Staying By The Stuff
READ: 1 Samuel 30:7-10, 17-25
Introduction:† Explain the background story of David and his menÖ
There is constant war between Godís people and their enemies. You donít even have to look for it, but as it was in Davidís case, it will come to you!
We want to notice four points from our text this morning, which include: 1) The condition of the 200 men that stayed by the stuff; 2) The remedy for the faint; 3) The duty of the faint; and fourthly 4) The blessings and rewards for the faint, who stay by the stuff.
1. The condition of those that stayed by the stuff.
1) They were faint (verse 9-10).
They were faint physically (from continually being on the move and from warfare).
They were faint mentally (lack of sleep, etc.)
They were faint in heart (their wives and loved ones, with all their belongings were captured).
They probably were faint spiritually (perhaps they began to question the Lord and what they were doing fighting for David. Hard times often cause Godís people to question).
2) They could not go on with David and the others.
It wasnít that they didnít want to go into the battle with the other men. ďTo will was present,Ē but strength for the battle they found not!
And it wasnít because they were not in favor of the cause! (They also had much at steak.)
But they just could not go on! Have you ever been so faint that you just couldnít go on?
The brook Bezor may have been difficult terrain to cross over. Faint soldiers may travel over easy terrain with great effort and difficulty, but crossing a steep and rocky river gorge might have been more than they could do.
Or, more likely the refreshing waters of the brook Bezor might have been a good place for them to stop and rest their weary bodies and souls. Bezor means ďcheerfulĒ. The brook may have brought refreshing and life giving strength and healing to the weary soldiers.
Perhaps David wouldnít allow them to go on in their condition. They would have been a hindrance to the others, and maybe caused them to be defeated. Perhaps David, being a good leader, was concerned for their welfare, and didnít want to see harm come to his faint soldiers. Beloved, Jesus our leader is also understanding!
3) The faint consisted of 1/3 of Davidís entire army.
This was a very large percent, considering that his army was already very small.
I wonder if 1/3 of the saints of God are faint today. We certainly have many worldly enemies that are trying to wear out the saints.
2. Secondly, there is a remedy for the faint.
1) First, we need rest from those things that are making us faint.
What labors & burdens of life are causing Godís people to faint?
We should all take inventory of our lives from time to time. What things are sapping our energies and our emotions that we can do without? We might need to clean-up and defragment our hardrives!
Perhaps we are cumbered about by too many non-essentials!
Or, perhaps we need to take a rest from the things that are important and essential. Jesus told His disciples in Mark 6:31 to ďCome ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.Ē
Sometimes we need to take a break. Everyone needs to come apart and rest from time to time. We need to come apart before we come a part!
Sometimes we just have to let others do our jobs for us. The world wonít stop if we take a much needed break. It will go on without us! Some of us have a hard time understanding this!
2) Secondly, the faint need to be refreshed and revived† in the things of the Lord.
We want to notice three ways that we might do thisÖ
First, we are refreshed by waiting on the Lord.
Isaiah 40:29-31 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31† But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
While we are resting from our labors, we need to be refreshed in the things of God.
For example, we might try just sitting back in our favorite quiet place all by ourselves, and read through the book of Psalms. This will take several sessions to go through the whole book. We should read slowly, and thoughtfully, sometimes reading verses over and over to ourselves. As we read we should pause to pray, and ask the Lord for understanding, and to make an impression of the truth upon our hearts. And as we read and pray, we should pause and meditate upon the things we are reading, and ask ourselves what they mean, and what they mean to us! We should apply the words to ourselves, as if it were you who penned them. We should apply the prayers to us, as though it were us who were speaking to the Lord. And we should have a pen in hand and make notes of those special things the Lord reveals to us.
I believe that faint Christians would draw great strength from such an exercise. The waters of the brook Bezor, were cheerful and refreshing to the faint soldiers. And the water of the Word of God is certainly refreshing to weary Christians.
Secondly, we will be refreshed by casting our cares on the Lord.
1Pe 5:7† Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
There are so many things in our lives that we can do nothing about! But at the same time, we canít totally ignore them, or remove these things from our lives. (Family problems, health problems, financial problems, donít just go away of themselves.) We need to learn to take these things to the feet of Jesus in prayer, and leave them there! It is refreshing to know that weíve turned our troubles over to the Lord.
And thirdly, we will be refreshed by renewing our trust in the Lord.
Remember that He is the Almighty Sovereign God of heaven, and nothing is too hard for Him! Remember that He loves you, and He ďcarethĒ for you! Remember that He is working all things for your good and for His glory (Romans 8:28)!
3) The third part of the remedy is, the faint need healing.
We might need healing of our bodies. Our bodies wonít heal properly if we donít nurture them. †We might even need to see a doctor, unless of course, youíre a man!!!
We might need healing for our hearts when they get broken. How often do our hearts get broken! Jesus is the healer of broken hearts. We need to take our hearts to Jesus for healing.
We might need the healing of our spirits when they are broken. Again, Jesus is the only one Who can heal broken spirits. If you are not saved this morning, I pray that your spirit would be broken, so that Jesus would heal your spirit from the curse of sin that is destroying you!
3. The faint have a duty to perform.
1) The faint are not to quit, just because they are faint!
This is the worse thing that a professing child of God can do, is to quit serving the Lord! We must not give up and abandon our post in the Lordís army. This will only make our lives 10 times worse!
2) Secondly, the faint are to stay by the stuff!
While we are resting, and reviving, and healing, we are to stay by the stuff.
3) Thirdly we want to take a look at some of the ďstuffĒ.
There is the camp of the Lord by the brook Bezor. Today, this is Lordís Church where we are camped until our Lordís return.
There are the provisions of food, which is the meat of the Word of God that is kept & preserved in the Lordís Church. This is what the saints feed upon to keep spiritually strong and healthy.
There is all the equipment and utensils for maintaining our spiritual life. These are teachers and pastors, and musicians, and all the other instruments that God uses to prepare and serve His blessings and provisions unto His people.
Finally, there is the armor of the saints. The armor consists of the girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. All these are among the stuff that are to be found in the Lordís Church. It is exceedingly important that we stay by stuff as weary Christians.
4) Fourthly, what does it mean to stay by the stuff?
It means to attend it. To stay close by it, and not let it out of their sight. To abide in the camp with it. Beloved, donít leave the Lordís camp when you are weary, but stay by the stuff!
It means to guard and protect it. We must take up our spiritual arms and fight to defend it from the enemy if necessary. There is nothing more valuable in all the world than our spiritual provisions.
And it means to partake of it and to use it. That is what it is for; to use for our own good!
So we see then, even the faint have a job to do, even while we are resting and refreshing and healing, there are still some things we must do!
4. Fourthly, the blessings and rewards for the saints who stay by the stuff.
(READ Verses 22-25)
1) We see that their rewards and blessings were the same as those who went to battle.
This might not seem fair, but the faint were doing all that they were able to do! Thatís all that can be expected of any of us, and that is what they were doing! The strong, therefore, should gladly share the blessings with the faint of the number, and not begrudge those who canít fight in the battle.
2) We need to be careful not to judge and condemn those who are faint.
Remember, everyone becomes faint at times. None of us are exempt from becoming faint and †weary along the way. Donít judge too quickly, the next time it might be you!
The spiritually strong are to help restore and encourage the faint in the way, not condemn them!
We are not talking about quitters and deserters, mind you, like we preached about from 1 John chapter 2, but we are talking about the faint who stay by the stuff.
This is not to be understood to mean that all saints will receive the same rewards, we know this is not the case. But it does mean that those who are faint, who stay by the stuff while the others do the fighting, will receive of the rewards and the blessings of the Lord.
David was so emphatic about this, that He made this practice a statute and an ordinance in all of Israel when He became king.
Are you a faint Christian this morning? If not, praise the Lord you are not! But if you arenít faint this morning, the probability is that you will be sooner or later.
Thank the Lord that there is a remedy for faint believers. There is rest for the weary. May the Lord help you to find that rest. There is refreshing waters of the Word of God that will renew your strength.
And there is healing with the Lord- Healing for our bodies, but even more importantly, healing for our wounded hearts, and broken spirits.
If you are lost without Christ, may the Lord grant you healing for your soul through faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus for your sins. This is the only way that your soul will ever be healed.
And may we not forget that there is still a duty for the faint, and that is, to stay by the stuff! Donít quit. Donít give up and go home, but stay by the stuff. Attend it, and defend it, and partake of it! Maintain your duties to the Lordís Church, even when we are faint as Godís children.
Finally, there are rewards and blessings for staying by the stuff. The Lord will not let the sons of Belial take away your blessings. But He will see that your rewards are like the rewards of those who fought in the battle.
So, then, by all means, if you are faint, stay by the stuff. One day, hopefully, you will be strong again for the battle. But until you are, stay by the stuff and you will be rewarded for it.