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Unfulfilled Expectations, Part 2

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt
The Truth Network Radio
June 2, 2021 8:00 am

Unfulfilled Expectations, Part 2

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt

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June 2, 2021 8:00 am

The road less traveled can be difficult to traverse, yet it is the way to eternal life.

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Today on Fellowship in the Word, Pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. There are so many people purporting so many truths in our world.

And in fact, the world we live into, we say everything is true to the individual, which means nothing is true by the way. Jesus said, no, I am the truth. And then he says this, no one comes to the Father except through me. I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Thank you for joining us today on this edition of Fellowship in the Word with Pastor Bill Gebhardt.

Fellowship in the Word is the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible Church located in Metairie, Louisiana. Let's join Pastor Bill Gebhardt now as once again, he shows us how God's word meets our world. How would you feel if you were David? Do you think his life has some unfulfilled expectations? Do you think David was hoping for more when it comes to your family? How would you like to be David? How would you like to first have this fact that because of your adulterous affair with Bathsheba and your planning of the murder of Uriah the Hittite, the baby that was conceived died because of you.

And you know it's because of you because God told you it's because of you. How would you feel about that as far as disappointment? And now you have two sons. One, the heir, Amnon, and two, the one who is most qualified to be king, the one who is most like you, Absalom. One has fled from your presence. One is dead. Just imagine how he felt.

See, how do you deal with that kind of disappointment in your life? You see, he's King David. He's the recipient of the Davidic Covenant, but notice his life is messed up on so many levels.

Well, the story continues, and we pick it up in chapter 15, at the end of chapter 14, excuse me, verse 23. Joab counsels the king, so Joab arose and went to Geshur, and he brought Absalom to Jerusalem. Joab kept telling David in the interim period, David, you've got to bring your son back. It was terrible what happened, but Amnon did something that was unspeakable, and so you've got to bring Absalom back.

For three years, David wouldn't agree to that. Here we find out, though, in verse 24, However, the king said, Let him return, is a better way to translate it, Let him return to his own house, and let him not see my face. And Absalom returned to his own house and did not see the king's face. He can come back. I don't want anything to do with him. He comes back into Jerusalem. Now, he says, In all Israel there was no one as handsome as Absalom.

I'd like that written about you. Who's he like? He's just like Dad.

He's a chip off the old block. He's one handsome guy. In fact, he says, So highly praised, From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was not a defect in him.

This is one good-looking man. He looks like a king. By the way, he acts like a king. He's a warrior like a king.

But he has weaknesses. How about this one? When he cut the hair on his head, and it was at the end of every year that he cut it.

Would you like that, guys? Once a year get your hair cut. He said it was heavy on his head, and the reason he cut it, the reason he cut his hair every year is he couldn't carry it anymore. You say, Well, you're sure about that.

Well, let me read on. He says he weighed the hair of his head at 200 shekels by the king's weight, five pounds. In one year he grew five pounds of hair. Now, that guy has a head of hair. This is a challenge. Go a year, don't cut your hair, then cut it, weigh it. See what you have.

Some of you guys, you won't get five ounces in a year. Five pounds of hair. With Absalom there was born three sons and one daughter whose name was Tamar. He loved his sister, and he knew she had been discredited, and so he names his only daughter after her.

Now, here's what's kind of interesting. A revolt then begins, and Absalom wants to see David. David will not see him. Absalom realizes that Joab is the key to seeing David because he's David's advisor.

So Absalom does something that's kind of interesting. Verse 30. He says, Therefore he said to his servant, See Joab's field next to mine? And he has barley there.

Go and set it on fire. Now, they have these big parcels of land, and that's their income. And the king dispersed them, so Joab as an advisor gets a big plot of land right beside Absalom as a son. He goes, Oh, by the way, he's got his barley crop in.

Burn it to the ground. Well, you can imagine how Joab thought about that, as we see. Then Joab arose, came to Absalom at his house, and he said, Why have your sermons set fire to my field? Why'd you burn my field down? Absalom answered Joab and said, Behold, I sent for you, saying, Come here, that I may send you to the king and say, Why have I come from Geshur?

It would have been better for me to stay there. Now, therefore, let me see the king's face. And if there is iniquity in me, let him put me to death. And so Joab came to the king, and he told him, and he called for Absalom. He says, Thus he came to the king, and he prostrated himself on his face to the ground before the king. And the king kissed Absalom. And you think, Well, there, that's good. No. That's all David did.

He kissed him and then just had him leave, and that was that. You wanted to see me? You've seen me.

Now get out. Absalom now had about enough of that. And so he comes up, and he's a very cunning individual, and he's patient. Now it came about after this that Absalom provided for himself a chariot and horses and 50 men and his runners before him.

He has an entourage. And Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way to the gate, enter Jerusalem. And it happened that when any man who had a suit to come to the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, From what city are you? And he would say, Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel. And then Absalom would say to him, See, your claims are good and right, but no man listens to you on part of the king.

You have a great case. You have a legal case. The trouble is David won't hear it, and he has to make the decision.

Sorry, that's just tough luck for you. Then Absalom would say to him, See, your claims are good and right. No man listens to you on part of the king. Moreover, Absalom would say, Oh, that one would appoint me judge in the land.

Then every man who has a suit or cause could come to me, and I would give him justice. What's he doing? He's campaigning. You know what campaigns sound like. You see, you know what it's like.

There are going to be promises made. I'd give you justice. I'll listen to you. You're important to me. If only I were the judge and not David.

Well, it's interesting. It happened that when a man came near to prostrate himself before him, he would put out his hand, and he would take hold of him, and he would kiss him. Now, that's a little more intimacy. That's what David did with his son. Absalom says, You're all like my children to me. In this manner, Absalom dealt with all Israel who came to the king for judgment, so Absalom stole away the hearts of the men of Israel. You want to steal away people's hearts? Promise them what they want.

That's how you do it. Now, they have forgotten about David and Goliath and David and Saul and David's victories over the Philistines and the peace in the land. Absalom was going to give them what they wanted.

Well, as we go on with the story, look at verse 12 of chapter 15. Absalom was sent for Ahithophel and Ahithophel, the Gileanite, David's counselor, he says, from the city of Gilo, while he was offering sacrifices, and the conspiracy was strong for the people increased continually with Absalom. And then a messenger came to David and said, The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom. Absalom is going to take over. David said to all his servants who were with him in Jerusalem, Arise, let us flee, for otherwise none of us shall escape from Absalom. Go in haste, and he will overtake us quickly and bring down calamity on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.

And the king's servants said to the king, Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king wishes. Now, notice how David has changed. David is completely different. Does that sound like the David as a teenager that faced Goliath?

I think David's disappointment in himself. You see, one of the things that's most misunderstood about David is this. Because David is described in the book of Acts as a man after God's own heart, we always assume that David is like the model for all of us.

He only is in one way. David is no Job. He is no Joseph. He is no Daniel. David is a model of us for this reason.

He represents a person who sins like crazy but has a humble and contrite heart and need for God. That's what makes David special, not his life. David's life is full of disappointments. He's a lousy father.

He's a terrible husband. He disobeyed the Lord continually almost. But he was humble and contrite about his sin.

That's why he's a man after God's own heart, not because of his performance. Well, look at verse 23. While all the country was weeping with a loud voice, all the people passed over the kindred brook. He said, while all the country was weeping with a loud voice, all the people passed over, the king also passed over the brook kindred.

And he said, and all the people passed over toward the way to the wilderness. They're all leaving. They're all crying.

They're all weeping. And they're going into the wilderness. Behold, Zadok. He was one of the two Levites or the two like co-high priests. Zadok also came, and all the Levites with him carrying the Ark of the Covenant of God, he set down the Ark of God and Abiathar, the other one, came until the people had finished passing the city. And the king said to Zadok, return the Ark of God to the city.

See, Zadok was a smart man. As a priest, he said, we're taking the Ark of the Covenant out. When the people of Israel see that the Ark of the Covenant has gone from Jerusalem and is with David, they'll waver in their allegiance to Absalom.

It's a good strategy. David says, don't do that. He says this, return the Ark of God to the city. And then David does the best thing he does in this whole episode. He gives you and me advice that will last for a lifetime. If you have unfulfilled expectations, you have things in your life that are never going to happen, what do you do in that circumstance?

How do you handle it? Notice what David says. He said, if I find favor in the sight of the Lord, then he will bring me back again, and he will show me both it and his habitation. But if he should say thus, I have no delight in you, behold, here I am. Let him do to me as seems good to him. Notice what he said. Let him do to me whatever seems good to him. That's the key.

That's the key. You see, when you're finding unfulfilled expectations in your life, your life's not turned out the way it is at all. And you keep wondering, what do I do?

What do I do with my pain? What I have to do with my pain is get a perspective. You see, I need a perspective. And the perspective is, I'm me and he's God.

Whatever seems right to him, he can do it. That's David's perspective in all this. That's how he handles these unfulfilled expectations. You see, life is disappointing. If you haven't been disappointed in the past, you'll be disappointed in the future.

You're going to be disappointed. You know, that's the trouble. The reason there are so many bitter old people is this. They never learned this. They don't know how to handle it. And their life has so many disappointments that by the time they're elderly, they're bitter. Nothing turned out the way they thought it was going to turn out. So many disappointments. They get angry at God, angry at life. Some people escape alcohol and drugs.

That's the way I'll handle my disappointments. Some even try to live in denial. But it doesn't work very well. You see, does this really work?

Yes, it does. Let me illustrate. Turn with me to Philippians chapter 4 in the New Testament. The book of Philippians chapter 4.

Now, the first thing I want to give you is a context. Philippians is a prison epistle. Paul was writing a letter to the church of Philippi. And guess where Paul's at? He's in prison. Now, when you think of the apostle Paul, do you actually think that when he was thinking of how his life would turn out and all these desires he had, that he said, oh, one day I sure hope I get to go to prison?

You see, that's what I'd love to do. I'd love to be in prison. I mean, prison would be so wonderful.

In fact, in his case, I'd like to go to prison twice because he ends up in prison twice. And yet, Philippians is called the epistle of joy. And that's what he talks about the whole way through it, his joy. Well, how can you have joy when you're so disappointed because you're in prison? Well, verse 10 of chapter 4, Paul says, But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me.

Indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. Paul says, I know one thing I'm always joyful about. Man, you people love me. Now, I know you probably always loved me and were concerned about me, but now that I'm in prison, you have gone out of your way to minister to me. That gives me joy, even though I'm in prison. Then he wants to stop and say, wait a minute, by the way, I don't want you to think that that's the only reason I have joy because if you didn't like me and you didn't want to minister to me, I'd still be joyful. That's what he says in the next verse. He said, not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. It doesn't matter to me, he said.

I love the idea that you care about me, but if you didn't care about me, it won't make any difference. I'm content. You see, I am content.

Then he goes on and says this, I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity in any and every circumstance. I have learned the secret. There it is. I have learned the secret. You see, that's why it's the road less traveled. It's a secret. We always try other ways.

We always try other roads. Paul said, I've learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. Paul, please, please tell me the secret.

Here it is. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. I can go through prison. I can be shipwrecked. I can be bitten by poisonous snakes. I can be beaten with rods. I can be lashed with catanine tails. I can be stoned and left for dead. I'm still content.

I'm still content. I have learned the secret. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. That's just another way with an additional promise of saying what David said. Let him do to me whatever seems good to him. Paul says, and by the way, while I'm waiting, he'll give me the strength.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. You see, that makes you circumstantial proof. No disappointment should be so great for the Christian that you can't deal with it because you have Christ. You see, that's the whole point. And by the way, God makes this point over and over again. Think of disappointments.

What does God say? How disappointing is it to lose your parents? How hard is that?

Very hard. He says to the orphan, I will be what? I'll be the father. To the widow, I will be what?

I'll be her husband. You see how this works? God says, I'll fulfill that need.

I'll do that. That's the way God is. You see, he learned a secret. Let me give you another secret.

In many ways, this whole series is kind of fraudulent. And I made it that way. I let you think that there are all kinds of emerald cities out there. For some of you young ladies, tall, dark, and handsome is your emerald city.

For some of you guys, it's a fast car and a big house. The truth of the matter is there's only one emerald city. You see, there's only one. It's Jesus Christ.

And he's not only the emerald city. He's the yellow brick road. You see, I am the way. What do you mean, the way?

I'm the road. What do you mean, I am the way? I am the truth.

What do you mean? Well, there are so many people purporting so many truths in our world. And in fact, the world we live into, we say everything is true to the individual, which means nothing is true, by the way. Jesus says, no, I am the truth. And then he says this, no one, no one comes to the Father except through me. I am the way, the truth, and the life.

No one comes to the Father except through me. You see, Paul got that. He truly understood that. Look back at chapter 1 of Philippians and verse 19. I want you to see what Paul does. He said, I know that this will turn out for my deliverance.

I know this is going to turn out great. You say, well then, no wonder he was happy in jail. I wouldn't be that unhappy in jail if I knew I was going to turn out. Well, before you say that, notice what he says in verse 20. According to my earnest expectation and hope that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. That's Paul's perspective. Hey, I'm in prison, but I'm getting delivered.

What do you mean? Either by life or by death. Either way, I'm delivered.

You see how this works? It works in everything in your life. I'm in enormous pain because of my marriage. I'm in enormous pain because of my health.

I'm in enormous pain because of my finances, whatever it is. But you know what? I'm going to be delivered.

Either we'll get it straightened out here or we'll get it straightened out there, but either way, it's getting straightened out. I say this over and over again. Read the end of the book. You win. That's a very important thing to understand.

You win. Paul understood that. In fact, notice what he says. Verse 21, for to me, to live is Christ. To die is gain. You know what he found?

Emerald City. He found it. He found it in Christ. To live is Christ. You see, Paul's view is I'm just dancing down the yellow brick road. That's just the way I'm going. And I'm not saying it won't be painful, but I have a perspective.

I'm going to Emerald City. You see, I know that's happening in my life. For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.

And by the way, if you read on, you'll find this out about him. He said, you know, if it was up to me to make this choice, it'd be hard. But if I had to choose, I'd rather die.

How about that? If I had a choice, I'd rather choose to be with the Lord right now. But I have a hunch, he said, that the Lord wants me to stay here for your sake.

So I gladly do that. How do you come up with that perspective in life? And by the way, how do you disappoint a man or scare a man who has that perspective? How can you threaten a human being that feels that way? You see, if you believe that in your life, to live is Christ and to die is gain, what can anything, anything do to rob you of your joy? Nothing can. David just said it differently.

Let him do to me whatever seems good to him. That takes trust. That takes faith. It is a road less traveled.

But isn't it a great road to travel on? You've been listening to Pastor Bill Gebhardt on the Radio Ministry of Fellowship in the Word. If you ever miss one of our broadcasts, or maybe you would just like to listen to the message one more time, remember that you can go to a great website called That's, and you can listen to Fellowship in the Word online.

At that website, you will find not only today's broadcast, but also many of our previous audio programs as well. At Fellowship in the Word, we are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible. We ask all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help this radio ministry continue its broadcast on this radio station by supporting us monthly or with just a one-time gift. Support for our ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word 4600 Clearview Parkway, Metairie, Louisiana 7006. If you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format, that is as a sermon that Pastor Bill delivered during a Sunday morning service at Fellowship Bible Church, then you should visit our website,

That's At our website, you will find hundreds of Pastor Bill's sermons. You can browse through our sermon archives to find the sermon series you are looking for, or you can search by title. Once you find the message you are looking for, you can listen online, or if you prefer, you can download the sermon and listen at your own convenience. And remember, you can do all of this absolutely free of charge. Once again, our website is For Pastor Bill Gebhardt, I'm Jason Gebhardt, thanking you for listening to Fellowship in the Word.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-11 07:37:17 / 2023-11-11 07:47:40 / 10

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