February 4, 2021
David: Lessons Before He Became King (2 parts)
David: Lessons Before He Became King (2 parts)
On January 24, 2021, Pastor Eric relayed the story of David, how God chose him to be the next king and how He helped him defeat Goliath.
What happened before David became king?
Read 1 Samuel 17:8-10
The Philistines, aggressive and warmongering people, had gathered their armies together to fight the Israelites. Goliath, their champion and a giant who stood over nine feet (2.7 metres) tall, was a warrior who was significantly taller than David. Goliath was huge and his armour weighed 125 pounds (57 kilograms)! Imagine how much he weighed with his heavy gear: He had a brass helmet, a brass coat, a brass chest protector and plates of brass on his legs. He also carried a sword and two spears. Goliath challenged the Israelites daily for 40 days. He defied them to send out a champion of their own to fight him in single combat. He said, “If you have a man in your army who is able to fight me and defeat me, we’ll be your servants. If I can beat him, then you’ll be our servants.” In other words, the loser’s people would become the slaves of the winner’s people. When Saul and the Israelites heard Goliath’s words, they were frightened. Saul tried to arm David, but David discarded Saul’s armour because it was a hindrance to him. Instead, he went forth armed with 5 smooth stones, a sling, a staff, and the power of the living God. Saul didn’t have faith in God, so he suggested the old-fashioned method of warfare, but David trusted the Lord and God rewarded his faith.
Read 1 Samuel 16:1, 6-13
In 1 Samuel 16, we learn that God rejected Saul, the king of Israel. Consequently, He sent a prophet named Samuel to Jesse who lived in Bethlehem because he had chosen one of his sons to be king. Jesse had eight sons. Eliab, the first-born, passed before Samuel and Samuel was immediately impressed by his physical appearance. He appeared to be God’s mighty warrior, but God had not chosen him. Jesse called his six other sons one by one, but they weren’t quite right for the job either. Then Samuel asked Jesse if he had any other sons. Jesse answered “There is still the youngest, but he is out taking care of the sheep.” “Tell him to come here,” Samuel said. So Jesse sent for him. David was a handsome and healthy young man. The Lord said to Samuel, “This is the one – anoint him!” David was a man after God’s own heart. David trusted God no matter the odds. God’s choice fell on David, because his life was in harmony with His.
God surprised everyone when He picked 17-year-old David to be the next king of Israel. He would have been the last one chosen for anything important by man’s standards. Yet, God specifically chose David to be king and to defeat Goliath, the mighty warrior, with a slingshot and one smooth stone.
God doesn’t choose like man chooses.
David’s own family didn’t choose him. They left him out in the field watching the sheep, because they believed there was so little chance of him being king. That is how his family saw him, but God saw him differently.
No one is a perfect specimen with a picture-perfect past. God wants to redeem our weaknesses and use them for His purposes. Are you feeling rejected or unwanted because of what someone said to you? Rejoice! The opinions of others don’t matter! God does not look at the outward appearance. He looks at the heart. God knows who we truly are and His strength is our power. John Wooden once said, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are…the true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” With the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we become capable of doing things we could never do on our own.
What is of little importance to us may be of great importance to God.
Jesse and his sons thought what David was doing was of little significance. They believed he was a worthless nobody who would not amount to much in life. They failed to see, however, that God was training him. David had been anointed king at the age of 17, but only sat on the throne 13 years later, at the age of 30. Little did David know that it would be many long years before he would sit on the throne and that his path to kingship would be long and arduous. It was during those challenging years that David learned the ropes: He not only learned how to fight lions and bears, he also learned how to love his enemies, honour authority and submit to the Lord.
David defeating Goliath with a slingshot and one smooth stone was nothing short of amazing. A single shot was all it took. David was much smaller than Goliath physically, but due to David’s unwavering faith in the Lord, he was unconquerable.
Read 1 Samuel 17:37
When we look at the life of David, there are many things we can put to use in our own lives to sustain us during our own times of suffering. When we see the end result of God’s work, we see that our pain and grief is never wasted. This was an important training and testing time for David: he learned how to fight wild beasts and to prepare himself for his epic battle with a mighty Philistine.
Just like David, we need to allow God to shape our character; otherwise, we will have the same reaction Saul and the Israelite army had when they saw Goliath.
God can turn insignificant people into mighty warriors
David was relatively unarmed, accompanied only by a shepherd’s staff, a slingshot, and five smooth stones, almost the toys of a child, and yet God used them to defeat the giant.
Read 1 Samuel 17:40-48
David fought Goliath with weapons others considered weak and unimportant. David not only had faith in the Lord; he also trusted Him in this difficult and challenging situation. This should encourage each and every one of us. Some of us know that God has a great plan for us, but there are times when we are overwhelmed by our problems. We feel small and weak. God can help us conquer those battles that seem unsurmountable. The Lord strengthens those who trust in Him. With true faith in God the impossible becomes possible.
Watch sermon here:
Part 1: January 24th, 2021
Part 2: January 31st, 2021
On January 31, 2021, Pastor Eric shared the conclusion of his 2-part series on the life of David, before he was anointed the Second King of Israel.
David authored 73 psalms which are also known as The Sweetest Poetry of Israel. The Psalms, hymns of praise to the Almighty God, illuminate who God is and what He has done. The hymns were often set to music. David’s psalms comforted King Saul and influenced his nation.
In the gospels of Matthew and Luke, Jesus is called the son of David. Joseph, Jesus’ adoptive father and son of David, gave Jesus his name and accepted him as his son, adopting him into his family line. This reminds us of the promises God made to David; namely, King David’s descendants would have an eternal hold on the throne of Israel. In other words, God promised David an everlasting throne.
David gave the Lord the credit for his success. David went from taking care of his father’s flock to leading an entire nation. It would have been easy for David to take credit for his rise in status. But we don’t hear David boasting about his success. Rather, he continually referred to himself as a servant.
Read 1 Samuel 16:14-19
God desired to remain king of the Jews, but the people of Israel, who began doubting God’s provision, began asking for an earthly ruler. They longed for their own king. They started looking at the Philistines, Ammonites and Moabites to see how they wanted to live. God didn’t want them to live like the rest of the world, but since they insisted on getting their own way, God gave them Saul. Eventually, Saul stopped following the Lord and failed to carry out His commands. God then rejected him and withdrew His Spirit from Saul and an evil spirit tormented him.
Saul asked his servants to find someone who played the harp well and to bring this person to him. One of his servants recommended David since he was musically inclined and because the Lord was with him.
David was a poet and musician, skilled at playing the harp, singing, and composing songs. He often sang to the sheep to keep them calm. His soothing music also helped Saul, whose spirit was troubling him.
After Saul proved to be a great failure, the Lord came to Samuel and instructed him to anoint David who would replace him. Samuel obeyed the Lord and anointed David King of Israel, but honour did not spoil him. Some time later, Saul sent for David and found him once again shepherding the sheep.
Read 1 Samuel 17:14-15
David modeled humility. Though he was officially working for Saul, he went back and forth to Bethlehem to help care for his father’s sheep.
Read Philippians 2:7-8
Jesus also modeled humility: He looked to the needs of others before His own and became a slave, sacrificing Himself on a cross to save us from our sins.
Read 2 Corinthians 8:9
Jesus demonstrated humility by willingly becoming poor so the Corinthian Christians could become rich forever. And His act of washing the disciples’ feet proved He was humble and submissive. If our Lord was and remains humble, how much more should we, his church, also practice humility?
David teaches us that:
We are not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought.
Read Romans 12:3
God has work for each of us to do. An inflated view of ourselves will only interfere with the powerful things God intends to do for us and through us.
We are to treat the needs of others as more important than our own.
Read Philippians 2:3
By putting the needs of others before our own, we pursue the kind of humility that leads to compassion, understanding, and unity.
We are to pray behind closed doors.
Read 2 Chronicles 7:14
We need to pray in a quiet place where we can be alone with God and spend quality time with Him. How can we pray freely and openly with the Lord and stay focused in the midst of distractions? Having a secret meeting place with God allows us to commune with Him uninterrupted, which is essential for meaningful prayer.
We are to trust God’s timing
Read 1 Samuel 24:1-7
David exemplified patience and submission to the Lord. He waited on God and refused to take Saul’s life. He was not going to do so. He knew that God had appointed Saul King and he waited for God to remove him. David exemplified successfully waiting upon the Lord and His timing to accomplish His will. God’s ways and timing are not the same as ours. He answers our prayers in the way He determines best.
We need to respect God’s way of doing things and submit to His authority. David waited 13 years to become king. We too must exercise patience when we wait for the Lord to act. Those who wait patiently on the Lord do not lose heart in their prayers.
Watch part 2 here: