Today, in a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide. Conservative Evangelicals have looked forward to this seemingly inevitable day with much trepidation, understandably. When the highest court in the land grants as a fundamental human right a ceremonious act which is a violation of a Christian’s moral conviction, and when the setting for that ceremony has primarily been the church, the legal implications would seem to extend into the realm of religious liberty. So a great many Christians see the religious freedoms they have enjoyed as being under assault. If same-sex marriage is a human right, then how will pastors and churches not be in violation of the law by not recognizing or performing same-sex marriages? And how can Christians speak publicly against sin when their government has called sin righteousness and demanded it be accepted by all? Much is at stake to be sure as we live in an increasingly hostile culture to the less “palatable” parts of Christian doctrine which do not jell with the Western individualistic ideal of unfettered autonomous libertarianism.
My mother used to say around election time, “If so-and-so gets elected, I’m going to eat my hat and move to Canada!” Well, so-and-so was elected and thankfully she never did eat her hat or move to Canada. But when we see the world pressing in on us, when we are afraid, that is the temptation: Escape. Cut and run. Cut your losses, cash in your chips and get out of town.
David had a perpetual reason to get out of town. His father-in-law, the king, was constantly trying to kill him. That’s a valid reason for anyone to leave! But the Lord had made promises to him. David was anointed king and God was taking the kingdom away from Saul and giving it to him. Saul had made multiple unsuccessful attempts on David’s life. David had had opportunities to put an end to all of this and kill Saul, but he knew that God would not honor that. In our text this week, we find David in a final moment of fear and exasperation and he decides to “eat his hat and move to Canada,” or in his case, Philistia. But what ensues for David there is not peace, but a perpetual scene of deception and murder.
Are you afraid? Do you look around you at your city, your friends and neighbors, your family members, your culture and marvel at how you could have come to be perceived as such an “extremist” in such a short period? Or maybe your fear is driven less by cultural shifting and more by your own circumstances. Are you afraid that if people really knew you they wouldn’t love you? Do you worry that your spouse might not come home, or that your children will stray, or that you you will lose your job? Do you fear you won’t have enough saved to live on when you are old?
There are a million reasons to be afraid. But there is one reason not to be afraid that trumps them all. Jesus is the true king. He rules and reigns with power and authority, and no matter what disasters may occur, no matter what you lose or what is taken from you, that fact can never be untrue. So come to the feet of Jesus. Come with your fears and your cares and lay them down. Come thirsty, and drink deeply. His words are life.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 27:1-28:2
Sermon: Fear Driven Flight