1 Chronicles 14:8-17 (Part 2) – Burn It Down To The Ground!

Posted: April 2, 2020 in 13-1 Chronicles

1 Chronicles 14:8-17 (Part 2 of 2)

David Conquers the Philistines

There is a saying that you hear sometimes about those who claim to be Christian but maybe actually are not. It says they “sit in church on Sundays, but live like hell the rest of the week!” These are the people that maybe Billy Graham was talking about when he said that the vast majority “of people sitting in church on Sunday are not saved.” These are the people that live with one foot in the world and one foot in Christ. These are the ones that rationalize away a sin as sin because it is their sin and they don’t want to give it up. They have not changed a thing about their lives. They still hang out and all the same haunts. They still do all the same stuff they used to do. They still actively participate in sins that satisfy their fleshly desires. They simply go to church on Sundays as a way to make up for all the stuff they have done during the past week. There has been no life change. There is no revulsion toward the things that are not of God. There is no desire to please the Lord. There is only negotiation and rationalization as to why there is a special deal between you and God for the behaviors that you dabble in that are clearly against the Word of God. There is no about face in their lives. They just added the olive of going to church to the martini of their lives.

As well, for us as Christ followers, who have truly given their lives to the Lord, when we allow ourselves to be surrounded by sin, we will struggle not to be a part of it. When we accept Christ as our Savior, it does not give us some Teflon coating when it comes to sin. We must stele ourselves against sin, particularly those that we are most vulnerable to. There are sins that we can easily walk away from as part of our life change through the Holy Spirit. However, as we talked about yesterday, there are those sins or classes of sins that are like kryptonite for us. We are powerless against them. Every time we find them in our path, we pick them up. Every time, we are near them, we succumb to them – EVERY TIME.

In each of these cases, we must seek to please the Lord from a heart that really has changed. We must submit ourselves to the lordship of Jesus Christ. We must listen to the Holy Spirit. We must destroy the idols in our lives. We cannot negotiate with sin. It will win every time, particularly those sins that we seem to enjoy the most, those that we just can’t seem to shake, those that are our pet sins, our kryptonite sins. We must burn the idols in our lives. We must not go near the sins that we know are our weak spots. We may have to change the sandboxes that we sit down and play in. We may have to change the playmates we play with.

With that idea in mind, let’s read this passage, 1 Chronicles 14:8-17, now:

8 When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, they mobilized all their forces to capture him. But David was told they were coming, so he marched out to meet them. 9 The Philistines arrived and made a raid in the valley of Rephaim. 10 So David asked God, “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?”

The Lord replied, “Yes, go ahead. I will hand them over to you.”

11 So David and his troops went up to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there. “God did it!” David exclaimed. “He used me to burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” So they named that place Baal-perazim (which means “the Lord who bursts through”). 12 The Philistines had abandoned their gods there, so David gave orders to burn them.

13 But after a while the Philistines returned and raided the valley again. 14 And once again David asked God what to do. “Do not attack them straight on,” God replied. “Instead, circle around behind and attack them near the poplar[a] trees. 15 When you hear a sound like marching feet in the tops of the poplar trees, go out and attack! That will be the signal that God is moving ahead of you to strike down the Philistine army.” 16 So David did what God commanded, and they struck down the Philistine army all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.

17 So David’s fame spread everywhere, and the Lord caused all the nations to fear David.

In this passage, we see that David’s quick and decisive action against idols helped unify his kingdom and focus the people on worshiping the one true God. He was obeying the law that said, “You must break down their pagan altars and shatter their sacred pillars. Cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols (see Deuteronomy 7:5). Often, the soldiers wanted to keep souvenirs from their battles., but David ordered them to burn the idols. The only proper response to sin is to get rid of it completely. You cannot be a follower of the Lord, while continuing to hold on to parts of your life where God is not the center of your thoughts and actions. Eliminate whatever takes God’s rightful place in your life and follow Him with complete devotion.

We cannot play games and rationalize away anything that gets in the way of our relationship with God. Anything that gets in the way is an idol. It can be a person that you worship. You may not bow down before this person in a formal worship act but your actions indicate it. It can be a thing that you worship. It can be a job. It can be an activity. It can be a hobby. It can be an addiction. Anything that consumes your thoughts that is not of God is an Asherah pole in your life, an idol that you worship – instead of God. We must burn the idols in our lives instead of allowing them to exist in our lives. Burn it down to the ground. Listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading about the things in your life that you worship before God. Remove them. Burn them down!

Amen and Amen.

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