Hebrews 11 looks at Gods list of departed persons. Interestingly enough, included in the list are such unlikely candidates as a boat-builder (Noah), a well digger (Isaac), a redeemed prostitute (Rahab). God looks at people differently than we do.
One of my all time favorite hero s is David. An old woodsman said: A tree is best measured when it is down. During this series of five sermons, We will examine David on high peaks and in deep valleys. David is the only character in the Bible called a person after God s own heart. David will be in heaven, despite his imperfections.
David grew up in the time of Samuel. Samuel was the last judge. After the failure of Eli and then Samuel, the Israelites begged for a KING . They wanted to be like their peers....the Philistines, the and Canaanites. Folks would ask: Who is your king? God. Where does He live? In Heaven. The Israelites wanted a visible king with a local address. So God gave them a man. Tall dark and handsome!
I Samuel 9:2 - ... Saul, an impressive young man without equal among the Israelites--a head taller than any of the others.
Saul had an impressive exterior. But God does not judge strength by observing the lacquer on the surface. Saul was a full foot taller than anybody on the outside but his little soul rattled around inside.
Eventually king Saul overcame the ways of a youngster and become a great leader. Saul started out great, but fizzled in mid life. So many Bible characters made a great start but ended total failures. When Saul was 50 years old, David was born.
Middle age should be the time for a mid-course correction...for self examination. For taking stock and getting our bearings. Most everybody ought to be reconverted at age forty. Our spiritual Zealousness of the days of yesteryear gets stale if it is not constantly replenished.
Saul s success erased his humble spirit. Pride and selfishness took over. When you begin making big money and get big promotions, watch out. It could happen to anybody. Jeremiah 17:9 - The heart is more deceitful than all else and desperately wicked
Saul s high point was at the beginning of his reign. After that, It all went downhill. A good beginning never guarantees a good ending. God had to reject Saul. A new King must be found.
Fortunately God is in Charge. He sets up kings and kingdoms. God knows the end from way back at the beginning. Our heavenly Father had today in mind when He created the world. Your life is in His hand. Relax. Trust in God when the future looks dark. Trust in God when you face a crisis. God always has a plan up His sleeve. Look:
1 Samuel 16:1 The Lord said to Samuel, How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king. "
Note the verbs: FILL and GO! Sounds like a gas station. Samuel can't pass on an unlit torch. Oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit. He set out with a full cup to pass on to the new king.
THE PROBLEM: Verse 2: - But Samuel said, "How can I go? Saul will hear about it and kill me." Saul was plotting to kill the old prophet. Ever since Samuel had pronounced God s judgment on Saul (1 Sam. 13:14) Saul had turned sour. Since Saul couldn't directly attack God, he lashed out at God s spokesman. Samuel was paralyzed with fear. This foreboding caused the poor old prophet to avoid Saul from that moment until the day of his death - (1 Sam. 15:35).
1 Sam. 16:2 - The LORD said, Take a heifer with you and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.'
Was that the truth? The full, complete truth and nothing but the truth so help him God? Was it? No.
Is God suggesting a prevarication? Let s say you come home and see your little girl with a cookie crumb on her face. You ask: did you eat a cookie? She says: I drank a glass of milk. Did she tell the truth? Yes but the whole truth was that she had milk and cookies!
God was providing a protective cover for Samuel, His vulnerable leader, while at the same time provide the means by which a new king could be anointed.
1 Sam. 16:3 - Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate."
1 Sam. 16:4 - Samuel did what the LORD said. What a statement for Christians today. No hesitation and no excuses.
1 Sam. 16:6 - When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, Surely the Lord's anointed stands here before the LORD.
Eliab looked good. The new person would not be judged by his height or his looks. There would be one great qualification: A man whose heart was after God s own heart. He was undoubtedly the tallest of the seven sons of Jesse. Eureka! No. Wrong!
1 Sam. 16:7 - But the LORD said to Samuel, Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
God was looking for a man with a great character. God isn't interested in the magnitude of a persons stature, but in the measurement of his heart.
I Corinthians 1:26-29 - ....think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
When you set out to find a wife or husband be careful that the luster of the lacquer does not blind you from seeing the true qualities of the person. External appearances do not make a marriage last. Try to look upon the heart. A mate who has a special place in her heart for God will also have a special place for you.
You Academy students, select your friends very carefully. If you hang around with F students you will have a difficult time getting on the honor roll. Paul said: Do not be bound together with unbelievers. Choose people of integrity to be your close friends.
God looks on the heart. We don't do that today. We focus on externals. Look at the cover of a magazine at almost any grocery store checkout and you will see a pretty, attractive face looking at you. Society wants attractive intelligent leaders. Politicians are elected because they look good on TV. Of course we should look the best we can but true worth is not determined by skin.
It is interesting to me that Jesse had 8 sons and 2 daughters and the girls were not considered. Personally I think a good Queen is just as beneficial as a good king. I believe that we must strive for equal rights for any who are qualified regardless of their extraction.
Samuel interviewed all the young men who were present but none were acceptable.
1 Sam. 16:10,11 - Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, The LORD has not chosen these. So he asked Jesse, Are these all the sons you have? There is still the youngest, Jesse answered, but he is tending the sheep. "
David was out humbly doing his duty. With seven older brothers, he never thought about being first in anything. Human wisdom would give him about as much chance of being chosen king as the third monkey on the ramp going into Noah s ark.
Continuing with verse 11 - Samuel said, Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives."
Jesse was not the best father. He showed partiality among his sons. David was not even there! Many parents make the same mistake. He did not treat his children equally.
Yet he was God's first choice. God takes nobodies and makes them into somebodies. God had done His homework. Secretly the stealthful heavenly sentinels had observed David as he watched the sheep. They took note of his tenderness, his care, his attitude, and his faithfulness in little things.
God watches how you do your assignments, He notes the honesty of your reports, your kindness to strangers, and your behavior when nobody is watching. These things build spiritual strength. God's promotions come as swift as a Southern tornado. Do the job at hand and do it well. God has His eye on you to bless you.
Psalm 78:70 - "He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens;"
God is watching you. God wants to use you. He is not looking at your assets, or your impressive list of accomplishments. God is looking at your heart.
Verse 12. - "So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, 'Rise and anoint him; he is the one.'"
David was 16 or 17 years old. A handsome youth. He had RED HAIR! I like that! When I was a teenager my hair was red. I can relate to David. David's skin was bronzed from exposure to the sun and wind.
David must have been startled when an old man took a flask of oil and started pouring it out on his head. That morning had started out like any other. But David's whole life was about to change. God chose a little shepherd boy who was going to be the king. The only problem was that another person sat on the throne...... Saul! And Saul would continue to wear the crown for years and years. David did not know it, but Saul was his tutor; appointed by God. Between the sheep and the scepter, Saul would be David's trainer.
Has God commissioned a Saul for your benefit? Someone that aggravates you, hounds you. A nuisance and source of major trouble. Is there someone like that in your life? Just perhaps that person is a part of God's master plan. David couldn't have been a great King without Saul to pester him.
David had been faithful in small things and now God was willing to trust him with great things. God chose a boy! God looked at David and saw a youth with a believing heart. He was thankful, truthful, open, humble, willing, and faithful. All the interior qualities of a king.
Are you a person after God's own heart? Jesus died to save those who seek Him with all their heart.
Next week: David and the Midget! Opening Hymn: 341 "To God be the Glory" Scripture: Psalm 41:1-4 Closing Hymn: 516 "All the Way" 980418gettys #439
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last updated 5/10/98 by Bob Beckett.