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David: A Man After God’s Own Heart Series – Sermon #10


1 Samuel 27:1-12


Intro: I want you to place yourself in David’s sandals for just a moment.  You were told as a teenager that you were going to be the next king of Israel.  Samuel, the old man of God, came and anointed you for that office.  The next thing you know, you are in the royal palace playing and singing for the king. Then, like a whirlwind, one activity after another took place in your life that brought you to national prominence.

      You killed Goliath with a single stone thrown from your sling.  You were promoted in the army and made the captain over a thousand men.  You married the king’s daughter and were best friends with the king’s son.  It seemed that every event in your life was bringing you ever closer to the day when you would step up and claim the throne of the land as your own.

      Then, things began to happen.  Cracks began to appear in the perfectly constructed life you enjoyed so much.  You fell out of favor with the king, and he even tried to kill you!  Your relationship with your wife came to an end.  You could no longer fellowship with Jonathan, your best friend.  You were demoted and lost your position in the army.  The next thing you know, you are a fugitive, running for your very life, from an insane king who is determined to take your life.

      Yet, even as you run from your enemy, you continue to carry yourself well.  You spare his life when the opportunity to kill him is virtually handed to you.  You show compassion when dealing with others you could have destroyed out of hand.  You even continue to seek God’s direction for your life, believing that some day His promises for your life will all be fulfilled.

      Then, one day, something changes.  You awake as usual, but somehow, the world is different today.  For the first time, it looks like God may have forgotten all about you.  It looks like your enemies will eventually prevail.  You become discouraged, disillusioned and find yourself trapped in the pit of hopelessness.  While you are in that state of despair, you make a foolish decision that alters the course of your life; brings you troubles that you could have never imagined; and leaves you broken spiritually.

      That, in a nutshell, is the life of David up to this point.  David was on the fast track to the kingdom; now he is a fugitive on the run.  Our text finds David hunted, hounded and haunted.  He is defeated, discouraged and depressed.  While he is in that condition, he makes a foolish decision that will produce some very serious consequences in his life.  David decided to give up on God’s plan for his life.  He decided that, somehow, God must have forgotten about him.  He decided that God’s plan for his life had failed.  David took his own life in his own hands and began to live for himself as he wanted to live.

      As I think about this stage of the life of David, I see in him a portrait of many believers I have met over the years.  David pictures people who have been saved by the grace of God and who began their walk with God very well.  But, somewhere along the way, things didn’t go as they had envisioned and they became defeated, disillusioned and discouraged.  In their weakened spiritual condition, they made a terrible decision that had terrible consequences in their lives. Instead of staying close to the Lord an following His will for their lives, they chose to walk away from God and live lives of carnality and compromise.  They made a tragic decision and paid a high price.

      Today, I want to preach on the thought: When Smart People Make Foolish Decisions.  I would like to take David’s life and point out where we go wrong in the decisions we make in life; what we can expect when we make those decisions; and how we can pick up the pieces and move on with God.  I want to make three observations as we look into these verses today and think about When Smart People Make Foolish Decisions.



A.  David Trusted The Wrong Confidant – David is pictured having a conversation with himself.  Instead of turning to God in prayer as he had so often done; David turns to himself for counsel.  The advice he receives from himself is anything but wise.

B.  David Believed The Wrong Counsel – When David communed with his heart, he immediately forgot all the great promises which the Lord had made to him.  God had promised David that he would be king, 1 Sam. 16:1, 12-13.  That promise had been confirmed by Jonathan, 1 Sam. 23:17; by Abigail, 1 Sam. 25:30-31; and even by Saul, 1 Sam. 24:20.  Yet, all these great promises are forgotten when David begins to listen to his own heart.  David even thinks that he knows what will happen out there in the future.  He should have known that God is a Sovereign God, Who is total control of all things past, present and future, Psa. 135:6; Eph. 1:11.

C.  David Reached The Wrong Conclusions – Because David listened to his heart, he chose to abandon the path of life God had placed him on years before.  He decided that he would be better off fleeing to the land of the Philistines, where he thought he would be safe from King Saul.  Imagine, the future king of Israel, running to the arch enemies of God to beg for help!  That’s the kind of trouble David’s heart got him into!


(Note: Beware of trusting your own heart!  When we consult the heart, we will get in touch with our human nature.  Our old, human nature is fallen and it always looks at things from an earthly level, Gal. 5:19-21.  When people say, “Well, I feel it in my heart,” they are usually headed for trouble! That is why the Bible cautions us against trusting the heart, Jer. 17:9; Pro. 28:26; Eccl. 9:3; Mark 7:21-22.  When you talk to yourself, be sure to talk to yourself about the things of God, Eph. 5:19-20; Phil. 4:8. When someone says to you, “Just listen to what your heart is telling you,” they have given you advice that can lead to spiritual wreck and ruin, if you are foolish enough to follow it.

      You see, your heart will say things like, “This church is dead”; “These people don’t like you”; “God is being unfair to you”; “You would be better off if you stayed home, or went somewhere else”; “That preacher is mean”; “You are really missing out! There’s nothing wrong with living it up every now and then”; “God doesn’t even care about you.  If He did, these things would not be happening to you”; “Just once won’t hurt”; “Just a little won’t matter”; etc.

      Many of you know exactly what I am talking about, don’t you? Your heart will trick you, deceive you, lie to you, and lead you down the wrong path of life.  If you listen to your heart, you will find yourself where David found himself: out of God’s will; out of God’s place for his life; and out of God’s fellowship!  If you listen to your heart, you will find yourself living a life of spiritual compromise and you will find yourself a backslider on the outs with God!

      David made wrong decisions because he listened to his heart and it led him astray.  Be very careful, my friends, some are heading in that same direction today.)



A.  27:2-3  The People In David’s Life Were Affected – Because of the foolish decision David made, everyone who’s life touched that of David was affected as well.  All 600 of his men and their families; his own wives and children; everyone around David was brought down by his decision!  All of those people where brought into a place of compromise and temptation because one man listened to his heart instead of listening to the Lord.

      (Note: Romans 14:7 says, “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.”  That basically means that everything we do in our lives touches those around us.  When a husband or a wife steps out of God’s will, it affects their marriage.  When one or both parents refuse to live by God’s standards, it has an impact on their children.  People at school, at work and at church are touched by the way we live our lives.  We never know who is watching, or who might be hindered when we give in to the advice of the heart and walk away from God.  But, remember, there is a price to pay for touching others in a negative manner, Luke 17:1-2.  Ill. Some possible scenarios.)


B.  27:5-12  The Pattern Of David’s Life Was Affected – Not only did David’s decision affect the people around him; the very way David lived his life was altered.  In other words, his decision to walk away from the Lord changed him completely.  Look at some of the things the Bible reveals about this tragic time in David’s life.

      v. 4 David lived with a sense of false security.  He thought he was safe.

      v. 5 David sought help and ran with the wrong crowd.  He literally aligned himself with the enemy.

      v. 8-12 David did things there that he never would have done before.  He murdered, he lied, and he submitted himself to the enemy of God.  The whole fabric of David’s life was altered by the decision he made.

      v. 7 David stayed there for 16 months.  I am sure he was there longer than he intended to be.

      It is also worthy to note that no Psalms are attributed to David during this period of his life.  It seems as though the “Sweet Singer of Israel” has lost his voice.


(Note: When a believer makes that fatal decision to walk away from the Lord and from the place of blessing, their life will be affected in a negative way. 

      Like the Prodigal, they will live in a false sense of security; but the backslider is never out of the view of the Lord God; nor is he too far away to avoid chastisement, Rev. 3:19; Heb. 12:6-12. 

      The one who walks away will find that they are soon doing things they would have done before; and that they are doing them with a crowd they would never have run with before, 1 Cor. 15:33. 

      They will find that their entire lifestyle has been changed and they will look around and find that months and even years have passed while they languished in the far country. 

      They will also find that their song has departed and that their joy has dried up.

      You cannot walk away from God and go off into sin and not be affected!  If walking away from the Lord does not alter your life; then I would venture to say that you were not His to begin with!)


C.  29:1-30:6a  The Peace Of David’s Life Was Affected –  Someone said, “Sin will take you farther than you want to go; keep you longer than you want to stay; and cost you more than you want to pay.”  We are seeing the truth of that fleshed out in David’s life.  In this passage, David has fallen about as far as a man can fall.  He is out of God’s will; off God’s path and actively working with the enemy against the people of God.  But, thankfully, David was not having a good time!  You see, his sin affected the people in his life; it affected the pattern of his life; but it also affected the peace of his life.

      29:1-5 – David has lost his identity. He unites himself with the Philistines to go and do battle with his own people, Israel.  But, even the Philistines do not want him around!  He has become and offense to them as well.  He is literally a man without a country at this point.

      29:6-8 – David reveals the depths to which he has fallen.  The future king of Israel grovels at a pagan king’s feet and declares himself to be that king’s servant!  He even says that the enemies of King Achish are David’s enemies!

      29:9-11 – David is declared to be a faithful servant by Achish.

      30:1-5 – David finally reaps the harvest of the wickedness he has sown.  He loses far more than he could have ever imagined.  The Amalekites retaliate against David and his men for their earlier actions, 27:8-11.  Their families are taken captive and their city is burned to the ground!  Yet, those pagans showed more grace and mercy than David, the man of God had shown his enemies.

      30:6 – David finally reaches the bottom.  His men turn on him and threaten to kill him.  They rightly realize that all of these tragedies are the result of David’s foolish decision.  His sin has taken everything away from him!


(Note: What a frightening portrait of the power and potential of sin on our lives!  You and I may walk away from the lord and go our own way, but we will not do so without paying a terribly high price!  What will it cost you my friend?  Is the sin you are about to walk away from God to commit worth the price you are going to pay?  Is it worth your spouse?  Is it worth your children? Is it worth your ministry?  Is it worth your good name?  Is it worth your power with God?  Is it worth your health?  Is it worth your life?

      Let us not think for one second that we can walk away from the Lord and do so without consequences!  There will be a price to pay and God will have no trouble collecting that price from our lives!  That is the clear lesson of Scripture, Num. 32:23; Psa. 13:15.  Before you make a foolish decision and walk away from the lord; consider the price that you might have to pay.)



(Ill. Thank God the story does not end there.  I am glad that we get to witness David’s recovery from his sin as well.)

A.  30:6c  David Repented Before The Lord – When David finally hits the bottom; when he has lost all that a man can lose; at long last, David looks toward Heaven again!  Perhaps he realized, as he looked at the broken lives and shattered all around him, that everything that had happened was the result of one foolish conversion with his own heart; followed by one foolish decision on his part. David turned his gaze heavenward once again in humble repentance.

B.  30:7  David Relied Upon The Lord – Now, David does what he should have done at the beginning of this episode of his life: David calls on the Lord in prayer to seek God’s will and God’s help.  David is back in a place where he can rely on the lord once again.

C.  30:8-9  David Returned To The Lord – When David hears the Lord’s direction for his life, he does not hesitate, but he goes out immediately to do what the Lord has told him to do.  He is not walking in David’s will any longer; He is back in God’s will, walking God’s path once again.  David has been fully restored!


      (Note: Most of what we have learned from David has been a lesson in what a person should not do.  But, in this last passage, David clearly shows us what we are supposed to do when we have allowed ourselves to walk away from the Lord.

            The first step in getting things right is repentance.  We need to get before the Lord and deal honestly with our sin, Pro. 28:13; Psa. 51:1-5.  When sin is confessed and handled God’s way, He will forgive that sin and restore the fallen saint, 1 John 1:9.  that is a blessing because there is not a saint in this world who does not fall into sin from time to time!  If you have wandered far away from God, you need to know that you can come home today and find complete forgiveness and restoration!)


(Note: Did you notice the Lord’s response to the repentance of David?  David has been out of God’s will for sixteen months.  Then, he falls down before the Lord and deals with his sin.  Does God say, “I am sorry David, but you have crossed the line. I have found someone new to be the king”?  Does He say, “I am going to give you three month probation.  If you do all right, then we’ll talk about restoration”?  Does God say, “Well, I’ll forgive you, but things can never be the same between us again”?

      No, God does none of these things!  When David calls out from a right spirit, the Lord instantly forgives, restores and communicates with David.  God’s answer is swift, sure and accurate!

      What a blessing!  There I an earthly price to pay for the sins we commit, Gal. 6:7.  But, when God forgives, He forgives immediately, completely and eternally!  Some people in this room need to experience that kind of grace today!)


Conc: Regardless of how smart we may be; regardless of how long we may have been saved; or regardless of how high we may climb on the spiritual ladder; we are still capable of making foolish decisions.  Some folks in this room are in the process of doing that very thing today. 

      You have been listening to your heart and it is telling you lies.  I suggest that you get to God and hear some truth before it becomes too late.  Others have already begun the process of walking a path that is far different from the one God set your feet on when He saved you.  I would suggest that you get back before the price gets higher than you want to pay.  Still others are watching your world start to come apart all because of some foolish decisions you have made along the way.  Some things may have to play out in your life, but you can still have your fellowship with the Lord restored today.  There are probably some others who have never even been saved.  Friend, you are headed for the rudest awakening of all.  If you will come to Jesus, He will save you and give you eternal life.

      I know that there are needs today.  Who has the spiritual courage to come into the presence of the Lord and get them taken care of right now? Listen to His voice, not your own heart, and do as He says to do!

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