Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Story of God: David

King Saul could no longer be trusted to lead God's people in the right direction.  God spoke to His prophet, Samuel, and instructed him to select a new king.  God would show him the right person.

Samuel traveled to Bethlehem.  There, he planned a worship service and invited the family of a man named Jesse. When Samuel saw Eliab, Jesse's oldest son, he thought, “He’s the one.”

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 people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  1 Samuel 16:7

Then, one by one, Jesse called his sons to stand in front of Samuel.  But each time, God said, “Nope.”  Samuel asked Jesse, “Is this all ?”  Jesse said, ‘No.  My youngest is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him.”  When he got there, Samuel noticed that he was a strong, handsome guy.  But he was too young and too unqualified.

Then the Lord said to Samuel, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” So Samuel took the oil and anointed him in front of his brothers. From that day on the Holy Spirit was powerfully on him.

What does it mean to have a heart like God's heart?

It means I will actually do the right thing; not just look the part

Saul looked the part.  He was tall, dark, and handsome.  He was an accomplished leader and warrior.  He was seasoned and respected.  But at times he lacked the self control and willingness to simply obey.

David tended sheep, wrote songs, and played the harp.  Seriously.  Those were his credentials.
He was an unqualified and unlikely king.  But God values integrity over image.

It means I will live by faith; not just follow a religion.

Saul had overstepped his boundaries.  He sacrificed when he was supposed to wait.  He took the spoils of war when he was supposed to walk away.  For Saul, spirituality was about doing religious things.  He never quite got the heart behind it.

David quietly did the right thing…one decision at a time.  He faithfully executed the duties he had.  Nothing spectacular.  Nothing overtly religious.  He just lived by faith.

People applaud religion.  No one applauds faith.  Do I want people to celebrate my religious acts or do I want God to notice my acts of faith?

It means I look to champion God's Name; not my own.

There are two seemingly conflicting moments in David's story.

At one point, he is stepping up and cutting down the Philistine enemy Goliath.  At another point, David had an opportunity to defeat the king who was on his thrown and was hunting him down.  Yet in that moment, he spared his enemy's life.

What was the difference?  Goliath threatened God's people and defied God's Name.  King Saul threatened David and David's name.  One was about God's honor.  The other was about David's reputation.

It means I want to live in freedom; not just receive a pardon.

Saul's primary concern, when it came to the spiritual side of life, was making sure God was on his side.  He wanted to make sure that he was in right standing with God.  He wanted God's favor but was not willing to be faithful.

David's primary concern was seeking better ways to live for God.  He wanted to know God more deeply.  He was obsessed with obedience.  David knew that freedom was found in walking with God; not just being forgiven by God.

God knew how David’s story would unfold. After all that running, persevering, waiting, praying, losing, winning, crying, and singing, David messed up.  He story would include lust.  Adultery.  Conspiracy.  Murder.

So why choose him?

David was chosen because underneath it all He had a simple desire to live for God.

He lived.  He loved.  He lost.  He paid a heavy price for his struggles.

But one thousand years later, in Bethlehem, the City of David, out of the family tree of David, a Savior was born.

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