In his message, Dr. Miller retells the narrative of David and Saul in their struggle to overcome bad decisions and find hope in the midst of overwhelming disaster..

Choose Your Own Adventure 

Cliffhanger #1: How did David get stranded?

1 Samuel 28:1–2 (ESV)

1 In those days the Philistines gathered their forces for war, to fight against Israel. And Achish said to David, “Understand that you and your men are to go out with me in the army.” 2 David said to Achish, “Very well, you shall know what your servant can do.” And Achish said to David, “Very well, I will make you my bodyguard for life.”

To be continued…

Cliffhanger #2: How did Saul get stranded?

1.   Background Scene

1 Samuel 28:3 (ESV)

Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his own city. And Saul had put the mediums and the necromancers out of the land.

2.   Saul chose the wrong road.

1 Samuel 28:4–5 (ESV)

The Philistines assembled and came and encamped at Shunem. And Saul gathered all Israel, and they encamped at Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. 

3.   Saul trusted his own sense of direction.

1 Samuel 28:6–7 (ESV)

6 And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams, or by Urim, or by prophets. 7 Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek out for me a woman who is a medium that I may go to her and inquire of her.” And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a medium at En-dor.”

4.   Saul rejected his real family.

1 Samuel 28:15–17 (ESV)

15 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Saul answered, “I am in great distress, for the Philistines are warring against me, and God has turned away from me and answers me no more, either by prophets or by dreams. Therefore I have summoned you to tell me what I shall do.” 16 And Samuel said, “Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has turned from you and become your enemy? 17 The Lord has done to you as he spoke by me, for the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, David.

5.   Saul gave into despair.

1 Samuel 28:18–20 (ESV)

Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord and did not carry out his fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you this day. 19 Moreover, the Lord will give Israel also with you into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons shall be with me. The Lord will give the army of Israel also into the hand of the Philistines.” 20 Then Saul fell at once full length on the ground, filled with fear because of the words of Samuel. And there was no strength in him, for he had eaten nothing all day and all night.

To be continued…

Cliffhanger #1 Resolved: How Did David Get Going?

1.   David trusted his own sense of direction.

1 Samuel 29:8 (NRSV)

David said to Achish, “But what have I done? What have you found in your servant from the day I entered your service until now, that I should not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?”

2.   David followed the wrong leader.

1 Samuel 30:1–4 (NRSV)

Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid on the Negeb and on Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag, burned it down, 2 and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great; they killed none of them, but carried them off, and went their way. 3 When David and his men came to the city, they found it burned down, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4 Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept, until they had no more strength to weep.

3.   David did NOT despair and turned to God.

1 Samuel 30:6–8 (NRSV)

David was in great danger; for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in spirit for their sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. 7 David said to the priest Abiathar son of Ahimelech, “Bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8 David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue this band? Shall I overtake them?” He answered him, “Pursue; for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue.”

4.   David established God-fearing relationships.

1 Samuel 30:26 (NRSV)

When David came to Ziklag, he sent part of the spoil to his friends, the elders of Judah, saying, “Here is a present for you from the spoil of the enemies of the Lord”;

Cliffhanger #2 Resolved: How Did Saul Get Going?

1 Samuel 31:1–6 (NRSV)

Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines, and many fell on Mount Gilboa. 2 The Philistines overtook Saul and his sons; and the Philistines killed Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchishua, the sons of Saul. 3 The battle pressed hard upon Saul; the archers found him, and he was badly wounded by them. 4 Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and thrust me through with it, so that these uncircumcised may not come and thrust me through, and make sport of me.” But his armor-bearer was unwilling; for he was terrified. So Saul took his own sword and fell upon it. 5 When his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died with him. 6 So Saul and his three sons and his armor-bearer and all his men died together on the same day.

How can I choose the right adventure?

  1. Navigate by Faith… NOT by Sight.
  2. Fill up on Grace.. NOT Works.

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