How to Prepare for Opposition --1 Samuel 19

 

How to Prepare for Opposition (1 Samuel 19)

This chapter teaches several ways to prepare for opposition.

       1. By expecting opposition (19:1-3, 11-14) 

       Jonathan and Michal warned David that opposition was coming. Jesus warned His disciples to expect opposition, so that when it came, they wouldn’t be discouraged, thinking some strange thing fell upon them (John 14-16). Are we expecting opposition? Are we warning believers to expect it? Are we warning the lost of their impending doom without Christ? We should prepare for opposition, by expecting it.

       2. By using heaven’s wisdom (19:3-17) 

      Saul became envious when God gave David success against the Philistines. A distressing spirit troubled him. James says bitter envy and selfish ambition are “earthly, sensual, demonic”. Demonic influence triggers people with bitter envy and selfish ambition. It makes people envious of the success God gives other. By contrast, James counsels us to seek heavenly wisdom. Heavenly wisdom practices good deeds in meekness, purity, and peace. Jonathan practiced heavenly wisdom. He spoke well of David to Saul. He tried to reason with him and promote peace. David behaved himself wisely. He lived a blameless life. He fought God’s battles by faith. He did only good towards Saul. The wisdom that comes from above is the counter for the demonic wisdom that troubled Saul. Practice heavenly wisdom in purity, peace, and meekness (James 3). We should prepare for opposition by using heaven’s wisdom.

      3. By fleeing foolish danger (19:9)

      It wasn’t that David simply didn’t like the tone of Saul’s voice. Saul was actually trying to kill him. He issued a public decree that others should kill him. He tried to spear him to the wall. It’s okay to flee from unreasonable danger. Jesus walked away from the midst of the crowd that sought to throw him off a cliff. He also departed the region when Herod beheaded John. Paul left places when people rejected the gospel and persecuted him. There’s nothing honorable about allowing God’s enemies to take you out, if God opens a door for you to flee to safety. All who would live godly will be persecuted. A great standard to measure godliness, is by how much unjust persecution you’re suffering for the cross of Christ. We should prepare for opposition by fleeing foolish danger.

      4. By sharing excess burdens (19:18)

      In his hour of trial, David consulted a trusted, spiritual leader. The Bible says "cast your care on God, because He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7). We're also told to "Bear one another’s burdens" (Galatians 6:2). We should prepare for opposition by sharing excess burdens with those who are spiritual.

      5. By wearing God’s armor (19:19-24)

      What’s the meaning of all the prophesying that happened? The text doesn’t specifically state, but the end result was obvious. The Holy Spirit disarmed David’s enemies, and frustrated their plans. Saul was lying on the ground, naked. We cannot fight spiritual battles in our own strength. We must put on the armor of God. Christ disarmed the principalities and powers that opposed God, His people, and His plan of redemption. We should prepare for opposition by wearing God’s armor.      

      When David began following God, operating by the power of the Holy Spirit, and experiencing God’s success, opposition arose. The Lord operated in the power of the Spirit, as God’s anointed. He did all things well. The result was the religious leaders envied, rejected, and persecuted Him. In this, David is a type of Christ. All who want to live godly will suffer persecution. Opposition often arises through the envy of others. It can be prompted by demonic wisdom, bitter envy, and selfish ambition. We wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers in the heavenly realm. 

      Are you drawing any opposition? All who would live godly “will suffer persecution”. Perhaps a  standard by which godliness should be measured, is "how much opposition have you endured for Christ"? Christ has conquered the opposition, so we may experience victory through Him.


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