Who Was King David’s Worst Enemy?

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I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

I trust in you, my God! Do not let me be disgraced, or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat. Psalms 25:2 NLT

David prayed for deliverance from his enemies. He also prayed they would not disgrace him. David faced Goliath, but Goliath did not turn out to be too much of an enemy as he fell by the first stone David threw. King Saul tried to destroy David too, but he was not much of an enemy to David after all, since he fell on his own sword. David’s own son Absalom tried to rise up against David, but he ended up hanging himself in a tree.

We have met the enemy and they are us. -Walt Kelly 1960’s

Then one day, while the war is going well and David’s throne secure, David saw a woman bathing outside on a flat roof. Well, David more than saw a woman bathing. We all see things we shouldn’t see sometimes, and hopefully we look away. David did not look away. He saw, and then he watched. Next thing we know, David hasdone something Goliath, Saul and Absalom could never do – disgrace David!

David was worried about his enemies, but in the end the only person who ever got to defeat David was David himself!

David defeated Goliath head to head, or at least slingshot to head, but the other cases were a little more interesting. Saul was afraid of David, but David did Saul no harm. Saul ended up falling on his own sword. Saul should have been more afraid of Saul, and David should have been more afraid of David, instead of each one being afraid of the other one. They both did themselves in, not each other. David did no harm to Absalom. Absalom hung himself in a tree. So Absalom was his own worst enemy. Saul was Saul’s worst enemy, and David was David’s worst enemy.

We are told that “We have far more to fear from within than from without.” –Ellen White, Last Day Events, p.156. 1

All the more reason to pray:

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalms 139:23-24 NLT

You may study this week’s SS lesson here. 

Garments of Grace; In the Shadow of His Wings

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

While this week’s SS lesson takes a look at King David, here is something I think is worth taking note of.

While it is said, we are our own worst enemy, I don’t think that is seen any more clearly than in the life of David. Goliath never hurt David. Saul tried but never did David any harm and neither did Absalom or anyone else. In the end, the only person who actually hurt David was David. I thank God for our critics who keep us humble and relying on God. Actually, if David did have another enemy, it would be his so called friend Joab. When David sent the letter to have Uriah murdered, Joab did not hesitate to carry out the kings command. He could have stood up to David and told him he was wrong to do such a thing, but Joab played the role of yes-man instead. If Joab had been a real friend he would have said no to David even if he was King. “And Joab, whose allegiance had been given to the king rather than to God, transgressed God’s law because the king commanded it.    

     David’s power had been given him by God, but to be exercised only in harmony with the divine law. When he commanded that which was contrary to God’s law, it became sin to obey. “The powers that be are ordained of God” (Romans 13:1), but we are not to obey them contrary to God’s law. The apostle Paul, writing to the Corinthians, sets forth the principle by which we should be governed. He says, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1.  {Patriarch and Prophets,  719} 

Joab should have had the same constitution as Peter, when Peter said ‘We ought to obey God rather than man.” Acts 5:29. Peter also said “But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 1 Peter 3:14 NIV.

I began my professional ministry over 20 years ago, when I first became a literature evangelist and then a Bible Worker. During that period I have been threatened more than once that my financial support would be discontinued if I did not go along with something even if I knew it was wrong. Three times in the last 20 years I have been threatened with my job if I did not give my loyalty to someone or something that I knew to be wrong. Those threats do not work. When I was 7 years old, laying on my bed at night, contemplating the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, I gave my life and my loyalty to Him because He died for me. Twenty years later, when people threaten me for their loyalty, my mind goes back to that night so long ago when I gave my heart to Jesus. I have decided to be loyal to the One who died for me, and not those who threaten me. I have never had to defend myself when being threatened. The Jesus I gave my heart to when I was 7 years old has taken good care of me! I always encourage those who are new in the gospel work to always remain loyal to the One who died for them. A ministry or a person that can be bought, sold or threatened has no meaning or purpose.

The greatest want of the world is the want of men,–men who will not be bought or sold; men who in their inmost souls are true and honest; men who do not fear to call sin by its right name; men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.–Education, p. 57.