‘And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul.’ 1 Samuel 27:1
Suggested Further Reading: Job 4:1–6
This wicked exclamation of David was contrary to what he himself had often said. Here I convict myself. I remember on one occasion, to my shame, being sad and doubtful of heart, and a kind friend took out a paper and read to me a short extract from a discourse upon faith. I very soon detected the author of the extract; my friend was reading to me from one of my own sermons. Without saying a word he just left it to my own conscience, for he had convicted me of committing the very fault against which I had so earnestly declaimed. Often might you, brethren, be found out in the same inconsistency. ‘O’ you have said, ‘I could trust him though the fig-tree did not blossom, and though there were no flocks in the field, and no herd in the stall.’ Ah you have condemned the unbelief of other people, but when it touched you, you have trembled, and when you have come to run with the horsemen they have wearied you, and in the swellings of Jordan you have been troubled. So was it with David. What strong words he had often said when he addressed others! He said of Saul, ‘His time shall come to die; I will not stretch out my hand and touch the Lord’s anointed.’ He felt sure that Saul’s doom was signed and sealed; and yet in the hour of his unbelief he says, ‘I shall yet one day fall.’ What a strange contradiction was that! What a mercy it is that God changes not, for we are changing two or three times a day. But our own utterances, our own convictions before, are clean contrary to the idea that he can ever leave us or forsake us.
For meditation: We must be extremely careful and sure of what we say, if we do not want it to be used in evidence against us (Judges 9:38; Job 15:6; Ecclesiastes 5:2–6; Luke 19:22). How good it is to trust in God who never has to defend or explain away the words that come from his mouth (Isaiah 55:11).
Sermon no. 439
16 March (1862)