David, a man after the Heart of God.
Our Bible readings today have been entirely in the old testament book of 1st Samuel, in the 16th and 17th chapters, because in
the moments left to me now I want to examine the Life of David, the Shepherd boy, who became the greatest King that Israel has ever known, and whose humble heart and simple faith qualified him for a position and place of excellence that only God could have prepared for him. Today we will see how he was
Appointed for the Throne
Anointed for the Task
And Armed for the Triumph.
So then let us look at this young man and consider in the first place how and why he was
Appointed for the Throne
It was never the intention of God for Israel to have a king! God wanted that role himself – to be their lover, their leader, their lord, their liberator, their very life. God wanted to live and love amongst them, so that order and not chaos would reign. However human nature is human nature, and even way back then, self was raising its ugly head, and for a variety of reasons God allowed his people to have a King, and Saul (the son of Kish) who was head and shoulders above all the other men of Israel, became the first King of Israel, and you can read all about it for yourself in 1 Samuel, Chapter 10, verses 17-24.
But by the time we reach the 16th chapter, Samuel the prophet was grieving over Saul’s disobedience, and the fact that the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and at the end of the 15th chapter we read that God was also grieving over having made Saul King in the first place. Saul had shown that his heart was in pleasing the people not in pleasing God!
Sadly and unfortunately there are many like Saul in the Church today, who are people pleasers! If we are to truly follow Jesus Christ, and walk in love and obedience to His revealed will, then we must learn not to be constantly looking over our shoulder to see who, if any are following us, or cheering us on. Even if no-one supports or partners with us, we must press on, alone if need be, to do the Fathers will. So following Saul’s disobedience and errors, God reveals that he had eyed David, the youngest Son of Jesse the Bethlehemite. Here was a teen-ager who was just a shepherd boy looking after his fathers sheep on the hillsides outside Bethlehem – yet he had a heart for God, a heart bent on pleasing God, loving God, serving God, and walking with God. David was not looking for the applause of people, he wanted the “well-done” of God! It is clear to me that God was pleased and impressed by what he saw in David, and saw potential in David’s life. If you are familiar with David’s many Psalms or Poems, you will know how he was thinking, how that even in his youth he had grasped the secrets of trust and faith in God. So with all this in mind, we see the kind of environment into which David was appointed for the Throne!
In Chapter 16 God instructs Samuel the prophet to go to Bethlehem to the house of Jesse, for there he says “I have appointed or provided for Myself a King amongst his sons” v1. Notice the way God puts this to Samuel, he says “I have provided for myself a King”! or “I have myself provided a King” These words are very significant, and underscore the responsibility that all who are placed in authority have under God. It was not the people that appointed David, but God appointed David. Sadly there are many people appointed and even self-appointed leaders in positions of authority today, and God didn’t put them there, and because of that God may not keep them there!
If God has not appointed you, you would be better to go home, for it is only the call of God, the gifts of God and as we shall see later on, the anointing of God …. that keeps a Man or Woman in the Ministry that God has for them.
So Samuel does what God requires, that is always the best way, and he heads off to Jesse at Bethlehem. After the preliminaries are out of the way, Jesse lines up all of his sons before Samuel. v6
First there came in the Eldest, Eliab – and as soon as Samuel saw him he thought “Surely the Lords anointed is before me“ this one had to be Gods choice. A fine big strapping fellow, broad shouldered, built like a tank as we say, but even a man of God can be fooled by appearances. God warns Samuel, its not him, “Man looks on the outward appearance but God Looks on the Heart”v7 Then Abinadab, and Shammah, and all the others are paraded before Samuel one by one, but God says “I have not chosen these” So the bewildered prophet Samuel asks Jesse, … are all your sons here?
You see I recon that young David, still only in his teens at this time, was not considered worthy or man enough even to be called in from the fields for this event. Many a young Man or Woman has had their gifts and talents overlooked and even ignored by the Church for selfish or jealous reasons, and what God gifted to his Church was never appreciated or acknowledged, and the blessing lost in the result.
Jesse replies: “There remains the youngest, David, but he is not here – he is still in the fields, tending to the sheep,” It seems to me that even to send now and fetch him was something of an inconvenience, it could serve no useful purpose to call him in, surely God wouldn’t make him king? Dear friend, God chooses the weak and foolish of this world to confound the strong and mighty. God usually has his hand on the most unexpected, the most inconspicuous, the most unlikely candidate, and if God said “King he would be” then King he would be! There is nothing or no-one bigger than God, and nothing or no-one beats God.
So David is called and as soon as he walks in, the Lord says to Samuel, (quick as a flash) …. “arise and anoint Him” that’s the one! v12
To the astonishment of his father and his family, the one they had all rejected was the one God had chosen! If you are feeling somewhat rejected today, then fear not, God hasn’t rejected you.
This brings me to the second point, that David was
Anointed for the Task
This Old Testament principle of the “anointing” was the means by which God gave the enabling and empowering of the Holy Spirit – long before the outpouring of the “Holy Spirit” en mass in the book
of Acts! To all who received it, the anointing meant that they were receiving an enabling for a specific task. It was evidently clear to David’s father and family that he was unequal and unable for the job, that is why they hadn’t even brought him in from the fields to meet Samuel, but now he was to be “anointed” or empowered for it, and that (they would all discover) would make all the difference!
Jesus himself had to have this anointing, this empowering of the Spirit, this is why he could rise in the Synagogue in Luke 4.18 to read
From Isaiah 61 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because he has anointed me to Preach good tidings…” and of course we know that this happened at his Baptism – recorded in Matthew 3.17.
In 1 Samuel 16,v13 we read that the “Spirit came mightily upon David from that moment onwards.” He was anointed for the task! Of course he was anointed in advance, and that kind of anointing can often be the most challenging and difficult to live with. God often anoints men and women in their studies or student days and many have to wait some time before that anointing comes into effect. David was only a teen-ager and would have to wait some time before he could sit on the “throne”. But what a beautiful illustration this is for the youth of today. My dear young friend God can take you too from your teens to a throne! Why, because he is God, and if you have a heart for God, it is very likely that one day you will reign with him. God promises all his children that if they surrender their lives to his control, he will fill or empower them for service. There is all the difference in the world between those who are “anointed” and those who are not!
Let me illustrate this if I may. I believe that God anoints or enables his children in many and differing areas of their lives, – the anointing is not just for ministry. If God has anointed you for that Marriage you are planning, then you can be absolutely sure that together you will know his enabling and strength to win in every family crisis and difficulty.
If God has anointed you for that Business venture, then everything you do will prosper, and your results and profits will be above and beyond your expectations, because God is in it! There is a supernatural anointing (a favour) on you to succeed. Of course this success is not just that you may benefit, but that you may become a blessing through the benefit!
We all need the anointing we need God to carry the load with us. Our motives may be pure, our efforts may be sincere, and our work may be tireless, but unless God anoints us for it and in it, then it will be like a yoke on a mule, a heavy labour and a weariness to the flesh. It is the anointing that destroys or breaks off the yoke or burden of service, Isaiah.10.28. When we are anointed – instead of our work being a burden it becomes a blessing. Its what I call a “no sweat” blessing!
Without the anointing, all our work and effort is in the flesh
and there is no profit in the flesh. Churches are empty, Music and Worship is dry and lifeless, Preaching is irrelevant, and no-one is challenged, changed or converted, because the Holy Spirit has not been Sought, the Holy Scriptures have not been Taught, and the Holy Fire has not been Caught! If Jesus himself needed a spiritual, a special anointing for the tasks that lay before him, how much more do you and I? Without that anointing many are enduring instead of enjoying service. Every Sunday, I make sure I have my music, my scripts, my auto-cue, my scriptures and my sermons before me, but above all I make sure that I have asked the Lord for his anointing.
Let me share a story …A while ago I met a man who I had not seen for more than seven years. His first words to me were “I remember what you preached on David, the last time you were in our Church”. I didn’t remember, but when I checked back in my records, he’d got it right. Was it because I was the most interesting preacher ever to grace that pulpit? No! Was it because my topic was inspiring and innovative? No! Was it because of a special event or anniversary?
No …It was because under the anointing of the Holy Spirit,
Gods word found a root in the good soil of his heart.
All my life, (and I am preaching since I was 17 ) I have rarely used notes of any kind, save what I had noted in the fly leaves of my Bible. Of course I have prepared my Sermons with great care and accuracy endeavouring where possible to represent God as I ought. (And you should know that preparation for Radio and Television is different and scripts must be timed to within a few seconds so that a program will flow easily and without long pauses, so today’s service and sermon is scripted and auto-cued in its entirety in front of me.)
Now in ordinary everyday conversation I invariably forget what I was saying, and sometimes I lose the threads of conversations. Under the anointing, and without notes, this never happens when I am preaching, and the Holy Spirit will bring to my lips not only the things I have prepared, but many times he will prompt me with things I didn’t plan to share, and Scriptures that were buried deep in the recesses of my memory suddenly spring to mind. This means that the anointing blesses me as well as others! This means that when the challenge comes to preach or teach, to stand before strangers or scoffers, I am unafraid, for the anointing on my life is for this very purpose!
The anointing is available not only for the preacher but for all who minister in the Church. I well remember the anointed ministry of the late Edith Martin, who served for many years as Organist in my home Church where I grew up at Bessbrook, in South Armagh. This godly woman would not have laid claim to any great Musical Ability, she was too shy to exalt herself, but she was well able to sight read any score and tackle any Pipe Organ. But there was something in her “touch” that was anointed, that would add to the music she played? Way beyond the melody, the lyrics or harmonies, there was another sound, that only she could produce, a sound that transported you
into another Spiritual dimension. Without doubt, her ministry was anointed! As I’ve said; – there is all the difference in the world between Preaching and Anointed Preaching, between instrument playing and anointed playing, between singing and anointed singing and between Kings and anointed Kings. Although David was anointed in advance for the Throne and the Kingly responsibilities that he would eventually assume, he nevertheless became acutely aware of the challenges that that anointing brought into his life while he was waiting on his coronation day!
This leads me to my third point, not only was he appointed for the Throne, and anointed for the Task, but he was …
Armed for the Triumph.
In 1 Sam 17 from verse 32 onwards we have the well known story of David’s encounter with Goliath, the giant of Gath. (We read it earlier in the service.) David was sent down to the battle field taking provisions for his brothers who were in the army. Every day the Philistines (the opposition or enemy) paraded their Champion warrior Goliath, a giant of a man, head and shoulders above them all, even bigger than King Saul! (who we learned earlier was chosen for his height). Daily this giant would taunt the armies of Israel, and there wasn‘t a man among them, including David‘s brothers who were brave enough or had courage enough to face him, and preserve the good name of Israel.
But remember David had a heart for God, and for the people of God, and David had an anointing on his life, a Kingly anointing. What I am trying to say is that David was Armed for the Triumph in a way that no other man on that battle field was armed. David’s confidence was not in the conventional weaponry of a sword or shield, not even in his ability with a sling-shot, but David’s confidence was in a name, in the name of the Lord. David was armed within, not without, that is why he refused to wear the armour that Saul offered him. David’s armour was invisible, that’s why this boy could march in to the Kings tent and announce with a fearless courage “I’ll go” when there was no-one else willing to go!
Verse 48 tells us that David ran to the front line, God had put a spring in his step and a song in his heart and I can almost hear him singing “yea thou I walk thru the valley of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil, for thou art with me” Psalm 23. David was not praying for victory, not praying for success, not praying for triumph, he was already victorious, successful and triumphant. Faith calls the things that are not as though they were. David was a man of Faith, and a man of God, a man of Vision, and a man Anointed! That is why he confidently told the giant that he would feed his carcass to the fouls of the air that very day v46. David’s vision, not his optical vision, but his spiritual vision had allowed him to see the imminent ruin of the Philistines, and the coming victory to Israel and the army of God.
Do you have a similar vision, and a similar confidence in the name of the Lord Jesus. He can be your victory, he can be your success, your
triumph, and you don’t have to ask or pray for it, its already yours
if you have trusted and taken him as your Saviour and friend.
With a single sling-shot, the giant was dead, the enemy was broken, the victory was reality! The boy was a king in the making, the courage, the fearlessness, the strength, the determination, the simplicity and sincerity, were the God-given qualities that would make David the greatest King in Israel’s History and a King that would never ever be forgotten. Jesus himself acknowledged that he would one day sit on the Throne of David, and was of the house and lineage of David, born in Royal David’s city. What a memorial!
What an example of victorious Christian living David is. Like him, there may be giants in your life, but unlike David you may feel powerless and helpless to deal with them. Maybe this is because you don’t really have a living relationship with your Father in Heaven, like David did? It was that living loving relationship with God that gave David courage and strength to face and fight the giants in his life. Goliath was not the only Giant that David faced. If you read his life story you will discover that David wrestled with other giants, … jealousy, anger, lust, guilt, a lying tongue, in fact just the same kind of giants that you and I wrestle with every day. But David learned that victory and triumph could always be his as long as his confidence remained in God, and not in himself or his friends.
Although David had written that God expects “Clean Hands and a Pure Heart” Psalm 24.4. ….. there were times in his life when his hands were not clean, and his heart was not pure! This brings me some encouragement in my own walk with God. It reminds me that none of us can be without the temptation to sin in one form or other, left to ourselves. Every one of you listening me today, have a personal Giant that is fighting for your faith every hour! It may be a secret giant, an invisible giant, a unrecognisable giant, a persistent giant, a relentless giant, – it may even be a friendly giant, – but it will destroy you unless your fight with it is from the place of Advantage in Christ.
There can be no disadvantage to the Child of God.
The Hymn writer put it “the arm of flesh will fail you, you dare not trust your own” – for he realized that in and of ourselves we are powerless to defeat sin in our lives. Thank God there is “power, power, wonder working power, in the precious blood of the lamb”.
In the name and power of Jesus we have already gotten the victory!
Now this final word
Are you feeling defeated today and are there Giants knocking down your door? Do you feel powerless and helpless in the fight against these enemies? Do you need help and hope for tomorrow and the future? Do you long for a power greater than yourself to take over, and release you from the burdens of life? Do you wish that someone could step in and sort the problems for you? If the answer to these questions is YES, then I have good news for you! There is someone, who can help, he is in fact waiting for you to allow him to help.
His name is Jesus, the lover of your Soul. He will not “break in” to your life and your situation without an invitation. He never invades our privacy. Today he is reaching out to you in Love, all you have to do is reach out to him by faith and say God forgive me, Jesus help me, Save me, make me your child, walk with me and hold on to me to the end. He promises that if you come to him like that,
I guarantee it, He will not reject you.
God Bless You AMEN