When the Mighty Fall – How do you feel when the mighty fall? Do you grieve a chosen of God fell? David grieved. The media and even preachers rejoiced in the falling of Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Ted Haggard, and President Bill Clinton. The Amalekite news media and Amalekite religion stood over those men plunging in swords. What a wrong attitude to have when the mighty fall. We will talk about many things in this study, but the primary thought I pray I communicate is the importance of the attitude of our heart when the mighty fall.
David the King
By Delbert Young
When the Mighty Fall
Scriptures: 1 Samuel 26:21, Psalms 14:1, 1 Samuel 31:1-6, 8-10, 1 Samuel 1:4, 10, 11-12 14-16, 19, 2 Samuel 2:1, Exodus 28:30, 1Samuel 23:6, 30:7-8, John 10:27
Have you ever thought about what they will write in your obituary? What words will summarize your life? What will the preacher say about your relationship with the Lord? What will people say about your being a friend? What will your spouse say about your being a husband or wife? What will your children say about your being a mom or dad? Will there not be “enough” good words and too little time to tell the memories describing you? Or, will you be one of those for whom people desperately search for something meaningful to say?
Saul’s life was the later.
1 Samuel 26:21 Then said Saul, …behold, I HAVE PLAYED THE FOOL, AND HAVE ERRED EXCEEDINGLY.
Those are Saul’s own words about himself and the Biblical definition of a fool is…
Psalms 14:1 The fool says in his heart, “THERE IS NO GOD.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile…
Saul possessed such potential, yet came to a place in his own heart of living as though there is no God. He ended corrupt. His deeds were vile. His tombstone read, “I HAVE PLAYED THE FOOL, AND ERRED EXCEEDINGLY.”
Saul was the chosen of the Lord. God selected Saul to be king. He was a natural leader “head and shoulders” above others. He was handsome. He was appealing, but he became a fool and erred exceedingly.
How does one become a fool? How does one play the fool? Let’s look at Saul’s accurate obituary.
Saul was selected of God, but neglected and used godly friends and people like Samuel the prophet. He disobeyed the Lord’s will and clear instructions. Saul attempted to cover up his disobedience with religious offerings. He allowed the evil spirit of jealousy and hatred to possess and control him. He used his own daughter in an attempt to trap and kill David, his son-in-law and God’s anointed. Saul attempted to kill his own son Jonathan. He fought against God by relentlessly attempting to destroy David who Saul knew was a man of God. He slaughtered God’s priest. Saul went to a witch at Endor where he played with forbidden spiritual things summoning Samuel from the dead (1 Sam 28:7-19). Saul died by pride, committing suicide.
What an epitaph! Saul’s accurate obituary might not be read in the local news or on the local radio station, yours might not be either, but it was recorded and read where it truly matters – in the books of God. It all leads to a time when the mighty fall.
How close are you to playing the fool? God chose you, but have you used and neglected godly friends and ministry? Have you disobeyed the Lord’s will and clear instructions? Have you tried to cover disobedience with religious sacrifice like going to church, or giving money? Have you harbored hatred and vengeance? How have you treated your children? Have you used them? How many of God’s people have you slaughtered… with your tongue? Have you played with spiritual things? How “foolish” have you been? How will your true obituary read in heaven? A day is coming when it will be read. Will it tell of when the mighty fall.
1 Samuel 31:1-6 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; the Israelites fled before them, and many fell slain on Mount Gilboa. The Philistines pressed hard after Saul and his sons, and they killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-Shua. The fighting grew fierce around Saul, and when the archers overtook him, they wounded him critically. Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and run me through and abuse me.” But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it. When the armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died with him. So Saul and his three sons and his armor-bearer and all his men died together that same day.
What a pathetic sight! In his last minutes, Saul was more interested about embarrassment before his enemies than his relationship with his God who he was about to meet. Another mark of a fool – more interested in what people think than what God knows.
During the entire horrific event, not once do scriptures say Saul called out to God. I don’t know about you, but during the horrific moments of my life, I call out to God quickly. Do you? Often, it’s our own sword that gets us.
1 Samuel 31:8-10 The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. They cut off his head and stripped off his armor, and they sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines to proclaim the news in the temple of their idols and among their people. They put his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths and fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan.
What a horrible, gruesome, tragic picture. When the mighty fall it is always gruesome. Saul’s body was mutilated. His head hacked from his body and his body nailed to a wall. So sad, but… it didn’t have to be that way. It was that way because Saul chose that way. Day by day. Inch by inch. By his actions, Saul said to God, “I don’t need you. I use you to get what I want from you, but I don’t need you, or anyone.” We shouldn’t be surprised at his outcome.
If you live that way and think that way, don’t be surprised at your outcome. We think we can play a game with a merciful God never realizing it’s a game we can’t win, another mark of a fool.
Three days later, an Amalekite came running into David’s camp. He told about the battle between Israel and the Philistines.
2 Samuel 1:4 “What happened?” David asked. “Tell me.” He said, “The men fled from the battle. Many of them fell and died. And SAUL AND HIS SON JONATHAN ARE DEAD.”
According to this Amalekite’s story, he obviously came upon Saul after Saul fell on his sword. Saul’s armor bearer was dead, but Saul was not yet dead. Saul pleaded with this Amalekite to finish him off. The Amalekite obliged.
2 Samuel 1:10 “So I stood over him and killed him, because I knew that after he had fallen he could not survive.“
This was not a good thing to share with David. In fact, it was the worst thing the Amalekite could have said to David.
2 Samuel 1:14-16 David asked him, “Why were you not afraid to lift your hand to destroy the LORD’S anointed?” Then David called one of his men and said, “Go, strike him down!” So he struck him down, and he died. For David had said to him, “Your blood be on your own head. Your own mouth testified against you when you said, ‘I killed the LORD’S anointed.'”
2 Samuel 1:19 “Your glory, O Israel, lies slain on your heights. How THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN!
The Amalekite probably thought he would get on David’s good side by taking out Saul. How wrong he was! David, the man after God’s own heart, had the Amalekite executed.
We have talked plenty about the man or woman after God’s own heart’s position on the Lord’s anointed, so we won’t go through it. However, I do want you to examine your heart as to how you feel when the news runs into your living room telling you how a mighty one has fallen. The news enjoys talking about when the mighty fall. The media and even preachers rejoiced in the falling of Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart in the 80’s. The Amalekite news media and Amalekite religion stood over those men plunging in swords. Ted Haggard fell and no one forgets about President Clinton’s fall.
I remember when I heard all the mess about Bill Clinton and his falling how it made me sad. Though he was not my president of choice, he was still the president of the United States of America and there was something wrong about how it was handled. To me it was when the mighty fall. I didn’t think, “Ha, ha, ha…” I was grieved because someone the Lord placed in a position of leadership fell to his personal Philistine enemy – lust. I found myself in disdain toward the Amalekite attitudes of Kenneth Starr, Newt Gingrich, and others who rejoiced in standing over Clinton and shoving in their swords.
The John Edwards news grieved me. Again, it was when the mighty fall. I watchedthe day the Edwards’ story broke. I watched and listened to the Amalekite from the Enquirer stand over Edwards and plunge his sword into the man again and again. If I channel surf and the story comes up, I keep on surfing. It grieves me because I know it grieves God. It’s when the mighty fall.
Of course, what Bakker, Swaggart, Haggard, Clinton, Edwards, you, and I did was foolish and wrong. It grieves God, but it also angers God someone attempts to take personal gain and even joy in standing over them and ramming in the sword. THE MAN OR WOMAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART EXECUTES THE AMALEKITE AND GRIEVES OVER THE FALLEN. After the Clinton thing, I watched Kenneth Starr, Gingrich, and others bring out their swords. It always works this way with God. They brought judgment on their own heads by their own mouths. Watch and see. When the mighty fall, do not judge, instead weep and mourn when the mighty fall.
So, what happens in your heart when the mighty fall? David said, “Your blood be on your own head. Your own mouth testified against you when you said, ‘I killed the LORD’S anointed.'” That means you have judged and condemned your own self. The attitudes our our hearts is important when the mighty fall.
2 Samuel 1:11-12 Then David and all the men with him took hold of their clothes and tore them. They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the LORD and the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.
David grieved over Saul’s death. Amazingly, back in the cave, David’s men wanted David to kill Saul. This day they mourned and wept and fasted because Saul was dead. David’s respect for God’s anointed caught on. David showed them the correct attitude so when the mighty fall they wouldn’t fail. what is our attitude when the mighty fall?
Of course, David grieved over Jonathan’s death, but he also grieved over Saul’s death. It’s one thing to grieve for a friend. It’s a different heart to grieve for an enemy. How many of us would do this? Someone, for twelve years, literally attacked you in every way possible with intentions to destroy you. Would you grieve over their death, especially if you knew it was an open door for your acquiring power and wealth? What is our attitude when the mighty fall?
2 Samuel 2:1 In the course of time, DAVID INQUIRED OF THE LORD. “Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?” he asked. The LORD said, “Go up.” David asked, “Where shall I go?” “To Hebron,” the LORD answered.
We again see the difference of David’s heart and most people. The victory of the Philistines destroyed and scattered the army of Israel. Israel had no defense. David and his army were in full strength. One would think that David would immediately seize the opportunity, ride into Israel, and take over as king. He didn’t.
David inquired of the LORD. Inquiring of the Lord was something David learned to do in the wilderness. When David inquired of the Lord – ran his options by God – and did what the Lord said, he always made the correct decision. Let’s talk about this inquiring of the Lord.
One of life’s largest questions for the Christ follower is, “How do I know what God wants me to do?” David used a unique tool to inquire of the Lord. It’s called the ephod. The “whatphod?”
Let’s get a little history. The ephod dates back to Moses and the tabernacle in the wilderness. God gave detailed instructions concerning everything for that tabernacle including the clothes the priest would wear. The High Priest wore a garment called the ephod. It was an elaborate blue, purple, scarlet, and gold vest of linen. Involved with the vest were precious stones and two of these diamond-like stones were referred to as Urim and Thummin.
Exodus 28:30 Insert into the pocket of the chestpiece the Urim and Thummim, to be carried over Aaron’s heart when he goes into the LORD’S presence. Thus, Aaron will always carry the objects used TO DETERMINE THE LORD’S WILL FOR HIS PEOPLE…
Isn’t that great! You couldn’t miss with the ephod, Urim and Thummin. How exactly did it work? No one knows. The priest simply climbed into the ephod and knew God’s will every time. It never missed. Can I get one of these at Wal-Mart or online? I don’t know. Try www.ephod.com (kidding).
So, David had the ephod. How did David obtain it? One of David’s stops, when running from Saul, was Gibeah, the location of the tabernacle, priests, and the ephod. The priest at Gibeah gave David assistance. Saul heard about their supporting David and ordered the priests, wives, and children killed (1Sa 22:19). All were killed but one – Abiathar who escaped with the ephod and ran to David.
1 Samuel 23:6 Abiathar the priest went to Keilah with David, taking the ephod with him TO GET ANSWERS FOR DAVID FROM THE LORD.
1 Samuel 30:7-8 Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Bring me the ephod.” Abiathar brought it to him, and DAVID INQUIRED OF THE LORD…
When you read, “David inquired of the Lord…” over and over (1Sa 23:2, 4; 30:8; 2Sa 2:1; 5:19; 5:23, 1Ch 14:14, etc.), it means David climbed into the ephod and touched the Urim and Thummin. When David did, he never missed God’s will.
When’s the last time you climbed into your ephod and touched your Urim and Thummin? Do what Delbert? If you climb into Christ and touch the Word of God, you can’t miss. If you climb into Jesus Christ and touch the body of Christ, you can’t miss. If you climb into Jesus Christ and touch prayer, you can’t miss.
John 10:27 MY SHEEP LISTEN TO MY VOICE; I know them, and they follow me.
You don’t go down wrong roads if you listen. Delbert, do you really believe you hear the voice of Jesus? I ask you, “Do you mean to tell me you don’t?!!” I can never remember one time concerning anything when I climbed into my relationship with Jesus Christ, touched God’s Word, touched the Body of Christ, touched prayer, and listened to the Lord’s voice that I missed what God wanted me to do. I remember multitudes of times when I climbed into myself and listened to myself that I not only missed God’s will, I also made a mess of everything.
What is your decision making process? I’m not talking about what you will eat for supper tonight. I mean something like, should I go into debt for this house? God might have a better house. God knows what’s down the road. God knows your job might shut down and you will lose everything if you go in debt for that house. How do you make major decisions? Do you listen to yourself, or climb into your ephod and touch your Urim and Thummin?
What have we learned today? How do you feel when the mighty fall? Do you grieve a chosen of God fell? David grieved. What’s your decision making process? Into what do you climb – yourself or Christ? Do you hear the Lord’s voice leading you? David did. Just as Saul, Jonathan, and anyone else, we all are going to die. There is no escaping it. I have seen death sudden. I have seen it long and drawn out. I have seen it sweet and peaceful. I have seen it hideous and ugly. I have seen it come too early. I have seen it linger long. No matter how it comes… it comes. You can’t stop it. Rather than denying it, come to terms with it. What will your obituary say? If we respond correctly to these questions, we will be steps closer to being men and women after God’s own heart.
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