Summary: We begin a series looking at some heroes of the Old Testament. We begin with a great hero who was called a man after God’s own heart: David. We’ll uncover one of David’s most important qualities and contributions to us in our day and age.
Heroes of the OT
February 1, 2008
We are starting a new series called Heroes of the OT. I think this series is going to have a powerful impact and could really affect some change in our live—if we can really buy into what God is saying and apply it. I believe this is a great opportunity to invite people to hear God speak and to worship. Even though anyone will be able to jump in at any time, I also believe that you won’t want to miss some of these heroes. After all, people have been reading about these heroes for several thousands of years. Thousands of years! Think about that. That in itself is amazing!
Each of these heroes will tie into and build on the ideas about following Jesus in holistic community. Basically, we’ll see how each hero impacts one of those seven areas if not more than one.
I want to begin with a question. Which person in the Bible do you look up to? Which person do you resonate with? Why? I am including the NT as well. Who is your hero? Who would you want to be like? Or who has the qualities that you would to emulate?
In seminary, every student was asked this question and it was sort of a psychological test that with the other tests could reveal some possible issues of the student and point to the fitness of the student for pastoral ministry. For example, I said, “Jesus.” Because as a potential pastor, I thought that was what I was supposed to say. But if my scores on other tests would have been different, this could have support to indicate a messiah complex or at least a person with unrealistic expectations of himself or herself and others. “To be like God.” Pretty dangerous.
But when pressed to go deeper, I really resonate with David as well as Moses. Certainly, there are many, many others. But David especially is meaningful because he reminds me that even the best of us (after all he was called a man after God’s own heart) can fail. Even the best of us can fail miserably but God can always redeem any situation. So we are going to look at David as our first hero.
There is so much we could examine with David. We could make a series on David alone. But I want to lift up one quality to emulate of David. We find an indication in 1 Ch. 12:16-18.
There were also men from the tribes of Benjamin and Judah who joined David in his wilderness fortress. When David went out to meet them, this is what he said: "If you have come in peace and to help me, you are most welcome to join this company; but if you have come to betray me to my enemies, innocent as I am, the God of our ancestors will see through you and bring judgment on you."
Just then Amasai chief of the Thirty, moved by God’s Spirit, said,
We’re on your side, O David,
We’re committed, O son of Jesse;
All is well, yes, all is well with you,
And all’s well with whoever helps you.
Yes, for your God has helped and does help you.
So David took them on and assigned them a place under the chiefs of the raiders.
Legend has it that a certain college philosophy prof asked one question on his final exam. He picked up a chair, put it on his desk, and wrote on the board, "Using everything we have learned this semester, prove that this chair does not exist."
The students dug deep and wrote like crazy for a whole hour, some of them churning out 30 pages of heady philosophical debate and logic.
But one student turned in his paper after less than a minute. Turned out he was the only one to get an "A."
What did he write so quickly that turned out to be just the right answer?
Just two words—"What chair?"
I have one word for us today. One word from God based on David’s life. Loyalty. David inspired loyalty.
David Inspired Loyalty
David was a kid that heard a giant Philistine mocking God and the people of God. Come out and fight me. The winner of our fight is the winner of the battle. Your puny, pathetic god can’t help you. Your god is as puny and pathetic as you are. But as a kid, David knew that what was at stake was God’s honor so he volunteered. He shamed these full-grown men by going out to face the giant warrior with some rocks and a sling. And God prevailed as David slew that giant.
David eventually would serve King Saul who became jealous of David’s success on the battlefield and his talents as a musician. But even as an enemy of the state, David had great and mighty men that flocked to his side. Mighty men who became giant killers in their own right. Eventually, David would become king over Israel succeeding Saul. David had many loyal men.