DAILY DISCIPLINE #65
By Colleen Donahue

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Last month we looked at David and saw how each of his earthly supports had been knocked out from under him. He had lost his position, his close friend, his mentor, his reputation and his freedom. Everything that he could grab and hold onto for stability was gone--except for God!

Perhaps you've gone through (or are going through) a time like David when all the things that you thought were solid have crumbled. The pain of these experiences can only be compensated when we find out for ourselves that God never leaves us, He is always strong, His hand is steady and His advice always trustworthy. In fact, one of our great moments in life will come when we learn to depend on God alone.

This month we'll follow David again as we find him "on the run" from Saul who was out to take his life. Although this was a dark time for David there are many things that he learned which perhaps couldn't have come in other ways. And of course all is recorded for our benefit as well as we look at .......

DAVID- Part 3 -- Hitting Bottom

THE CHIEF LESSONS OF A CAVE DWELLER

Day 1- This period in David's life spent living in caves along the Judean hillsides was a dark time for him. What did David learn to do?
Psalm 3:4A/ Psalm 5:1-2/ Psalm 6:4/ Psalm 12:1/ Psalm 17:1/ Psalm 25:1/ Psalm 28:1/ Psalm 35:1

Day 2 -Crying out to God seems so helpless and simple. What did David find was true when he did so?
Psalm 3:4B/ Psalm 6:9/ Psalm 17:6/ Psalm 18:16-17

Day 3 -What is promised to all God's children when we call to Him?
Psalm 91:15/ Isaiah 65:24/ Jeremiah 33:3

Day 4- Being a man or woman after God will not exempt us from life's trials and times of darkness. But it does mean that we can sing even while we wait in silent darkness, knowing that God is faithful and will deal kindly with us again.
Psalm 71:20-24

THE TRUTH ABOUT REVENGE

Today we soften revenge in our minds by calling it by more acceptable terms. "My rights" represents the thinking that we will not be walked all over, we will not be a doormat. "Justified retaliation" gives license to get even because we've got to stick up for our rights. Whatever we call it God calls it revenge.

Day 5- What are we to do when our rights have been violated?
Leviticus 19:18/ Romans 12:17

Day 6- Although revenge is NOT FOR US to take, what SHOULD WE do?
Proverbs 20:22 / Luke 6:29

Day 7- What example did Christ Himself give us?
Isaiah 53:7/ I Peter 2:23

Day 8- David of all people could be said to be justified in retaliating against Saul. He was being hunted like a murderer and yet had done nothing wrong. Finally the moment came to "get even".
I Samuel 24:1-4

Day 9- David began the process of getting even by stealthily cutting off a piece of Saul's robe. What immediately happened to David?
I Samuel 24:5

Day 10- Although Saul had been rejected by God, he was nevertheless still the reigning king and as such was David's authority. David would have to pay the price of rebellion to kill Saul and ascend to his rightful throne. What did he do?
I Samuel 24:6-15

Day 11- "Subjection to authority is not being subject to a person, but a being subject to the anointing which is upon that person, the anointing which came to him when God ordained him to be an authority." -W. Nee (p.43 Spiritual Authority).
Romans 13:1

Day 12- It is "true, Saul disobeyed God's commandment and was rejected by God; this however, was between Saul and God. David's responsibility before God was to be subject to the Lord's anointed."-W.Nee (p.43 Spiritual Authority)
Titus 3:1 / I Peter 2:13-14

Day 13- One more time David has the temptation before him to kill Saul. But once again he refuses rebellion and chooses to let God do all the work of avenging.
I Samuel 26:1-25

Day 14- Rebellion against our parents, teachers, employers, or government officials is most serious because it is finally rebellion against God.
Exodus 16:6-8/ I Samuel 15:23A /Isaiah 30:1 /Isaiah 65:2/Romans 13:1-2

Day 15- In I Samuel 31 and 2 Samuel 1 we read the account of Saul's attempt at suicide with the help of a young Amalekite boy. When Saul was dead the boy ran to David to tell the good news and seek a reward. How does David respond?
2 Samuel 1:11-16

Day 16- Only those that are subject to authority can be an authority. Because David maintained God's authority, God in turn established his. David's kingdom continues even now with the Lord Jesus being one of his descendents.
I Peter 2:17 summarizes our responsibility to authority.

LET GOD HANDLE THE INJUSTICES OF LIFE

During the last few days we've seen how David left with God the revenge against King Saul. His example to us is commendable. Now, in a new situation a moment of hot-headed impetuosity mearly leads him to murder.

Day 17- "Under David's leadership, the hundreds of men from the cave of Adullam had been turned into a tight-knit band of guerrilla-like fighters, roaming the wilderness of Paran to protect shepherds from the predatory raids of the desert's wild tribes". (From David...A Man After God's Own Heart, by Charles Swindoll; Insight for Living,1989, p.58)
I Samuel 25:15-16

Day 18- "It was a common custom- much like our present-day practice of tipping waitresses- that when the sheep where sheared, the owner of the flock would pay a portion of his profit to those who had protected his shepherds. David and his men had been working for Nabal, a wealthy man who had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. But when it was sheep shearing time; he wouldn't pay up." (From David...A Man After God's Own Heart, by Charles Swindoll; Insight for Living,1989,p.58)
I Samuel 25:1-12

Day 19- What was David's immediate response when he heard that Nabal wouldn't pay up?
I Samuel 25:13,21

Day 20- How is it possible that David could win a victory over revenge in the case of Saul but suddenly begin plotting his own murder scheme? David's problem is the same one we face. Every day new temptations come especially in areas where we have recently gained the victory.
I Peter 5:8/ 2 Peter 3:17

Day 21- God in His love for us may block a foolish move through a person or circumstance. So it was in His use of Abigail to calm David's raging heart and turn him back to God.
I Samuel 25:18-31

Day 22- Even though David had sinned in his anger toward Nabal, he displayed humility and a teachable heart when confronted by God through Abigail.
I Samuel 25:32-35

Day 23- God will be gracious to us during temptation to give us a way of escape. But, we may miss it unless our heart is humble and we are open to be taught.
Proverbs 25:12 / I Peter 5:5

CLOUDY DAYS AND DARK NIGHTS

Day 24- During days of darkness and struggle, safety can only be found as we stay near to God. We fall into disobedience when we begin to plan for ourselves how to get out. Now, in a moment of self-pity David reasons on his own- creates a black picture- and comes up with his own solution.
I Samuel 27:1-3

Day 25- A period of compromise began in David's life almost as soon as he moved to enemy ground. His move "seemed" good in that Saul called off his search temporarily. But now David was not only submitted to an enemy king , he was a resident in enemy land.
I Samuel 27:4-7

Day 26- Our actions apart from God always reap consequences far beyond what we can see at the time. So it was with David. He pretended to be raiding Israel, which meant lying to King Achish and then covering his lies by killing every member of the neutral tribes he did attack!
I Samuel 27:8-12

Double standards, half truths and cover ups had become David's way of life. This led to further consequences.

Day 27- Although David had fooled the Philistine King Achish, the Philistine commanders had their doubts. He now becomes a man without identity. He is neither an Israelite nor a Philistine!
I Samuel 29:1-11

Day 28- Now, no longer under King Achish's protection, David goes "home" to find devastation.
I Samuel 30:1-5

Day 29- Finally he sinks to depression when even his own men don't trust him.
I Samuel 30:6

Day 30- There is one thing good that happens when we hit the bottom. It is often at this place that we finally look up and reach for God's hand.
I Samuel 30:6B

Day 31- And then we learn for ourself that God is never far away and able to pull us up from the sinking sand.
Isaiah 40:28-31

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