• Jon Forrest


The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest

No Good Deed…

In the 23rd chapter of 1 Samuel, David learns of an Israelite city that is under attack by the Philistines. David had plenty of troubles of his own just trying to keep himself and his followers alive. They were constantly being hunted down by Saul and his army for the purpose of being killed. Yet, he was concerned about this city of Keilah and it’s being ravaged and destroyed. So, David prayed to God for guidance as to whether he should go and defend the city. The Lord’s reply was that he should go and defend these people. When David told him men they were going there, the men balked at the danger. They feared the Philistines and the possibility that King Saul would find them there and come after them. David went back to the Lord for re-assurance and God confirmed the order. So David just told the men he was going and they could come if they wanted, so they all went to Keilah.

After they rescued the city David learned that Saul was coming after him. I find it interesting that Saul was using a heroic and patriotic act on David’s part to hunt him down.

If you look at the current political climate in our country, you find a similar attitude in our politicians. Even if a President or other political leader does something that turns out to be good for our country or her citizenry, the critics will always find something to criticize that can result in hyperbolic accusations that would include such motives as selfish, criminal and even treasonous. Why? Because the political landscape is no longer based on the good of the country, but rather holding or gaining power. Many politicians today are operating on the same level as King Saul.

Rejoining our story, it is interesting to me what happened when David once again went to God in prayer for guidance. Verses 9-12 tell us how David asked the Lord if Saul was coming to get him and if the people of Keilah, whom he had just delivered from a treacherous Philistine army would hand him over to Saul. The Lord replied that Saul was coming and that the people would turn their hero over to his adversary.

How disappointing this must have been for David to learn that these people he had helped would be so willing to turn against him when under threat.

You are likely familiar with the depressing, yet humorous “Murphey’s Law,” “whatever can go wrong will go wrong.” There are other forms of “Murphey’s Law.” One such law goes like this, “No good deed goes unpunished.” David was learning about this.

Can you recall a time when you did something really special for someone and they turned around and stabbed you in the back? You probably can. In times like this it is crucial for us to examine our motives. Was David rescuing the people of Keilah so that he would be popular in their town? If that had been his motive, it would have been the wrong one. David saved the town because God wanted him too and because the city needed saving. If you do a kind act of generosity or to help someone, you should never expect them to repay you in any way or to support you because you were so good to them. Your motive should always be to please God and to simply do the right thing because you know that God would want you to do it.

You see, people are often ungrateful and fickle. Jesus died for the sins of the world, but many do not appreciate or accept his sacrifice. But Jesus died for us simply because he loves us. He wanted to give us all a way of escape. If people don’t accept this way of escape, it is on them. His death on the cross alone was an example of our ingratitude. Many rejected his loving acts of kindness and life changing teachings. Jesus knew that they would, yet he did it anyway. That is because he only did what was right and loving, not what would be popular.

If you do a kind act and find a lack of appreciation or acceptance from those who were helped, you should never fell let down or disappointed. Because you didn’t do it for popularity or appreciation. You did it because you knew it was what God wanted you to do and to do the right thing. David was working for God, not people and so are we.

“No good deed goes unpunished?” God says, “SO WHAT?”

This Sunday morning we will continue our series of messages When God Build’s a King How a lowly shepherd became a great king with a message titled Godly Decisions based on the text,1 Samuel 23:1-24. We will look at an important comparison between the worldly way of King Saul and the Godly way of David. I know you will find a blessing by being with us. God will be there too.

Serving God with you,


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