After God's Own Heart

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I want to begin with a fun document I found.

Report from the Pastor Search Committee — did you ever wonder how great Bible characters would be rated by a typical church committee? Now, the truth can be revealed.

We do not have a happy report to give.  We have not been able to find a suitable candidate for this church, though we have one promising prospect.
ADAM: Good man but has problems with his wife. One reference told us how he and his wife enjoyed walking nude in the woods.
NOAH: Former pastorate of 120 years with no converts. Prone to unrealistic building projects.
MOSES: A modest and meek man, but poor communicator; even stutters at times.  Sometimes blows his stack and acts rashly in business meetings. Some say he left an earlier church over a murder charge.
DEBORAH: One word — Female.
DAVID: The most promising leader of all until we discovered the affair he had with his neighbor’s wife.
SOLOMON: Great preacher, but serious woman problem.
JONAH: Told us he was swallowed up by a great fish. He said the fish later spit him out on the shore near here. We hung up.
JOHN: Says he is a Baptist, but doesn’t dress like one.  May be too Pentecostal. Tends to lift both hands in the air to worship when he gets excited. You know we limit to one hand. Sleeps in the outdoors, has a weird diet, and provokes denominational leaders.
JESUS: Has had popular times, but once when his church grew to 5000, He managed to offend them all; and his church dwindled down to twelve people. Seldom stays in one place very long. And, of course, he is single.
Today, we’re going to look at David in comparison to Saul.


Last week, we began looking at some of the Kings of Israel. The first king we have anointed is Saul. And we remember that he was tall and handsome, and stood head and shoulders above the other people. Yet, still, when he was selected and they went to find him, he was hiding in the baggage.
Still, this is the one God chose for Israel when they said, “Give us a king like the other nations around us.” As we shall see, God did answer their prayer.
We discussed last week that in asking for a king, Israel had rejected God as their king. Once again the people of Israel are looking horizontally rather than vertically.
Think about this: Israel is not recognizing that they are God’s chosen, and they are different from the other nations for a reason.
Instead, they demand that Samuel anoint for them a king, so that they can have a king over them like "all the nations”. And they got Saul.
Now you may not have known a lot about king Saul in the past. What we saw last week is that he is afraid of the people - why else would he be hiding among the luggage when it is announced he is king. (1Sam 10:23).
This fear would be his downfall. When he called the people to join him as the Philistines were drawn up against Israel, he became fearful because the people beginning to scatter from him. So instead of waiting for Samuel to come and offer the sacrifice to be given prior to battle, Saul offers the sacrifice.
He is assuming the role as prophet or priest, in addition to his role as king. This is in violation of God’s command.
For the rest of Saul’s reign we will see how his defiance of God’s commands causes God to remove his spirit from him.
The next king in Israel’s history is David.


Now remember how Saul was chosen, and then hid among the baggage. Let’s listen to the difference in when David was chosen, from 1 Samuel 16:1-13.
1 Samuel 16:1–13 ESV
The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. And you shall anoint for me him whom I declare to you.” Samuel did what the Lord commanded and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, “Do you come peaceably?” And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.
A reading from God’s Holy Word.
Thanks be to God.
I want to focus on one verse here for just a moment.
1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV)
“Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Remember when Saul was selected, how he was head and shoulders above everyone else. Even Samuel the prophet of Israel could give in to such things. Yet God looks at the heart.
Now as we read through 1 Samuel, the next chapter is one of the defining moments in Scripture and in David’s life. We’ve all heard of the battle between David and Goliath. To this day it is a phrase that is uttered anytime someone takes on a seemingly impossible foe.
With our time frame, I’m only going to highlight some of the passage, but you can find this in your Bibles in chapter 17 of 1 Samuel.
Beginning at vs 3, 1 Sam 17:3-7 “And the Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels (about 125 lbs) of bronze. And he had bronze armor on his legs, and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron (about 15 lbs). And his shield-bearer went before him.”
1 Samuel 17:8–9 ESV
He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.”
And it says, 1 Sam 17:11 “When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.”
So here you have your great king along with the entire Israel army cowering in fear from this one man’s (granted, a huge, behmouth of a man, but still one man’s) challenge.
So as the story continues, David has come down to bring his brothers food per his father’s instructions. He arrives and the men of Israel are cowering and say to him, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel,” and you have to love David’s response - not only is there confidence, but he simply recognizes Isreal’s relationship with God.
1 Samuel 17:26 (ESV)
And David said to the men who stood by him, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
David’s words get to Saul, and David finally says to Saul, 1 Samuel 17:32
1 Samuel 17:32 ESV
And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”
Now think about this. The entire army of Israel has been shaking in their boots at this guys challenge. Saul - the great leader Israel wanted who stands so tall. Eliab, who even Samuel thought was going to be the next anointed king. They’ve all be hiding, dismayed, and in fear. Here comes this young shepherd who says, I’ll take him on. And notice his reasoning of why he can do this in verse 36,
1 Samuel 17:36 (ESV)
Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.
Saul offers David his armor, but it doesn’t fit. So David takes with him the tools of his trade as a shepherd. This is emphasized in the text.
1 Samuel 17:40 ESV
Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.
So you picture this you’ve got this warrior of warriors standing out their with all of his armor and armament, and this young man with simple tools.
And David says to him, 1 Samuel 17:45-47
1 Samuel 17:45–47 ESV
Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.”
David declares that it is God who will give him victory over Goliath, and as we know that’s exactly what happens. This young shepherd boy kills the great Philistine warrior with only a sling and a stone, because the LORD God is with him.


Now it’s easy to glorify David, but as we read through the Bible, that’s not what we’re to do. That’s not what David sought to do. David sought to glorify God.
Now as we go through the life of David do we see a perfect life? NO!
We see a man who does some really great things, and some really horrible things. Within his life we see deception, adultery, and even murder. And yet he is often remembered as a man after God’s own heart.
When he sinned, he repented.
Think about that. Where as Saul was fearful of what people might think of him, if things didn’t happen on time (the sacrfice). If he didn’t know what to do as a king (so hide in the luggage). If he could lose a battle (so don’t fight).
Notice for Saul, it was about him. It was about the horizontal.
For David, it was about God. It was about his relationship with God.
God chose Israel. God chose him. God must have a plan. Even if David failed (which he did, and failed big), God still was in control. David could still repent. David could still draw near to God.

Reformation Sunday

As today is Reformation Sunday, I think it only appropriate that we think about how God might be reforming and reshaping us.
Five Solas( solely; these and no others!):
1. Sola Scriptura: “Scripture alone” – The basis of authority is the Word of God, the Holy Scripture; not tradition nor the “teaching of some ecclesiastical body.
2. Sola Fide: “faith alone” – Only faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, not by any good works by us for ourselves of by someone else for us since all our good works are nothing but dirty rags compared to God’s perfection and holiness.
3. Sola Gratia: “grace alone” – We can never earn God’s grace and mercy. Grace and mercy are God’s provision for our salvation. No good works earns our “ticket” to Heaven. Being religious; doing “good things,” are insufficient since they all fall short of the perfection of the Triune God. Grace is getting what we do not deserve; mercy is not getting what we do deserve! God is our God of grace and mercy.
4. Solo Christo: “Christ alone” – The Lord Jesus Christ and our faith in Him and His death and resurrection are sufficient to receive God’s grace (sola gratia/grace alone)
5. Soli Deo Gloria: “to the glory of God alone” – What God does in our salvation and being made holy (justification and sanctification) are for His glory. We praise the Triune God for His grace which we receive by faith in Christ for the Glory of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!
One of the primary ways God does that is through repentance. It is in repentance that we reform our mindset to remember God is the one who is control and sovereign.
I want us to take a moment here, and I’m going to lead you in a time of prayer of confession. Let’s pray:

After God’s Own Heart

Holy God - we recognize that you are holy and we are not. We come therefore to you and we ask that you renew us, reform us once again into your image. May we live the lives we were created for.
God of Your Word, continue to speak through the Holy Scriptures to us. Reform in us a dedication to read and study your word as authority in our lives.
God of Faith - remind us once again of the faith you have put in us. Reform in us again the trust in you as our Lord and Savior.
God of Grace - continue to lavish your grace upon us as you have done from the beginning. Remind us again of your love toward us and the grace that is poured on us.
Father of Jesus - reform in us a faith that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is sufficient for us to receive your Grace.
God of Glory - reform in us again the heart and mind that is set upon bringing you the glory and you alone.
In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
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