.
Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the EVERLASTING ARMS…
God says he will hold you up with his everlasting arms, not your crutches. He is your support and refuge, not a position, a spouse, a Samuel, a friend, or even self-respect. Remember, nothing is out of bounds for God to deal with and he will if it stands between you and his EVERLASTING ARMS.
In all of David’s leaning during this time, we are not told once he leaned on the Lord. David’s next stop is the cave of Adullam (next time). When David finally crawled into God in that cave instead of leaning on his crutches, David’s life began to turn around.
What have we learned? Why does God remove our crutches? Why do things sometimes go crazy in our lives? David, it’s not your crutches that will make you king. It’s God and God alone, who will make you king. Sir, madam, young man, young woman, it’s not your position. It’s not who you marry. It’s not your Samuel. It’s not your friends. It’s not your great name that will take you to the life God has promised you. All those are wonderful and even necessary to have a full life, but if you think for one minute they will give you the life you want, you better think again. The faster you crawl into the everlasting arms of God and allow him to hold you, not your crutches, the faster your life will be what you want it to be.
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