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December 26, 2020 12:01 am
As young David became more popular than Saul, the king's heart turned against him. Today, R.C. Sproul shows that the rise of David and the fall of Saul came to pass according to the purposeful providence of God.
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We flee to God when our adversaries surround us and God provided all the adversaries. David would ever need to become sanctified in his own soul before he became king over Israel. David spent time in the court of King Saul.
Over the course of time, he became more popular than Saul and the king's heart turned against David. Today we will see the results of one man's descent into jealousy and another man's diligent pursuit of God. Dr. RC Sproul as we continue now with our body of the life of David remember what we looked at in our last session of the response of Jonathan and his father Saul to David's heroic slaying of Goliath.
David received instant fame instant adulation across the nation and instead of being jealous.
Jonathan was bonded to David with love, Saul was enraged he was stricken with the fit both of jealousy and of fear against David Noll.
At the end of chapter 18 we read that when Saul sought to have David lose his life by killing the Philistines in order to satisfy Saul's demand for dowry than when David was successful instead Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David and that Michael Saul's daughter loved him and Saul became more afraid of David and Saul became David's enemy continually look at the situation.
Saul is the king, the ruler of the nation. The highest position of authority, the wealthiest man in all of Israel.
He has the world by the tail, but now his life is being ruined.
It is being eaten alive by his internal rage and jealousy towards David and now he cease that all of the people love David but not just the masses of the people by his own son the prince Jonathan loves David and his daughter Michael loves David and we see in what follows from this episode that both Jonathan and Michael at various times intercede with their father and try to persuade him not to attack David. Chapter 19 we read Saul spoke to Jonathan and his son into all of the servants that they should kill David Jonathan Saul son delighted greatly and David and he warned David of this. And then in verse four we read the Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul, his father and said to him, let not the king's sin against his servant against David, because he has not sinned against you and because his works have been very good toward you, for he took his life in his hands and killed the Philistine and the Lord brought about a great deliverance for all of Israel.
You sought and you rejoiced. Why, then, will you now sin against innocent blood to kill David without a cause. As a minister for the last 30 years or so I've been involved in mediating many many disputes among people in marriage disputes in divorce counseling and all the rest, and there is a popular adage that goes through our culture.
Whenever a relationship breaks up the expression is it takes two to tango that everybody contributes to the estrangement that both parties are inevitably guilty. That simply is not true, of course, there are times when people are both guilty. In the destruction of a relationship, but there are many times in our day as it was in the days of David that relationships are broken and a strange one.
One party is guilty and the other party is innocent and that's what we see here with all clarity. David had done nothing to deserve this hostility and this hatred from the king and this is what Jonathan is trying to tell his own father. Father why are you doing this you rejoiced at the victory over Goliath, you realize that the hands of God's providence and delivered us the whole nation through David saying they would risk his life for you and for his country and now you seek to take his life and the shed his blood which is innocent blood and you want to do it without just cause I don't know what the percentages are, but I would be willing to guess that 99 times out of 100, when a relationship is broken up and the guilt is one-sided.
The motivating force is jealousy. What else would cause a person to be so destructive to another person without cause as Jonathan says, why are you doing this Saul doesn't give an answer what we wanted to say I'm doing it because I'm jealous. But the Bible gives us an answer which is a profoundly difficult answer and answer that causes no small amount of consternation, for we read in the Scripture in verse nine of chapter 19.
Now, the distressing spirit from the Lord came upon Saul as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand. Other translations read an evil spirit from the Lord came upon Saul just recently somebody gave me a book of a new translation in the English of a rare compilation of some rather obscure writings of John Calvin and the title of this little book in English is called Calvin's Calvinism what it does is it contains two treatise cities, one on predestination and the other on the secret providence of God. One of the strange facts of history. In particular, the history of the Reformation is as voluminous as the writings of Calvin are, he wrote very little on the subject of predestination.
In fact, he didn't write nearly as much on the subject as Martin Luther did, but when we think of the doctrine of predestination.
We don't think of Luther who said everything that Calvin ever said about it, but we think of Calvin, but this little work that he wrote after he wrote the institutes and his little work on the secret providence of God provoked all kinds of hostile reaction in Europe and one of the enemies of Calvin wrote a list of complaints to Calvin about his teaching and he numbered them and stated briefly, the complaint then stated a summary of what everybody was saying about Calvin in their complaint about it but he never signed his name and Calvin then picked up his pen to respond to these insulting wildly distorted teachings that have been attributed to Calvin, but if one looks at this segment of Reformation history will see that the central thrust of the hostile writings against Calvin was motivated by Calvin's teaching that God in his providence ordains whatsoever comes to pass. Even the evil of the wicked, and those that were opposed to Calvin said what in the world are you saying are you not attacking and assailing the very character of God and attributing to God. Sin.
Anybody read Calvin for 15 minutes you would see that nothing is more odious to Calvin's thinking than the idea that God should never be involved in sin of the point that Calvin is making is that God is sovereign over everything, including our sin and that we can't even sin apart from the ultimate ordination of God. Now some people look at that is, those who oppose, in the 16th century said well we certainly believe that God is sovereign over sin and the sovereign over everything. We know that, but God here is expressing his permissive will, in the sense that he is a spectator from heaven of the sinful behavior of human beings but human beings are absolutely free in their expression of sinfulness and their expression of evilness, and any evil that they do, they do totally on their own and by permission. Not in the sense of God sanctions it, but he allows it to happen.
Of course Calvin had responded to that distinction between the creative will of God and the permissive will of God, and so on and what Calvin said is you may speak if you will about God's permitting evil, but if you mean by that that he is merely a spectator at his helpless to do anything about it than your speaking blasphemy because anything that God allows to happen or permits. If you will to happen, he chooses to permit that it happened. He ordains it because he could stop and he knows in advance how Saul is going to be a he has in force. Saul did commit Saul sin Saul generates is evil from his own heart sinfully and culpably, but even that cannot be done apart from the power of God and so throughout the Bible and particularly in the story of David we see the difficult concurrence of the power of God and the power of human being on the one hand, later on when David takes a census David is rebuked by God because he takes the census and one account says that the devil inclined David to take the census and another account says that God inclined David to take the census are these flatly contradictory. We look again at the story of Job, who was it that stirred up the Chaldeans against Joe it was Satan but who sent Satan to the Chaldeans for this task. It was God we have a tendency even today just as Calvin wrestled with in the 16th century not to believe in the Christian view of God, but to believe in some kind of dualism where we believe that the devil and God are equal and opposite powers not Satan is a creature. Satan is finite. Satan despises God the work of God in the kingdom of God.
But in the final analysis, even Satan as much as he opposes God cannot help but be the servant of God. Satan can let the finger against anyone unless God ordains that he do so.
And God will work through the evil of human beings to bring about redemption and goodness he doesn't bypass the agency of men, but he does work through them and stands over them.
The greatest thing that has ever happened to the world was the cross of Jesus Christ and perhaps the most diabolical sin that was ever committed in all of human history was the treason of Judas, who for 30 pieces of silver motivated by his own greed motivated by his own hatred, committed treason against the son of God but the Scripture say that he did that, according to the determinant counsel of God.
This was not a chance event in human history.
It was part of the expression of God's divine sovereign providence that Christ be betrayed. God is never a disinterested bystander or an impotent spectator of human history. He sent this evil spirit.
Saul does not like God sent an evil spirit to an innocent righteous man and force that innocent righteous man to sin and then rebuked him for no no no no, the evil spirit that came from the Lord was an act of divine judgment on Saul, but it was also designed not only the pun he saw with the prepared David God loved his servant David God had anointed him and chosen him to be the king and he was preparing a king for Israel who would be a man after God's own heart and caught in his infinite wisdom knew very well that the way of sanctification for sinful people is through turbulence, through persecution, through pain, through distress, without which we, in our sinful natures are utterly disinclined to throw ourselves on the mercy of God, we flee to God when our adversaries surround us and God provided all the adversaries. David would ever need to become sanctified in his own soul. I remember an experience I had when I was young student in seminary where some professors were violently hostile towards me and gave me a tongue lashing because I defended the biblical doctrine of sin and the were furious with me and I was so so distressed and in my misery. I want to see one of my professors who was my mentor and I said to him you know what happened and I was looking for sympathy in some assurance that I hadn't done something wicked and he looked at me and smiled in his face lit up, right countenance and a set class. I said what you mean. He said because today you were persecuted for righteousness sake, who I thought I didn't feel very blessed. This was not a happy occasion will neither did David who spent half his young life running through the wilderness of Palestine trying to escape the fury in the range of Saul who hated him with out cause it's always a driven madman had been abandoned by God. God had given them over to an evil spirit had delivered him into the hands of the devil and he became an instrument of Satan to assault him to pursue into attack, David. All the while David is suffering for righteousness sake and is growing in his blessedness before the Lord.
That's how the providence of God works. Where did we ever get this idea of a disinterested God. This helpless creator. This deistic clockmaker who makes the clock winds it up and then steps out of the picture and lets it run strictly according to secondary causality to the causes that are built in to this world away with that kind of theology. It's blasphemous. Yes, there such a thing as secondary causality. Yes, there are proximate activities that are real and vital, and for which we are responsible but over and above all of this stands the sovereign providence of God, who has souls life in his and and who has David's life in his aunt and we see coming from that same hand judgment upon Saul, which was utterly just of God to give it and grace upon David.
That's where we scream in protest. How can God give justice to one and grace to another. Why doesn't he uniformly and universally give the same abundance of grace to everyone.
I don't know but I know that he doesn't and I know that he has declared that and he's had to sit repeatedly, but we still haven't heard it, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and whom I will I harden the hardening isn't just act of righteous judgment.
The mercy is an expression of ineffable grace. Nobody in that scenario ever receives injustice.
Saul God would Saul deserve David God, a blessing he did not miss her.
The sovereign hand of God shown clearly in this amazing story. Stay with us here on Renewing Your Mind, Dr. RC Sproul return in just a moment with a final thought about God's judgment on soul. God's sovereignty is a theme that is repeated throughout Scripture, both in the Old Testament and the new RC touched on it today, but he connects the dots more completely in our resource offer. It's the special edition of RC series duster glory of 57 part study tour exploring the themes and events of the Bible in this special edition set provides an extra disc containing the study guides for the series so we invite you to request this resource when you go to Renewing Your Mind.org or when you call us at 800-435-4343 and again the title of the series duster glory. We at later ministries are thankful that RC gave us a simple, clear and focused purpose that we followed for decades to declare the holiness of God in all its fullness to as many people as possible.
That will continue to be our purpose in 2021 and as you consider your urine giving we would be grateful to be part of it. If you're sending your donation by check. Remember that it will either be postmarked by this coming Thursday the 31st two or you can give email@example.com/donate now here's RC with a final thought for us in our core entire thought for today as we contemplate the judgment of God upon Saul and the mode of the judgment by which he sent an evil spirit to torment him. We need to remember that Saul deserved that. But we are children of Saul and we tend to think that God gives us less than we deserve, and in one sense we are correct in that assessment because of God gave us what we have earned if God gave us what we deserved we would perish. So in one sense we get far less than what we deserve.
On the other hand, we get far more than we can ever deserve, namely, his mercy is grace in the very salvation that he has prepared for his people from the foundation of the world. Let no Christian ever stand before God and proclaim merit.
All we have to bring before Christ is the merit I don't know who it was who said if you are ever. I believe it was Peter Marshall said that if you ever are brought before the tribunal of God, you better have a good lawyer.
The only one that will suffice. Is our advocate. Jesus Christ, whose merit is given for us next Saturday. As we continue this series to Dr. Strobel look at the incredible bond between David and Jonathan.
It's a model of friendship and loyalty for us all to file your panic next week.
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