The stories that are in the Bible are put there by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, as the Holy Spirit inspired the writers. The Apostle Paul says in 1 Timothy 3:16; “All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof for correction, for training in righteousness”. 1 and 2 Samuel contain the history of David. He receives more space in the Bible than any other person or subject. That alone tells me that there is more than just a story here, but also some principles of life that I need to carefully observe.

The early history of David is centered around two people; Saul, who is King of Israel, and David, who is a shepherd when we first meet him. David and Saul meet under the most interesting circumstances. Israel has been at war with her proverbial enemy, the Philistines. David is too young for military action, but his brothers are in the battle. Jesse, David’s father sends David to the battle with provision for his other sons. While David is at the scene of the battle, he hears of Goliath. He is not intimidated, but with his sling, he slays the giant and ends up the hero. Saul, who is observing all this, asks who this young man is. David is brought to Saul, fresh from battle, with Goliath’s head in his hands! David ends up being invited to the Palace. He ends up in Saul’s army, but he also ends up as the court musician.

This leads to a major conflict. It is here that we find the real story. The conflict is based on jealousy. David become more popular than the King and the King is determined to get rid of David. David ends up fleeing, and for the next 15 years of his life, he becomes a fugitive, fleeing from the raging jealousy of the very man who had hired him.

Conflict is a terrible monster that can follow our tracks through all of life.  Conflict will eat away at our emotions, sap our energy, destroy our values and pollute our thinking to the to the point of self-destruction.

The Bible is filed with stories of conflict.

  • Job and his three friends. The conflict comes from a difference in philosophy of these three people.
  • Esau and Jacob. Their conflict led to one’s success and the others failure.
  • Jeremiah and the leaders of a decadent nation. Jeremiah ended up in a dungeon because of the conflict.
  • Jesus and the Apostles. The Apostles saw future glory, but Jesus saw the cross.
  • Paul and Barnabas. Their conflict led to the breakup of their missions’ team.

The greatest of all conflicts was in heaven. This was between God and His created beings. Lucifer saw the possibility of him becoming God, if that can be imagined. The story is told in Isaiah 14. “How you have fallen from heaven, oh star of the morning, son the dawn. You have been cut down to the earth, you have weakened the nations! But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven, I will raise my throne above the stars of God. I will sit on the mount of the assembly in the recesses of the north’. Nevertheless, you will be cut down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit”. That is “the mother of all conflicts”! The end of this conflict is given to us in Revelation 20. “And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the keys to the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the abyss that he should deceive the nations no more…”.

All of us are familiar with conflict. Is it not true when I say that conflict started in our lives when we but infants in the arms of our mother? From the time we were born, there was a steel beam in our spirits that said, “I want it my way”. That has followed us, through childhood, through our teen years as we sought to leave our childhood and youth behind, and to become an adult. I have always wanted it my way.

Think of the havoc this has created. Nations have gone to war over conflict. This is a conflict of ideologies, differences in the ways we feel of how we should govern those under us. Business have broken up and dissolved because strong men who have a dream, have major conflict with those other strong men who also have a dream that differs from their own. How many homes have been destroyed because of conflict? I stand at the altar with the one I love promising faithfulness and devotion, for life. Little do I realize how bumpy the road of life can become. Each bump creates the possibility of conflict, arguments that can become fatal if not resolved. Children become abandoned, not understanding the significance of the conflict.

The conflicts we feel around us today are not new to the world we live in. Study history. Conflict has eaten at the roots of our society since the days of Cain and Abel. We still try to solve the conflict in the same way Cain did, “we will destroy the enemy”. I often think of the old comic strip called “Pogo”. Pogo had the answer for every conflict when he wisely said, “we have discovered the enemy, and it is Us”.

We seek peace, but it is so elusive. Our valley will be filled with people this summer who are merely seeking peace; just to get away from it all and have peace. Peace. It sounds so simple, yet as I seek it the more conflict I find. Conflict follows me like a black dog. Sometimes the conflict is exterior…if some people would just get their act together…and sometimes the conflict is interior…a feeling of restlessness in my gut, a divided mind that knows what I should do, but I end up doing what I want to do. The result is guilt and turmoil.

So, I must ask, “how do I end conflict and find peace”? I am currently reading a book “The Healing of Persons” by Doctor Paul Tournier, a Swiss doctor and a strong believer. When his patients would share their struggles with this issue of conflict, he would say, “meditate and find the right thing to do, then do it”, On paper, it sounds so simple, but in life there is a huge conflict between what is right and what I want, This issue must be settled somewhere within the human heart, and I must answer the question, “do I want to serve self or do I want to serve God”?

Ultimately David did find peace. He had multiple opportunities to kill his hunter and win the prize his way. However, for 15 years he lived with conflict. God eventually, and in only His way, took care of Saul, and David stepped into the position that was his, but now it came from God, not ambition.


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