How To Approach The Conflict

Text 1 Samuel 17:37-39, 45-48 “David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee. And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him . . . Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands. And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.”

When David is called by Jessie from tending the flock, the existing conflict is vocalized (see vs.17-19). Once he had arrived on the frontlines near the valley of Elah, the existing conflict was visualized (see 20-21). In spite of the fact that David is but a youth, he has come to learn at an early age that life is full of conflict. In spite of the fact that he is not the instigator, conflict has found its way into the everyday life of this young shepherd boy. Yet, this isn’t an isolated case; conflict is a fact of life that needs be recognized by all. Speaking unto His disciples previous to His death on the cross, Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation” (John 16:33). Having recovered from the brutal act of stoning, Paul exhorted the disciples to continue in the faith and admonished them with these words; “we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). If conflict can’t be avoided, it is imperative that one learns how to approach it! The activities of David reveal at least three things that are helpful in our approach to conflict.

The first thing that we notice is a reminder of the past. David has been conducted into the presence of King Saul where he volunteers to fight Goliath. Saul’s immediate response is to tell David why he isn’t qualified for the job. Having heard all the negatives, David responds with a reminder of the past; “Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear” (vs.34-36). While he had never faced a giant before, David was no stranger to conflict.  A bear and a lion had attempted to take one of his sheep from the flock and the Lord had given David the ability to with stand the aggressor! When faced with conflict we are sometime blinded to all God’s past provisions and the means whereby He has delivered. As we make our descent into the valley of our spiritual Elah, pause to be reminded of the faithfulness of God in past conflicts.

The second thing that we notice is reliance for the present. Having come face to face with his aggressor, Goliath of Gath; David is bombarded once again with all of the negative aspects of the conflict. The giant mocks David’s size, his strength, and selection of weapons. The giant basically tells David that when he gets through with him, the fowl of the air and the beasts of the field will be picking the meat off his bones. David’s response is with reliance for the present; “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand” (vs. 45-46). The giant’s confidence rested upon the physical implements of war and his ability to use them, but not David! David would take no credit for his past success and he would not be so foolish to test his own abilities in the present. Past, present, and future; it was God and God alone that David would rest in.

The final thing that we notice is a revelation to be projected. The fact that Goliath is repetitively referred to as a champion projects the idea that he has made a name for himself. He has obtained the praises of men; a thing that he has sought for a life time. He feeds on being exalted and elevated in the eyes of men. This is simply the element of pride, a lustful desire that the flesh must have to nourish itself. This is not the case with David; the revelation to be projected is not that of a man, but the Master; “I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel” (vs.46). David’s objective is not to stand in the sunlight, but in the shadow of the Sovereign! David has but one objective; to make the preeminence and power of his God known to all men. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

David approached the conflict with a reminder of the past, a reliance for the present, and with a revelation to be projected. The odds of success are greatly improved when these principles are found in our moments of conflict!

How To Approach The Conflict

Text 1 Samuel 17:37-39, 45-48 “David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee. And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him . . . Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands. And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.”

When David is called by Jessie from tending the flock, the existing conflict is vocalized (see vs.17-19). Once he had arrived on the frontlines near the valley of Elah, the existing conflict was visualized (see 20-21). In spite of the fact that David is but a youth, he has come to learn at an early age that life is full of conflict. In spite of the fact that he is not the instigator, conflict has found its way into the everyday life of this young shepherd boy. Yet, this isn’t an isolated case; conflict is a fact of life that needs be recognized by all. Speaking unto His disciples previous to His death on the cross, Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation” (John 16:33). Having recovered from the brutal act of stoning, Paul exhorted the disciples to continue in the faith and admonished them with these words; “we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). If conflict can’t be avoided, it is imperative that one learns how to approach it! The activities of David reveal at least three things that are helpful in our approach to conflict.

The first thing that we notice is a reminder of the past. David has been conducted into the presence of King Saul where he volunteers to fight Goliath. Saul’s immediate response is to tell David why he isn’t qualified for the job. Having heard all the negatives, David responds with a reminder of the past; “Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear” (vs.34-36). While he had never faced a giant before, David was no stranger to conflict.  A bear and a lion had attempted to take one of his sheep from the flock and the Lord had given David the ability to with stand the aggressor! When faced with conflict we are sometime blinded to all God’s past provisions and the means whereby He has delivered. As we make our descent into the valley of our spiritual Elah, pause to be reminded of the faithfulness of God in past conflicts.

The second thing that we notice is reliance for the present. Having come face to face with his aggressor, Goliath of Gath; David is bombarded once again with all of the negative aspects of the conflict. The giant mocks David’s size, his strength, and selection of weapons. The giant basically tells David that when he gets through with him, the fowl of the air and the beasts of the field will be picking the meat off his bones. David’s response is with reliance for the present; “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand” (vs. 45-46). The giant’s confidence rested upon the physical implements of war and his ability to use them, but not David! David would take no credit for his past success and he would not be so foolish to test his own abilities in the present. Past, present, and future; it was God and God alone that David would rest in.

The final thing that we notice is a revelation to be projected. The fact that Goliath is repetitively referred to as a champion projects the idea that he has made a name for himself. He has obtained the praises of men; a thing that he has sought for a life time. He feeds on being exalted and elevated in the eyes of men. This is simply the element of pride, a lustful desire that the flesh must have to nourish itself. This is not the case with David; the revelation to be projected is not that of a man, but the Master; “I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel” (vs.46). David’s objective is not to stand in the sunlight, but in the shadow of the Sovereign! David has but one objective; to make the preeminence and power of his God known to all men. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

David approached the conflict with a reminder of the past, a reliance for the present, and with a revelation to be projected. The odds of success are greatly improved when these principles are found in our moments of conflict!

What’s At Stake

Text 1 Sam 17:24-29 “And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid. And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel. And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him. And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle. And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?”

Having been dispatched by his father, Jessie; David made his way to the frontlines where the Philistines and the nation of Israel had set the battle in array. As David attempted to complete the designated task of his father, suddenly a lone figure appeared from among the Philistines and the tranquil mood in the camp of the Israelites turned to one of fearful anxiety. The speechless Israelites hearts were frozen by the sights and the sounds made by the Philistine, Goliath of Gath. Every morning and every evening the lone figure had called for a suitable competitor; “choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me” (vs.8). Unlike the other eighty times, a man had arrived that would answer the challenge; “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine” (vs.32). David’s willingness to face the giant was not met with support from the brethren, but rather slander and criticism; “Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle” (vs.28). David’s response reveals that he is a man with volition and vision; “Is there not a cause?” (vs.29).

Unlike the other men that made up the host of Israel, David realized what was at stake! Herein lies the problem with many; they fail to rise to the occasion because they fail to see what’s at stake. Blinded by fear, Saul and the host of Israel failed to see the worth of putting it all on the line. While they are numerous things at stake I want to magnify two that are worth of serious consideration.

David realized that the Sovereign’s character was at stake! This was more than conquest between soldiers; this battle would determine in the minds of men whose deity was supreme. This truth can be seen in David’s response to Goliath’s arrogant claims as they faced off in the valley of Elah; “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands” (vs.45-47). David knew that the world’s perception of the God of Israel would be determined by the outcome of this battle! This battle would determine the perception of Jehovah’s superiority; “This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand . . . that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel” (vs.46). David’s response magnified the superiority of his God before the eyes of all men. The careless lifestyle of Samson undermined the testimony of Jehovah’s superiority; “And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us” (Judges 16:24). How many times has the absence of commitment on our part belittled and undermined the superiority of the Lord Jesus Christ? David knew the battle would determine the perspective of Jehovah’s strength; “And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands” (vs.47). In most cases the strength of God is demonstrated through the lives of His people! While our God “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20); it that truth daily demonstrated through our life? David knew that the Sovereign’s character was at stake.

David knew that the sovereignty of the nation was at stake; “choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us: (vs.8-9). This would determine lordship; the privilege of living in a free state is at stake and up until now no one is willing to fight for it! David, not only realizes that freedom isn’t free, but he is willing to put it all on the line to maintain that freedom!

While the host of Israel was seeking shelter in their tents, David was headed to the trenches! David would rise to the occasion and put it all on the line. When others were moved by the thoughts of self and safety, David thoughts were directed to service and sacrifice because while others didn’t, David had a clear understanding of what was at stake.

What’s At Stake

Text 1 Sam 17:24-29 “And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid. And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel. And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him. And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle. And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?”

Having been dispatched by his father, Jessie; David made his way to the frontlines where the Philistines and the nation of Israel had set the battle in array. As David attempted to complete the designated task of his father, suddenly a lone figure appeared from among the Philistines and the tranquil mood in the camp of the Israelites turned to one of fearful anxiety. The speechless Israelites hearts were frozen by the sights and the sounds made by the Philistine, Goliath of Gath. Every morning and every evening the lone figure had called for a suitable competitor; “choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me” (vs.8). Unlike the other eighty times, a man had arrived that would answer the challenge; “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine” (vs.32). David’s willingness to face the giant was not met with support from the brethren, but rather slander and criticism; “Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle” (vs.28). David’s response reveals that he is a man with volition and vision; “Is there not a cause?” (vs.29).

Unlike the other men that made up the host of Israel, David realized what was at stake! Herein lies the problem with many; they fail to rise to the occasion because they fail to see what’s at stake. Blinded by fear, Saul and the host of Israel failed to see the worth of putting it all on the line. While they are numerous things at stake I want to magnify two that are worth of serious consideration.

David realized that the Sovereign’s character was at stake! This was more than conquest between soldiers; this battle would determine in the minds of men whose deity was supreme. This truth can be seen in David’s response to Goliath’s arrogant claims as they faced off in the valley of Elah; “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands” (vs.45-47). David knew that the world’s perception of the God of Israel would be determined by the outcome of this battle! This battle would determine the perception of Jehovah’s superiority; “This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand . . . that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel” (vs.46). David’s response magnified the superiority of his God before the eyes of all men. The careless lifestyle of Samson undermined the testimony of Jehovah’s superiority; “And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us” (Judges 16:24). How many times has the absence of commitment on our part belittled and undermined the superiority of the Lord Jesus Christ? David knew the battle would determine the perspective of Jehovah’s strength; “And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands” (vs.47). In most cases the strength of God is demonstrated through the lives of His people! While our God “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20); it that truth daily demonstrated through our life? David knew that the Sovereign’s character was at stake.

David knew that the sovereignty of the nation was at stake; “choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us: (vs.8-9). This would determine lordship; the privilege of living in a free state is at stake and up until now no one is willing to fight for it! David, not only realizes that freedom isn’t free, but he is willing to put it all on the line to maintain that freedom!

While the host of Israel was seeking shelter in their tents, David was headed to the trenches! David would rise to the occasion and put it all on the line. When others were moved by the thoughts of self and safety, David thoughts were directed to service and sacrifice because while others didn’t, David had a clear understanding of what was at stake.

The Training Of Champions

I Samuel 17:33 “And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”

Having been mocked by his brethren for his willingness to respond to the challenge of the Philistine’s champion, Goliath of Gath; David is conducted into the presence of the King of Israel, the nation’s commander and chief. Once there, David reassures the king with these words; “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine” (vs. 32). Looking at things from a purely physical stand point, the king considers the qualifications of David in contrast to that of the Philistine giant; the sum total of the evidence leads the king to this conclusion, “Thou art not able.” While we are well aware of the fact that the end results will prove the king to be wrong; Saul’s reply to David carries with it a principle worthy of consideration! Saul said, “thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.” Please note the uses of the word “youth” with respect to David and to Goliath. With respect to David the word means boy from the age of infancy to adolescence. The word used with respect to Goliath is from the same root word used in David’s description but is used in the emphatic form for the state of childhood. The principle that Saul is setting forth is; “The Philistines are in the business of training champions!” From his childhood, Goliath was trained for this very moment; he is “a man of war.” That phrase means a man that engages in warfare and comes from a word meaning to feed on or to consume.

The principle set forth by Saul calls for serious consideration by the Christian community; “Are we in the business of training champions?” From the paraphernalia that we quickly begin to dump into the youthful lives of our children it becomes evident that we are attempting to train super heroes, sports stars, beauty queens, and students of wealth management. In spite of our godly claims; we are a people that place far more emphasis on the secular than the spiritual!

One of the first things that calls for our attention is the fact that champions are required to train champions! We must first consider the personal aspect of training champions. While it may not be a pleasant thought; “What is the summation of your personal life; secular or spiritual?” We talk the talk, but we fail to walk the walk. The man after God’s own heart said, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). Most of us would never pray that prayer because we already know that we are living substandard spiritual lives and we don’t want to change! Champions aren’t being trained because there’s no one to train them!

The second thing that calls for our attention is the prospective aspect of training champions. In consideration of the Apostle Paul’s life, there are two words that come to my mind; intensity and involvement. Paul’s life was marked by intensity; “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14). At the moment of conversion Paul said, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6) and he never got over trying to accomplish the task. The second thing was involvement; every person that he came into contact with, he got involved in their life. It didn’t matter if it was a young disciple or a runaway slave; Paul quickly began to lavish upon them the riches of personal involvement! The greatest commodity that you have to give is yourself.

When the moment of conquest arises, the enemy will always have a champion trained for the occasion, will the same be true for the people of God; are we training champions?

Proof Is Derived Through Perseverance

Jesus descended from a mountain top where He selected the twelve, “whom also he named apostles” (Luke 6:13). Having arrived in the plain, our Lord was met by a great multitude of people out of all Judaea, Jerusalem, and the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon. They were there to hear and for healing; “which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases” (vs.17). Having spoken to them on a multitude of subjects, in verse 39-49, He enlightened them to at least five basic principles of fruitfulness. We have already addressed four of five, “Progress is dictated by your partner”, “Promotion is determined by your professor”, “Pride is destroyed by your perception” and “Product is the display of one’s person.” At this time, I want to enumerate on the fifth.

Proof is Derived Through Perseverance

Luke 6:46-49 “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”

When considering the fourth aspect of fruit bearing, we discover that it is imperative that we remember that God has put into place certain laws and principles that cannot be broken, made invalid, or ignored! In our approach to the fifth principle of fruit bearing, we discover that those laws are still in effect! God’s law will always prove to be relevant and in force; to think otherwise is to assure oneself of an undesirable end!

In this particular text, our Lord will build upon the previous thought or principle of fruit bearing; “Product is the display of one’s person.” Jesus pointed out that good fruit comes from the contents of a good heart, and corrupt fruit comes from the contents of an evil heart. In essence, the fruit is nothing more than a revelation of the true nature of the person. Our Lord brings the previous text to a close with these words, “for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (verse 45). In other words, the things that are uttered from the lips are the overflow of the inner man, and the nature of the overflow depicts the true nature of the man.

Our Lord opened the next thought magnifying the utterance of certain men’s lips; “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord.” While it is true that the utterance depicts the nature of the heart, it is imperative that one discern the nature of the utterance with respect to truthfulness. Those that are void of discernment assume that all that call Jesus Lord, will go to heaven, but our Lord said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Within our text, Jesus said that there is an element of people that are respectful with their lips, but not responsible with their lives. They talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk! As a means of discernment, Jesus will set forth the test of perseverance to prove the validity of the utterance which in turn reveals the true nature of one’s heart.

The Reason For Testing

“why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not”

The reason for testing is that there is a discrepancy between the declaration of the lips and the dedication of the life! This is very apparent from the Lord’s use of the word, “why” which is an interrogative pronoun used in direct or indirect questions. Those, to whom our Lord is making reference, have properly declared aloud that Jesus is the supreme authority, controller, and master of life and yet, their life style gives clear evidence that they have rejected the principles and commandments that He has set forth in His Word. You will note from the phrase in verse 47, “cometh to me, and heareth my sayings” and verse 49, “he that heareth”; the discrepancy between lips and life doesn’t stem from the absence of knowledge or understanding. Both individuals “heareth.” The word not only means to hear in various senses or come to the ears, but also has the thought of understanding; “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). The fact that both heard, reveals that the real problem stems from man’s heart and not his head!

The Regions Of Testing

“laid the foundation on a rock . . . without a foundation built an house upon the earth”

The testing process will be that of contrast; Jesus said, “I will shew you to whom he is like.” The word “shew” means to exhibit under the eyes, to instruct or admonish. Jesus exhibits the activities of two different individuals with respect to two areas! The first area of investigation is that of a foundation; does one exist? Jesus makes it very clear that while both men will build a house; both men didn’t take the time to lay a foundation! One man has a house with a foundation and one has a house without a foundation. There is one thing that we must be mindful of; within this text, there is a difference between “a rock”, and “a foundation.” I believe that Jesus’ reference to the foundation that must precede the building process is that of faith! While both hear, both don’t enact faith in what they heard; “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it” (Hebrews 4:2). Listen to the words of Stuart Holden, “The man who digs deep must throw out the earth as he digs, and rid himself of that which prevents his naked soul attaching itself to the Rock. He must renounce that which comes between himself and the Saviour, and in such loss he will find eternal gain.” It is only by the means of faith that one can attach himself to the Rock of Ages!

The second area of investigation is that of footing; “on a rock” or “upon the earth.” There are a multitude of truths that can be derived from this thought. Will your life come to rest on the eternal or the temporal, will it rest upon the spiritual or the secular, will it rest upon the solid or the shifting?

The Revelation of Testing

“and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it . . . against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”

With respect to testing, please pay close attention to the phrase, “and when the flood arose.” It is not if we are going to face the storms and adversities of life, but when! The difference between the two is clear and simple; perseverance! Pause to think how impressive this statement is; “and could not shake it.” The word “shake” means to wavier, to disturb, to agitate, or to stir up. This is what one can expect when their foundation and their footing is correct. Not the case with all those that have cast aside the need for the foundation of faith and begun to build upon on the shifting sand of the temporal secular principles of this world; the end is “ruin.” The word means something torn apart or fragmented.

With respect to our relationship to Christ the proof is derived though perseverance!

Product is the Display of One’s Person

Jesus descended from a mountain top where He selected the twelve, “whom also he named apostles” (Luke 6:13). Having arrived in the plain, our Lord was met by a great multitude of people out of all Judaea, Jerusalem, and the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon. They were there to hear and for healing; “which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases” (vs.17). Having spoke to them on a multitude of subjects, in verse 39-49, He enlightened them to at least five basic principles of fruitfulness. We have already addressed two of five, “Progress is dictated by your partner”, “Promotion is determined by your professor” and “Pride is destroyed by your perception.” At this time, I want to enumerate on the fouLuke 6:43-45 “For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”

In our consideration of the fourth aspect of fruit bearing, it is imperative that we remember that God has put into place certain laws and principles that cannot be broken, made invalid, or ignored! While there must be the awareness of what it is, as well as a desire for it; producing good fruit requires more than desire. I believe that those of sound spiritual minds desire to produce fruit that would earn the respect of others while exalting and magnifying the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, there is a vast difference between desire and delivery. Within this parable, Jesus is going to set forth three divine principles related to fruit bearing.

The Principle of Reproduction

“For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.”

With respect to this principle, our Lord is emphatic; “a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit.” Everything reproduces after its own character without exception! Note the word “not” in the text; it is an absolute negative and means no, nay, never. You will never find corrupt fruit on a good tree and you will never find good fruit on a corrupt tree. The specific words that Jesus used in speaking of the good fruit and the corrupt fruit call for close examination. The word “good” is not the common word which means good in any sense, but beautiful, chiefly good, valuable or virtuous for appearance or use. “Good”, that is only this type of tree that reproduces plucked fruit that is valuable, virtuous, and useful. The word “corrupt” means rotten, worthless and comes from a word which means to putrefy or to perish. A rotten and worthless tree will produce a harvest that is worthless and destined to perish. Jesus magnifies this principle of reproduction when speaking to Nicodemus; “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). Try as you may; if you have a fleshly nature, you will reproduce fruit that bares the similitude of the flesh. Likewise, if you demonstrate a spiritual nature you bring forth the fruit of the Spirit; “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). You generate what you are and not what you want!

The Principle of Revelation

“For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.”

While it may not be true in everything; with respect to fruit bearing, “What you see is what you get!” Note the first word that the Holy Spirit used, “For.” It is a primary particle assigning a reason; it is used in an argument, explanation or intensification. The outgrowth of the principle of reproduction is the principle of revelation! When you see a particular fruit, you immediately recognize the tree that generated it. Jesus is saying, “As a point of argument or explanation, when a person sees the fruit, they have a clear understanding of the specific tree that yielded it; when a person sees a tree, they have full knowledge of the fruit it will produce.” Knowledgeable of this truth, men don’t expect to gather figs among the thorns or grapes from a bramble bush. Could this explain why folks don’t come to you in time of need? They have discerned what type of tree you are and they know that what they need to glean, you can’t produce! Proverbs says, “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint” (Proverbs 25:19).

The Principle of Resource

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”

You will note that Jesus reiterates the principle of reproduction; “A good man . . . bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man . . . bringeth forth that which is evil.” Secondly, He reiterates the principle of revelation; you know the man is good because the fruit is good and the fruit is good because the man is good; likewise, the man is evil because the fruit is evil and the fruit is evil because the man is evil! These two principles yield a third; the principle of resource, the man is good and the fruit is good because the resource from which the fruit originates is good. Likewise the man is evil and the fruit is evil because the resource from which the fruit originates is evil. Simple but yet profound; “You can’t change the man or the fruit until there is a change in the resource from which they originate!” It all has to do with what Jesus calls the “treasure of his heart.” Jesus said, “out of.” The phrase denotes origin or point whence action or motion proceeds. The fruit that defines the man finds its origin or point from which the action begins in the “treasure of his heart.” Please note two words, “treasure” and “heart.” The first means a deposit, wealth, and comes from a word meaning to place. The second word means the heart, the thoughts, the feelings, or the mind. Here is the truth that is sometimes missed, both the good man and the evil man have that which Jesus calls the “treasure of his heart.” The distinguishing difference is the deposit that has been placed there; one is good and the other is evil. A good deposit generates good fruit that testifies of the man being good and a evil deposit generates evil fruit that bears witness that the man is evil. The only means of changing the man or the fruit is by changing the deposit that resides within the heart; control the deposit and you control the man and the fruit: “for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”

The truth that Jesus wants to magnify with respect to fruit bearing is that “Product is the Display of One’s Person.” The outer man and the fruit that is representative of his live are nothing more than the manifestation of the inner man! The treasure determines the talk and the talk determines the testimony.

Pride Is Destroyed By Your Perception

Jesus descended from a mountain top where He selected the twelve, “whom also he named apostles” (Luke 6:13). Having arrived in the plain, our Lord was met by a great multitude of people out of all Judaea, Jerusalem, and the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon. They were there to hear and for healing; “which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases” (vs.17). Having spoken to them on a multitude of subjects, in verse 39-49, He enlightened them to at least five basic principles of fruitfulness. We have already addressed two of five, “Progress is dictated by your partner” and “Promotion is determined by your professor.” At this time, I want to enumerate on the third.

Pride Is Destroyed By Your Perception

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.” Luke 6:41-42

Of the many things that can destroy and deter fruitfulness in the life of an individual, pride is one that ranks near the top. Pride was an attribute that surfaced continually in the lives of Jesus’ disciples; “And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest” (Mark 9:33-34). It was true of the disciples is equally true of most people! Pride is an evil within us that is usually recognized by others previous to being acknowledged by one’s self. Pride is the fountainhead of shame, contention, and destruction (see Proverbs 11:2, 13:10, & 16:18). Pride will ultimately rob the Lord’s disciple of effective service and future rewards.

The Vision of Pride

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

The very first thing that must be understood is that the vision of pride is farsighted and faulty! The vision of pride is forever looking at a distance at the weakness of others while maintaining a distorted perception of that which is closest to them. Pride “beholdest” in others, but never “perceives” in self. “Beholdest” means to look at as to be aware of, to regard. Pride not only sees the imperfections, but continually focuses on them, making them the constant object of attention. “Perceives” means to discover or consider, to observe fully. Because of pride’s constant outward look; it fails to discover personal areas of weakness and if these areas are apparent, pride quickly minimizes their importance and fails to pursue them fully. Pride’s vision perceives itself as being superior to all others; if others could only see as it does, they too would be disturbed by the apparent weaknesses and shortcomings of those around them.

The Volition of Pride

“Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

If there was a positive thing to be said about the vision of pride, it would be the fact that pride is not idle. Pride is actively seeking every opportunity to “pull out the mote.” Pride is energetic! While it is motivated by a false perception, it will not rest until it has rid those it perceives as less fortunate of motes! Pride will assert itself in every situation. The only problem to pride’s energetic activity is pride’s ineffectiveness! While pride’s motivation is to help, pride’s hindrance will not permit it; “thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye.” While pride’s vision is sufficient enough to discover the mote, it proves to be defective in removing the mote because of the beam protruding from its own eye. The “beam” is a stick of timber and gives the idea of that which supports or holds up. The word “mote” means a withered twig or piece of straw, sawdust or a shaving off of the beam. Some old writers had pointed to the fact that it is possible that the mote in the brother’s eye was a speck of sawdust from the beam protruding from the other person’s eye. That’s a new twist; trying to solve everyone’s problems which you are the instigator of!

The Victory Over Pride

“Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.”

There is victory for those that will do first things first; “cast out first the beam out of thine own eye.” When one gains the proper perception of one’s self, pride is smitten! This Biblical truth is set forth in Galatians 6:1. A brother has been overtaken in a fault and the body of Christ has become aware of it. If the brother is to be effectively restored, it will require the aid of fellow believers. What is to be the first response of the body; “considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Only those that have effectively removed beams from their own eye are qualified to remove motes from a brother’s eye.

The satanic nature of pride is a destructive force in the life of a believer. It renders them ineffective in the work and makes the prospects of rewards void. Pride can be smitten by a change in perspective by gaining the proper perspective of self. Consider an inward inspection of self before participating in the outward gaze of a critical spirit. The proper perception of self is the answer to the destructive force of pride.