David: The Shepherd King

This entry is part 7 of 15 in the series When the Heroes of Faith speak...

Read at beginning of service:

John 15:1-8 (NIV)

1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

Recap series, “When the Heroes of Faith Speak”

PRAY

This morning, we?re going to look at possibly the most beloved character in the Old Testament.

He lived a life of success and sorrow, faith and failure.

He knew the humility of being a simple shepherd?

He knew the honor of being a nation?s King.

His name was David?and Scripture tells us that David was a man “After God?s own heart”.

And yet, David made some horrible mistakes in his life that brought shame upon him, and pain/suffering upon his family.

As I pondered what King David would say if he stood in this pulpit this morning, I was literally overwhelmed.

We could spend months looking at his life?

I could preach entire sermon series on the life of David.

How could I possibly boil his entire life down into just a few words of advice?

I believe that if David were here, he would share these 3 bits of wisdom with you.

First, I believe that David would remind you?

PRIDE KILLS FAITH

I Samuel 16 tells the story of the Shepherd boy who became a King.

The youngest of 8 children, David was out in the fields tending sheep when Samuel came to his father?s house to anoint a new king over Israel.

Jesse sent 7 of his sons before Samuel, beginning with the oldest.

He was a fine looking fellow, probably a cross between a young Tom Cruse, Bruce Willis and Richard Gere.

Samuel thought for sure that this was the man to be King?he just looked like a king!

But God said to him in I Samuel 16:7,


1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

6 more sons passed by Samuel, and God didn?t allow Samuel to anoint any of them as the new King.

Finally, Jesse called David from the fields.

Verse 12 tells us the he was bright, red headed and good looking.

Samuel anointed the young boy David as the new King of Israel.

The youngest brother – a poor peasant sheep-herder was made the king of Israel.

But there was only one problem.

King Saul was still on the throne and refused to accept that he was fired!

He still remained on the throne, and David couldn?t take his place until God had removed him.

Saul was slowly going crazy, and verse 14 says that a distressing spirit troubled him.

David came to play some music for Saul, and even though he was the rightful King, remained in submission to Saul.

Fast forward with me to chapter 17?The armies of Israel were on one side of the hill?.The armies of the Philistines were on the other side of the hill, and “No man?s Land? stood in the valley before them.

Each day, a nasty nine foot tall guy by the name of Goliath walked out into the center of the valley and challenged any one of the Israelites to fight him, winner take all!

This was the beginning of what we call in sports today, “Sudden death Overtime”.

This is when the game goes into overtime and the first team that scores wins the game.

Except, this really was “Sudden Death Overtime!”

Not a single soldier, including David?s own brothers, would dare face down Goliath.

David came to the camp to bring food to his brothers, and heard Goliath down in the valley.

David heard Goliath trashing the nation of Israel, and blaspheming God.

He was enraged?He went straight to Saul and volunteered to fight Goliath.

In the valley stood a giant and a boy, and warrior and a child.

Goliath looked down at David and said in verses 43-44, “?Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I?ll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”

David could handle a lot of abuse, after all, he had 7 older brothers!

But he couldn?t handle hearing God cursed, so David said in verse 45-47

1 Samuel 17:45-47 (NIV)

45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

He stunned Goliath with a rock from a slingshot, and used Goliath?s own sword to cut off his head.

And on that day, David showed everyone he really know how to get ahead in this world!

And as soon as he was done, he went right back to being the shepherd boy who played music for the king.

He went right back to his position of submission under Saul, and waited for God to make him the king.

Here?s the point that I want you to see.

David didn?t stand on his own abilities, strengths or talents.

David didn?t play politics, curry favor and try to take the king?s place.

David didn?t take the credit for the victories that God gave him.

Do you remember what David said when he faced Goliath?

“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me?”

David knew that the victory belonged to God.

David understood who was the Shepherd and who was the sheep.

David understood who was the potter and who was the clay.

David was careful not to let himself become prideful in his own ability.

Jesus said it more appropriately in John 15:5

John 15:5 (NIV)

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Friends, we need to get a hold of that principle for our lives?David knew it well.

Without Jesus, you and I could not accomplish a single thing!

In my opinion, there tends to be a lot of pride in the church of Jesus Christ.

We talk about how we did this or we did that.

Friends, let me say this as your pastor?We haven?t done anything.

God has done everything.

This church is moving forward ? not because of anything we?ve done but because of what God is doing!!

Exciting things are happening here!

It?s not the preaching, teaching, caring, sharing, or giving that?s growing this church?It?s Jesus!

It?s not good management, careful budgeting, missions or outreach that?s growing this church?It?s Jesus.

He is the vine, we are the branches?

If the preaching/teaching are good, it?s because Jesus used some simple men/women to speak His truth.

If the caring/sharing minister to you, it?s because Jesus uses each of you to love one another.

If good management/careful budgeting helps us reach the lost, it?s because Jesus guided each person to make that happen.

If this church is reaching the lost through missions or outreach its because God planted passion/vision in come folks hearts to make that happen.

Let me share with you the quickest way to destroy God?s work in a church.

Just get prideful and start taking credit for what God?s doing!

The moment we start giving the credit to us rather than God, His blessings will disappear.

Friends, we need to make sure that we have David?s heart.

David knew that he couldn?t kill Goliath?but he knew that God could!

David knew that he couldn?t take the throne from Saul?but he knew that God could!

May I give you what I believe is a very accurate way to tell whether you suffer from “holy pride”?

How willing are you to stay out of God?s way and let Him work in your church and your life?

Pridefulness believes that it all depends on us.

Pridefulness has to have control.

Pridefulness resists any new ideas.

Pridefulness can?t step out on faith.

Pridefulness puts God in a box and says, “God, we make the rules here, not you. We know what we?re doing better than you do!”

In my experience, the more prideful a person is, the more controlling and resistant they are to allowing God to work freely.

And friends, here?s the secret that young David knew.

God can?t work in an atmosphere of pride.

His own people will quench His Spirit when they?re prideful.

His own church will stop His work when pride rules the roost.

Would you agree with me on a few things here this morning?

We really don?t deserve a God?s love that sent His son to die for us.

We really can?t do anything to earn our way to Heaven.

We really can?t become less sinful unless God?s Holy Spirit leads us.

We really can?t get God to love us more by doing favors for Him.

We really don?t want our way, we want God?s way.

We really can?t accomplish anything for God unless He accomplishes it through us.

Could you say those things this morning and really mean them?

Then you understand what David understood.

Don?t ever let yourself become prideful in your own ability.

So, before we go on, what happens when we let go of all pride and let God?s Spirit work through us, depending on Him for the results.

A. We?ll stop fearing failure.

We just do the work that Jesus sets before us, and let Him worry about the results!

B. We?ll be Free to Take a Step of Faith.

When we simply follow God?s leading and stop worrying about failure and results, then we?re not afraid to take those God led steps of faith.

We took a step of faith when we initiated the building project.

We stepped out on faith, trusted God for the results, and He isn?t letting us down!

When we strip away all pride in our personal ability, then God can really move and work in our midst.

David say to us this morning, “Pride kills faith”

2nd David would plead with us?

2. Don?t let too much idle time cause you to sin.

We?re going to fast forward again quite a few years ? Now the shepherd boy has become king over Israel.

He?s a king, anointed by God, placed on the throne to serve the people.

Turn to II Samuel 11 (Pew Bible Page 306)

2 Samuel 11:1 (NIV)

1 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.

And so began the most horrible time in David?s life.

He saw Bathsheba bathing on a nearby roof.

The roof was considered a private place, away from the prying eyes at street level.

But the palace towered above the other buildings in Jerusalem.

David saw Bathsheba, found out she was married, and still called her to the palace to have sex with him.

She became pregnant, and David called her husband home from the battlefield to sleep with her and hide his sin.

Uriah refused, so David had him murdered on the battlefield.

Turn with me to II Samuel 12 and see the horrible results of David?s sin.

2 Samuel 12:1-12 (NIV)

1 The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. 4 “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.” 5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.” 7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’ 11 “This is what the LORD says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.'”

Even though David repented, there were still terrible consequences for his sin.

The young baby conceived by David/Bathsheba died from illness.

Incest was committed in David?s own home as David?s son Amnon took his stepsister Tamar.

David?s own son, Absalom, murdered Amnon is revenge for Tamar, then rose up in rebellion against David.

He drove David from the palace in Jerusalem, and took David?s wives and slept with them to insult/humiliate his father.

The rebellion was crushed, and Absalom was killed.

David lived the rest of his life in constant strife, sorrow and violence, just as Nathan had foretold.

If David was here this morning, He?d plead with you.

He?d say, “Don?t let too much idle time cause you to sin!”

Let me explain?Look back again with me to II Samuel 11:1.

2 Samuel 11:1 (NIV)

1 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.

Kings were supposed to accompany their armies to battle.

Kings weren?t supposed to sit idle around the palace.

I believe that David?s sorrows began when he stayed in the palace, with too much time on his hands.

If David had gone to war, he wouldn?t have seen Bathsheba on the rooftop.

If David had gone to war, he wouldn?t have called for her ands slept with her.

If David had gone to war, he wouldn?t have had to order her husband to be killed in order to marry her and hide the shame.

If David had gone to war, Nathan would have never pronounced God?s judgment on David.

There would have been no rape.

There would have been no murder.

There would have been no rebellion.

David would not have to watch as 2 of his sons died.

All that grief and pain caused by too much idle time on his hands.

Many years ago, someone said, “Idle hands are the Devil?s playground.”

How true it was in David?s case?How true it is in our lives as well.

Do you have too much idle time on your hands?

Do you find yourself being tempted when you have idle time?

Do you give into that temptation too easily when you have idle time and no accountability?

There is a solution for this. And I can attest to it. If you are married, have lots of kids (sic). Just joking.

But it is important that you have what I call accountable idle time.

Don?t allow idle time with no accountability. Plan what you do with your idle time and be accountable to someone about what you do!

David, a man after God?s own heart, sinned when he had too much time on his hands.

You?re no stronger than he is.

David would freely tell you this morning that Idle time destroyed his life.

He?d say, Don?t let too much idle time cause you to sin.

Last, David would plead with you.

He?d say?

Don?t be afraid to admit when you?ve blown it.

Look back at II Samuel 12:13.

This is David?s immediate response to Nathan when he exposed David?s affair.

2 Samuel 12:13 (NIV)

13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.

Now, I want you to turn to Psalm 50. (Pew Bible Page554)

David wrote it in response to his sin with Bathsheba.

READ PSALM 50

CONCLUSION

Do you want to know why an adulterer who committed murder is called “A man after God?s own heart”?

Psalm 50 tells us why!

David wasn?t afraid to admit when He?d blown it!

May I challenge to do the same thing right now?Don?t be afraid to admit that you?ve blown it!

You won?t be telling God anything that He doesn?t already know!

Take that first step toward forgiveness/restoration today?Be like David?.Don?t be afraid to admit when you?ve blown it!

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