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David's Fear of Saul

David's Fear of Saul

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.



1 Sam. XX. 3. Truly, as the Lord livetk, and as thy soul liveth,
there is but a step betiveen me and death.
BY REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.



1 Sam. XX. 3. Truly, as the Lord livetk, and as thy soul liveth,
there is but a step betiveen me and death.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 17, 2014
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DAVID'S FEAR OF SAULBY REV. C. SIMEO, M.A. 1 Sam. XX. 3. Truly, as the Lord livetk, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step betiveen me and death. IT is justly said, that " oppression maketh a wise man mad*." One there was, who endured it in every form, and to its utmost possible extent; and yet never uttered an unadvised word, or betrayed a temper which his bitterest enemies could condemn: Jesus, after years of persecution, could give this challenge to his enemies, " Which of you convinceth me of sin?" But fallen man, however upheld for a season, has generally betrayed his weakness when his trials have been heavy and of long continuance. We admire the conduct of David in many respects, and think him on the whole a very exalted character; but yet, on some occasions he fainted, and yielded to unworthy apprehensions respecting the final issue of his troubles. Such was the state of his mind when he uttered the words which we have just read; and which, though containing a general and acknow- ledged truth, were not such as he would have ut- tered, if he had not given way to desponding fears. We shall consider the words in this two-fold view ; I. As a general and acknowledged truth — The general representations which are given of life in the Scriptures, strongly mark its shortness and uncertainty —
 
* Eccl. vii. 7- 570 1 SAMUEL, XX. 3. [203. [It is light, and unsubstantial in itself as " (T vapour^:" its length is but as "an lumd-hreadth" :" the rapidity with which it passeth away is compared to " a post," in which the utmost possible dispatch is used ; or to' " an eagle hasting to its prey'^." Such is its extreme vanity, that it is like "a dream''" or "a shadow^" and so short does the whole of it in a retrospect ap- pear, that it is "but as yesterday when it is past^." How  justly then may it be said, that there is but a step between us and death !] It must be regarded in that light by all persons without exception — ¦ [Age or sickness may give some additional force to the ex- pression in our text ; but neither the youngest nor the most vigorous has any more certainty of life than the feeblest of man- kind. Disease or accident may assault one as well as another ; so that none can *' boast of to-morrow ; for we know not what a day may bring forth." So numerous indeed are the instances of persons removed suddenly, or in the very midst of life, that we cannot but acknowledge the truth and awful ness of the decla- ration before us.] But, to obtain a just view of our text, we must regard it, II. As an assertion arising out of the peculiar cir- cumstances of David at that time — [In this view it w'as the dictate of unbelief. We blame not David for using with all diligence the means of safety : for if he had neglected to use all just precautions under an expectation that God would fulfil his word at all events, he would have tempted God ; just as our Saviour would have tempted him, if he had cast himself from the pinnacle of the Temple. But when
 
God had assured him that he should possess the throne of Israel, and had actually confirmed the appointment by a sacred unction, it became David to give credit to the word of God, and to rest assured, that neither men nor devils should eventually disannul it. There was indeed such malignity in the heart of Saul, that nothing but Omnipotence could prevent the execution of his plots against David : but David should have knowii that " there is no might or power against the Lord," and that " the counsel of the Lord should surely stand : " and in the confidence of this, he should have been satisfied that Saul could not prevail against him. However just therefore his expressions were as applied to men in general, we camiot approve of them as applied to his own case : he should not have said, " I shall one day perish by the '' Jam. iv. 14. <= Ps. xxxix, 5. "^ Job ix. 25, 26. 'Job XX. 5. ^Ps, oil. 11, P Ps, xc. 3 — 0. 203.] David's fear of saul. 571 the hand of Saul''/' but rather, " Since God is for me, who can be against me'."] Having thus obtained a just and accurate view of the words before us, we may enter more largely into THE IMPROVEMET which should be made of them. We may notice from them, 1 . How frail the best of men are, when brought into heavy trials — [On the whole, David's faith was remarkably strong : but here it failed ; and, if it had not been strengthened from above, he would utterly have fainted. This he himself acknowledges, after he had recovered from this momentary depression''. It

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