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An Unlikely King, Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
December 27, 2021 12:00 am

An Unlikely King, Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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December 27, 2021 12:00 am

Set aside everything you know about David's latter years and look at this anonymous, young shepherd boy through Samuel's eyes. Before the giant-killing, prophesying, and Temple designing, David was an unlikely king. LINKS: Visit our website: Make a donation: Free ebook: Free issue of our magazine:

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In the midst of his sorrow, God delivers a wonderful truth of his sovereignty. He effectively tells Samuel, as he tells him to get his flask of oil, look, I'm in control.

I'm in control of yesterday, and I'm in control of today, and I'm in control of tomorrow. Sin does not derail my ultimate purposes for a nation, for a world, for an individual. The King may have rebelled, but the King of Kings has not lost his grip. The Old Testament records an important transition in Israel's history. The time had come for Israel to have a new king, and it was Samuel's job to anoint him. The only problem was that God hadn't told Samuel who to anoint. He knew which family the king would come from, but there were a lot of brothers in the family, and he didn't know which one it would be. His choice ended up being the most unlikely one. We're looking at this account today.

This is Wisdom for the Heart. Stephen Davey is beginning a series on the life of David called The Singer. He's calling this message An Unlikely King. I have read that there are almost 3,000 biographical portraits in the Bible. In fact, to this day, the Bible remains the most comprehensive source of biography, covering the widest scope of history than any other single source in the world. Now most of the biographies in the biblical record get a few verses.

If you've known the Lord for a while and you've worked through the Bible, as one man told me after the last hour, he's been through it now about 16 times and is loving his reading of the Word, and I'm so grateful for that. You know that some of the individuals just get a verse or two, and some of them get a lot of exposure, and God invites us to inspect their lives and so many details of their lives. The apostle Paul clarifies for a sum of God's intention. He makes it clear that the events in history are given as an example, he writes, written down for our instruction, 1 Corinthians 10, 11. He told the believers in Philippi to join in imitating what they knew of his life, what they heard about the biography of his own life, to imitate that which would lead them into imitating Christ, Philippians 3.17. He challenged the Thessalonians to be an example to all the believers in Macedonia, and he wrote a brief biographical sketch of that church. The apostle Peter even used the biography of two cities as a warning when he wrote that God turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes, condemning them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly, 2 Peter 2 and verse 6. God evidently enjoys intentionally designs to teach us through visual aid. I remember as a kid growing up that Vacation Bible School, the flannel graph was just stunning.

I love that. Well, God gives us living, breathing, flesh and blood, full-color descriptions of individuals' lives and for our benefit. And it wouldn't surprise you to know that David, the singer king, receives a lot of newsprint. There's a lot of ink associated with his life, isn't there? In fact, there are more chapters, 141 chapters in all, devoted to the life of David, in fact, more than any other human being recorded in Scripture. In fact, the only person who gets more exposure in the Bible than David is God. I think that's because there's so much of David's life that we can enter into and live. There's so much of his experiences that we can adapt or adopt. He has great highs and deep lows. He has wonderful mountaintop experiences and the deepest of valleys. He knows how to praise God and he knows how to cry, doesn't he?

He knows how to weep. He has more joy and more pain. He has more righteous living and more wicked sinning described in the Bible than anybody else.

And the forward of his classic commentary, which is now out of print by Alan Redpath, the pastor of Moody Church, I have a copy of it. He says this, The Bible never flatters its heroes. It tells us the truth about each of them in order that we might ultimately magnify the grace of God.

And it's like looking into a mirror. And we are humiliated by the reminder of how many times we have failed. Great has been our stubbornness, but greater still is God's faithfulness. One of the proofs of divine inspiration is the fact that God, the author, is discreet and descriptive at the same time. When he presents the life of David, he's going to refuse to polish his halo.

He's not going to silkscreen the blemishes away so that you come to the end of it. You don't just sing of David. You sing of David's God. He isn't going to cover up the worst of David. He isn't going to exaggerate the best of David. He isn't going to drag us too deeply into the mire of David's sin. There's a lot more to David than Bathsheba and Uriah. When he finishes his biography, he will begin with me, I believe, to understand not just David, but the God of David and his magnificent grace.

I came across some old notes of this insightful moment that I thought you'd probably enjoy. I took my youngest daughter when she was about nine to the Christian book store to get a Bible cover for her new Bible. So we went to the book store and she chose a cover. She took her Bible with her so that she could make sure that it fit just right. She chose a color pattern.

I found it interesting that it's the same color pattern that she as a 20-year-old still enjoys. Anyway, we hopped back in the truck and she opened the box of that cover and she took it out and admired it and she inserted into it her Bible. The lady at the bookstore had given her a free bookmark and so she decided to put that into her Bible as well. She turned to the book of Romans where we'd been studying for some time, actually for her whole life.

I thought it was interesting. She's going to put it in there and with perfect innocence, she looked up at me and she asked, Daddy, what verse are you going to teach this year? Hey, some people slow down when they get older.

I'm speeding up. Amen? All right, we're going to cover his biography in this one semester. Let me invite your attention to 1 Samuel, chapter 16.

If you're an outliner and a note taker, let me very quickly give you three simple outline points to his entire biography. The first section could be called David's training. That's from 1 Samuel 16 to the end of the book, chapter 31. The second section of his biography, you could entitle David's triumphs. That's 2 Samuel 1 through chapter 10. In the third and final section, you could entitle David's troubles, 2 Samuel 11 to chapter 20.

Now, as you find your place, let me try to set the scene a little bit for us. His biography opens in the worst of settings. King Saul has just been judged by God as unfit to reign and Samuel has delivered the news. In fact, in this setting, this opening session is as much about Samuel as it is about David. Samuel gives the bad news to Saul. In fact, it's interesting that Samuel has been delivering bad news. He began his ministry by delivering bad news to Eli.

You remember? Now here he is doing the same to Saul, what a difficult ministry he has had. If you go back to chapter 15 and you look at verse 26, you find this encounter where Samuel says to Saul, I will not return with you, he's delivered the news, for you've rejected the word of the Lord and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel. And Samuel turned to go away and Saul seized the skirt of his robe and that is an anger he grabbed onto the robe of Samuel and it ripped, it tore. Samuel said to him, the Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to a neighbor of yours who is better than you.

What a scene. That rippled throughout the kingdom. They didn't understand exactly what it would mean but they knew that Saul was judged. Samuel had personally anointed Saul. The hopes of the nation had rested on his broad shoulders and they'd gotten attached to him.

In fact, they were thrilled that like every other nation, we can now have a king. It was of course a rejection of God. And Saul turned out to be like the kings of other nations, proud, petty, paranoid, disobedient, defiant.

In fact, God had nothing good to say about or in the biography of this first king. Samuel is grieving all that's lost. He's torn up. Not only has the king been rejected, the very first king to sit on the throne of Israel, but add to that the fact that Samuel wants peace for the nation. He's concerned about civil unrest.

The apple cart's been turned over. He doesn't want this mad dash to the throne and people killing each other on the way there. He doesn't want the nation weakened in the eyes of the nations around them.

That will invite disaster. He has every reason to be troubled. In fact, the Hebrew participle as this chapter opens indicates that Samuel is constantly, continually grieving. Notice as it opens, the Lord said to Samuel 16 verse 1, how long will you grieve over Saul since I have rejected him from being king of Israel?

Fill your horn, your flask with oil and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite for I have provided for myself a king among his sons. This is an interesting exposure of Samuel's nature, isn't it? Here he is grieving over what's lost and God says I've got something the nation will gain. He's grieving over yesterday. He's uncertain about today and he's worried about tomorrow. God comes along and says, Samuel, how long are you going to grieve over yesterday? I've got plans for tomorrow. Before we're too hard on Samuel, I think there's actually an implication that's worthy of imitation in Samuel's grief, his ongoing grief.

So let me flip the coin over. Doesn't this tell us volumes about David's future tutor? This one author wrote, Samuel is distressed but he isn't distressed over something trivial. He isn't distressed over a lousy golf score or somebody side swiping his Chevy or because he only has a three bedroom house and one garage. No, you're right, Samuel is grieving over the fallen condition of his friend and king. He's grieving the loss to his nation. He's distressed over the potential of even greater spiritual disaster to the people of Israel.

Would that we would grieve and sorrow over the same thing. In the midst of this, God comes along, however, and says, okay, it's time to look toward tomorrow. It's time to understand my sovereignty. In the midst of his sorrow, God delivers a wonderful truth of his sovereignty. He effectively tells Samuel, as he tells him to get his flask of oil, look, I'm in control.

I'm in control of yesterday and I'm in control of today and I'm in control of tomorrow. Sin does not derail my ultimate purposes for a nation, for a world, for an individual. The king may have rebelled but the king of kings has not lost his grip. No nation or leader's rebellion ever creates havoc in heaven. The fact that the president of North Korea recently put to death publicly some of his citizens, about 80 of them, many of them for owning a personal copy of the Bible. The fact that our news media outlets remained absolutely silent did not create some kind of emergency session in the court of heaven.

What are we going to do now? From God's perspective, and now theirs, by the way, they have gained this martyr's crown and have just been given a tour of their golden residence in the father's house. The sinful defiance of Saul and the nation, by the way, that at this point is really still doing whatever is right in their own eyes.

That doesn't throw heaven into a panic mode. This is quite a reminder to Samuel. See, Samuel is assuming that Israel's worst days are ahead. God happens to know that Israel's best days are ahead. In fact, he's about to anoint the greatest king Israel will ever have. Saul's just a run-up until his descendant, the son of David, our Messiah, descends to reign upon the earth. You see, Samuel has two problems with his perspective.

We have the same problems too. He's grieving over the past and he's worried about the future. That just sort of wraps up all our agony, doesn't it? Samuel here is weeping continually and you can read in his grief, all is lost, all is lost. God says, Samuel, go get your flask of oil. I've already chosen the next king. I have plans for the future of this nation and your life. And I think when he hears that from the Lord, though he just about faints, you've got a king already picked out, verse two, and Samuel said, how can I go?

I mean, you want me to go and anoint a king? If Saul hears it, he's gonna kill me. And the Lord said, take a heifer with you and say, I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. And before you get all knotted up, keep in mind that this wasn't something Samuel was just going to say, it's something he was actually going to do.

I'll let the word say throw you. The ark has been lost to Israel's enemies. Samuel the priest has this circuit and he's been going around holding sacrificial ceremonies, sort of this portable ceremony, so to speak. So God isn't telling Samuel to just say this. In fact, God isn't telling Samuel to deceive.

He's telling him to disguise his hidden agenda. Given the fact that it's going to be 15 years or so before David assumes the throne, God definitely doesn't want Saul or anybody else coming apart at the seams. In fact, I'm going to show you that I believe that David and Jesse and his brothers and the family really didn't know what Samuel was up to.

We're going to change that Sunday school picture you might have in your mind as we work through this. David is going to be officially anointed king in Second Samuel chapter 2, 15 years later. This anointing, as I'll show you, is going to accomplish something else. So what Samuel does is he makes a plan for a sacrificial festival and following that sacrifice there would have been a feast and Samuel, we know from biblical history, would have eaten at someone's home. Now notice verse 3. Here's the home, Samuel.

Invite Jesse to the sacrifice and then I'm going to show you what you'll do. You shall anoint for me him whom I declare to you. Now notice this, God isn't declaring this publicly. God and Samuel are about to carry on this quiet, silent conversation. Verse 4.

Samuel did what the Lord commanded and came to Bethlehem. I love the fact that all the elders come out and they're trembling. They come in peace. We're not exactly sure why. More than likely they have a guilty conscience because Samuel represents the law.

Maybe they're going to be found out. More than likely they know that Bethlehem isn't necessarily in Samuel's normal circuit and they've already heard the news about Saul's rebellion and is Samuel going to do something that brings about unrest or maybe even civil war? Are you coming with peace in mind?

He doesn't really answer them. He just says we're going to have a sacrifice effectively. But did you notice where he comes? Beth will have it. He's traveling to the ancestral homestead of David's great-grandfather Boaz and great-grandmother Ruth. This is the family farm. In this village, one day yet in the future, David's descendant will be born Jesus Christ.

These are the skies that are going to be filled with the angelic hosts singing, glory to God in the highest. See, Samuel's visit to Bethlehem is not an accident. This isn't bailing wire and duct tape to try to put some kind of plan together because Saul really messed everything up. This is not plan B.

This is plan A. And we know there's an interval between the sacrifice and the meal from what verse 11 tells us. Don't look there. Don't go ahead of me. Samuel is going to refuse to sit down.

You'll see it in a minute. We also know from biblical history that this interval takes place because there's going to be a time where that heifer is going to be sacrificed and then portions of it prepared and then eaten in great joy. More than likely, Samuel is now moving from the altar scene of the sacrifice to the feasting scene of the sacrifice, which would have been in someone's home, and it's clear it's in Jesse's home. All of his sons are now invited to meet Samuel. Keep in mind, Samuel is the only one who knows why he wants to meet them, and even after he leaves them, none of them are going to be all the wiser. Now, one of them has been chosen by God.

Now, one more thing and then we'll look ahead. The problem for Samuel here is that he doesn't have a glass slipper in his pouch, size 11 Triple E. The guy that wears that, he's the king. Samuel has not been given much information from God. In fact, he really isn't even given the criteria for choosing the next king, which is why Samuel is going to keep wanting to choose the wrong one, which I think is wonderful. That's a sermon in itself.

You'd think, wow, what a godly Samuel. God gives him the future, you know, a week at a time. Oh, no. You just obey me and I'll fill in the blanks. See, we think if I just get closer to God, I'll tell me about three days from now what's going to happen.

No. You just obey me and I'll fill in the blanks. So here he goes, no information, no clarification. He's just going to anoint the next king and this is a secret conversation between he and God. And so he, and no glass slipper, there's no list, there's no resume. Notice what happens, verse six.

He's introduced to each son beginning in oriental custom with the oldest. When they came, here's the first, he looked on Eliab and thought, surely the Lord's anointed is now standing before him. The Lord said to Samuel, do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature because I've rejected him.

That is, I haven't chosen him. For the Lord sees not as man sees. Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. I'll say more about this in a moment, but one of the things that strikes me again about Samuel is that he's still looking for another Saul. When Saul had anointed, was anointed by Samuel back in chapter nine, the biblical description that impressed Samuel and everybody else was that Saul was head and shoulders above the average guy. So you put him at about six two, six three, six four, striking tall. That's a king for you. And as soon as Samuel sees Eliab, he's reaching for his flask of oil.

This is it, he's the tallest. I mean, even the great priest after decades of wise leading is blind in this area. Isn't that encouraging? He wants Saul part two. God whispers in his spirit, leave that flask right where it is.

Keep it in your pocket. I'm not looking at his height. I'm looking at his heart. Verse eight, Jesse calls it Abinadab, made him pass before Samuel. And he said, neither has the Lord chosen this one. All the sons pass by verse nine and each one, evidently, God is whispering, not that one either. By the way, this isn't a pageant where all the contestants lined up and walked by Samuel in their high heels.

Maybe God asked a question by Samuel on how they would solve world hunger and then Samuel listened to some absolutely ridiculous answers and nodded as if it was deep. In actuality, this is really nothing more than a typical introduction of every son before Samuel. They're passing before him. They're being introduced.

And I don't want you to miss this as well. Jesse, he isn't lining them up saying one of them is going to be king. Oh boy, one of them is going to be king.

That isn't it at all. He would have been thrilled if one of his sons had been chosen to be king. Even David would change his life forever.

This is the most honorable event though he's ever had on his homestead. He's able to introduce his boys to the great prophet priest. And one of them is going to be selected in his mind, in my understanding, based on what isn't said, what they do not ask, and what Samuel refuses to disclose. Some evangelical scholars believe that, some believe Samuel is just anointing an intern, an apprentice to the aging prophet. The only clue that you've got that there's some kind of quest taking place that Jesse would have picked up on is verse 10. Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel and Samuel said to Jesse, the Lord has not chosen these. Now, he would have been left to assume, since Saul was on the throne, he's the king. And he's new into the reign.

He has 15 years more to go, by the way. That, as one author said, that he would assume that David is potentially consecrating one of his sons to be a pupil of the prophets, prophets proliferated, a prophet apprentice. And by the way, David will become a prophet.

He will write inspiring texts and inspired scripture. But the truth is, it is the grace of God that keeps Jesse and his sons in the dark, just as it is the grace of God often to keep us in the dark. Had they been informed that the dynasty of Saul will not take root, that the royal line is going to shift from the tribe of Benjamin to the tribe of Judah, that the son of Saul, Jonathan, will not wear the crown, Saul would have considered this event treason, he would have killed Samuel and Jesse, and he would have hounded until he found every one of those sons and put him to death.

He will kill to keep his throne. It is the grace of God that disguises the agenda of Samuel. Now, verse 11, Samuel said to Jesse, are all your sons here? He's confused.

He just doesn't get it. He said, well, there remains yet the youngest. But behold, he's keeping the sheep. There remains literally the smallest.

You could translate that the least important. But look, he's tending the sheep. I mean, if you're going to choose an apprentice, he's implying that David is the last possible son of his you'd want. Most Sunday School stories, again, take this chapter to be a lineup for the next king. Jesse doesn't think David is king material. Frankly, he would have been happy for David to be king.

It's actually worse than that. Jesse doesn't even think that David qualifies to be Samuel's assistant. Steven has more to this lesson, but we're going to stop here for today. We'll conclude this message on tomorrow's broadcast.

This message is entitled An Unlikely King, and it comes from Steven's series on the life of David called The Singer. Our office is closed today as our staff team enjoys some extra time with family and friends. If you want to interact with us, the best way to do that is online.

You'll find our website at That's all we have time for today. Thanks so much for listening. I hope you'll join us again tomorrow for more wisdom for the hearts. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-04 19:32:09 / 2023-07-04 19:41:58 / 10

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