Andrew Abernethy - North Hatley, Quebec, Canada Convention - Saturday Morning, July 4, 1936

2 Samuel 15 and 17, we are not in God’s way very long until we realize we are entered into a battle. Jesus loved us that He might deliver us from this present evil world. Not only to take us to Heaven. He wants us to have joy and fellowship with Him here. Deliver us from things that would keep us captive…enemies.

Amalekites, 1 Samuel 15. Saul was to destroy utterly the Amalekites. They are a type of the flesh. The first enemy is ourselves and always will be. It is the private enemy of our soul…vanity, conceit, deceit. Our desire should be to be in the middle of the camp, not just inside. Paul realized that he had to run to win. Not as one that beateth the air, wasting efforts on empty things. From generation to generation. There is to be war with Amalek. It isn’t hard to enter into captivity. A person can live careless and get in, but they can’t get out only by crying themselves out. God has an interest in keeping us in the right place. He watches over His people. One of Saul’s faults was getting conceited. At first he felt weak and God could use him, but then he began to trifle and try to hurry God up. He failed to wait upon God. There is more temptation in not waiting upon God than any other thing. The enemy knows if we fail here we’ll fail in a great many things. Daniel sought the Lord three times a day. His enemies tried to stop him, but he didn’t stop. Saul didn’t destroy all. God told him he spared the best of the flock. God doesn’t want us to spare things in us. Some people think when they first decide that they have put all things out of their lives, but as they go on they see more and more things. More victory leads to more sacrifice. Jacob anointed the pillar when he made the covenant. In 20 years, he came back and he poured a drink offering on. There was more things in his life yet. People are inclined to think little things don’t matter, but if we spare the little things they will be big things some day. When they came back from the battle they thought they had done well. They had destroyed the worst of the things. God doesn’t like us to say no. Samuel met Saul and he said, “What does this mean, the bleating of lambs and of sheep?” We can’t deceive God or even His people for very long. What is inside will work outside in time. When Saul felt his need, God could use him, but when he got exalted, he was no use to God. There is no substitute in God’s Way for obedience. If we want God’s favour, we must be submissive. Saul feared the people, but Samuel hewed the King in pieces before the Lord. The hardest things is to get people to make a true surrender. Many say, “I don’t mind some of it, but I’m not willing for all of it.”

Chapter 17 David fought a battle with the Philistines – wanderers. Sometimes we realize our purpose is not set as much as it should be. The Philistines had the Israelites in subjection. They were stopping the wells, or the flowing water. David was a cunning player on the harp. He had much grace and harmony. Israel was afraid because they were out of touch with God. David told the King of the time by God’s help he was able to kill the lion and the bear. A story of two men who were tiger hunting: They examined the tracks closely. One man, who was a little afraid, said to the other man, “You go and see where he has gone to and I’ll go back and see where he came from.” Sometimes we shrink from facing danger. David didn’t want Saul’s armour. He hadn’t proved them. He had proved God. The lonely battles that we fight by ourselves are the ones that fit us. David went forth in God’s strength, not in his own. He chose the stones; he ran to meet the foe; he didn’t run away. His purpose in fighting was that all the world may know there is a God in Israel, not that he might get honor. When we are facing up our own foe, it moves God’s heart to send help to us. One person standing true when others were failing moved others to have confidence too. David feared the possibility of going down to the pit and I fear this, too.

Hymn 300