Today on Insight for Living from Chuck Swindoll. I wonder how many people think that David after he killed the giant within a matter of just a few days took the throne and became the youngest king in the history of Israel. No, the aftermath of the giant killing led David into the deepest low tides of his entire life. A man who proved himself faithful on the battlefield turned in his experience from the highest pinnacle of popularity to the lowest tide. It's often after a huge victory or after we've completed an overwhelming project that we're overcome by an emotional letdown.
We're expecting elation, but sometimes instead it's depletion. Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll continues his study on the life of David. And if you were with us yesterday, you know we've come to the place in David's story that followed his unlikely victory over the Philistine. There may have been a few high fives that followed David's triumph, but the emotional exhaustion was a surprise.
Chuck titled today's message, Aftermath of a Giant Killing. Fresh off the greatest moment of his young life, David was riding high. That high moment is recorded for us in the 17th chapter of 1 Samuel. But like all of us when we experience the joys of a victory, he had no idea what the following days would bring. Would it be more successes in greater glory? Or would he fall from his new lofty status? He didn't know. Either way, standing at the pinnacle of profound triumph, David had to trust the Lord.
Just as you and I have to do when we experience successes of our own. Turn with me now in your Bibles to the last verses of 1 Samuel 17. I want to begin reading at verse 55, and then we'll continue on through the 18th chapter, verse 9. This is 1 Samuel 17, beginning with verse 55. Now when Saul saw David going out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, Abner, whose son is this young man? And Abner said, By your life, O king, I do not know.
You inquire whose son the youth is. So when David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul with the Philistine's head in his hand. Saul said to him, Whose son are you, young man? And David answered, I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.
Now we're into verse 1 of chapter 18. Now it came about when he had finished speaking to Saul that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself. Saul took him that day and did not let him return to his father's house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David with his armor, including his sword and his bow and his belt. So David went out wherever Saul sent him and prospered. And Saul set him over the men of war, and it was pleasing in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul's servants. It happened as they were coming when David returned from killing the Philistine that the women came out of all the cities of Israel singing and dancing to meet King Saul with tambourines, with joy, and with musical instruments. The women sang as they played and said, Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. Then Saul became very angry, for this saying displeased him, and he said, They have ascribed to David ten thousands, but to me they have ascribed thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?
Saul looked at David with suspicion from that day on. This is Insight for Living. For resources designed to help you dig deeper into today's topic, go to insight.org. And now let's continue Chuck Swindoll's message titled, Aftermath of a Giant Killing. I'd like to begin the message by asking a rather unusual question.
I want you to think about it, even though it may make you chuckle, as a serious point to it. When is the last time that you thanked the Lord for not showing you the future? He never changes, but we certainly do. As a matter of fact, I've made a note of some of the things that change over the passing of years.
Let's take five years, okay? Let's think about our lives as they have been altered and affected over these past five years. The places where you have lived. You know that the American family on an average moves once every three years. We have friends who live very near us who have moved over 30 times in their years in marriage, and it's very possible they'll be moving soon again. The places we live change.
Well, how about the people? People that we knew and claimed as close friends today are not close friends, and some that we didn't even know five years ago we have among the closest of our friends right now. Friends change. People that once we held dear have become, on some occasions, enemies. They have misunderstood us.
Today we live in the wake of that unhappy and unfortunate memory. People change. Jobs change, don't they? Very few people are working right now where they worked five years ago. In fact, some are not working tonight that were working five years ago. Some of you have been promoted.
Some of you have entered businesses all on your own, and others of you have left your own business and gone into corporate work. I was talking with a mother following the first service, and she said, my daughter recently graduated from a university and named it, and it's a fine university. She says, you know what she's doing? And I said, what? She said, she's a shepherd in Wyoming. Can you believe that?
A college graduate, highly qualified to shepherd sheep. Maybe you're working at a place you never dreamed you'd be working five years ago. Or how about your home? Don't things change there? Some parents here tonight, brokenhearted because they don't really know where their kids are. Some brokenhearted because they do.
They're not walking with God. Some of you have parents that have changed over the last five years. Some of you have lost your parents. Some have lost those dearest and nearest to them. Death has come. Or how about school?
Well, we'll pass on to the next one. Our health has changed. For some of you, there are physical disabilities you never knew before. For others, there's been healing, and you've never been healthier. What has graciously provided for your need and your health?
Or how about tests in life? Would you like to make a list of those things that have happened in five years' time? Now, aren't you glad God didn't tell you all of those things five years ago? Aren't you glad he didn't give you your life on credit? So that you can pick and choose those enormous things you could have worried about five years ago.
You can just take them now, just one day at a time. That's the way he dispenses life. Because he never changes, and he knows what will work together for good. You and I don't. We sort of ricochet from one moment to the next, trying to put together what life is all about, and we can't figure it out. Some here thought for sure they would have a mate by now. Some of you wish that you didn't have a mate by now.
It's true. Life changes. You know, life is like that. God did this in the days of a prophet named Habakkuk. I believe if he would have told us what he told Habakkuk, we wouldn't have believed it. He lived in hard times, and Habakkuk said, God, you can trust me.
Difficult days like this demand an understanding of where I'm going. And God says, no, Habakkuk, if I told you, you wouldn't believe it. Habakkuk said, yes, I would. You tell me.
I want to trust you for your plan. And God told him, and he didn't believe it. He said to God in so many words, I can't believe you're going to do that. And that's often the way it is. When God unveils that curtain called the future, we want it shut right quick.
Isn't it strange? People spend literally millions of dollars every year to discover the future, only to have their fears strengthened and their worry list lengthened. God's good not to show us tomorrow. That's what makes the Bible so relevant. How gracious of God to give David one day at a time. I wonder how many people think that David, after he killed the giant, within a matter of just a few days, took the throne and became the youngest king in the history of Israel. No, as a matter of fact, the aftermath of the giant killing led David into the deepest low tides of his entire life.
And God was good not to tell him it was coming. A man who proved himself faithful on the battlefield, a man who killed one that everyone else was afraid of, turned in his experience from the highest pinnacle of popularity to the lowest tide, just like some of you tonight. You have known in the past five years an elevation and now a depression that's unparalleled. Well, in chapter 17 of 1 Samuel, we're going to be looking at some very practical things as the passage bleeds on into chapter 18. I think it's very unfortunate that we have a chapter break here.
They all tie together in sort of a panoramic flow of life. David has just accomplished an incredible thing. It's a remarkable achievement. A young man, not yet 20 years old, not six feet tall, I'm sure, never wore a uniform from the Israeli army, never once suited up for battle, never once knew what it was to carry a sword under the kingdom of Saul, and yet he walked out on the battlefield and he faced a nine-foot, nine-inch giant and with one throw of the sling, he killed him. And you know what happened? There was instant popularity. Very few people can take that. Very few can take what David took.
He suddenly flew into the attention of the public. Before we get into that, I want to show you something about verse 55 through verse 58 here. It's sort of a flashback.
You've seen films or movies or television dramas where you're looking at the present and then suddenly the lens is fading out and there's a smear and you suddenly come back into focus on something that happened before. That's verse 55 through 58, flashback. When Saul saw David going out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, Abner, whose son is this young man? Abner said, by your life, O king, I do not know.
Now this is a flashback. David, we know, has already slain the giant, but God wants us to hear something that happened back in the tent of Saul while the giant killing was going on. There was a conversation that happened that's very significant. It ties David with Saul. He said, whose son is he?
He says, I don't know. Verse 56, the king said, you inquire whose son the youth is. When David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul with the Philistine's head in his hand.
Must have been super. He stopped on the way to Jerusalem and walked up to the king and visited with him while he had this gigantic head in his hand and he talked with King Saul. Verse 58 says, Saul asked him, whose son are you, young man?
David answered, I am the son of your servant, Jesse the Bethlehemite. The critics just do backflips in passages like this. They say, you see there, we've got an unreliable text. Here's a perfect example of how the Bible is corrupt, say the critics.
Why would they say that? Well, for a chapter and a half, David has been Saul's personal musician. He's played for him during his depressed days. He has been standing before him and shooting up for battle. He's been a man who has been a personal confidant. We saw that time and again in previous studies, and here he wants to know who he is. Well, I'm bothered by that kind of criticism because Saul never asked, who is this man?
The critics build straw men and then set them on fire and say, you see there, the Bible's not reliable. Look at what Saul wanted to know. He didn't want to know who is David.
He asked three times the same basic question. He wanted to know whose son is the young man, verse 55. Whose son is this youth, verse 56. Whose son are you, young man, verse 58. He didn't want to know who David was. He knew who David was. He wanted to know who his father was. Now the question comes, why do you want to know who his dad was? We need to learn to read the Bible for what it is, not for what we think it's saying.
It's a good question. Look at verse 2 of chapter 18. It'll help you know part of the reason he wanted to know who his son was, who his father was. Saul took him that day and did not let him return to his father's house. Saul said, we want to know who your dad is because I want you permanently as my bodyguard.
Anybody that can whip a Philistine that big deserves to be my bodyguard. So he wanted David to be in the court permanently and that took the father's permission. Furthermore, look at verse 25 of chapter 17 and you'll see another reason he wanted to know who his dad was. 1725, the men of Israel said, have you seen this man who is coming up? Surely he's coming to defy Israel, speaking of Goliath. And now it will be that the king will enrich the man who kills him with great riches and will give him his daughter and will make his father's house free in Israel. Saul wanted to make his promise good so he wanted to know who his father was so he could write the check and unload his daughter. And third, he wanted to know who his father was because he wanted to give him tax-free benefits. Whose son is he?
This man is out to slay the giant and I need to make my promise good. It makes good sense, doesn't it? Pay close attention to those that attack the Bible, those that point out all of its fallacies and all of its contradictions and you look close, you'll discover by just common sense interpretation most of those can be given almost in an off-the-cuff manner. Critics work overtime to really confuse what is quite simple. Now here's a simple question that deserved a simple answer and frankly no one knew his lineage, but he was destined to greatness. By the way, some of you are too.
You don't know that. Very few people can handle instant success. Carlisle was right. Affliction is bad, but for every person that can handle prosperity, there are a hundred that can handle adversity. You know, the greatest test is success. Some of you are highly gifted. You were on the verge of being used in a business or in a career or in the world of who knows, entertainment, maybe in the world of music, perhaps as a writer or a composer of books or music and not knowing that, perhaps tonight God is saying, do you learn a lesson from David about instant success?
What a man. I read Mark Spitz comment after he won the seven gold medals in the Olympics and he commented that he never dreamed that the pressure would be so great. Public applause, an overnight success, a millionaire several times over, just in the commercials, just in the ad world. Elvis Presley never did learn how to live with it.
The highest paid male performer in American history. Never really learned how to handle it. David knew how to take success and live with it without its affecting him.
That's a rare person. In fact, as I read this passage, it sort of unfolds into four different relationships. There's a relationship of submission with Saul.
There's a relationship of affection with Jonathan, a relationship of elevation or exaltation, as we mentioned, with the nation, the people, and then finally of opposition, which lasted year after year after year. You see, God's hand was on David. He was going to use him as the great king of Israel and he had to break him and hone him and sharpen him and crush him.
Tozer is right. It's doubtful that God can use any person greatly until he's hurt him deeply. And that's where David was, in the crucible of pain. Now, you will notice that he brought him in, that is, Saul brought in David, verse 58, said, I am the son of your servant, Jesse the Bethlehemite, verse 2 of chapter 18. Saul took him that day and did not let him return to his father's house. So verse 5 adds, David went wherever Saul sent him.
Isn't that beautiful? Here is the champion of champions, the slayer of the giant, and he went wherever Saul sent him. He was in submission. You might be a very gifted person, highly capable of many things beyond what you're asked to do in your employment, but you be careful about running ahead. You do your job in a submissive manner. If you work under an individual, you be loyal to that individual or you quit. You make a success of that individual that you serve under or you leave the company. Your calling is not to badmouth your superior. Your calling is to be a person of integrity and to go wherever you are sent. That's what David did.
He served as sort of an intern incognito, a king in the making. That really does put down roots right now in some lives that are here. God talks in practical ways. In fact, I find four times in this chapter we read that David prospered. See verse 5? He went wherever Saul sent him and he prospered. Verse 14, David was prospering in all his ways. Verse 15, when Saul saw that he was prospering greatly. Verse 30, then the commanders of the Philistines went out to battle and it happened as often as they went out, David prospered.
Not one whit of envy or jealousy. He simply did what God led him to do and God gave him prosperity. He'll do that. Submitting to authority, God lifted up the life of David above his peers.
So that's the first experience. Here's another one. Standing in the shadows as David stood before the king was a man who is named Jonathan, verse 1. He is the son of King Saul. They have apparently never met until this moment. But suddenly their lives are knitted together. It came about when he, David, had finished speaking to Saul that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David. And Jonathan loved him as himself.
Verse 3, then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. There is an interweaving of soul with soul. It's what I call a kindred spirit. Isn't it true? You will run across a few people in life with whom you have a kindred spirit and you don't even have to work at cultivating a relationship. It just grows.
It just builds. And there you are intertwined together. You're listening to Insight for Living. Chuck Swindoll titled today's message, Aftermath of a Giant Killing. There's much more teaching from this passage coming ahead.
Please stick around because we've set aside at the close of the program to hear some personal comments from Chuck. And to learn more about this ministry, be sure to visit us online at insightworld.org. But first, we'd like to let you know how much we appreciate your feedback. Whether it's a note or a comment or even a letter you've left on our website, we want to let you know we read every word. And we never tire of hearing how God is working in your life as you learn to apply His truth. I was encouraged when I saw this note from a schoolteacher.
She described a heart-wrenching tragedy of all the despair of one of her own children. And then she said, I've sat down 100 times to write to you, and each time I haven't been able to get the words out correctly. However, I'm writing this letter because I want you to know how much your ministry means to me. Although we've never met, your voice and words have brought me comfort in some of my darkest days. Through your sermons, I've learned to handle so many life issues with grace and dignity, including the mental health of my child. Well, we provide this daily program because we feel a genuine kinship with people like you. And I can assure you that even though we haven't met, your confidence in Insight for Living motivates us to stay the course.
Here's Chuck. Whenever I have the privilege of meeting a radio listener, I hear the most amazing stories, stories of life change and dramatic transformation. When a man or a woman begins to embrace the truth of God's Word, when he or she has a genuine encounter with Christ, life is never the same. As you've listened to Insight for Living over the years, I would suspect you have your own story. God has done a magnificent work through Insight for Living to His credit and His glory alone. Intertwined in this work is your story and also my story. Your story. Most importantly, it's His story. God has used the proclamation of His Word on Insight for Living to encourage and equip, to convert and transform lives. It's happened one year at a time. In fact, one life at a time.
So with June 30th coming, let's make sure we keep this critical work of God moving ahead into the future with strength. Yes, Insight for Living is my story, it's your story and it's His story. Let's make sure it's someone else's story too.
Thanks so much. And here's how to respond to Chuck Swindoll. If you prefer, just give us a call. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888 or you can give online at insight.org slash donut. I'm Bill Meyer inviting you to join us when Chuck Swindoll's study called Aftermath of a Giant Killing continues.
That's Friday on Insight for Living. The preceding message, Aftermath of a Giant Killing, was copyrighted in 1977, 1988, 1997 and 2009. And the sound recording was copyrighted in 2009 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. The implication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
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