When I broke my leg three years ago, I became quite familiar with crutches and canes. After the initial surgery, I progressed from a wheeled chair in the hospital to a wheelchair and walker in the rehab center to a walker, crutches, one crutch, cane, and finally nothing under the care of my physical therapist. At each stage, I had to learn new skills and gain confidence before moving to the next stage.
Unless I was willing to let go of the walker, I could not start using crutches. If I hung onto the crutches, I could not progress to a cane. If I did not put the cane away, I would never be able to stand and walk on my own two feet.
There are times in our lives where we allow certain things and/or people to become crutches that we lean on for support. When that occurs, God often removes our crutches so we will lean on him alone. You see that pattern in 1 Samuel 19-22 where God removes everything and everyone that David leaned on. In so doing, David learned that God was enough.
God removed five things that David depended on.
- Job/position: David had a leadership position in the army (18:5; 19:8) and was the court musician (18:10). Saul tried to kill David on three occasions (18:10-11; 19:9-10). When David fled and escaped, he lost his job and his position.
- Family/home (19:11-17): Michal deceived her father, Saul, so David can get away. She lied to her father and said, “David threatened to kill me.” The lie infuriated Saul. After this event, David and Michael will no longer live in harmony.
- Mentor: David flees to Samuel (19:18). When someone informs Saul where David is hiding, he flees and leaves Samuel behind (20:1).
- Friend: David questions Jonathan, “Why is your father trying to kill me?” (20:1). David is extremely discouraged (20:3). Jonathan discovers the truth and shares it with David (20:12-41). David and Jonathan separate (20:42).
- Self-respect: With nowhere to run, David turns to the enemy and hides among the Philistines (20:11-15). David feigns madness.
After losing everything and everyone he depended on, David hides in the Cave of Adullam (22:1-2). There he is joined by outcasts and renegades. When his crutches were gone, David learned to depend on God alone.
At his lowest point, David writes three psalms. Psalm 142 seems to be written when David is at rock bottom. Psalm 57 appears to be written when David is on his knees pouring out his heart to God. Psalm 34 sounds like David is back on his feet.
David cried out to God for deliverance (Psalm 142:1-7). He was intentional about seeking God (Psalm 34:4). David discovered that God was his refuge (Psalm 57:1-3). He expressed confidence about trusting God (Psalm 34:5). Despite his circumstances, David chose to praise God (Psalm 34:1-3; 57:5, 9-11).
Have you allowed your career, opportunity to make money, or success to become a crutch? Have you allowed family to become an idol? Have you placed your confidence in your educational degrees or ability to think and reason your way out of a problem? Have you taken pride in your health or your ability to control your life? What if God were to remove each of these things from your life? Could you trust him and learn to depend on his alone?
Don’t allow anything or anyone to become a crutch. Put your weight on God and let him support you.
This is the synopsis of a message preached at First Central Bible Church in Chicopee, MA, on July 12, 2020. It is part of a series of expository messages on the life of David. Please click on the link to download a copy of the sermon notes.