Stop Hating the Waiting
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1 Samuel 16:14-23 “Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the Lord tormented him. And Saul’s servants said to him, “Behold now, a harmful spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the harmful spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well.” So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me.” One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the Lord is with him.” Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.” And Jesse took a donkey laden with bread and a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them by David his son to Saul. And David came to Saul and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer. And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.” And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him.”
1 Samuel is a historical narrative and it includes poetry, short story, obituary, song, laments, covenants, and prayer
The author is anonymous but is called Samuel due to how instrumental Samuel is in anointing the first 2 kings of Israel.
I believe talking about the history of this is important to truly set up how much of a mess Israel is in.
God never intended for Israel to have a King
God wanted Israel to trust and rely soley on him
God had chosen, set apart Israel from all other nations as his chosen people.
What we find in 1 Samuel chapter 8 is that Israel demands to have a King
Rather than being set apart, Israel wanted to be like everyone else who had a King
Even though Samuel warns Israel about a King, they refused
God, in his sovereignty, grants their request
The king is to be second to God, doing God’s will and work for the people
The King anointed was Saul and he was to be serve under the Lord, God
Saul was to be a reflection of God, doing what God commands and fully trusting in him
When Saul would do this, there were blessings and prosperity, but when Saul didn’t, tormoil ensued
Ultimately, Saul rejected the Lord and leads in his own way
Samuel chapter 15, God rejects Saul and that is what leads us to chapter 16 and the anointing of David
In Chapter 16 verse 13 We find that the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David
And in verse 14 we find that the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul
Gods provision for Saul is withheld and so he allows for Saul to be tormented (troubling, annoying, evil)
Not only is Sauls Kingship dysfunctional,
You may be a witness that when leadership is dysfunctional then this spills over. It doesnt matter if its business, politics, non-profits, etc.
And now you have a man who is suppossed to be under God and following Him but he doesn’t
This of course starts to spill over to Israel who called for a King in the first place
We find dysfunction in Israel and now we have God’s answer in King David - So what happens next?
Here is what we don’t find:
We do not find King David taking the throne right away
We do not find Samuel proclaiming David King to Israel
The armies of Israel are not compelled to follow David.
Instead, We find David being called into King Sauls Service.
David is going to have to wait to be King
David is going to have to be patient, to trust God, and not allow pride to come up
I wonder, what dysfunction are you in?
Is there dysfunction in your relationships? Dysfunction in your finances? Dysfunction at work?
Dysfunction with your health, dysfunction in attitude, dysfunction in
It’s easy to look at the dysfunction of government, and I promise you it is dysfunctional
At the end of the day, what is the dysfunction going on in your life that keeps you up at night?
I want you to think about this dysfunction or situation that you are in as we continue today.
And we know that God is control, we trust that God is going to work things out
Still, in our humaness, dont we hate waiting for it to be fixed?
Many times we dont even know if our function will be fixed
Isn’t it hard to be patient, to fully trust God?
We are American, we hate waiting for everything - traffic, food,
What I want to do today is provide you with some reminders or action steps to help towards waiting and dealing with the dysfunction in your life
The dysfunction is’nt going to go away overnight
How to Act
How to Act
As we look at our text today, we can find that David, in this period of waiting to be King, is drawing close to God
One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the Lord is with him.”
It was evident that the Lord was with him
And I want to take this time to remind you that as you have trusted in Jesus Christ alone for salvation, then you have the Holy Spirit within you
You are a Christian - Your a new creation, you seek Godly things and not the things of this world
Often, in the midst of our dysfunction, It can be hard to act like a Christian
Let me be clear, we dont act like a Christian to keep a good reputation. If the reputation is your goal then you are missing the point of Christianity.
What we are wanting is to have such a deep deep love and relationship with Jesus that as we draw closer to him, our attitude and life changes so that no matter what dysfunction is happening, our only response is a Christian one.
That it is evident to a watching world that that my response to waiting in the dysfunction is different from that of others
Davids aim was not reputation, his aim was to seek God and it spilled out into all areas of his life
As you examine your own dysfunction evaluate how have I been acting? Have I been acting like a Christian? Can others tell that my response to this situation is different from that of others?
Your answer will reveal so much more than just “I am or I am not acting like a Christian”.
It will reveal where your heart is, it will show what you are truly loving, and will often expose the sin in your life
David was a man after God’s own heart, is that where you are at
Pray that the Holy Spirit continues to guide you and convict you
As we look at this text, we can deduct a couple of traits from David that we should be eximplifying in our waiting
Willingness to Serve
Willingness to Serve
Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.” And Jesse took a donkey laden with bread and a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them by David his son to Saul. And David came to Saul and entered his service.
Iv’e already touched on this but rather than impatience, David displayed patience
Patience - the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
As I read this I recognize in myself that I have trouble with this.
Road trips - estimated time, im going to beat it, restroom breaks are timed,
Trouble - I want a solution now, fix it and move on
suffering - Who wants to endure anything that they do not like?
I can tell you how much I struggle with it, but I should not ever use it as a valid excuse because God has given me the capacity to be patient through the Holy Spirit
Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,”
These are fruits that the spirit gives to all believers, every Christian is able to produce these because of the Holy Spirit
When I was a Sr. in high school I sat in an interview at NASA and told them my weakness is patience
I am telling you today I still struggle with patience
With the help of the Holy Spirit, I have grown and do not struggle as much as I did in High School, but I do still struggle
There should always be growth if you are actively working on it
As we look at the definition, the key to patience is to endure (delay, trouble, and suffering) without anger or upset
We need to recognize when we are getting angry or upset and ask ourselves why? What can we do instead?
As we say phrases like “In God’s timing, not my timing”
But do we mean that!?
We dont want to figure out how to just stop hating the waiting on the Lord, but how do we become joyful in it?
We see that joy is another fruit of the spirit that we are capable of having
We can have joy in multiple ways in our circumstances
We can have joy because of the lessons to be learned, ways to improve your character, and opportunities to put our faith into practice
I want to encourage you to try not to look at your circumstance in a complete negative way, but to shift into thinking how does God want me to grow through this.
Maybe you have a co-worker that is just making you miserable at work, maybe youve had some unexpected expenses come about, maybe you have a loved one that is hurting or sick and it is affecting you
Ask yourself, What is my role in this? What are lessons to be learned, ways to improve my character, and opportunities to put your faith into practice, and be patient
Look for ways to be thankful - James 1:2-3 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”
When you are thankful it naturally produces a joyful heart
Count the joys of the blessing God has given you and continues to give you
Count it joy that your trial is producing something out of you that is pushing you to grow
In your dysfunction, find ways to be thankful, joyful, and look for the ways that God may have you to grow, it will help you to be patient
Next we find that rather than fear, David displayed trust.
If you are David and you were just anointed to be the next King, and the current King called you to come see him, how would you feel?
If you were Jesse and your beloved son was just anointed to be the next King and was called to go see the current King, how would you feel?
What would that cause within you?
Now I am not saying that fear wasnt present, Im not saying that David wasn’t anxious.
But neither fear nor anxiousness kept him from trusting God and going to see King Saul
You see, Fear and lack of trust keeps us paralyzed. It would cause us from taking that next step
In whatever situation you are in, are you allowing fear to paralyze you?
Fear of making the wrong decision, fear of being judged, fear of failure,
It is no accident that Saul unknowingly called upon his future replacement to come to him
There is more to the phrase “And the lord was with him” - literally means that the Lord is with David and will raise him up in his own time.
Sr. Pastor John Weth. shared about how he started as an intern and God continued to bless his service, faithfulness, trust, and now he is Sr. Pastor leading a church with 3 locations
That doesn’t happen without the Lord at work, directing your path
We find that David trusted God and that His anointing from God will come to pass
That God has ordained this for him in life and he is trusting God to work it out
Often, in our situations, we let the fear uncertainty creep in
And you might be thinking, well it was easier for David, God told him his future
And my argument to you is that God has told you your future!
Psalms 37:23-24 “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Your path as you walk on earth is already established by the Lord, even if you stumble he will uphold you
In your weakness, in your insults, in your harships, in your persecutions, in your calamities, God is strong for you and you yourself produce steadfastness
When I read verses like this, it produces the faith that “I will endure because the Lord is with me”
It produces faith that God’s work and purpose for me will prevail and will not be thwarted
This is what I have to remember - Ultimately, your purpose is to glorify God and enjoy him forever
Do not let fear keep you from walking in your purpose of glorifying him and trusting him that for all time he is with you
Walk with Jesus, trust in Jesus, and in all things know that he is with you.
There is comfort in trusting in Jesus that allows you to be patient
Lastly, rather than pride, David displayed servanthood
As David trusted in God, he did not let his pride get the best of him.
How easy would it have been to let the fact that David is going to be the next King to go to his head?
There is a link between being prideful and being impatient
Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
When you are prideful, you trust in yourself and begin to make your own decisions
Impatience and pride are two of the main things Saul exhibited as King to reject God
It makes perfect sense that God calls a man who doesnt seek to be prideful to be the next King
And so David doesnt say “I’m too good to go serve you Saul”
Do you know who I am?
There is no indication here that David went to go serve Saul with an agenda of overthrowing him.
Rather, the text says that Saul loved him greatly
Why? Because David served King Saul well
David was doing what was asked of him during this waiting period
David did not think of himself as better than
I wonder, in your dysfunction or circumstance, do you have a sense of pride that you need to let go of?
Are you too good to associate with someone? Is your job title too high to help others with their work?
If I ever walk by a piece of trash on campus and say “it isn’t in my job description to pick this up” or if I refuse to do something because it is “beneath me” - I hope you would call me out on it and question my heart in its current state
This isn’t just because I am a pastor
But because I claim to follow Jesus who was the ultimate servant
Jesus was fully God and fully man and yet he did not come to be an earthly King
Jesus had the power to turn water into wine, heal the blind and sick, calm storms, raise dead men from the grave and yet he did not use his power to conquer nations
Jesus had the ability to know what the future was and he did not alter it to benefit himself
What we find is that Jesus came to earth, born in a stable, and had the purpose of fulling the Fathers will as Savior of the world
A purpose that required Jesus die on a cross unjustly
A purpose of obeying the Father and serving others
It is estimated and widely held that Jesus was around 30 years old before he started his ministry
His ministry lasted 3-4 years which means he was around 34 when he died
His 3-4 years by all accounts was dysfunctional
Running from those trying to harm him, encountering the tricky questions from the pharisees, and having to constantly teach and correct his own disciples. Jesus’ ministry was hard and dysfunctional
Yet, Jesus spent time with the lowly, the sick, the poor, the tax collectors.
Jesus used his power and authority to heal others, glorifying God through every action
Most noteably in John we find an account of Jesus serving the disciples and uses it as teaching tool for them
At the end he says John 13:12-17 “When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”
Our posture of service should never cease
Our Teacher, Lord, and Savior would wash your feet right now, there is no reason why you wouldnt do the same for others.
It doesnt matter your age, physical limitations, dysfunction of circumstance, there is a way for you to serve others,
We are to find out how we can serve and we are to do it
David knew he would become King, Jesus knew he would die
Yet, before David became King and before Jesus’ death they served
So how are you serving through your dysfuntion? Are you looking for opportunities to serve others? Sometimes service is doing the small thing. The unseen things. Sometimes it is just listening to someone in need.
Do you remember the WWJD bracelets? What Would Jesus Do? - I wont lie that I used to think that it was cheesy and uncool.
I believe we need to ask ourselves this question so much more often
What would Jesus do if he were in my circumstance? How would he serve? What would he say or do?
When this is our focus, we will be blessed and comforted
Soul at rest
Soul at rest
And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer. And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.” And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him.”
David served Saul well that he was given even more responsibility
Living in the palace came with perks that David would’t have gotten at home
But the focus here is the result of the work of the Lord
Because the Lord is with David, and David is praising him with the lyre - Saul’s state became refreshed and well
Evil could not persist where the Lord is
In the same way, as you are patient, thankful, joyful, trusting, and serving in your dysfunction
As you are glorifying God, your dysfunction will not prevail
You cannot be overtaken by any circumstance
So do not hate the waiting, welcome it and grow through it
I love the words here that Saul was refreshed and was well
In 2 Corinthians 3 the text is talking about how we are part of the New Covenant and not the Old
And in 2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
We have freedom because Jesus served us
We have freedom becsause Jesus died for us
We have freedom because the Holy Spirit dwells within us and no evil can prevail
More than anything, I see our entire life as a waiting period
This past week has been hard as we lost 2 beloved members (Mr. Jack Morris and Mrs. Vivian Coleman)
2 members that although I only knew briefly, are members that impacted so many by their service.
That were Christians that we can look at and not say they were Christians because of their reputation, but that it was clearly evident that they walked with the Lord.
We know that they had to have struggles here on earth. We dont know their entire life but life at some point had to be hard for them
Yet, even being imperfect, their aim was to glorify God and right now they are enjoying him forever.
Right now they are refreshed and they are well
David, did not always fully trust God before he became King
David failed on many fronts and created dysfunction
But David didnt just believe in God, He believed God
Make no mistake there is a difference
We are given eternal life freely by God the Father who gave us God the Son (Jesus) to pay the penalty for our sin
What will we do in this waiting period of life?
Will we cling Jesus, trust in him alone for our salvation, walk with him daily
Or will we cower in fear, give in to pride, and try to do things our way?
Lets embrace the dysfunction and waiting.
Lets live a life like Mr. Morris and Mrs. Coleman, but really
Live a life that Jesus calls us to.
And the promise that Jesus will refresh you and make you well