Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Grrr! (01/28/10)
TITLE: A Cave Dwelling Heart
By Jeff Andrews
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(1 Samuel 18:5-16)
The sound of David’s harp was soothing. He was more than a skilled musician - music helped David connect with God. Skill and heart came together in a way that would make a grizzly bear take a nap. Besides being a commander in the army of Israel, David was the personal musician for King Saul.
Saul was a ruler whose days were numbered. He held the title but no longer held the heart of God. God had left him, and in that void sprung up a spirit of envy that was growing into rage. There were days when the sound of David’s music would relax Saul’s troubled mind. But there came a day when the animal that growled in his heart could no longer be won over by anything.
Saul paced the floor. The favorable hand of God that was once evident in his life had been replaced by dead silence. Across the room was David, a man who seemed to have God’s blessings by the cartful. Everything he touched prospered. He had the approval of the people. They loved him. The esteem once given to Saul was evaporating. The lack of that praise was erupting into jealousy. When he looked at David he saw the end of his kingdom. What started as aggravation became fury.
David played with the heart of a servant. The attention he received from the people had not gone to his head. Obeying the king was part of obeying the God he loved. He never stormed into Saul’s court demanding a higher position or asking why he was still plucking in the presence of the king when he could be wiping out the enemies of Israel. He never flaunted his anointing. He handled his fame with meekness.
In the Court of Saul the tension was building. David played with a watchful eye. He could see the symptoms. He tried to settle the king’s heart but it was too late. The pressure had built. Saul was about to erupt. There, leaning against the wall was a javelin. Saul took it in his hand and without warning turned with the skill of a warrior and launched the spear across the room.
Twice David escaped Saul’s attach. Though the javelin had never touched David, in Saul’s mind it was a symbol of their severed relationship. David was demoted and removed from the king’s presence. Their relationship would never be the same.
Saul feared David, and as they say - anger is fear coming out. Saul feared loosing his position, his fame, and even his life if another were to become king. He saw his life changing in ways he could never accept. Though Saul feared much - he didn’t fear God.
Every time the monster growled in his soul, Saul had two choices. Humbly drop to his knees in repentance before God, or allow his anger to grow. To humble himself meant seeing the situation through Gods eyes. He would need to recognize his own disobedience and understand that he deserved Gods verdict. God needed to be king of Saul’s life, but that was one crown Saul would not relinquish.
Not only should Saul have seen his situation through Gods eyes but he should have seen David through Gods eyes. He should have seen the blessing that he was to him and how effective he was for the kingdom of Israel. He could have chosen to focus on David’s loyal service and friendship. But all Saul could see was his kingdom slipping away.
What started as a small churning in his heart grew to infuriation. Before Saul knew it the enemy was riding his thoughts. He dedicated himself to David’s destruction. Eventually, David ran to the cave of Adullan for refuge.
Anger can be a devastating force. Its destruction can obliterate a relationship, sometimes leaving it so damaged it can never be fully restored. Its victims are left hiding in symbolic caves. But the person that gives into anger is the real cave dweller. Surrounded by their own dark thoughts, there’s no room for light. The only way out is to walk out or even crawl out if necessary. But the deeper you go the harder it will be to find your way. Turn around while you’re near the entrance – before it’s too late.
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. Proverbs 16:32 NKJV
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