1 Samuel 30:1-31 (Part 2) – A Concept Video About the Homeless Man Morphing Into Jesus…

Posted: April 21, 2018 in 09-1 Samuel

1 Samuel 30:1-31 (Part 2 of 3)
David Destroys the Amalekites

You know back in the day when MTV actually played music videos all the time? Back in the day in the 80s, MTV was 24/7 with music videos. It was a new concept back in those days. As the 80s progressed, the music videos became very sophisticated. The best ones would tell the story of the song in video. Some of them became like short films and were award-worthy. I loved my MTV back in those days. When MTV was new and you were in your teens and twenties like I was in the 80s, you would have friends over, have a party, and sit down and watch MTV and conversations while mediocre videos would and then get quiet while the excellent ones played. We would watch MTV til the small hours of the morning. Most of what was on MTV was that good and that interesting and of course 80s music is still the best decade of music ever! I just loved the idea of concept videos to support a song. I loved that these artists would put as much effort into their music videos as they would producing their albums. The 80s era music videos inspired in me this idea of setting life to music and vice versa. Concept videos would run through my brain about portions of my life being set to music. You know…something happens in your life over a period of time, you think of a song that matches what happened and the mood it, and you orchestrate in your mind what the video would look like.

That kind of thought of the soundtrack video of your life kind of stuck with me past the 80s. One video idea that has stuck with me since salvation was the idea of doing unto the least of these, a concept video based on Matthew 25:31-46, The Parable of the Sheep and Goats. The video I had in my mind was a concept video about our missed opportunities, our missed divine appointments, to help those who seem like throwaway people to us. Those moments where, in the busy schedule of our lives, that we think of helping but rationalize away why we cannot.

Here’s how that concept video would look. Say for example, there would be this homeless man sitting by a lamppost in any town in America, you pick the town, maybe your own town, maybe my own town. He has a sign held in front of him that says “Please help me. I am hungry.” You seem him but do not look directly in his eyes. You think of helping but choose not to, because, looking at your watch, you realize that you are late for meeting up with your friends at the bar for dinner. Your heart tells you to stop but you rationalize it away and walk on buy. As get past the man and you no longer can see him as you have walked far enough past him, the video pans back to the homeless man and then he morphs into Jesus Christ and He has a tear in his beginning to stream down his cheek. That idea just blows me away. And then the video shows this guy would not help missing other opportunities as well. An old lady trying to climb the steps of a public building, a mother trying to corral her kids that are acting all anarchical, a family that appears to be living in their car, and all sorts of other missed opportunities. Each time as the guy in this video passes by, each time the one needing help morphs into Jesus Christ.

We all have divine opportunities to help others. Most times, we rationalize away helping. We are too busy. The person might try to rob us. I am late for work. I am late for something. I am no different than anybody else. I miss more opportunities than I take advantage of. Just within the last two days, I have had two opportunities. One missed. One taken. On the way home from work on Thursday (which since I am a pastor now is the beginning of my weekend). Sundays, of course are work days for pastors. We get Friday and Saturday off instead of the usual Saturday and Sunday. But on the way home, after a long work week, I was ready to have some time off with my wife. I just wanted to get home put a t-shirt and my sweatpants on and chill. Thursday evenings, Elena and I get to catch up. We don’t usually go anywhere. We just enjoy having the beginning of time off where we can spend time together. I look forward to it. I dart home after work. We might go out to eat and some form of entertainment on Friday night or Saturday night but Thursday night is our night to chill out. As I was turning off of John Deere Road onto 7th Street, my usual track home, there was a guy in the turning lane standing by a car with the hood up. He was stranded. Steam coming out of the engine. Right in the middle of a Quad City rush hour. I rationalized away that he had called someone already to help him. I felt the tug to help but I blew it. I just drove around his car and kept going. Elena was waiting for me at home patiently. It was the beginning of my weekend. I blew it. I didn’t stop to help. Fear told me that he might try to rob me. Inconvenience told me that it would be difficult to park anywhere near him and help him. You name the reason, I came up with it. Later as I had passed, in the concept video of my mind, that helpless man by the car turned into Jesus Christ with a tear in his eye.

Then, last night, as we were leaving The Truth Conference, the apologetics conference being hosted at Calvary Church, we were in our car leaving the rear parking lot of the church. We saw this little old lady who must have been in her 80s at least. She was walking on the concrete parking lot at a glacial pace. Wherever she was headed in our parking lot, it was going to take a loooonnnngggg time for her to get there. She was walking THAT slow. She seemed as if the walk was causing her pain. This time. This time I stopped. Elena and I both got out the car and asked her if we could give her a lift to wherever her car was parked. It took a long time to (1) convince her to let us give her a ride and (2) get her up into the back seat of my SUV (that sits fairly high off the ground – higher for sure than a regular car). Then, she could not remember where she parked. By talking to her, we figured she must’ve parked at the front of the church parking lot nearer to 53rd Street, the main road that runs by our church. She was using her clicker to watch for which car’s lights lit up. We knew from our discussion that she drove a gray Malibu. We slowly crept along and finally found her car. We helped her slowly get out of our car and then into hers. By the time, we finished helping her, the parking lot was almost empty of the cars that brought almost a thousand people to our church for the conference being put on by this touring apologetics conference. As we drove away, I imagined by concept video in my mind. That little old lady morphed into Jesus Christ and this time he had a smile on His face.

That concept video idea was what came to mind this morning as I read through 1 Samuel 30 for a second of four reads. That idea of helping people that seem insignificant to us and that we rationalize away not helping. That idea of having impact on somebody’s life that we may never know. I think about getting to heaven and having someone there tell me how that day I did not help them caused their live to spiral downward or having someone there tell me how that I day I did help them changed the course of their life for the better. Having someone in heaven tell me that because I stopped to help them that it changed their view of “church people” and they started going to church after that and they came to know Jesus Christ as their Savior. And everything changed after that. Everything. For the better. That concept video of Jesus crying. That idea of having to account for all our missed opportunities to put the gospel in action every day. That’s what I thought of this morning. Let’s read 1 Samuel 30 together now with a specific eye toward vv. 11-15:

30 Three days later, when David and his men arrived home at their town of Ziklag, they found that the Amalekites had made a raid into the Negev and Ziklag; they had crushed Ziklag and burned it to the ground. 2 They had carried off the women and children and everyone else but without killing anyone.

3 When David and his men saw the ruins and realized what had happened to their families, 4 they wept until they could weep no more. 5 David’s two wives, Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel, were among those captured. 6 David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the Lord his God.

7 Then he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring me the ephod!” So Abiathar brought it. 8 Then David asked the Lord, “Should I chase after this band of raiders? Will I catch them?”

And the Lord told him, “Yes, go after them. You will surely recover everything that was taken from you!”

9 So David and his 600 men set out, and they came to the brook Besor. 10 But 200 of the men were too exhausted to cross the brook, so David continued the pursuit with 400 men.

11 Along the way they found an Egyptian man in a field and brought him to David. They gave him some bread to eat and water to drink. 12 They also gave him part of a fig cake and two clusters of raisins, for he hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for three days and nights. Before long his strength returned.

13 “To whom do you belong, and where do you come from?” David asked him.

“I am an Egyptian—the slave of an Amalekite,” he replied. “My master abandoned me three days ago because I was sick. 14 We were on our way back from raiding the Kerethites in the Negev, the territory of Judah, and the land of Caleb, and we had just burned Ziklag.”

15 “Will you lead me to this band of raiders?” David asked.

The young man replied, “If you take an oath in God’s name that you will not kill me or give me back to my master, then I will guide you to them.”

16 So he led David to them, and they found the Amalekites spread out across the fields, eating and drinking and dancing with joy because of the vast amount of plunder they had taken from the Philistines and the land of Judah. 17 David and his men rushed in among them and slaughtered them throughout that night and the entire next day until evening. None of the Amalekites escaped except 400 young men who fled on camels. 18 David got back everything the Amalekites had taken, and he rescued his two wives. 19 Nothing was missing: small or great, son or daughter, nor anything else that had been taken. David brought everything back. 20 He also recovered all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock. “This plunder belongs to David!” they said.

21 Then David returned to the brook Besor and met up with the 200 men who had been left behind because they were too exhausted to go with him. They went out to meet David and his men, and David greeted them joyfully. 22 But some evil troublemakers among David’s men said, “They didn’t go with us, so they can’t have any of the plunder we recovered. Give them their wives and children, and tell them to be gone.”

23 But David said, “No, my brothers! Don’t be selfish with what the Lord has given us. He has kept us safe and helped us defeat the band of raiders that attacked us. 24 Who will listen when you talk like this? We share and share alike—those who go to battle and those who guard the equipment.” 25 From then on David made this a decree and regulation for Israel, and it is still followed today.

26 When he arrived at Ziklag, David sent part of the plunder to the elders of Judah, who were his friends. “Here is a present for you, taken from the Lord’s enemies,” he said.

27 The gifts were sent to the people of the following towns David had visited: Bethel, Ramoth-negev, Jattir, 28 Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa, 29 Racal,[a] the towns of the Jerahmeelites, the towns of the Kenites, 30 Hormah, Bor-ashan, Athach, 31 Hebron, and all the other places David and his men had visited.

In this passage today, we look specifically at vv. 11-15. Here, the cruelty of the Amalekites was such that they left this slave to die, but God used him to lead David and his men to the Amalekite camp. David and his men treated the young man kindly, and he returned the kindness by leading them to the enemy. These verses remind us that we are to treat those you meet with respect and dignity no matter how insignificant they may seem. You never know how God will use them in your life or how God will use our interaction with others in their lives going forward. Galatians 6:9 reminds us to never grow weary of doing good. We just might change someone’s life by helping. We may point someone to Jesus Christ. We may point some lonely, down and out believer toward fellowship again with believers that changes everything for them. They may morph into Jesus after we pass and He will smile.

Lord, help us to be aware of the inconvenient and fearful opportunities you place before us as divine opportunities to share the gospel. Help us not to miss these opportunities. Help us to seize them without fear or thoughts of inconvenience. Help us to see you when we stop to help someone in need. Help us to be like David here in this passage. He was blessed immediately by it in a tangible way. But help us Lord to realize that we may get nothing out of it on this side of heaven but that we are helping you when we help others. Help us, oh Lord, to see you when we see someone in need. Help us to realize that our kindness could be the difference in someone coming to Christ or not. Help us to have eternity in mind when we stop to help someone.

Amen and Amen.

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