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By Brian Price 02/15/2015

INTRO
As Christians, we face many obstacles in life. One large obstacle we often face is the obstacle of persecution. The Bible says, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." - 2 Timothy 3:12

I remember reading an article that detailed the lives of persecuted Christians across the globe. The thought that I was left with as a reader was, "Wow, we really do not know what persecution is like in America."

Boy, was I wrong! Even in free nations like the United States of America, Christians suffer persecution. The Bible says, "ALL that will live godly in Christ Jesus SHALL suffer persecution." My friend, if you are a Bible believing Christian, it doesn't matter where you go, persecution will follow you, even into the comforts of your own home.

The prophet Micah said, "...a man's enemies are the men of his own house." - Micah 7:6

KNOW YOUR ENEMIES
Even in your own home, persecution can strike.

I am reminded of the story of David, and how he was persecuted by his own father-in-law. Much of the time that King Saul was in power, he spent it on chasing David all across the land of Israel. He wasted his life on persecuting David!


(Saul Throwing Spear At David)

The Bible says that he chased him even to the cave of Engedi, where David could have killed his father-in-law for revenge, but instead he chose to spare him.

David could not bring himself to kill King Saul because he loved him and because he considered Saul to be God's anointed.

Not only can family members become enemies of the cross, but even complete strangers can make life for a Christian a living hell. One such example is Doeg the Edomite.

In the following chapter in which you are about to read, we see a certain man named Doeg the Edomite, who was a key instrument of cruelty for the destruction of an etire city full of men, women, and children. The Bible says that Doeg the Edomite ratted out David to King Saul, and after doing so, he killed eighty five priests in one day with the sword.

"1 Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said unto him, Why art thou alone, and no man with thee?

2 And David said unto Ahimelech the priest, The king hath commanded me a business, and hath said unto me, Let no man know any thing of the business whereabout I send thee, and what I have commanded thee: and I have appointed my servants to such and such a place.

3 Now therefore what is under thine hand? give me five loaves of bread in mine hand, or what there is present.

4 And the priest answered David, and said, There is no common bread under mine hand, but there is hallowed bread; if the young men have kept themselves at least from women.

5 And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel.

6 So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the shewbread, that was taken from before the LORD, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.

7 Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD; and his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chiefest of the herdmen that belonged to Saul.

8 And David said unto Ahimelech, And is there not here under thine hand spear or sword? for I have neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king's business required haste.

9 And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod: if thou wilt take that, take it: for there is no other save that here. And David said, There is none like that; give it me.

10 And David arose and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath." - 1 Samuel 21:1-10

Notice that the Bible in this particular chapter does not tell us much in regards to the person of Doeg the Edomite, except for that one small verse, that says, "Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD; and his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chiefest of the herdmen that belonged to Saul."


(Doeg Killing The Priests)

ON THE RUN
Now, the first thing you are going to find out when you are on the run is that there will be people watching your every move. The Bible says that Doeg was there that day when David came to the city of Nob. Sometimes its coincidence. Sometimes not. In this case, the Bible says that Doeg was detained there before the LORD. Doeg was already in trouble with the Lord to begin with, and now David was facing an obstacle with this trouble-maker.

In any case, when you are the run, there will be people like Doeg who will be watching you. They are there, and they are watching. The best thing you can do as a Christian on the run is to watch out for them because they'll be watching out for you.

The second thing you are going to realize is that God will provide a way of escape. In every case of every instance where David was on the run, God made a way for him to escape. In this particular chapter, we read that God provided David with the sword of Goliath to defend himself.

And let me plainly say that there is nothing wrong with carrying a weapon on you to defend yourself. If a man after God's own heart carried a big sword on him to protect himself, you better believe that it is perfectly okay to carry a weapon.

Not only did God provide David with a sword to defend himself, but God also provided him with some food to eat. There was nothing there at Nob to eat except the hallowed bread that was meant for the priests, and the Bible says that the priest gave him the hallowed bread to eat for him and his men.

Philippians 4:19 says, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

Just like ALL shall suffer persecution, God shall supply ALL your need. Not just some, but ALL your need.

And finally, the last thing you are going to realize when you are on the run, is that your enemy is going to be right on your tail. The Bible says in verse 10 that David arose and fled that day for fear of Saul. Do not think that it's going to be an easy journey. Persecution will sometimes come with a price that we never want to pay, or a journey that we never want to travel.

I do not recall reading anywhere in the Bible that David ever preached one sermon during the time that he fled from the face of Saul, but I know for a fact that he prayed a whole lot during that time because you can read the prayers that he wrote in the book of Psalms during the time that he fled from Saul.

And yes, we all want to be in the spotlight. We all want to be the popular guy that everybody admires. Remember now, David was the one that killed Goliath. David was the one that was being praised by the daughters of Israel when they said, "Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands."


(David Kills Goliath)

But when you are on the run, there's no time for that. There's no time for popularity. The only time you have is trying to plan your next move. And any spare time that you do have, you cherish because you want to make sure that you are right with God. When David was not on the run, he was on his knees with the linen ephod asking God what to do next.

CONCLUSION
Jesus said, "If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you," (John 15:20). Jesus lived in a time of economic and political prosperity. There was freedom of religion and freedom of speech in the land. Synagogues were being built, and pulpits had the Bible preached from them. But Jesus suffered persecution. Jesus was rejected by his own and crucified by his own.

Jesus suffered the death of a criminal as an innocent man. Ladies and gentlemen, we need to understand that persecution is not something that only happens to Christians in far distant countries. It happens right here in our own terrority. And sometimes, as a Christian, you might even find yourself running for your life.

I remember back a couple years ago, I read about this pastor of a church somewhere in America who was shot dead by someone for no other reason than just because the pastor was a Christian living for God and preaching his word. He was shot dead! In America where we have freedom of religion, and where we have freedom of speech.

I recall another pastor of a church who was shown on national television and was viciously attacked by the liberal media for being a homophobe because he told his congregation that if he saw his son with a limp wrist, he would snatch his wrist up and tell him to be a man. Let me just simply say that if we are being persecuted for telling people that it's wrong to be a homosexual, or an adulterer, or a pedophile, or any other kind of sexual deviant, then friend, there's not something wrong with us. There's something wrong with them!

How is a man sleeping with another man at all normal? How is making pornographic films of the most graphic nature at all okay?

I get it. We all have sin in our lives. There's not a just man upon the earth that doeth good and sinneth not. But let's be real here. My sin is no better than your sin. And your sin is no better than mine. Yes, I still sin, but that doesn't mean I go around and flaunt it as if God is okay with it. Sin is still sin!

Quit trying to convince everybody that sin is okay. It's not okay!

Jesus said, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin."

Some people not only don't have a cloak for their sin, but they are out there showing it off as if we all want to see it! Nobody wants to see your sin. I don't want to see your sin, and I know you don't want to see mine. Put a cloak on for crying out loud!

We as a society have really gotten screwed up with our moral standards. Sin is sin no matter how you look at it! We don't have to agree with what the Bible says is sin. We don't have to like it. But we do have to understand that this is what it says, I believe it, and I'll obey it. Plain and simple.

Contact Brian:

brian@valueoftruth.org

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