SERIES: Darkroom
MESSAGE: The Darkness of a Broken Family
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: 1 Samuel 24

The Darkness of a Broken Family - 1 Samuel 24 - Skip Heitzig

Welcome to Calvary Church with Skip Heitzig. We're so glad you joined us for Darkroom. In this teaching series, Pastor Skip shows how God often develops his children through hardship, the dark times in life. Here's Pastor Skip.

Good morning. How are you today? This just makes me miss film photography every time I see this Darkroom setup. I'm glad you're with us today. Would you turn in your Bibles to 1 Samuel, chapter 24. That's in the Old Testament, 1 Samuel. Easy to find, it's right before 2 Samuel. If you have trouble finding it somebody next to you could point the way. But it's important you turn to 1 Samuel chapter 24. And just a little word about Israel.

Last time I checked the country is still there. And we are planning to visit Israel in May, at the beginning of May, May 4th. We plan to go over there till about May 15th. And you never know what's going to happen in the world from year to year, right? So they're open and they're receiving tourists. So we have signed up to go. We've had people since last announcements, a few others sign up.

So I just want to get that announcement out to you. Wouldn't it be great to walk the shores of Galilee? Perhaps get baptized in the Jordan River. See the city of Jerusalem and have communion on the last day of our tour at the Garden Tomb, the place where many believe Jesus conquered death at. There's just nothing quite like it. It's a great worship experience and we invite you to come.

1 Samuel, chapter 24. Let's pray together. Lord, thank you for the body of Christ gathering together to put you first, to tell you that you are worthy, to honor your name. That in and of itself gives us strength. It re-prioritizes our lives. It centers us the way it should be. And now, Father, we invite your Spirit to speak to us through the word on a very, very important issue that we find here in the text about families. We pray, Lord, that you will bless, that you will sanctify, that you will heal the families represented here. We ask it in Jesus's name. Amen.

So there's a family called the Smith family. They were very proud of their heritage because they could trace their ancestry all the way back to coming over to the States on the Mayflower. So they were pretty proud of that. And many important people came from their family, senators, clergymen, Wall Street wizards all came from the Smith family.

Well, the family wanted to get a history together. They wanted to hire a researcher, historian to compile a family history. They could pass that history on down as a legacy to their children. And so they hired somebody to do that. The only problem was, what are we going to say about Uncle George? Uncle George was a member of the family who was convicted for some pretty severe murder charges and was put in the electric chair. And through capital punishment his life was taken. Well that was a blot in the family history. So they didn't know what they were going to do with that.

The historians said don't worry. There's a tactful way for me to retell that story. So the book was written. It was published. And the family immediately turned to the section to find out what they said about Uncle George. And so the historian, with a lot of ingenuity, said this, George Smith occupied a chair of applied electronics at an important government institution. He was attached to his position by the strongest of ties and his death came as a real shock. You might say.

You know, everyone's family is a bit wacky. Now all of us have somebody in the family that will cause us to roll our eyes over. It could be a weird uncle or a crazy aunt or a creepy grandpa. I read about one girl who said, I thought every family was like my family. She said she had an uncle, who every time they went to a restaurant, took a piece of silverware home from the restaurant, like a fork or a knife or a spoon. And she said it wasn't until I had grown up and went to a friend's house and noticed that all their silverware matched that I had the weird uncle.

Remember the show on TV, The Addams Family? So that whole idea was taken to an extreme. You've got Uncle Fester who can put a light bulb in his mouth and it lights up because he has an electrical charge, or Grandmama who makes potions and flies around on a broom, or Pugsley who hangs from tree limbs with his teeth. I mean, it was a weird family.

Well that takes us to what I want to show you in 1 Samuel chapter 24. This is a message I'm calling, the Darkness of a Broken Family. We're in a series. We call it Darkroom. And by now you understand the idea behind it is how God takes the negatives of our lives and develops us and does some pretty positive things through our lives, even though we have had some pretty bad experiences.

We began by looking at the life of Joseph. And we saw the dark room that he was in, a dark room of jealousy and hatred by his brothers, a dark room of misunderstanding, false accusation, a dark room of imprisonment, but how the Lord developed his life into him being second in command over the world, the prime minister of Egypt, and came up with an ingenious plan to save the world from famine. God developed the negative into a positive.

Then we look at the life of Moses and we saw that Moses chose his dark room. That's what the Bible says. He chose, rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin. He refused to be called the son of pharaoh's daughter and rather he identified with the people of God in suffering, but how God developed him into that great deliverer of the children of Israel out of bondage.

Today I want to draw your attention to David in the Bible. Everybody knows about David. This is the dark room of a broken family. David had a broken family. And I want you to see that. And I want you to see how he handled a very difficult situation, a life threatening situation. Now you might be wondering, why is it that we have chosen to do a series where we examine people in the Bible at the lowest moment of their life, the most difficult season of their life. Why do we do that?

Well I'll put it to you in the words of a proverb, and old woodsman's proverb, that says a tree is best measured when it's down. A tree is best measured when it's down. You want to see who a person really is? Examine their life when they're down, when things fall out from underneath them, when they are in a period of darkness.

Examine that life and you will see how shallow or how great that person is. Moreover, you will see how great their God is at those times and how God can rise up like a hero and take the worst situation and make something great out of it.

Well David, David is one of the heroes in the Bible. He's an a-lister. He's on the a-team. When people talk about people they know in the Bible that are famous, who are great in what they accomplish, David comes to mind. David and David alone is called a man after God's own heart. David was anointed from his youth. He was the guy who goes out and kills a giant of the Philistines named Goliath. Perhaps that's what he's most famous for.

He becomes the commander of Saul's armies. He becomes the subject of a national song. He becomes the sweet psalmist of Israel and eventually the second King of that nation. A city was named after him, the city of Jerusalem. And to this day, the flag in Israel still bears the sign of the Star of David. The Star of David, they still pay tribute to that man to this day, even though David was far from perfect. In fact, he was highly imperfect.

In fact, boy did he make a lot of dumb choices. In fact, I would say that David later on went into the dark room of bad choice. We don't have time to look at that today. But he committed adultery then he committed murder, then he was a passive father and his own family fell apart. But that's later.

Now I want to show you an episode in David's life in this chapter, 1 Samuel 24, a season of David's life where David is a fugitive. He's running from the King, who also happens to be his father-in-law. His father-in-law is trying to kill him in this chapter. I'm so glad I have a good relationship with my father-in-law.

What I want to show you in this chapter briefly are four principles for resolving family conflict. I'm not a therapist and I'm not going to give you all the ways to do it. There are so many approaches to that. But I want to show you from scripture, because I am a Bible teacher, four principles of resolving conflicts in the family. I'm going to do that by making four comparisons-- four comparisons, that one thing is better than something else.

So I'll begin with the first. Blemished is better than broken. Blemished is better than broken. Everybody has a blemished family. Not everybody has a broken family. And so if you have a blemished family, do everything you can to stop short of it being a broken family. So in chapter 24 1 Samuel, we begin where it says in verse 1.

"Now it happened, when Saul had returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, "Take note! David is in the Wilderness of En Gedi." That's down by the Dead Sea, one of the places we'll visit if you come to Israel. You'll see the very caves where this took place.

"Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel, and went to seek David and his men on the Rocks of the Wild Goats." This is a period in David's life, it's about 10 to 14 years where he is fleeing from King Saul. King Saul, who at this point his own father-in-law. So just think about that. They are in-laws who have become outlaws.

Unfortunately in families that sometimes happens. In-laws can become outlaws. Somebody once said, you know the difference between in-laws and outlaws, right? And the answer is, it's because outlaws are wanted. That's the difference between in-laws and outlaws. Outlaws are wanted. I heard about a man who so hated his mother-in-law he didn't know what to do.

One day he's walking on the beach. He finds a bottle. He rubs it, out comes a genie, grants him three wishes. And so he's thinking, what could I have? Now the genie then says, now I want to warn you. Whatever you ask for I'm going to give double to your mother-in-law. So he goes, well, I wish for a billion dollars. Genie says, OK here. Gives him a billion dollars. But I'm giving your mother-in-law $2 billion.

So he continues, he goes, well for my second wish I'd like an island off the coast of Greece. Genie says, fair enough, but your mother-in-law gets two islands off the coast of Greece next to your one island. So he goes, oh boy. So he thinks about it, thinks about it. And finally he says, I'd like you to beat me half to death. There's a guy who really didn't like his mother-in-law. And again, I'm so glad I have a good relationship with mine.

David was the poster child of a broken family. He goes from one bad family into another bad family. It's my belief that David's original family that he was raised in was relationally-cold-- relationally-cold. You may not read this when you read the Bible. But if you look at it closely you will see it.

You remember the story, how the prophet Samuel comes to Bethlehem to select the next King. He goes to the House of Jesse. Jesse has eight sons. The prophet says, line up all your boys. One of them is going to be the next King of Israel. He lines them all up except one. Who's that? David, David's out watching the sheep. Dad didn't even think David was important enough to be numbered as one of his own children in the lineup.

Well he's the one that gets picked. But Jesse doesn't put him in that room. I think that the brokenness of David's family is hinted at in Psalm 27 when David says, "when my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me," I think he knew he had a family that was pretty busted up, pretty blemished, pretty dysfunctional. And he knew that father and mother had somehow forsaken him. But he knew that the Lord was in charge of his life.

And I just want to say, your own family may have overlooked you. Your Heavenly Father will not. God knows you. God sees you. The Bible says the eyes of the Lord go to and fro throughout the entire Earth, that he might show himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are loyal toward him. God's got you. He sees you and he wants to use you.

Well David goes from that family, Jesse's family, into this family, Saul's family. From a relationally-cold family to now a relationally-callused family. Now, how does he get into Saul's family? Because he marries Saul's daughter. Saul the King said whoever beats the Philistines, this big giant guy named Goliath, whoever beats that guy gets my daughter.

Now there's a little bit of insight into a dad. A dad is willing to give away his daughter to whatever soldier wins a battle. And you might say, well, that was always done in ancient times. Maybe so, but not in Israel. This is-- this is God's people. These are people that are devoted to God. And the Torah, the law of God, was to govern the kings of Israel. But Saul is willing to give away his daughter. And he does, to David. That's how David gets in the family.

Something else about Saul. We read in the scripture that when Saul's own son by the name of Jonathan is in a battle, that because Jonathan gets a bit of honey-- not the candy bit of honey, a handful of honey, and revives himself during a battle, when Saul finds out about it, when dad finds out he goes, I'm going to kill him. I'm going to kill my son for having honey in a battle. Because I said nobody should eat anything till we win this war, which is dumb anyway.

He finds out his son did that because he didn't hear the order. But he won the war. But that's OK. Dad didn't care if he won or not. I'm just going to kill my son. Then David, who worked for King Saul, was playing music for him. And on two occasions Saul tried to play pin the spear on the musician. He chucked a spear twice in David's direction to pin him to the wall. And so David flees. He runs.

And that takes us to this period. For a decade he is running from his father-in-law, who pursues him to kill him. Now when he runs away, two people help him. Number one, Saul's daughter, now David's wife. Number two, Jonathan, Saul's son. Both kids helped David escape because they know their dad is a wingnut. He was a wingnut. Because when Saul finds out that his two kids have helped David, here's his words to his daughter in chapter 19 verse 17.

"Why have you deceived me like this and sent my enemy away so that he has escaped?" And then he says to his son, Jonathan, in chapter 20 verse 30, "You son of a perverse, rebellious woman." That's a father speaking to his son? "You son of a perverse, rebellious woman." If you have the New Living translation it's even more crass. "You stupid son of a whore." That's the family David is now in. Welcome to the family, son.

He said again to Jonathan, "You son of a perverse, rebellious woman. Do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother's nakedness?" So here's what I want you to see. David goes from one family where he is marginalized to another family where he is terrorized. This is a broken family. You may have a blemished family. This is a broken family.

One author said there's three marks of a broken family. Number one, broken families do not trust. Trust has been broken. They don't trust each other. They don't trust anybody. Broken families do not trust. Number two is broken families refuse to talk about their brokenness. They don't admit it. Nothing to see here, nothing wrong here. Number three, broken families do not express their feelings.

Very low when it comes to emotional intelligence. They don't talk about how they feel. So whatever dysfunction or baggage or shortcomings or blemishes your family might have, don't let it get to the point where it is broken. Broken meaning spirits are crushed and relationships are severed. That's broken. We are all humans thus we are all sinners. Thus we all manifest imperfect behavior. But let me say, blemished is far better than broken.

And if you have a blemished husband, an imperfect blemished husband, do everything in your power, wives, to keep that husband from being a broken man. Refrain from overly criticizing him and put-downs that make him feel lower and lower and lower. Or husbands, if you have a blemished wife and she drives you crazy with those antics of hers, do everything you can to make sure she doesn't end up broken. Try to manage the conflict.

Now, I'm not here to give you all the ins and outs of that, except to say there's a few ways that will help you do that. Number one, it's called forgiveness-- forgiveness. Be big on forgiveness. Be ready to forgive. Jesus taught us the Lord's Prayer, "forgive us our debts as we forgive those who are debtors against us." But then he said this, "If you refuse to forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father in heaven forgive you yours." Forgive.

Another added thing to that, I would say, is learn to look for good traits. If they're driving you crazy and all you can see is the flaws in your mate or your relationships, learn to spot the good traits. 1 Corinthians 13, "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails."

And then the third tip I would add to that is make the first move. If there's tension, make the first move. If there's a wall, make the first move. If there's coldness, make the first move. Matthew 18, "Our Lord said if your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you will win over your brother." So blemished is better than broken. David is now in a very broken family system.

The second principle-- the second comparison is that respect is better than revenge. Respect is better than revenge. So get the scene. David is fleeing from Saul. Saul has 3,000 men. David has 600 men. He's outnumbered 5 to 1. Saul finds out he's down by the Dead Sea and Ein Gedi. Saul goes to chase him. Now the story gets a little bit humorous. Verse 3, "So he came to the sheepfolds by the road, where there was a cave" and it says, "Saul went in to attend to his needs."

You know that is, right? I don't have to explain that to you? He went in to attend to his needs. He's using the restroom. David and his men were staying in the recesses of the cave. So this is funny. Saul's there and he goes, excuse me. I got to go use the restroom. He goes in the restroom not knowing there are 600 soldiers in the restroom.

Then David-- "Then the men of David said to him," remember, they're in the darkness of the cave. "This is the day of which the Lord said to you, Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as seems good to you."

And David arose and secretly cut off a corner of Saul's robe. Can you picture this? Saul's in the darkness on his haunches taking care of business staring out of the cave. David comes sneaking up, snip, cuts a little piece of the robe off. Verse 5, "Now it happened afterward that David's heart troubled him because he had cut Saul's robe." Now his men are saying, cut his throat, never mind his robe. But he feels guilty that he took a little piece of his robe off.

"And he said to his men, "The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master" Watch this-- "the Lord's anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord. So David restrained his servants with these words and did not allow them to rise against Saul. And Saul got up from the cave and went his way." This is David's golden opportunity to take revenge.

And as he gets close to Saul maybe all of the feelings of the past start coming to the surface. Like he's remembering those two times when Saul threw a spear his way. And his blood starts to boil. And he thinks, now is the time to take revenge. I don't know what feelings he was struggling with or overcoming. But he didn't take revenge.

Now, revenge is pretty easy to take. We feel justified when we do it. I'll guarantee you we feel justified. In fact, we feel good. Revenge is a lot of fun. When somebody cuts you off on the road because they don't like your driving and swerves in front of you and gives you the one way to heaven sign only with a different finger, you got to understand, they feel really good when they do that. They got something off their-- they told you.

To them, it's satisfying. It's dumb but it's satisfying. And eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth brings a level of satisfaction with-- I heard a story about a gal who worked for a family. She was the maid for a long time. Took care of everything. Washed their dishes, took the kids to school. The family fired her and she didn't understand why. The job was everything to her and she was shaken by it.

But the family said, don't want to talk about it. Just pack your bags and get out. So she's about to leave. The front door-- she opens the front door. And then she takes a $5 bill out of her purse and throws it to the family dog. And the family said, why are you giving our dog $5? She goes, I never forget a friend. That's for all the times your dog helped me clean your dishes. See, revenge. Just a little-- that dig, felt so good to say that.

But David does not take revenge. Instead, David is very respectful, respect over revenge. Respect is better than revenge. The queen of soul, Aretha Franklin, sang it so well. R-e-s-p-e-c-t, find out what it means to me. What it meant to David is I don't touch the one God has raised up, the Lord's anointed.

Soldiers are taught to salute their superior officer even if they hate their superior officer. And here's why. They will tell you, you salute the rank, not the man. You always salute the rank. Whatever you feel about that person is irrelevant. They are still at a higher rank. David is saluting the rank. This is the one the Lord has raised up.

And can I just make a quick plea to all parents raising small children? Please teach your children respect. There is no excuse for being disrespectful. Please teach them that. Teach them to respect you, mom and dad. Because if they don't respect you they're not going to respect their teacher. They're not going to respect police officers. They're not going to respect authority.

And you see it all over the place, not just on every filthy branch of social media, people mouthing off and spewing off to each other, but you're seeing it now in public. It begins at home. One man said, when I was a kid there was no respect for youth. Now that I'm old, there's no respect for age. He said, I missed it coming and going. Well the way to get it is to give it. Be the kind of person who is quick to give respect. Respect is better than revenge.

Let me take you to a third principle. Light is better than darkness. Light is better than darkness. In verse 8, "David also arose afterward," now watch this. He went out of the cave. So now he's in the light, the sunlight, broad daylight. "and called out to Saul." Now Saul is now done with his business. He's outside of the cave. He's ready to move on. So they're both outside. He calls to Saul, saying, "My lord the King!" and when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed down."

It might seem incidental to you, but to me it's not. David dealt with the problem between he and Saul in the daylight, in the light. David does nothing in the darkness of the cave for two reasons. Number one, he's not going to touch God's anointed. Number two, anything done in the dark cave would be less than optimal. Anything done in the darkness of that cave would be less than optimal.

There's a lot of things David could have done. David could have killed Saul in that cave. David could have scared Saul, boo! David could have taken him by the neck and forced confession by putting a knife to his throat, forcing a resolution. All of that is less than optimal. None of that would have done any good. He waits till Saul leaves then he goes outside where you can see plainly and clearly, and deals with it face to face, eye to eye.

In case you might be thinking I'm making too much out of this, I was reading this week a story of a man who, at one time in his life, frequented bars and clubs. And he was talking about that lifestyle. And he said, you know, I always noticed that bars are dark. Clubs are dark. And he said, I always wondered why that is. Why are these places always dark? They never turn up the lights. They turn down the lights. And he guesses it's because it makes people less aware of themselves, less self-conscious.

Listen to his words. "Darkness hides things. One is more inclined to approach a woman at night in a jam-packed room with loud music than in broad daylight in a quiet coffee shop. It's because self-consciousness is low or absent completely. Darkness heightens anonymity. The mask of darkness allows one to act other than themselves."

Did you know that when you communicate to another person, 55% of what you communicate is through facial expression? Facial expression. So in the package of communication, what people see in your face, 55% is communicated through facial expression. A full between 70% and 90% is body language. So facial expression, what you do with your hands, if you point with your fingers. All of that is conveyed. More is conveyed by what you see than the words you hear.

So tightness around the mouth and the eyes, lowered eyebrows, frowning, scowling, glaring, sweating, crossed arms, all of that conveys anger and disapproval. Whereas relaxed muscles, gently closed mouth, slow breathing, arms uncrossed, low, steady tones of voice, all of that communicates reassurance and a desire to resolve.

Now, you can't see that in the dark. You can't see that in a text. You can't see that in an email. You can't even see that on a phone call. All of those are sub-par levels of communication. The best way to communicate, especially to resolve a conflict, is bring it into a well-lit room where you can actually see that person eye to eye, body language, facial expression. Light is better than darkness.

I'll take you to the fourth and final one. We'll close on this. Truth is better than triumph. Truth is better than triumph. So in verse 9, David said to Saul, another in the broad daylight, David said to Saul, "Why do you listen to the words of the men who say, Indeed David seeks your harm? Look, this day your eyes have seen--" That's very important, too, the last point. "Your eyes have seen that the Lord has delivered you today into my hand in the cave." Because he has that little piece of cloth.

"And someone urged me to kill you. But my eye spared you and said, 'I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord's anointed. Moreover, my father, see! Yes, the corner of your robe in my hand!" That's what he is there to see, nonverbal communication.

"For in that I cut off the corner of your robe, and did not kill you, know and see that there is neither evil nor rebellion in my hand, and I have not sinned against you. Yet you hunt my life to take it. Let the Lord judge between you and me. Let the Lord avenge me on you. But my hand shall not be against you."

Down in verse 16. "So it was, when David finished speaking these words to Saul, that Saul said, "Is this your voice, my son David?" And David lifted up his voice and wept. And then he said to David, "You are more righteous than I." True.

"For you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil. And you have shown this day how you have dealt well with me. For when the Lord delivered me into your hand, you did not kill me, or if a man finds his enemy, will he let him get away safely? Therefore may the Lord reward you with good for what you have done to me this day."

That is what David wanted to hear. David was more interested in winning over Saul than he was in winning the argument. Truth to David was better than triumph. David didn't want to walk away and said yep, I got him. He wanted to win him over. He wanted to resolve the conflict.

Now I want you to see this, when I say truth is better than triumph, David still believes he needs to confront Saul. And he does. He waits till they get outside. And though he respected Saul and though he had a sensitive conscience, he still confronts him with truth. He didn't kick back in the cave and stay in the cave and say, I'm going to wait until Saul leaves. And I'm just going to go my own way. He'll never know I was here. He goes out and has an honest confrontation-- an honest confrontation.

Some of you hate the sound of that word, confrontation, even honest confrontation. But Jesus said, I remind you again, "If your brother sins against you go tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother." Psalm 27 or Proverbs 27 says, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." Ever think about that? Faithful are the wounds of a friend. A friend will wound you the right way.

Think of it this way. An enemy stabs you in the back. A friend stabs you in the front, carefully, lovingly, gingerly, respectfully. But he tells you the truth up front in your face. He confronts. Nathan will confront David later on. He will say, you're the man. Honest confrontation. Later on, Paul the Apostle will confront Peter for his hypocrisy before the Galatian Christians, honest confrontation.

Some of you hate confrontation. In fact, I would say most people hate confrontation. In fact, I'd say you got to have a screw loose to actually love confrontation. There are some people who actually love it. But they have a screw loose. But most of us hate it. But conflict delayed is conflict multiplied. Conflict delayed is conflict multiplied. Confrontation will help you stop the conflict. You say, you know what? I hate conflict. But you know, let's have this out. Let's talk this out. Let's throw down right now and get this over with and resolve the issue.

You know the name Corrie ten Boom. I've told you about her over the years. She was a Dutch girl raised in a home that was hiding Jews so the Nazis couldn't find them in their home. Family was arrested. The girls were thrown in a concentration camp, then another concentration camp, then another concentration-- for years, abused, starving. Eventually the war ended. They were let out of the concentration camp.

Corrie ten Boom traveled around and spoke at different places. I heard her speak at my church years ago before she went to heaven. But she tells a story that after she was released, at some place she was speaking at, a man came up to her and put his hand out to shake her hand. And she recognized him as a prison guard in the Nazi concentration camp.

And she saw that hand and saw that face and went, [GASP]. She was repelled because he was the most cruel, little tyrant, made their life miserable. And she didn't want to shake that hand. She did not want to resolve that conflict. She didn't want to deal with that.

Listen to her words. "I stood there with coldness, clutching at my heart. But I know that the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart. I pray, Jesus, help me. Woodenly, mechanically, I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me and I experienced an incredible thing. A warm reconciliation seem to flood my whole being. I forgive you. For a long moment we grasped each other's hands, the former guard, the former prisoner. I have never known the love of God so intensely as I did in that moment. To forgive is to set a prisoner free and to discover that the prisoner was you."

Set the prisoner free. Set it free. Resolve the conflict. Talk it out. Decide to forgive. Mechanically, woodenly, go through the motions if you have to and watch God change your heart. Whatever blemish your family has does not have to be like this, broken. And if it is broken and if you feel broken today and you just, even, loathe the system of difficulty that you have in your family. Ah, then you are-- you're in the right place. Because that's God's territory.

In fact, God's specialty, you might say, are broken things. It's like he takes special delight not in new things but in broken things. We, whenever we have something that's broken, we usually throw it away. It's broken. It's chipped. Throw it away, get something new.

We do that with people. Throw them away. Get something new. We do it with relationships, marriages. Throw it away. Get something new. God does not. God takes that which is broken. The sacrifices of God are a broken Spirit, a broken and contrite heart he will not despise.

You let God into that heart. Because you'll find that he'll take your brokenness, your family's brokenness. He'll work on it. And then he'll use you. And so you come as you are. You don't have to be fixed to be a follower. You don't have to be a fixed-- yeah, I'll get my act together and then I'll come to God. No, you come broken. You come broken. You come as you are. And you let him in. Let him superintend the process of the healing and the mending.

Father, thank you for that sure promise that you have chosen the foolish, the broken. You are the mender. You are the restorer. You are the healer. All those things we say about you, all those things that are revealed about you and your word, all of those are true. We are wandering without you. We are hopeless and helpless without you. Left to our own devices, we self-destruct and we don't have the capacity to fix problems that are so much bigger than we ever anticipated. But you can.

And I pray that some here would let you into their lives. Maybe their own personal life is broken and they realize they need a Savior who will forgive them and receive them and restore them. And I'm speaking to some of you who feel that way. You feel broken. You feel used. You feel shattered. You feel like you have no strength. But you're here and you're not here by accident. You're here by appointment. The Lord has an appointment with you. And He's calling you.

And you know He is. You sense it in the depth of your Spirit right now. So if you have come to this auditorium this morning or you're watching online, I'm going to encourage you to give your life to Christ, to give your life away, to let him in. If you want to do that, if you are willing to give your life to Him or to come back to Him because you've wandered from him, I want you to raise your hand up in the air. Our heads are bowed. Our eyes are closed.

But raise your hand up. Keep it up for just a moment. God bless you, and you, and you, and you. Around the auditorium, just raise that hand up. I'm going to pray for you in a moment. Anybody else, raise it up high. Balcony? Back row? God bless you. In the family room, anyone over there? Just raise that hand up. God bless you. Yup.

If you're outside, there's a pastor out there. Raise your hand up. Let them see. If you're online there's instructions on your device or computer in that little chat room of what to do. Father, we want to thank you for the honesty of those who might feel broken right now, the honesty expressed in a raised hand. And Lord, we know what that feels like. We know what it feels like to have pain and anguish and brokenness and come to the one who can heal us and fix us, set us right, to forgive us.

Give us the power to forgive others. So Father, I pray for those who have raised their hands and pray that they'll now walk with you and follow you in obedience. Fill them with your Spirit in Jesus's name. Amen. Let's all stand. We're closing with a last song. As we sing this song, if you raised your hand, I'm going to ask you right now to get up from where you're standing. Find the nearest aisle.

And stand right up here. I'm going to lead you in a prayer when you come down here in just a minute. A prayer to receive Christ as Savior. Come on down, come this way. Yep, come right here. Yeah.


Strong enough to make you. So I run. Come running to the breakthrough. Where every fear is shattered by the one true--

Come on, it won't take you long. I saw hands go up in different places.

Cause you are near, come running to the breakthrough.

Come out of the shadows. Come into the light. Come out of the cave. Come into the light.

Where just one touch is strong enough to make you. So I run. I come running to the breakthrough

Where every fear is shattered by the one true. Cause you are near. I come running to the breakthrough. Oh, the breakthrough.

We're so ready to clap, even if people are, like, leaving or coming up to be counselors. But I love that. I love you your willingness to be so encouraging. Anybody else? I saw different hands go up. And I do think it's important to make a public statement of your faith, a public walk of faith. It's sort of like a clean break from the past and a new commitment in the present and in the future. Anybody else?

Some of you've just waited far too long for this. And pandemic's on its way out, it looks like. So let's celebrate with a clean start of commitment to Christ. Anybody else need to make that commitment, come now, come on. Those of you who have come forward I'm going to lead you now on a prayer. I'm going to ask you to pray this, after me, out loud. I want you to say these words from your heart because you're just talking to God.

So say this, say, Lord, I give you my life. I know I'm a sinner. Please forgive me. I believe in Jesus. I believe he died on a cross, that he shed his blood for me, that he rose again from the dead. I turn from my sin. I repent of it. I turn to Jesus as Savior and as Lord of my life. It's in his name I pray. Amen. Amen.

Thank you so much for joining us for this message from Calvary Church with Skip Heitzig. We would love to know how this message impacted you. Share your story with us. Email And if you'd like to support this Bible teaching ministry with a financial gift, visit


The Darkness of a Broken Family - 1 Samuel 24 |
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