1st Samuel 16
Everything seems so fragile these days. News gets old in seconds, emails in hours, movies in days, electronic gadgets in weeks, cars in months, and buildings in years. Nothing seems enduring in our world.
We live more and more in a world that is temporary. From the delete button on the email screen to the trash can on our digital cameras—everything seems to be short lived. All around us we see decay, even on the cosmic level everything is headed towards what physicists call ‘heat death’.
WHAT LASTS FOREVER?
When we get to the end of everything–what is left? In other words, what will last forever?
The Bible ends with the book called Revelation. The last chapter is Revelation 22, and that last chapter ends with only three things left in eternity that really matter: God, Heaven and one more element—servants serving God.
Have you paused to notice who are those surrounding God’s Throne?
Revelation 22:3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. NKJV
Revelation 22:6, 9 Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place. 9 Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” NKJV
So we need to get a grip on who are God’s servants and how do they serve? All that lasts are God and those who serve Him; that is what God’s Word is all about. If we are to someday spend eternity serving God, how are we doing at our current serving?
There are almost three thousand biographical portraits in the Bible. In fact, the Bible is the single greatest source of biographical information from antiquity. There are more different individual from a wider scope of history recorded in God’s Word than any other single source in the world.
Most of the lives recorded in the Bible are only mentioned by name, but some are very clearly examined and analyzed by God. Those deeply explained lives give us great reasons to pause and listen to what God may have to say about them. After all He took the time and went to all the effort to capture these portraits for us and then delivered them to us in a forever settled in Heaven book—the Bible.
THE LIFE MOST NOTICED BY GOD
So, whose life is considered important to God? Well, who did God chose to write more about than any other single person in the whole history of the world? The answer is the young man we are going to meet this morning.
Please open to Acts 13:22
And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’ NKJV
And what does someone look like that is “God-hearted”? It is a whole new way of looking at life as Paul continues and says—
Acts 13:36 “For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed. NIV
David was “God-hearted” which meant he served God’s purposes. The word “served” is the verb form (hupereteo) of the word for an under rower (huperetes) that we have often studied as a model of how to serve the Lord.
David was under God’s command, he did what the Lord asked him to do, willingly unseen and obscure—always wanting the Lord to get all the glory. A simpler way to say that is—David was God’s servant all his days. No wonder Paul uses the very same concept to describe his own life and ministry.
1 Kings 15:5 because David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. NKJV
There are more chapters (141) devoted to the life of David than any other person next to God Himself—in all of His Word. That is a profound truth.
We know more about David’s words, thoughts, fears, strengths and weaknesses—than anyone else who has ever lived. And we know about all that from God Himself, and from His perspective. But that’s not all. We also know one very important thing for sure—it is God Himself who tells us about David. David was God’s man–His heart was after God, and for God. David was serving God as a servant of the Lord for life.
David is the most described man in the Bible for a reason—God has made him our prime Old Testament example of the life of God’s servants. This morning I’d like for you to study God’s Word with me and see what I like to call David’s Spiritual Secret.
Let’s read the start of a great biography, divinely penned by the Author of All Things— God Himself as he introduces us to David in 1st Samuel 16:1-13.
What is a person’s life like when they are committed to being God’s servant? God wants to explain that to us! First–
God uses the unchangeable features of servants for His Glory!
David’s family life again shows God’s grace. He was not oldest, strongest or most likely to succeed. He was overlooked and even abused. But what matters is if God has His hand upon you! God uses our circumstances! David is the youngest, David is neglected, David is unwanted, and David is left out. Yet with all that potential life warping treatment—David just keeps following the Lord he loved. God’s choice of the younger over the elder is another picture of His grace as we’ve already seen with Abel, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and now see with David!
1 Samuel 16:11 And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.”
DAVID’S LIFE WAS DISCIPLINED
God uses the disciplined lives of servants for His Glory!
God uses the diligent. He is handsome and hard working. When the Samuel sent for David they called him from where? They knew he would be right where he was supposed to be, watching the flocks!
1 Samuel 16:12a So he sent and brought him in.
Check out Psalm 132 for a moment. What did David do during those monotonous, endless hours with the dumb, fearful and easily wandering sheep?
1. Note in v. 3-4 he sought God ahead of personal comforts;
2. v. 5 He made time for the Lord;
3. v. 6 this was as a shepherd boy;
4. v. 7 he longed for God;
5. v. 9a he was pondering the priority of personal purity;
6. v. 9b he was strengthened by righteous living because the righteous are bold as a lion, they have quietness and assurance from God and their hearts overflow with joy!
DAVID’S LIFE WAS AVAILABLE FOR GOD TO USE
God uses the available lives of servants for His Glory!
David was chosen by God because God is always on the lookout for servants!
1 Samuel 16:12b Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!”
What is a someone after God’s heart like? They are God’s servants. They are in harmony with God, burdened with what burdens God, obeying all they know that matters to God. In others words—their heart is all God’s. Is your heart for God? Does He have your heart? Is it all His?
2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.” NKJV
David was on God’s mind (1st Samuel 13:14); he was loyal (1st Chronicles 16:9); and as God later reveals—David was a man of integrity (Psalm 78:72).
Psalm 78:70-72 He also chose David His servant, And took him from the sheepfolds; 71 From following the ewes that had young He brought him, To shepherd Jacob His people, And Israel His inheritance. 72 So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands. NKJV
David was schooled by sheep which vary little in their habits, they walk so often down the same path it is soon a rutted canyon.
- Sheep are helpless – they can’t even clean themselves.
- Sheep are dumb – they can’t even find food unless they are led to it.
- Sheep are dirty – they walk around and collect any and all filth they come into contact with.
- Sheep are helpless, dumb, and dirty – and can only be cared for by the patient.
David was forged by God in the desert as he watched the sheep. His life was trained by solitude. He will was shaped by obscurity. His will was steeled by monotony. His mind was trained by reality. When God trains us on the inside He takes His time.
So David was a patient man, who sat on the same hills as his grandfathers had sat upon, watching the same stars and seeking the same God. Only God saw a man of integrity, a man of loyalty, a man God could trust and count on!
DAVID’S LIFE WAS EMPOWERED BY THE LORD
God uses His Spirit to empower servants for His Glory!
Never forget that it is God who will empower His servants. The Spirit of God anointed David—and anyone else who ever does anything worth anything for God. Nothing apart from God will last. Only what is attached to God will have any value.
1 Samuel 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.
Do you know what that verse does to my heart? Each time I read it my heart wells up with the cry of the hymn writer—
Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me. Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me.