Who’s Got Your Back?

Evil and sin are real, and by the way, they want you dead. Find out the 5 people you need watching your back to give you a fighting chance!



Morning.  David Sorn.  Lead Pastor at Renovation Church.

For whatever reason, we all like different parts of movies, and different narratives move us.

For me, it’s when we see that someone has the main character’s back.

Just when it seems like all hope is lost, a friend comes to defend you at the last moment.

I think of my favorite Lord of the Rings movie, “The Two Towers,” when it appears all is lost, and Gandalf the wizard appears at just the last moment to save everyone.

Or in the greatest movie of all time, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves J, when Robin appears to rescue his friends right before they’re executed.

What’s the basic idea that moves me?

It’s that evil is about to win…but friends come through in the end.

It’s much like the narrative I’d like to see play out this afternoon.

The evil Packer’s look like they’re going to win, but my friends the Vikings (or the Purple Guys as my kids call them) have each other’s backs and are victorious in the end 

As we continue in our Monarchy series this morning in 1 Samuel 19, I want you to know, evil is real. 

And it wants you dead. 

So it’s time to start asking, “Who’s got your back?” 

What do I mean when I say evil is real and it wants you dead?

I mean a few things really.

There is indeed real evil.

The Bible talks about satan, evil spirits, etc. and that they’re completely real, and it describes evil as not being a fan of you serving Jesus.

There is of course sin too.

We’re all sinners.

Even if you are a Christian that has been saved and received forgiveness for your sins, you are still tempted and drawn by sin…you’re human. 

And sin too, because of its destructive nature, wants you dead.

Not that sin is an actual person plotting your death, but its natural outcome, if left unchecked…is to ruin your life

And sometimes evil and sin work together…through people…like we’re going to see in our passage today.

Let’s not play around, life is hard.

If you’re not prepared for it, some sort of evil in this world is going to bring you down.

And sometimes, it’s hard to see it coming.

So who’s got your back?

Over the last few weeks in 1 Samuel, we’ve been introduced to a young man named David

He’s been anointed by the prophet Samuel to one day become the future King of Israel, and he’s already famously conquered a warrior named Goliath

We’ve been covering every other chapter in our House Groups.

So this past Sunday we covered chapter 17 here, and during this past week our House Groups studied, in chapter 18, how King Saul becomes insanely jealous of David

And Saul’s jealously leads him to secretly try to have David killed.

Well, today, in chapter 19, you’re going to see that Saul’s no longer doing it in secret.

He openly is trying to kill David.

And spoiler…FOUR times, yes FOUR times, David is going to escape death…in just 1 chapter.  

And you’re going to see today that all 4 times that David avoids death, the murder mastermind is Saul.

Saul is an allegorical representation of evil this passage, for he’s a real person…but it’s evil and sin working through him against David.

And in the same way, evil and sin wants to work against you, to bring you down.

But I want you to notice today that there are 5 different people that have David’s back.

David would be dead if these people hadn’t helped him.

And I want you to know that if you’ve got these 5 people watching your back, you’ve got a significantly better shot in the battle against sin and evil.

So quiz yourself today as we go through the 5 people…and then take some steps forward if you find out you’ve got some defenseless areas in your battle against sin.




All right, let’s jump into the passage as we take a look at the first person who’s got David’s back.

(page 229)

(Renovation App)

(1 Samuel 19:1-7) – NIV

Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan had taken a great liking to David2 and warned him, “My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding and stay there. 3 I will go out and stand with my father in the field where you are. I’ll speak to him about you and will tell you what I find out.” 4 Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king do wrong to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly. 5 He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The Lord won a great victory for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why then would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?” 6 Saul listened to Jonathan and took this oath: “As surely as the Lord lives, David will not be put to death.” 7 So Jonathan called David and told him the whole conversation. He brought him to Saul, and David was with Saul as before.

–meaning that David was back fighting in the Army and also playing the harp for Saul, which chapter 18 told us that David occasionally did.

So David’s friend has his back

Does a friend have your back?

And that’s the first question for you as you quiz yourself today:  Do you have a friend that will have your back?

 Just like David’s friend Jonathan stands in the gap for him.

If Jonathan, who ironically is King Saul’s son (the crown prince) doesn’t stand up for David, David surely would have been killed by Saul’s servants.

But Jonathan is loyal and wise.

And in his wisdom, he speaks not into Saul’s rage, but speaks with him “the next morning” as the Bible says, and Saul makes an oath to not kill David after all.

What friend has your back like that?

In the last 10 days, much of our attention has been focused on the atrocities in Paris…surely an example of evil

And yet powerful stories of friendship have emerged.

Like the story of Ludovic Boumbas, who was at a café to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

And when the gunmen started to open fire, he threw himself in front of his friend, Chloe Clement, taking a bullet for her, and saving her life. 

Who would take a bullet for you?

Or, let’s bring it down a little…

Who would stand up for you if false rumors were said about you?

Who would help you stand back up again when despair has gotten a hold of you?

I mentioned a few months ago, that I had been pretty bummed out about training for the Twin Cities Marathon for half a year and getting injured a few weeks before the race, and thus not being able to run.

I was feeling pretty down about it, but the night before the race, I still went out to eat with two of my best friends from college who were running the next morning.

The very two friends that I had planned to run with

And I gotta tell you, my heart really lifted…out of despair…when they said to me, “If you want to do this again next year…we’ll do it with you”

Who’s got your back?

So how do you cover this part of your back?

How do you have friends like this?

For one, If you’re not in one of House Groups yet, like 80% of our adults are, sign-up today…through the app…in the hallway.

We want to help cover your back!

These groups are powerful for a reason.

Because life is hard…and we need each other

I’ve heard some amazing stories just this week from our groups

Stories of groups gathering around to pray for a sick member

Even in my own life, as life feels chaotic from having 2 two-year olds, and now an infant, people from my House Group keep showing up at my door every other night…bringing over a meal to help.

Which a meal for a picky eater like me, is usually Culver’s to my doorstep.  J

But in a time where so many young families feel stressed, overwhelmed, and alone, which can quickly turn into anger, despair, and resentment… I don’t have to give into that sin.

Because my friends have my back.

Who’s got your back?  

And if you’re already in a house group…

Maybe for you, the friendship challenge is at a different level.

Maybe you need somebody to watch your back when you start turning into Saul instead of David

And sin starts convincing YOU to do things you’ve never done before?

Who’s going to stand up and say, “Hey…don’t go there!  It’ll hurt.  It’s going to be bad”

Do you have people like that?

If you don’t have someone like that in your life, maybe you need to give permission to someone to be that in your life.

That might be a start.




 Let’s read the next 3 verses:

 (1 Samuel 19:8-10) – NIV

8 Once more war broke out, and David went out and fought the Philistines. He struck them with such force that they fled before him. 9 But an evil spirit from the Lord came on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the lyre, 10 Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape.

And here we see perhps the most interesting twist in who has David’s back:  He has his own back too.

Does a friend have your back?

Do you have your own back?

See, Saul has already tried this “spear to the wall” trick in the previous chapter.

In other words, David is not messing around with evil here.

Yes, Saul supposedly made some “oath” to not kill David, and invited him back to the palace to play music for him…

…but you’ve got to believe that David is watching his lyre (harp) with one eye, and his other eye is always on Saul.

Because Saul wants to bring him down.

And David does not underestimate him.

He’s watching his back.

And as weird as it sounds to ask, “Do you have your own back?”, I think a lot of Christians don’t have their own back in their fight against sin and evil.

We constantly underestimate how much the devil wants to ruin our lives. 

We constantly underestimate how alluring sin is or how destructive it can be when unchecked.

We, in David’s position, would have the spear through our heart before we even thought about the possibility of Saul throwing it.

So how do you cover your own back here?


Don’t say:  “Nah, it’s totally fine, I can watch this sex scene in this movie…I don’t really have a problem with lust”

Don’t say: “It’s totally fine that you’ve been thinking about some other guy instead of your husband lately…it’s just daydreaming”

Don’t say: “It’s fine that I come to church less and less (or I only come when I’m on the schedule to serve).  I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about”

Sin has a Ph.D. in the art of the “slow fade”

It ruins your life so slowly that you never actually see it happening

That is, unless you, because you realize how serious it is, are constantly watching your back.

So watch your back.




Let’s keep reading

(1 Samuel 19:11-17) - NIV

11 Saul sent men to David’s house to watch it and to kill him in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, warned him, “If you don’t run for your life tonight, tomorrow you’ll be killed.” 12 So Michal let David down through a window, and he fled and escaped. 13 Then Michal took an idol and laid it on the bed, covering it with a garment and putting some goats’ hair at the head. 14 When Saul sent the men to capture David, Michal said, “He is ill.” 15 Then Saul sent the men back to see David and told them, “Bring him up to me in his bed so that I may kill him.” 16 But when the men entered, there was the idol in the bed, and at the head was some goats’ hair. 17 Saul said to Michal, “Why did you deceive me like this and send my enemy away so that he escaped?” Michal told him, “He said to me, ‘Let me get away. Why should I kill you?’”

And so David’s wife Michal has his back

 His wife, who ironically is also a child of Saul, saves David just like her brother Jonathan did from their father Saul.

And David starts to run.

Interestingly enough, this will begin a long journey (we’re talking years and years) of David being on the run from Saul

But thanks to his wife, he’s alive. 

So, let’s check in:  Who has your back?

Does a friend have your back?

Do you have your own back?

Does your spouse have your back?

That is, if you’re married.

You get to skip this one if you’re not married J

Do you let your spouse help you in your battle to serve God and fight off evil and sin?  

David does.

If he wouldn’t have listened to his wife, he’d be dead.

Now ladies, don’t hold that over your husbands too hard

Let me talk to the married people for a moment.

And more specifically to those of you that are both here and believers.

If your spouse is not a believer, that’s a hard thing, a different message, and I’m sure a ceaseless prayer of yours. 

But if you both are believers…do you battle together against sin?

Do you have each other’s backs?

Are you standing back to back, fighting for God against sin?

Or, has the devil turned you around and caused you to fight each other…sword to sword?

Because if he has, then you’re both exposed. 

The picture of a Godly marriage is back to back, fighting together.

So let’s break this down:

Let’s say one spouse notices that the other is slowly drifting from their usual state of contentment to what feels like a perpetual state of anger.

It just seems like they’re uptight, or irritable, and angry about everything lately.

Sin is creeping in and breaking them down…in a place where it previously wasn’t. 

You can go up to them and say, “Man, you’re angry all the time.  Stop it” 

And good luck with that. 

If you’re going to battle together, you first need to establish that you’re battling against sin…not each other.

Give each other permission, at the right times, to speak truth into each other’s lives.

Pray together.

When you’ve got their back, and you see something they don’t see yet…

Speak humbly and gently

If somebody’s telling me I’ve got a problem with something I don’t even see, chances are, I’m going to be defensive about it

But you can learn to trust each other.

You can learn to trust the vision that your spouse has behind your back.

I tell you what, every year, I think my wife gets wiser and wiser with her advice.

But the more I think about it, she probably has always been wise, I’m just getting better at actually letting her speak into my life.  

Or at least I’m silently considering it J

I’m starting to realize that when she brings something up to me, she’s doing so with her back to me (defending me), not with her sword pressed against me

So how do you cover your back here?

Agree, as a couple, that you’ll stand back to back NOT sword to sword.

And if you’re planning to get married or remarried someday, make it your #1 priority to marry a Godly person.

I already tell my two-year-old twins that someday when they grow up, they can be married too…married to someone who loves Jesus that is.

Beyond making a decision to follow Christ, making a decision to marry someone who loves Jesus is the 2nd most important commitment your kids will ever make.

A Godly spouse can be our most critical ally in our battle against sin.




So David flees his home, and let’s see what happens next…because Saul’s not done trying to murder him

(1 Samuel 19:18-24) – NIV 

18 When David had fled and made his escape, he went to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there.19 Word came to Saul: “David is in Naioth at Ramah”; 20 so he sent men to capture him. But when they saw a group of prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came on Saul’s men, and they also prophesied. 21 Saul was told about it, and he sent more men, and they prophesied too. Saul sent men a third time, and they also prophesied. 22 Finally, he himself left for Ramah and went to the great cistern at Seku. And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?” “Over in Naioth at Ramah,” they said. 23 So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth. 24 He stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This is why people say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

When things get really scary and really hard for David, he does the right thing, and he runs to get counsel from a Godly mentor.

He runs to go see, the now elderly, but great prophet and man of God…his mentor, Samuel.  

Another key person to have your back:

Does a friend have your back?

Do you have your own back?

Does your spouse have your back?

Does a mentor have your back?

Do you have someone in your life that can be a spiritual mentor for you?

Someone who’s just significantly more spiritually mature than you?          

I was telling a friend recently about someone who visits our church once in a while with his adult child who regularly attends here. 

And I said, “Whenever I’m around that guy, it’s clear to me that he just knows Jesus way better than I do.”

Those are the type of people you want watching your back.

Not just friends and a spouse…who tend to be on the same level as us.

See, because most of us, when life gets difficult, we end up just running to our “yes-men” or “yes-women”

We want people to hear about our problems in our marriage or at work and just nod their heads and agree with us (yes…your boss is an idiot)

But if someone is truly going to have our backs against sin and difficulties, you need someone on your team with telescopic vision.

Someone who can see behind you much farther and deeper than you can.

You need someone on you team who will be truly honest with you.

Someone who just sees the whole picture better than you can.

Is there a small group leader, a House Leader, a Godly person you know…that you need to ask to mentor you?

Maybe you meet once or twice a month for coffee…and just invite them to speak into your life?

To help cover part of your back that no one is covering right now.




And the last person we see having David’s back and saving him from death…is His God.

Does a friend have your back?

Do you have your own back?

Does your spouse have your back?

Does a mentor have your back?

Do you know God has your back?     

Saul sends his men to kill David (who’s with Samuel), and the spirit of God moves on them and they just start prophesying instead.

Which in this case, isn’t to tell the future, it’s just they probably started praising God without control of what they’re doing.

God just takes them over and stops them.

Saul sends another group to kill David…and the same thing happens

And another group…and the same thing happens

And then, Saul goes himself, but God does it to him too.

God is determined to protect David…and he intervenes to do so.

This has been a major theme we’ve seen in David’s young life already:  God fights for him. 

God wants to fight for you.

That doesn’t mean He’s some genie in the bottle that you invoke to get whatever you want.

But it does mean, as you face real challenges against the pull of sin and evil, that God wants to fight with you.

He wants to hold off sin…he wants to have your back?

The question is:  Will you run at Him? 

Will you invite him in?

Will you let him have your back?

Do you understand how deeply God wants to fight for you?

That if you were to succumb backwards into allurement of sin, that if you just asked him to come back in, he would “have your back” and fight for you?

A number of years ago, I came across a video that has always stuck with me, and ministered to me regarding this point, and I want to show it to you as I close my message.

I pray that this visual is helpful to you


Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN

You may use this material all you like! We only ask that you do not charge a fee and that you quote the source and not say it is your own.

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