Summary: Part 4 in a series on the Life of David.
Insights from the Life of David – Part 4:
“Watch Your Back! David & Saul”
If you’ve been with us over the past three weeks you know that we’re studying the life of David who the Bible tells us was “a man after God’s own heart.” Our study began three weeks ago as we discovered that God chooses us not according to our abilities or appearances, but according to what’s inside as we learned from the story of David who was the runt of the liter, the youngest in his family, a no name boy from the little town of Bethlehem, whose job was to take care of the family sheep, but who was anointed by the prophet Samuel, as instructed by God to be the next King of Israel. The following week we dealt with the familiar story of David and Goliath and discovered some principles for overcoming the giants in our own lives. And last week we looked at David’s family tree and in honor of Mother’s Day studied the life of David’s great-grandmother Ruth.
As our saga continues we find ourselves this week at a turning point. Only a chapter before our reading this morning we find David having appeared on the battlefront killing a giant much bigger than himself, winning for King Saul a decisive victory over his enemies. And in the beginning of chapter 18 we find out that as a result of David’s victory over Goliath, Saul has made him a commander in his army. David, we’re told quickly became a very successful leader, to such an extent that the women adored him.
You can all see the handwriting on the wall. If David was anointed as the next King, then obviously King Saul had to go. King Saul and newly anointed David couldn’t live side-by-side. That’s where our story begins.
You see in order for David to become King there were several obstacles that he would have to overcome.
Before we look at them may I suggest to you that the same is true for us. I just finished a tremendous book this week entitled “The Dream Giver” by Bruce Wilkinson the thesis of which is that God has a great big dream for each and every one of us. The problem is that too many of us never pursue the fulfillment of those dreams. One of the reasons that most people never enjoy their dream is because they fail to see the obstacles that lie in their way in the right perspective. The secret to overcoming the obstacles is in how we view them.
You see that’s what this part of David’s journey is all about – it’s about seeing things from the right perspective. Because any one of the things that David went through in our reading today could have been enough to break him. But somehow David kept the faith and learned an important lesson from each obstacle, a lesson that is invaluable for us as we pursue God’s dreams for our own lives. Somehow David was able to take several obstacles which could have easily encouraged him to turn around and pursue a different vocation and see in them important lessons which helped him become the King that the Scriptures have called “A man after God’s own heart.”
Let’s look at David’s obstacles… I’ve got a feeling that you’ll be able to identify with a few…
The first one is one we talked about two weeks ago. Before David could ever become King he had to overcome a Giant. What we discovered two weeks ago is that when we view giants from our own size and perspective the battle is hopeless. But when we look at giants in comparison to God’s size our perspective changes entirely. What David understood about one of his first major obstacles to becoming King was that the battles that he would face were not his own but that the battle belongs to the Lord. When we surrender the battles in our own lives and recognize that in our own strength they are hopeless and instead rely on the power of God our giants don’t seem so giant any more.
The second obstacle that David had to overcome were flying spears. One day David’s in the King’s court playing his harp, doing what he could to lighten the king’s dark spirits, when all of a sudden, whoosh, a sharp-pointed spear flies right past his head! The King had become so jealous of this young man that he wanted to kill him! I don’t know about you but I’ve never had anyone hurl a spear in hopes of killing me before. You might think that David would have realized how nuts this guy was, but the text tells us that it happened on another occasion. For some reason David stuck around.