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Summary: Developing character during humbling times.

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Learning Character Among the Sheep

I Samuel 16:6-13; 17-19

I. Background from Chapter 15

A. Saul rejected as King by God for his disobedience.

1. God had instructed Saul to attack the Amalekites, and kill everything, taking no spoils. But Saul kept the “choicest” things to sacrifice to God.

2. Samuel rebuked Saul in v. 22 by saying, “Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord?”

3. God sent Samuel to the house of Jesse of Bethlehem to anoint a new king.

II. Read I Samuel 16: 6-13

A. Poor old David had been left out of participating in the sacrifice. He was the youngest and the least of the sons so tradition would have it that he should watch the sheep while his father and brothers attended the ceremony.

1. Do you ever feel like David must have felt? Unimportant, and left out.

a. Some people have a gift of making us feel inferior.

b. Satan uses this tool often to keep us from achieving the success that God has planned for everyone of us.

2. Do we ever feel arrogant as if we are “above” being stuck out in

the field with the sheep.

a. God may have a purpose for bringing us to humility as we are about to see.

b. Remember what Jeremiah 29:11 says: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”

III. So, of course, since God has such wonderful plans for all of us, David just marched triumphantly to the palace. Right?

A. It doesn’t say here, but we find the answer in vv. 17-19.

1. King Saul, who was a manic depressant, had went into a deep depression and had asked his men to find him someone who could play music, so as to comfort him.

2. One of his servants had heard David play, and so Saul sent word to Jesse to send his son David who was where

B. David, who had been anointed as the next king was still watching the sheep! What purpose could God possibly have for leaving a man as important as David, guarding a bunch of nasty old sheep?

IV. The answer is to prepare him for a greater purpose by building his character where he was.

A. Read Psalm 20:7-9

1. David wrote this while God had him watching the sheep.

2. You see, it’s in the quiet, still moments that God can teach us the character we need to succeed at His plan.

B. Was what God taught David useful to him later? Read II Samuel 10:17-19

1. Maybe if the Arameans had spent more time tending the sheep and learning from God, they wouldn’t have placed their faith in chariots and horses.

C. Just as God used the time alone in the fields with the sheep to develop David’s faith and trust, He uses trials in our lives to prepare us for the perfect plan He has in store for each us. Sometimes the greater the trials, the greater the rewards in the end.


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