Summary: This is the eleventh of 31 lessons on The Story. David becomes the replacement for Saul as king. In so doing he must overcome "Giant Challenges" of Saul, Goliath, and an Impossible Friendship with Jonathan.

1. Ideal Football Player

The coach at Auburn University - Shug Jordan - had asked his former Linebacker Mike Kollin if he would help his alma Mater do some recruiting.

Mike said, "Sure, coach. What kind of player are you looking for?"

The coach said, "Well Mike, you know there's that fellow, you knock him down, he just stays down?"

Mike said, "We don't want him, do we, coach?"

"No, that's right. Then there's that fellow, you knock him down and he gets up, you knock him down again and he stays down."

Mike said, "We don't want him either do we coach?"

Coach said, "No, but Mike, there's a fellow, you knock him down, he gets up. Knock him down, he gets up. Knock him down, he gets up. Knock him down, he gets up."

Mike said, "That's the guy we want isn't it, coach?"

The coach answered, "No, Mike, we don't want him either. I want you to find the guy who's knocking everybody down. That's the guy we want."

2. God chooses people we would not expect to do his will

* Moses stuttered.

* Jacob lied.

* Timothy was sickly.

* Abraham was too old.

* Ruth was an outsider.

* Peter was a braggart

* Jonah ran from God.

* Miriam was a bigot and a gossip.

* Martha was a worrywart.

* Saul (Paul) -- Persecutor

3. David becomes the King of Israel and great champion of the people

a. His Kingship did not come without challenges -- Goliath comes to mind

b. His way to the throne was not an easy one in spite of the promises of God

c. We, too are challenged along the way to claim the promises of God

4. Historically we have entered the period of the kings of Israel -- Adam-Noah-Abraham-Patriarchs-Moses-Joshua-Judges-Kings (Saul-David)

I. The Challenge on the Forefront (Replacing Saul as King) -- 1 Samuel 16.6; 12-13

Three golfers were out on the course when a storm blew in. They were struck by lightning. Standing before the "pearly gates" of heaven they asked if there was golf in heaven. St. Peter assured them that the golf in heaven was incredible and that they could play all they wanted. Then he cautioned them with the one rule for the heavenly course, "Do not hit a duck."

As they played, one of the men hit a duck. Peter approached him with a not-so-attractive woman and said, "You are the one who hit the duck." He handcuffed him to the woman and they went off for eternity.

The two others continued to play and a second man hit a duck. Peter appeared with another unattractive woman, handcuffed the man to her, and off they went for eternity.

The last golfer continued playing. One day Peter approached him with a stunningly beautiful woman. He handcuffed the man to her. Elated, the man asked, "What did I do to deserve this?" The gorgeous woman replied, "I hit a duck!"

This is a funny story with a sad truth, we tend to judge on externals. God, however judges the heart.

A. Saul Squandered his Gift (of being king)

1. He had the appearance of King -- tall and handsome (most US Presidents are tall)

2. He had the Spirit of God -- 1 Samuel 10.9-10; 11.6

3. He had victories and opportunities

4. He had sin within -- Philistines and Amalakites

B. David Prepares to Reign -- 16.6; 12-13

1. In his heart

2. As a shepherd

3. As a fugitive from Saul -- 18.5-9

4. As Saul's Potential Assassin -- 24.1ff; 26.1ff

[The Jews were told to wear tassels on the corners of their garments in Numbers 15 and Deuteronomy 22; Skirt of his robe (24.4) = the kanaf (corner) of the tallit -- Malachi 4.2 "sun of righteousness comes with healing in his wings" (corners) -- woman with the issue of blood wanted to touch the kanaf of his tallit for healing; the tallit represents a commitment to the Torah and God -- the corner represents authority; when David cut the corner of Saul's tallit it indicated that he lost his authority and that he was not keeping covenant with God

II. The Challenge of the Fight (Goliath) -- 1 Samuel 17 [Valley of Elah in Israel Slide

In February, 1980, the US Olympic Hockey team took the ice in Lake Placid, NY to face the toughest hockey team in the world -- the USSR. Two weeks before in Olympic competition, the Russians beat the Americans, 12-2. That night, however, proved to be different. The US defeated the USSR 4-2 in one of the most stunning upsets in sports history. Most of us remember the film clip as the clock winds down and our players raced on the ice to celebrate. Al Michaels was the announcer for ABC Sports and shouted, "Do you believe in miracles?"

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