Earp Takes Aim | Faith, Culture, Life

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A woman bought a canary she affectionately named, Chirpy.  Chirpy was a wonderful pet; he brought glorious song and beauty into her home.  But one sad morning, Chirpy’s owner made a series of very tragic mistakes.

MISTAKE #1 happened while she was while vacuuming.  It seemed a good idea at the time.  “After all, the bottom of Chirpy’s cage is dirty.  I’m here– the vacuum is on— I’ll just clean his cage out!”


But as she cleaned, the phone rang.  And when she turned to answer the phone without turning off the vacuum?  You got it…she inadvertently lifted the vacuum hose which sucked poor Chirpy right down the tube and in the bag.  MISTAKE #2.

She immediately dropped the phone, ripped the vacuum cleaner cord out of the wall, tore into the bag and dug and dug!  Till finally, she found Chirpy!  Feathers askew…his body caked with dust— dazed, stunned and alarmed— but alive!

She thought, “I better clean him up!”  So she jammed him under a water faucet and turned it on full blast.  MISTAKE #3. 

When she realized that the little guy had practically drowned under that deluge, she reached for a blow dryer and— Wheeew!  MISTAKE #4.  Oh, he got dry alright!  But he also came frighteningly close to becoming Fried Chirpy. 


When news got out what had happened, a newspaper reporter called and asked, “How’s Chirpy doing?” 

She said, “Well, he doesn’t sing much anymore.  He just kinda sits there!” 

So…what do you expect?  Can you imagine?   SUCKED IN, WASHED UP, AND BLOWN OVER?!  That’s enough to steal the song from even the stoutest of hearts!

Unless I miss my guess, most everybody here can [to some degree] relate to Chirpy.  Am I right?  Has there ever been a time in your life when you were minding your own business, just doing life— when suddenly and without warning, you got sucked down somebody’s vacuum cleaner hose?  Shoved under a faucet…?  And then, about the time you couldn’t imagine it getting any worse, somebody really turned on the heat!?  Anybody here relate to that? 

One minute life is calm and predictable, the next a pink slip appears in your Inbox.  The doctor calls about some abnormal levels in your lab report.  Your child’s teacher calls about a disturbance involving your son.  Your mate tells you he doesn’t love you anymore…and wants out. 

And just like that…schlopp!  You’re sucked into a black hole of doubt and fear.  Cold water is poured all over your dreams.  And the resulting heartache absolutely blows you away. 

That’s when your once calm, bliss-filled life– that life you once knew when every day was filled with birdsong?  It seems forever gone.  And instead, you feel like you’re up to your armpits in alligators!  You feel like the javelin competitor who won the coin toss and elected to receive! 


No wonder you just sit there…and stare.


Today I’m gonna tell you the story about a great Bible hero who lost HIS song, too.  The facts are indisputable:

The Old Testament character David had already experienced more injustice and undeserved abuse— and had been forced to climb over more obstacles and face more mocking giants than any ONE person should ever have to face. 

He was neglected by his father…and constantly ridiculed by his brothers.  And even though he was anointed as king-elect of Israel and even though he had bested Israel’s arch-enemy, Goliath — David, simply by his presence, was such a source of consternation for the current king of Israel, King Saul, that even though David had fought valiantly for Saul– and even though he dutifully sang soothing love songs for the comfort of Saul— David was curiously hated by Saul! 

SO hated that one day, while David was singing a little James Taylor ballad so Saul could get some shut-eye, Saul actually grabbed a spear and chucked it at him! 

David probably thought, “Everybody’s a music critic!  Note to self: Don’t ever play that song again!”  But then, Saul heaves a second spear– and as David ducks this time, he hears the whooshing sound as it screams past his head– and then, thud!  Buries itself in the wall.  And while the spear was still vibrating from the impact {brbrbrb…}? 

DAVID RAN FOR HIS LIFE.  And he didn’t STOP running till he came to the camp of Israel’s arch- enemy, the Philistines. 

Now understand, this is the first time in David’s life when he didn’t PRAY about whether he should run— he just ran!   This once vertically-minded shepherd boy has suddenly become a horizontally-focused fugitive. 

So radically was the change that, for the next three chapters in his story, David isn’t inquiring of the Lord anymore.  He’s not praying.  He’s not writing psalms.  And he’s not singing any worship tunes, either.  Truth is, David is panicked!  He’s been sucked in, washed up and blown over— so he packs his bags for Philistia. 

The King of Philistia, being nobody’s dummy, was thrilled to have David on his team— instead of the other way around— so he gave David his own town!  A tiny little ‘burg called Ziklag.  And David and his family, plus his militia of 600 men plus their families— came to settle down and live in Ziklag. 

The only problem with this arrangement is— well, God wasn’t in it.  And God wasn’t in it, cuz He knew something David evidently forgot.  That if you associate with Philistines, in time, you’ll start acting like Philistines.  Right?  You live in the camp of the Enemy long enough, and, in time, you will adopt your Enemy’s mind-set.  ☞☞☞That’s what the Bible means when it says,

“Bad company corrupts good character.”[1]

I like how Chuck Swindoll describes that: 

“If you put on white gloves and start working in the mud, the gloves always get muddy; never does the mud get glovey.” 


Well sure enough, Ziklag didn’t get glovey— David got muddy.  Separated from the accountability of those who knew him, with no reputation to live up to, no overseers to report to, no structure to shape, drive, or define him— David began to compromise in ways he never could have otherwise imagined. 

Even worse, David lost all contact with God.  For three long chapters in the Bible, a time period covering nearly 18 months, there’s not one recorded prayer by David.  He’s stopped writing Psalms and he’s not singing songs either. 

Like Chirpy, David’s voice has been silenced. 


[1]I Corinthians 15:33

This is an exerpt from "God CAN Recover". For more, go to thecrossroadsaz.com.

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