WOL Newsletter 167: Picture of a Child (David Part 1)
November 22, 2015
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Edited by Stacie Thomas

Maybe it’s because the holidays are approaching; maybe it’s because I watched a friend bury a loved one; maybe it’s because I’m getting older; or maybe it’s just because I’m a sap… but I can’t begin to describe how overjoyed (and quite relieved) that I have Jesus by my side; forever and always. I am so brokenhearted for those that don’t know Him; and even for those that do, but don’t fully experience (and take advantage of) the relationship He has to offer. David got it. I’m trying; though I’m not sure I’ll ever fully understand His Love (we’re just not capable as humans); but I pray that I learn to trust Him and love Him with all that I am capable of; just as did David. Our women’s bible study just finished a six-week course on David. It was amazing! (and if you’re not involved in a bible study, especially ours at church- I highly suggest you find one- it’s such encouragement); and now to have Doug follow it up with this series… I’m sure you’ve heard most of the stories about David; you know he was a lowly shepherd; you know he beat a giant with a slingshot; you know he became king; you know he wrote many of the psalms; you know Jesus descended from his lineage… and you know he was a liar, an adulterer, a murderer, a horrible father and (quite honestly) a lunatic (at times)…but, and here’s the but: he was never too ‘nothing’ for God. There is so much hope in what we can learn from David; which gives so much hope to us! David loved God with as much as he had to love. (Do you?) With every blessing God granted him, David remained humble. (Do you?) With each sin he committed, David repented and trusted God with his punishment. (Do you?) David, while he found sin throughout his life, sought God with his life. (Do you?) David recognized he was no one and nothing without God. (Do you?)
(I just want to point out (again) that this is another sermon ‘reminder’ that our pride is killing us. This world is not about us. We have got to get over ourselves.) Take it from David, and ask yourself: “Who Am I?”…
How fitting is it, that this is David’s Prayer of Thanksgiving… (2 Samuel 7:18-29, 1 Chronicles 17:16-27)
18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and prayed, “Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 19 And now, Sovereign Lord, in addition to everything else, you speak of giving your servant a lasting dynasty! Do you deal with everyone this way, O Sovereign Lord?20 “What more can I say to you? You know what your servant is really like, Sovereign Lord.21 Because of your promise and according to your will, you have done all these great things and have made them known to your servant.22 “How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you! 23 What other nation on earth is like your people Israel? What other nation, O God, have you redeemed from slavery to be your own people? You made a great name for yourself when you redeemed your people from Egypt. You performed awesome miracles and drove out the nations and gods that stood in their way.24 You made Israel your very own people forever, and you, O Lord, became their God.25 “And now, O Lord God, I am your servant; do as you have promised concerning me and my family. Confirm it as a promise that will last forever. 26 And may your name be honored forever so that everyone will say, ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is God over Israel!’ And may the house of your servant David continue before you forever.27 “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, God of Israel, I have been bold enough to pray this prayer to you because you have revealed all this to your servant, saying, ‘I will build a house for you—a dynasty of kings!’ 28 For you are God, O Sovereign Lord. Your words are truth, and you have promised these good things to your servant. 29 And now, may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you have spoken, and when you grant a blessing to your servant, O Sovereign Lord, it is an eternal blessing!”
On this Thanksgiving holiday, won’t you give a prayer of thanks to the living, breathing, holy God for all that he has done for and through you? Read David’s prayer again. (and again, and again, and again…) ‘Who are you’ to not pray this prayer to Him?
Hint: You are a child of God; act like it.

Picture of a Child David Part 1

You may have heard that David was one of God’s favorites: Acts 13:22, Acts 7:45-46, 1 Samuel 13:14, 1 Chronicles 28:4. David has had some controversial things happen in his life; he made some of the biggest mistakes in Scriptures, yet he is still seen as a man so treasured by God that he will be made Prince of the New Jerusalem when Jesus comes back. (Do you question God’s ability to see character?) It is so logical and important that we try to understand why David held such a position in God’s heart. If you truly love Him, doesn’t it make you hungry to know; to see how you can draw close and please God that powerfully?

The first point to consider is not about one of the attributes that made God love him so much, but an important truth illustrated in David’s beginnings: 1 Samuel 16:1. David didn’t do anything to make himself stand out, win favor or impress God to earn this position; God already knew whom He wanted: 1 Samuel 16:2-5: Samuel invited Jesses and all his sons to share in a Sacrificial Feast with him so he could choose the soon to be king. 1 Samuel 16:6-7: Eliab, the eldest, and evidently a strong, handsome man seemingly the obvious choice for anointing, was dismissed by God. All seven of the sons present were brought before Samuel and rejected; but Samuel knew God said the king would come from this family: 1 Samuel 16:11. David held such little esteem in his own father’s eyes that his father didn’t feel it necessary to invite him to the feast; he didn’t call him to pass before Samuel when he was looking for possibility of anointing one of them as king; that he didn’t even call him by name when Samuel inquired about him. (How do you think David felt when he was finally brought in by the visitor’s request as a last resort?) 1 Samuel 16:12-13: God had already seen something He loved in David before anyone in the world saw anything worth mention. Don’t think this is for other people—that you can’t be a person that draws close to and pleases God based on your intelligence, skills or education. The only factor that will determine whether you draw close or not—it’s your heart; your desire to do so.

There are several things stemming from David’s heart that seemed to give him an extraordinary relationship with God; each linked together in some way and each one fueled by passion. It is the key to Saul’s utter failure before God; from very early on in his rule, Saul showed pride and arrogance in leading the people (disregarding God’s commands and directions to do his own thing). Samuel confronts him on two occasions, telling him the fate of his rebellion again God’s commands: 1 Samuel 13:13-14, 15:22-23. Saul’s poor attitude towards what God commanded that he do, showed Saul’s real lack of love and desire to know God more, or to really want to follow Him. God told him that to purposefully continue to do his own thing was as bad as witchcraft or worshipping other gods. Do you purposefully not study God’s Word? Do you live outside of God’s Words in some area of life? There is only one thing that keeps you from obeying—you don’t desire to know or please Him. But David…: Acts 13:22, Psalm 19:7-11, Psalm 40:8, Psalm 119. David had a hunger for God’s Word that was absolutely passionate because he was humble enough to admit he didn’t know best. Because he was in love with God enough to separate himself from everything that would take away his relationship with God. You can’t be chasing after God with all your heart, if you are living outside of God’s Word; if you don’t desire to learn His Scriptures; knowing that each Word written is literally from God. Each time you sit and read, realize that you are sitting before the King—it is where you must start: John 14:15: the simple act of consecrating yourself from the world and its ways- no matter the cost- is the beginning of one of the greatest journeys in your Christian walk towards God. 2 Timothy 2:19-21: do you want to be special in His eyes? Start with loving His Word and following It; separating yourself from the world’s influence for Him. It is one of the things that set David apart right away.

David’s passion made him live by the creed of ‘whatever it costs me in the battle’. Saul was always worried about how he looked in front of his people; worried about his reputation and his own well-being. When Saul sinned against God and Samuel tells him that he has failed God, and the Kingdom will be taken from him, Saul’s biggest fear at that moment was not that he could be restored to favor in God’s eyes, but that Samuel be sure to protect his honor before the elders of Israel and not disrespect him in his sins: 1 Samuel 15:30. When David gave everything that he had in honor and service to Saul, instead of appreciation and reward, Saul tried to kill David because he was so well liked by the people. He was unconcerned for what was right; unconcerned for loyalty to those that loved and served him; but wanting to protect his reputation and position at all costs. But David…:1 Samuel 117:2-11: David was not even supposed to be on the battlefield; he was there only bringing bread and cheese to refresh the troops and get word of the battle to his father. However, David secretly knew his promise to be king; meaning he had more to risk and lose than anyone on that battlefield; yet while Saul and the Israelites were afraid, he didn’t hesitate to take on the giant warrior. Everyone else saw Goliath as a threat to their safety, David saw one thing: 1 Samuel 17:26: a direct attack on his God. 1 Samuel 17:45-48. Against all odds, with everything to lose, David runs to defend his God. What do you have that causes you to hold back on God? What are you afraid of losing if you serve Him as you should? Put it all on the line and run to fight for Him. And when David had committed sins and made mistakes that eventually ended up causing him to temporarily lose his entire kingdom to his rebel son Absalom, he didn’t react like Saul, worried about his reputation and honor in front of others: 2 Samuel 16:10-12: what passion David showed even in his willingness to be humiliated for the favor of his God. When David was running from King Saul and the entire Nation of Israel (when he was living in a cave with all the rejects of his society; as a reward for risking his life for Saul and serving faithfully; when he rose up and fought the Philistines because Saul was too busy trying to kill him to protect his own people, God placed Saul in his hands- twice: 1) while relieving himself in a cave while on expedition to kill him with 3000 men, David cut off an edge of his robe for proof he could’ve killed him (1 Samuel 24) 2) while Saul slept, David got so close he took his spear and water jar (1 Samuel 26)—both times David spared Saul (even at the strong prompting of his men to kill him) simply because he was willing to let serving God cost him his control; even when it was beyond doubt he was done unjustly and that God was allowing these things to happen, and it was within David’s control to force things to his advantage: David trusted God’s plan and relinquished control. Are you willing to relinquish control over how things are going, how hard things get and how long you have to endure injustice on His behalf?

David’s life is laid bare for us to see why God appreciated him so much. If you want to be serious enough about your relationship with Christ, it must start with a passion to know what His Word says, and a passion to truly separate ourselves by His commands from the ways and thoughts of the world. And it must start with a passion to offer anything necessary in order to follow, trust, and serve Him; even if it costs everything in battle (stuff, pride, position, control—goals, dreams, wealth, reputation…)

Upcoming Events:

December 3-5, & 23: Live Nativity at Valley Park, Hurricane- see Doug Doss
December 13: Children's Christmas Play/Party
December 20: Christmas Party at John Henson Building
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