PSALM 144:1,2,9,10 NIV Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me... I will sing a new song to you, O God; on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you, to the One who gives victory to kings, who delivers his servant David from the deadly sword.
King David of Israel is one of the most amazing men of all history. Whenever David is mentioned we often recall the story of a young lad hurling a single stone at a giant warrior and somehow killing him. Perhaps we think that was David's greatest accomplishment and the rest of his life rode on that single event, which was probably just a lucky shot anyway. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The full story of David's life is about a man having a heart for the LORD. A heart for the LORD is one that is totally committed to doing GOD's will, even when it goes against what everyone else is trying to get us to do. Such is the story of David. David was a man with a heart for GOD even from his youth. Nobody realized this at first, but David was the man GOD had chosen to accomplish HIS purpose. Neither David's family, nor King Saul, not even the great Prophet Samuel looked at David spiritually with a heart for GOD. But GOD found him, and GOD knew him.
One of the most enlightening and inspiring things scripture reveals, is that "the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth". This is a figure of speech which means that GOD is constantly looking all over the earth for something. Do you know what that something is?
2 CHRONICLES 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.
Isn't that amazing? Doesn't that almost make you shudder? To understand that Almighty GOD, Creator of not only this world but also that which is past and that which is not yet, is seeking out people whose heart is perfect towards HIM, so that HE can show himself strong in their behalf! This certainly amplifies the importance of getting our heart in alignment with GOD's will.
GOD is looking for an opportunity to show himself strong. If HE is limited in that goal, it can only be because our heart is not yet where it needs to be. But not so with young David when GOD sent Samuel to anoint him.
1 SAMUEL 16:1,6 And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Beth-lehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons...And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD's anointed is before him.
Therefore, Samuel went to Bethlehem and found Jesse as directed by GOD and upon seeing Eliab, Jesse's eldest son, presumed he was the one GOD had chosen. Not so, said the LORD.
1 SAMUEL 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, "Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
What greater truth could we learn about our Creator, than that HE doesn't see us as we see us. HE sees inside us, at our hearts. HE knows whether or not we're just jiving or if indeed we are the real McCoy. HE knows if our good deeds are done to impress others, or rather in obedience to HIS will. In scripture we learn that the heart to have is a heart that seeks out GOD and HIS word, written and living. Such was David's heart, a heart in one in whom the LORD "will show himself strong".
1 SAMUEL 16:8-10 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these.
None of the sons brought before Samuel was the one GOD had chosen. Did perhaps Samuel mess up somewhere, or was there yet another son, one that even Jesse didn't give serious consideration to? Yes, there was one more son, the youngest, but surely Jesse thought, he was not the chosen one, for he was out in the field keeping the sheep. But then of course he was; he was just where GOD would have the anti-type to be at this hour, with the flock.
1 SAMUEL 16:11-12 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.
This is he! And how often this is the case; the one we would never have chosen, is the one GOD chose from the beginning. It's what is inside a person that counts. That's the true measure of a person. GOD searches the world over for believers with perfect hearts in which HE can show himself strong. Here David has been found having such a heart, and now we will begin to see GOD show himself strong on David's behalf.
David later tells of how, while he was watching over the flock, a lion and a bear came in and snatched away a sheep and how he then rescued the sheep and slew the lion and the bear. He acknowledged that these events in his life had prepared him for the challenge with Goliath. As with David, GOD early on prepares HIS people for their life's challenges.
We all know well the story of how Goliath had paralyzed the army of Israel with fear. Theologians agree not as to just how big Goliath was, but one thing they can't dispute;
1 SAMUEL 17:11 When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.
"When they heard those words!" Remember that children's rhyme, "Sticks and stones may brake my bones but words can never hurt me?" Not necessarily true! Words can be more powerful then sticks and stones. Words can paralyze, even destroy us with fear. Words can rob us of an abundant life and worse, can even lead to our destruction. But words can also build us up and encourage us to greatness. Words, if true, can make us free.
JOHN 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
That's why the written word is so important to feed upon and why the living Word, Yeshua, is so important to know. The more truth we know and act on, the more we will be able to pursue HIS purpose for our lives.
Why were these Israelites "greatly afraid" in the records of SAMUEL? Because they considered his words and looked on the outward appearance. They measured themselves against Goliath and found themselves lacking. That is not a heart after the LORD. That's a carnal heart full of fear. David on the other hand measured Goliath as he measured the lion and the bear. He measured his enemies against GOD and compared to GOD, all enemies are small.
The story of David's life is a story of a believer who pursued GOD's purpose. GOD continually led David into situations where HE could show himself strong on David's behalf. When David confronted the giant, GOD had prepared him with the lion and the bear. GOD even arranged the circumstances surrounding David's life, his daily routines, so that he could be at the place where he needed to be for GOD to affect a mighty work by him.
1 SAMUEL 17:23-24 And as he [David] talked with them, behold there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them. And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.
"David heard them." He then inquired what would be the reward for the one who killed Goliath? David's brother Eliab responded to David's questions with anger.
1 SAMUEL 17:28 And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom didst thou leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.
Eliab reminds us of many today. They are there but they know absolutely nothing about what is going on around them or what is at work within us. They are perhaps religious, perhaps not, but for sure they are carnal. Eliab had not a clue what David could accomplish. Nor did King Saul for when they brought David to Saul, the king was not impressed in the least.
1 SAMUEL 17:33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.
They hovered in fear because they did not have GOD's word, but David did and he persuaded Saul to let him at least try, and so David went out and slew the giant.
Notice that when David met Goliath on the battlefield that Goliath was also quick to belittle David, "come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beast of the field". When the enemy uses words to try to defeat us we must respond, as did David, with GOD's words, or as with Yeshua, when He went through His temptations with Satan. Each time Satan spoke to Yeshua He responded with Scripture.
The key in David's victories is that he didn't rely on himself, he relied on GOD and HIS word.
1 SAMUEL 17:37 David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, HE will deliver me out of the hand of the Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.
The epistle of HEBREWS tells us that it was through faith that David was successful. There was no faith in King Saul. "Go and the LORD be with thee" was empty and ineffectual. Sure it sounded good, as do many religious do-gooders today, but it had no living faith behind it. David had a living faith! He was the one, the only one that day willing to step out of the crowd and face what all others feared. He feared not Goliath! Scripture tells us "that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine". David's GOD was a living GOD!
Faith is hearing, believing, and then obeying GOD, so evidently David must have heard from GOD what he was to do. Otherwise it could not have been by faith.
HEBREWS 11:32-34 And what shall I say more? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also and Samuel, and of the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed vialiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
These were not super-humans. These were ordinary men with extraordinary hearts. These were men who when faced with adversity went to GOD for direction. This is exactly where David went when he needed to stop that lion from devouring one of his sheep. And then years later, as King Saul pursued David to slay him, he "escaped the edge of the sword" time after time because his GOD was a living GOD with whom he had a relationship. His was a living faith.
Truly, young David out of weakness was by GOD made strong, for this lad who wasn't even considered worthy by his own father to be brought before the prophet Samuel, built one of the most successful, one of the most powerful and richest kingdoms the area had ever seen. But of all David's accomplishments, of all that David acquired, none could equal the promises that he obtained from GOD. The promises obtained by David are promises we've seen obtained by others in scripture, but only a select few.
The Red Thread of Christ's ancestry would also pass through David himself. From David's own progeny, from David's own bowels, would come the Redeemer of mankind, the Messiah.
2 SAMUEL 7:1 And it came to pass, when the king [David] sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies.
That day, as David sat in his kingdom, he called the prophet Nathan unto him and told Nathan of his plan. David said that he dwelt in a beautiful house of cedar, but the ark of GOD is out there in a tent. Surely GOD deserves better, so David would build a great big beautiful Temple for GOD.
Nathan thought that was a pretty good idea. This is just how a lot of our magnificent churches were built. Somebody thought that the LORD needed a big beautiful house and of course the clergy would all agree.
But notice how GOD tells Nathan to go back and set David straight.
2 SAMUEL 7:5 Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in?
GOD asks, "David, are you going to build me, GOD Almighty, a house to dwell in? Gets him thinking. Then GOD goes on.
2 SAMUEL 7:6-7 Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle. In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar?
Have I ever asked anyone to build me a house, David? Why do we today think GOD needs us to build HIM anything? In ISAIAH GOD tells us that heaven is HIS throne and the earth HIS footstool. Where is the house we could build HIM?!
GOD never asks us for things, HE asks us for our hearts, our free will obedience.
2 SAMUEL 7:8-11 Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: and I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth.
Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, and as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house.
David, now on his comfortable perch thought he would build a house for the LORD. GOD responds and says, "no you won't David, but I GOD will build you a house!" The house the LORD was referring to, was David's lineage from whom would come the King of kings and Lord of lords.
2 SAMUEL 7:12-13,16 And when the days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever...And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
What a promise to obtain! GOD truly does search the earth over for perfect hearts in believers in which to show himself strong. Of all David's trials, tribulations and victories, none meant as much as this one;
David no longer sat in his house of cedar, but he got up and went in, and rather sat before the LORD. GOD's word is sent to get us, all of us, back in pursuit of HIS purpose.
2 SAMUEL 7:18-22 Then went king David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said, Who am I O Lord GOD? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord GOD; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant's house for a great while to come.
And is this the manner of man, O Lord GOD? And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, Lord GOD, knowest thy servant. For thy words sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know them. Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
Who am I was David's cry! Truly without the LORD we are nothing. As David questioned, "What is my house that Thou hast brought me hitherto?"
When Yeshua's own followers dwelt too much on physical accumulations, He taught them, that "a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth". How solemn these words must be for those who have spent their entire life acquiring only physical possessions. The few years GOD gives, are too often thus wasted on trivial pursuits, rather than discovering the true purpose for our existence. Most of us are familiar with Yeshua's command, to not lay up for yourselves treasure upon earth but rather treasure in heaven. Then come these most enlightening words; "for where your treasure is there will your heart be also".