part two

This evening I want to make one point. It is my prayer that you understand that one point better than ever. It is my prayer that you cannot stop thinking about your deeper understanding. It is my prayer that your understanding will mature you spiritually.

The one point: a primary reason for David being a man after God's own heart is found in David's trust in God.

I am confident that to those present this point is not impressive. I am confident a common reaction would be, "Certainly! God's people trust him! That is what being godly is all about--trusting God!" I am also confident that many of us do not understand what it means to trust God. David's trust in God shakes our faith to the core. David is a person in the Bible who demonstrated what it means to trust God.

  1. To understand David's trust in God, we need to begin with the first king of Israel, Saul.
    1. We need to remember that God Himself picked Saul to be Israel's king.
      1. God told Samuel whom to anoint (1 Samuel 9:15,16).
      2. Samuel told Saul that his anointing to be king was from the Lord (1 Samuel 10:1)
      3. God gave Saul a changed heart (1 Samuel 10:9).
      4. Yet, with all God did for Saul, Saul chose a course as king that deeply disappointed God.
    2. We also need to remember that God rejected Saul and took the kingdom away from Saul's descendants (1 Samuel 15).
      1. In the mission that God gave Saul to destroy the Amalekites, Saul totally disappointed God.
        1. Saul's concept of obedience and God's concept of obedience were fundamentally different.
        2. Saul's concept of honoring God dishonored God.
        3. God made it very clear that acts of worship are never a substitute for surrendering to His will.
      2. God rejected Saul as Israel's suitable king because Saul was not trustworthy; God could not depend on Saul.

  2. God through Samuel anointed David to be the next king of Israel (1 Samuel 16).
    1. David understood what Samuel's anointing meant, and on that day David powerfully received God's Spirit (1 Samuel 16:13).
    2. David's interaction with Saul after that day strikes us as strange.
      1. Saul suffered from bouts of deep depression, anger, and foul moods.
        1. David played the harp for Saul to soothe Saul's troubled moods.
        2. Even though Saul made attempts to kill David, David still played for him.
      2. When David's military accomplishments caused Saul to become extremely jealous, David was still loyal and trustworthy to Saul.
        1. When Saul made attempts to have David killed, David took no retaliation against Saul.
        2. When Saul forced David to leave his wife and family and flee to the wilderness to escape death, David took no retaliation against Saul.
        3. When Saul had the priests, their wives, their children, and their livestock at Nob killed because one priest gave David food, David made no attempt to retaliate against Saul.
        4. When Saul's elite military forces chased David and his men in the wilderness as though they were wild animals, David made no attempt to retaliate against Saul.
      3. Why? David trusted God.
    3. There are two specific incidents that reveal what trusting God meant to David.
      1. The first incident is recorded in 1 Samuel 24.
        1. Saul took 3000 elite soldiers into the wilderness of Engedi to find and destroy David and his men.
        2. In one place, there was a huge cave; David and his men hid in the cave.
        3. Saul went inside the cave to answer the nature's call and evidently laid aside his robe while he relieved himself.
        4. This presented David with the perfect opportunity to kill Saul.
        5. David refused to kill him, and he refused to permit his men to kill Saul.
        6. David did quietly cut off a piece of Saul's robe, but he felt guilty for doing that.
        7. When Saul dressed and left the cave, at some distance away David called to him, and respectfully bowed.
        8. "I could have killed you, but I did not."
        9. Listen to David's reason:
          1. Verse 10: "I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord's anointed."
          2. Verse 12: "My hand will not be against you."
          3. Verse 13: "My hand will not be against you."
        10. In our words, "God placed you in your position; God will remove you from your position; but that is God's decision, not mine, and God will care for it."
        11. "I refuse to undo what God did."
      2. The second incident is found is 1 Samuel 26.
        1. This time Saul took 3000 elite soldiers to the wilderness of Ziph to destroy David and his men.
        2. David had spies watch Saul's movements, and David knew where Saul made camp.
        3. David watched as the entire camp went to sleep.
        4. Saul was sleeping in the center of the camp (formed in a circle).
        5. David and Abishai slipped to the center of camp and stood with Saul at their feet.
        6. Abishai wanted to kill Saul with a single thrust of his spear, but David would not permit it.
        7. Instead, they took Saul's spear and water jug some distance away from the sleeping camp.
        8. From a safe distance, David woke up the camp and condemned Abner, the captain of the solders, for not protecting Saul.
        9. Saul clearly understood that David could have killed him.
        10. Why did David not kill him?
          1. David said no one could stretch out their hand against God's anointed without guilt.
          2. God made Saul king, and God would determine when Saul should stop being king.
          3. But it would be God's decision, not David's.
          4. David trusted God.

  3. To those of you who have been serious Bible students for years, there is nothing new in anything I shared.
    1. You have known those facts and situations for many years.
      1. However, we may fail to see the lesson about trusting God if all we do is know the facts.
      2. It is not enough to know and appreciate the facts.
    2. Perhaps the only way we can open our eyes to the lesson about trust is to examine the situation in contrast.
      1. Here is a man who:
        1. Knew beyond question that God selected him to be king.
        2. Saw the evil of the current king, saw his ungodliness in the nation.
        3. Knew the king had destroyed God's priests and their families.
        4. Knew the king was an evil influence in the nation.
        5. Knew that he, himself, would not lead the nation into evil.
        6. Had his life placed in great jeopardy because of this man, lived in misery, and was unjustly separated from his family and friends.
      2. Here is a man who had the opportunity to correct or avenge all of those situations on more than one occasion.
      3. Yet, he refused to do it because he trusted God.
        1. Because he trusted God he would not make himself king.
        2. Because he trusted God he would not remove Saul as an evil influence in Israel.
        3. Because he trusted God he would not avenge the deaths of the priests by killing the evil Saul.
        4. Because he trusted God he would not relieve the misery this evil man caused him by killing Saul.
    3. Many of us would classify David's refusal to kill Saul as stupidity, not as trusting God.
      1. Our reasoning:
        1. "Obviously, God intends me to be king."
        2. "Obviously, God is disgusted with Saul."
        3. "Obviously, God has commissioned me to solve the problem--the man is evil, he killed the priest, and the nation would be much better off if he were dead."
        4. "Obviously, the man is trying to kill me; if he succeeds what God intends cannot happen; it is the will of God that I kill the man."
      2. That is not the reasoning of a man after God's own heart.
        1. Was David a military man? Yes.
        2. Had David killed people to defend God's honor? Yes.
        3. Did David use violence to destroy the enemies of Israel? Yes.
        4. But David trusted God to remove Saul as king when God wished to do so.
        5. David did not "reason" himself into acting by "assuming he was the instrument of God's will."
        6. David trusted God to take care of His own business, and removing Saul from the throne was God's business--not David's.
      3. David trusted God instead of justifying himself.
      4. That is the primary reason David's heart had special value to God.

One of the most difficult characteristics of godliness is trusting God. It is much too simple to classify our decisions as God's will. It is much too easy to substitute our justifications for trusting God.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Evening Sermon, 3 December 2000
previous next in series

 Link to next sermon

 Link to other Writings of David Chadwell