Summary: Despite his faults, God chose David to be king, a man after God's own heart. How does David point us to Jesus and what does this mean for us today?

As part of my sermon research this week, I had to watch the movie Rudy. As you may know, it’s about a young man who dreamed of playing football for Notre Dame. Most people had written him off- he was too small, he didn’t have the grades to go to college, and even if he did, he couldn’t afford the tuition. Yet he persevered.

He attended junior college until he could enroll at Notre Dame as a junior. An assistant coach kept him for the practice team and due to his hard work, the head coach agreed to let him suit up for one game the next season. However, that coach retired and the new coach knew nothing about the promise. Rudy played his heart out all season long, only to get to the final game and see that he hadn’t made the roster.

Frustrated, he quit before the final practice and stormed off. Another player who had stayed because of Rudy tried to stop him. The maintenance man at the stadium who had promised to attend should Rudy get to dress, finds and talks to Rudy about what he’s doing. He tells him that he had been on the team and quit after two years, a decision he regretted every week for the rest of his life. Rudy shouldn’t make the same mistake.

Rudy returns to practice and the entire team applauds him. After practice, the starters came in to the head coach’s office, one by one, and turned in their uniforms, telling him to play Rudy in their spot. The coach relents and allows Rudy to dress for the last home game. The team has Rudy lead them on to the field. Near the end of the game, players get the entire stadium to chant Rudy’s name in an effort to get him in the game. When the coach calls for the offense to run out the clock, they run a trick play and score. The coach sends Rudy in for the ensuing kickoff, then one last defensive play, when Rudy sacks the quarterback to end the game. The team hoists him up on their shoulders and carries him off the field.

I remember when this movie was first released. As a high school sophomore, I outplayed our senior starters in practice, yet sat the bench because the coach had to play his seniors. Not wanting to play for that coach, my junior year I pursued other opportunities, only to get back to school in the fall and learn that we had a new coach. I returned to football my senior year and played well enough to be named honorable mention all-conference offensive tackle. A few of the coaches told my coach that had I played all four years, I would have been first team for both offense and defense and in the running for player of the year.

Now I was a college junior at Lincoln. Had I pursued football, I may have been playing as a Wisconsin Badger. That year, they had played one of their games in Japan and went on to win the Rose Bowl. And then the movie Rudy was released. I went back to the dorm that night, the one time I regretted that I had chosen ministry over football.

I share this memory today because I believe it ties in with our topic today in a couple of ways. We’ve been looking at how God makes all things new. We’re wrapping this series up today by talking about a new king. We’re going to look at events in the life of David. This story actually begins with regret. Chapter 15 concludes by telling us that Samuel grieved over Saul while God regretted that He had made Saul king.

My first time watching Rudy, I had to deal with my own feelings of regret and seeing the scene in which he was told he’d regret quitting again really got me thinking about the struggle Samuel must have gone through. But God doesn’t leave him there, giving him instructions to pick the next king in chapter 16. Now, we know David wasn’t perfect, but listen to the description Peter credits God for giving (read Acts 13:22). God picked David to prepare the world for Jesus. The obvious part is the genealogy- Jesus was born in the line of David. Let’s look at some of the foreshadowing God uses when it comes to King David pointing to King Jesus.

It starts as God chooses the next king by character rather than physical appearance. God tells Samuel to fill his horn with oil and head to Bethlehem. God would send him Jesse with his sons and Samuel would anoint one of the sons to be the next king (read 1 Samuel 16:6). I wonder if Samuel didn’t remember how Saul stood out when he was chosen as king, so when he saw Eliab, he thought this is the guy! He’s the firstborn, he’s good-looking, he’s tall- just like Saul towering over the people. But God says no (read 1 Samuel 16:7).

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