Summary: The selection of David gives hope to those with low self-esteem that when man overlooks them, God sees them.
This evening, we begin an 8-part series on the life of David. We entitled it, “Slaying Your Giants”. These messages are inspired largely by Max Lucado’s book, “Facing Your Giants”, 2006. When I mention David, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? For me, it’s the classic story of David and Goliath. It was one of the earliest lessons in Sunday School 40 years ago. The little chorus still stays in my mind, “Only a boy called David, only a rippling brook, only a boy called David, five little stones he took, Then one little stone went in the sling and the sling went round and round. One little stone went in the sling and the sling went round and round; round and round and round and round and round and round and round. One little stone went up, up, up and the giant came tumbling down.” This is the story on which the title is based.
Yes, David was a great character in the Bible. More is written about David than any other person in the Old Testament. Great people like Moses had 40 chapters, Abraham - 14, Joseph – 13 but David had 66 chapters about his life. He wrote many of the lovely psalms, he was praised as a warrior, he was the best king that Israel ever had and of course, his name is forever associated with our Lord Jesus, the son of David! Great victories he had over his enemies, beginning with Goliath the giant. But there is something I must warn you about in this preaching series. We are going to be plain honest. Slaying giants is not all about victories and hallelujahs. David is not perfect. Although God called him “a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22), David had his failures. Some giants he defeated, some giants defeated him – there’s an ugly side to David’s story. He was defeated by giants of desperation, lust and family discords. We are not going to skip over his failures. We will preach about them so that hopefully, we can learn and not fall like David. I want to be frank. If David, a man after God’s own heart, could fail, you and I cannot expect to live on cloud 9 all the time. So don’t expect to kill every giant easily with a sling shot. We will topple and fail sometimes. But don’t use that as an excuse to live a defeated life. Don’t stay where you are and never realize the wonderful dreams that God has for you. Face the giants of life squarely, rely on God and let’s slay them one by one this year! Let us pray.
Are you ready to face the first giant? Max Lucado called it “Goliath of exclusion”. I call it the “the giant of low self-esteem or being a forgotten nobody”. David didn’t make a grand entrance in the Bible. Turn with me to 1 Samuel 16:1-5, NCV, “The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you continue to feel sorry for Saul? I have rejected him as king of Israel. Fill your container with olive oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse who lives in Bethlehem, because I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” But Samuel said, “If I go, Saul will hear the news and will try to kill me.” The LORD said, “Take a young calf with you. Say, ‘I have come to offer a sacrifice to the LORD.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice. Then I will tell you what to do. You must appoint the one I show you.” Samuel did what the LORD told him to do. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the older leaders of Bethlehem shook with fear. They met him and asked, “Are you coming in peace?” Samuel answered, “Yes, I come in peace. I have come to make a sacrifice to the LORD. Set yourselves apart to the LORD and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he set Jesse and his sons apart to the LORD, and he invited them to come to the sacrifice.”
To start with, David had the wrong address. He lived in the town of Bethlehem. We’ve said much about Bethlehem where Jesus was born. Just a little town that nobody thought much about. It’s like Pulau Ubin, not big city Singapore. Samuel the prophet was told to go to Bethlehem to anoint the next king because God had rejected Saul the first king of Israel due to his disobedience. Samuel’s entry into the small town caused quite a stir – the leaders were afraid because there’s absolutely no reason for a great prophet to come to a small town. I’m sure that no one has any clue that he was going to find the next king there. Next, his family wasn’t the right “pedigree”. Jesse’s grandmother was Ruth, a Moabite (not a Jew but a poor widow). His dad, Jesse, did not seem rich. He didn’t employ a shepherd – his sons had to do the job. David was just an ordinary guy from an ordinary home in an ordinary town. Friends, it really doesn’t matter where you come from - whether you are raised in New York or Muar, whether you are from a reputable school like RI, RGS or some unknown school like AmaKeng School. Where you come from doesn’t matter in God’s eyes. Singapore is a small nation but I believe God can raise spiritual kings from us. Ours may be a small church but God can choose you to make history in our world. As Pastor Lau mentioned in our anniversary grand dinner, out of the 9 AG Executive Committee, 3 or one-third came from this church. We are denominational leaders. Praise God! You don’t have to come from a mega church to be chosen or used.