The Shepherd King, Pt. 1 - The Lord Looks at the Heart

Scripture: 1 Samuel 16:1-23, 1 Samuel 15:28
Date: 01/14/2017 
One of the great Bible characters is David. There are very few people in history that have experienced as much adventure and the highs and lows and many facets of life as David.
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Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the live broadcast. It is presented as spoken.

Good morning, friends. I did want to welcome any of you who may be visiting Granite Bay today. For those of you who are regulars, you will notice that our background is a little different. You probably gathered that we are beginning a new series and you’re correct. I have been looking forward to this for some time.

We’re going to be talking for probably the next 12 presentations about the life of one the great Bible characters and that would be David, a series called the Shepherd King and the Life Lessons from the Experience of David.

Now, today’s presentation is going to be part one talking about how the Lord looks at the heart. There’s very few people in history, and I don’t just mean Bible history, I mean history in general that have experienced as much adventure and the highs and lows and the many facets of life as the subject that we’re going to be considering in the next few weeks.

There are people in history that you might call Suleiman the Magnificent or Ivan the Terrible or Alexander the Great. But there really is no superlative that you can find to describe this incredible, David.

As a matter of fact, a couple hundred years ago, Bible critics, even some the scholars were saying, well, David really just manufactured. He’s a series of stories that came from Hebrew lore. There really was no person named David, just like sometimes they argue there really was no King Arthur, that he’s a fictional character from Hebrew history made to inspire and to teach some lessons. But there really could never possibly be one individual that had that much talent and adventure packed into a single life. And that’s what they said. And so they downplayed and they dismissed the story about David and the accuracy of his experience.

But then some things happened that began to shake up the critics. For one thing, some discoveries were made. For instance, talking about the House of David, in 1993 and 1994 in Northern Israel, there was a section of monument stone, the stela and it was found in the Tel Dan. Dan is a Northern Territory of Israel. It had an inscription on it. I think we’ve got a picture of it up there on the screen. In the inscription, it talks about the House of David. And that just really shook up the critics.

And by the way, it is today in the museum of Jerusalem and it generated a lot of debate and articles, but they looked at it and they looked at it again and they said that’s what it says. Meaning, there really was a person named David and it was his monarchy known as the House of David.

Even before that, they had found another inscription and it’s what they call the Moabite Stone, written by King Mesha of Moab and during roughly the same time period, and again, they found the inscription, the House of David.

The stelas were stone, monuments or pillars that they would inscribe history on. Even Joshua did that when the children of Israel crossed over. They plastered some rock and they put the blessings and the cursing on this. They would put the history of nations on these rocks.

And then Al Karnak in Egypt there’s a Pharaoh, Pharaoh Shoshenq I. He’s actually in the bible referred to as Shishak. He records his victory over Rehoboam, who is the grandson of David, and the in the different cities that he mentions, there is one location referred to as the Heights of David. And so when you think about how little excavation is really done in that territory, there’s probably a lot more yet to be discovered. Every time they try to build in Jerusalem, they run in to artifacts. They just don’t have time to stop and dust off and sift through all of the artifacts that they discover.

There’s probably going to be more that will come to light. But there’s plenty I think that you can find in history that tells us that David was a real person.

Even the way the story of David is recorded in the Bible, it doesn’t just glorify his good deeds and his feats and his valor, it talks about his weakness and his bad decision. You read about it and you say this was a very human individual.

Of the people that you can study in the Bible, few have a bigger impact on biblical history and Christianity than the character of David. Abraham is mentioned 232 times in the Bible. Moses is mentioned 850 times in the Bible. Jesus is mentioned 981 times, His name in the Bible. But the name of David is mentioned more than 1,000 times in the Bible. You know, there are other people in the Bible that had the name Moses. There are other people in the Bible that had the name Jesus and Joseph. But there’s only one person in the Bible that had the name David. There’s no other parallel to this individual.

About 66 chapters in the Bible, that’s a lot, is dedicated to David. Of the 150 Psalms, 76 of those Psalms are called Psalms of David. Now, there are some Psalms, like the Psalm 2, for instance, it doesn’t say the Psalm of David, but when Peter quotes from the Psalm 2 in the New Testament, he calls it a Psalm of David. So there are some of the Psalms probably were written by David that he doesn’t even get credit for.

And so the impact of the person we’re going to consider on the Christian faith and Bible history is really hard to measure. David was a remarkable person.

The name David means beloved. It’s very similar to the word love in the Bible. It means the favored or the beloved one. There’s even a book in the Bible, and you kind of gather that the whole purpose of this book is to introduce the coming of David. It’s called the Book of Ruth. When you get to the end of the Book of Ruth, it says they have this baby name Obed. It’s a wonderful love story about a Moabite girl who immigrates and comes to Bethlehem and how her family is redeemed. It’s a story of redemption and the whole concludes by saying they had a boy named Obad, who then had a boy named Jessie, who had a boy named David. And so it all leads into the story of this magnificent king.

Now, David is not the first king and I’ll get to that in a minute. One reason I think it’s really important for us to do this series, you might be thinking, oh, Pastor Doug, we’re a Christian church. Why are we going to spend so much time in the Old Testament talking about an Old Testament character. It doesn’t bother me. It does bother some people. But you need to know that the first thing it says in the New Testament, it talks about the genealogy of Jesus, the son of David. And to understand Jesus, you really need to know something about David because David is a type of Christ. He is probably one of the most profound types of Christ. Joseph, Moses, David, very powerful examples in their lives of Jesus.

The Book of Jeremiah, 23:5, “Behold the days are coming, says the Lord, that I will raise up to David a branch of righteousness, a king will reign and prosper and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.” Prophesy about Christ. It’s called the Branch of David.

Revelation 22, here you are at the end of the Bible and Jesus is speaking. It’s in red letters. “And Christ said, ‘I have sent my angel to testify to you these things in the churches, I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and morning star.’”

And so you see, friends, it’s so important that we are talking about the life of David because when you talk about the life of David, you’re talking about Jesus. And you’ll be surprised as we explore the lessons in the Bible from the experience of David how much you’re going to learn about Jesus.

And so really to understand this, now, our study today, just so you want to know what the neighborhood will be, if you go to the first Book of Samuel, chapter 16, that is going to be the nucleus for where we’re going to be.

1 Samuel 16, we cannot dive right in and start talking about David without giving you a little background. David was probably born about 1010 B.C. The events we’re going to consider transpire about 1025 B.C. For those of you that like world history, this is about the time that some people left southern China in boats and began to explore and settle Polynesia. This is about the same time the Chinese discovered gunpowder. This is about the same time in the Americas the Omak Civilization began to develop math and build pyramids. You’re talking about 1,000 years what we used to call B.C., which was Before Christ, until the agnostics changed it to B.C.E. and tried to get rid of any reference to God in that.

You’ve got to understand something about the king before David. David is not the first king of Israel. I’ve heard some say that. Technically, he’s not even the second king of Israel. There was one man that was a king in Israel for a brief time during the time of judges, a Himaliac. He’s not a good guy and he didn’t end well. He got hit on the head by a stone that a woman threw off the wall. He had kind of a short violent reign.

But the first king of the United Kingdom was a king by the name of Saul. And you may remember the story about the fall of Sault is not a happy one, but it’s there and it’s an important study. The people, up until that time, when they entered into the Promise Land, they were led by generals, like Joshua, and judges, sometimes the priests. But they were different from the other nations in that the Lord was their king.

You know, some of the ancient kingdoms didn’t really have a singular king. Some of them, like the Philistines, didn’t have one king. They called them kings, but were divided into like five districts and they sort of had this coalition of district kings. Well, the Hebrews had their 12 tribes and they would have various judges, but they really saw God as their king.

But then something came over them. They said, you know, we don’t have like a capitol, we don’t have a king who leads us out and we want to be like the other kingdoms. We want someone who’s going to go fight our battles for us. We don’t want the headaches of organization. They came to Samuel, who had been a faithful prophet for many years, probably over 40 years. Samuel would be the last of 12 judges.

And they said in 1 Samuel 8:5, “Now, make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” Just an interesting footnote. And you don’t mind if I stop and teach instead of preach along the way. Just something you might want to know. It was never God’s original plan for them to have a king, but God knew they would eventually have a king because during the time of Moses, he said when you have a king. And so God foresaw that they would eventually clamor to have a king, but it wasn’t his original plan. He was to be their king. They said, “Make us a king, we want to be like the other nations,” which is already a sign of going the wrong direction.

And so finally Samuel consented. After being guided, they picked Saul as their King. It’s interesting, the name Saul means asked for and it’s almost like, you asked for it. And when Samuel helped picked the king and Saul was chosen, he was very tall. He was kind of what everyone would have pictured. He said picture a mighty king. They said Charlemagne was a very large man and rode a very big horse. If you go to France and you see some of the statues of Charlemagne, he’s huge. And of course, they always do that with statues, but they say in real life he was a big man, might warrior. And that’s what they pictured with Saul. He was a big man. The bible says he’s a head and shoulders above everybody else. And they’ve done enough excavation during that time period and they were kind of the same height as we are.

It’s kind of interesting. You go to Europe and England, they excavate and you look at the armor that the men wore, they were short. They just all had rickets. They didn’t well, but when they do the excavation in the Middle East, they were about our size. As a matter of fact, some of them got to nine feet and a half. That’s Goliath, friends. We’ll get to that later. But so say that Saul was a head and shoulders taller than everybody else, he’s probably 6’4” or something. He was a tall man. And everyone thought, what a king. And he started out humble.

As a matter of fact, later when he was rebuked by Samuel, Samuel said to him, “When you were little,” this is 1 Samuel 15, “When you were little in your own eyes,” even though he was tall, he was humble, “were you not head of the tribes of Israel and the Lord anointed you King of Israel.”

Saul was chosen by God. But with power often comes temptation. You’ve heard the expression many times, power corrupts. And as Saul went out in the spirit of the Lord and he was victorious in the battle and all the people began to praise him and sing about him, it began to go to his head. He started thinking I really must be something special, chosen by God, victorious in battle, and here just with a few men we defeated much bigger armies. And he started to take the glory on himself and he became proud. And then he got to where he wasn’t listening to the direction of God. He wasn’t obeying the Commandments of God and God began to withdraw his spirit from Saul.

On two separate occasions, he was given some opportunities to redeem himself, some major tests. On one occasion, Samuel specifically said to Saul, before you go down to battle with the Philistines, wait seven days. I will come to you at Gilgal. I’ll offer sacrifice, wait for me. Saul went down for this massive battle. All the forces of the Philistines had gathered. And he waited and he thought that they were going to attack anytime and he lost faith. And he said, look, Samuel’s getting old, he forgot. He’s running behind. I’ll do what no man was supposed to do, but the Levites and the priests. He offered sacrifice. And right when he did that, Samuel came. Samuel said because you disobeyed, God was getting ready to establish your kingdom, there would have been a dynasty of kings, a monarchy, named after you if you had proven yourself faithful. But now you’re going to lose the kingdom because you lost patience.

A lot of people lose everything when they lose patience. Several years went by, even though God said your monarchy won’t continue, he still had a chance to redeem himself. Samuel was sent again to Saul. He said I’m sending you to fight against the mortal enemies of Israel, the Amalekites. Amalek was a son of Esau and they were the first to attack Israel when they became a nation and they came out of Egypt. He said I want you to go attack and annihilate those people. Do not take any of the spoil. Destroy everything. They are corrupt, diseased people.

Now, I’m not going to get into a debate with you on was God ordering genocide. I’m just telling you, that’s the way it was. That’s what the bible says. You can deal with that however you want. We’ll talk about it another time. Saul was given an order. If you don’t destroy them, they’ll destroy you. He said wipe them out. Saul didn’t want to do that. And the people, they said to the king, oh, you don’t want to destroy all these sheep, they won. They beat the soldiers and they said don’t destroy all the animals. We’ll keep them. We’ll sacrifice these instead of sacrificing our own and so we’ll end up with more.

And he gave into what the people wanted, which is a major failure for a good leader. If you’re going to be a spiritual leader, you’ve got to get your leadership from God, not from the people. Because the people are always going to kind of lead you down. You need to stand and lead back to God. He gave into the people, gave into the crowd.

God told Samuel, look, Saul has stopped following me. He not only saved the sheep and the goats and the cattle, he did not kill Agag. He said it would be nice to bring back a trophy. We’ve captured the king alive. After all, if they captured me, I wouldn’t want them to kill me and so let’s bring him back as a trophy. Put him in prison.

Because he did annihilate Agag and the house of Agag, you read later in the Book of Esther, there was someone who tried to now annihilate all of the Jews. His name was Haman, the Agagite. When you don’t follow God’s orders, God can see down the line. He knows what He’s saying. And so Saul did not obey and ultimately God said in a message through Samuel to obey is better than sacrifice and the harken and the fatograms, your rebellion is like witchcraft. Because you are not obeying me, you are going to lose the kingdom.

1 Samuel 13:13, “Samuel said to Saul, you have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord, your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever, but now your kingdom will not continue,” notice, “the Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over his people because you have not kept what the Lord commands you.” Notice the word command. Command, command, command. Do the Commandments of God matter to God? If you believe the bible, it’s pretty clear that they do.

And so again, you read in 1 Samuel 15:28, “Samuel said to him, the Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you.”

Well, as soon as Saul heard this, instead of thinking of humbling himself saying, Lord, I’m sorry, you know, even a wicked king like Ahab, when he humbled himself, God showed mercy to him. And there are several times when kings humbled themselves and he showed them mercy. But Saul, instead of repenting and being sorry, he began to be suspicious and say someone else is going to get my kingdom, that’s just not fair. And he was angry with God and he began to wonder and plot and think, well, maybe I can stop that prophesy. If I find out who’s going to be king in my place, I’ll get rid of him. You know, someone else who did that, his name was Herod the Great, he killed all the babies in Bethlehem because he was threatened that there’d be another king. And that same spirit, the diabolical spirit of jealousy, began to come over Saul and he began to drive the Holy Spirit out of his life.

So God is patient. From the time that God first told Saul, you’re going to lose the kingdom, when Saul offered sacrifice, what only the priests were supposed to do, several years went by and then he had the failure with not fulfilling his will with the Amalekites, and it may actually be that King David was born around the time God said, I’m seeking a man after my own heart. Because, you see, Saul reigned for 40 years. And it was about ten or 12 years into his reign he began to fail. He became proud.

So ultimately, now go to -- matter of fact, I want you to go to Chapter 16. I told you this a while ago, sorry. I never went there. Go to 1 Samuel 15 and it says, “After this last announcement of judgment that Samuel made on Saul, Samuel went no more to see Saul until the day of his death. Nevertheless, Samuel mourned for Saul and the Lord regretted that he had made Saul a king over Israel.

You know where else you find those words, when it says the Lord regretted? Just before the flood, God said God was sorry that He had made man. Now, God chose to make man and God chose Saul. History could have been completely different. Saul had the freedom to be a good king. And God gave him the benefit of the doubt. Even though God knows all things, God doesn’t make everything happen. God knows everything that will happen, but He’s not making everything that happens. You have a free heart and a free will to choose and Saul made very bad choices. He chose to be proud. He chose to be rebellious and God regretted that He made him king. Samuel continued to mourn for Saul because he had such great hopes and he spent the whole night praying for him.

Now, you look in 16:1, here’s where you see Samuel the Prophet, who’s been a faithful prophet many years, going on his last mission. “And the Lord says to Samuel, how long will you mourn for Saul seeing I’ve rejected him from being king over Israel?” Matter of fact, in the previous chapter, it says at one point Samuel spent the whole night in prayer over Saul.

And it may bother you to hear this, but it is true that even though he prayed all night for somebody, the prayer was not answered because it makes a big difference when you pray for people. God’s spirit can work in your lives in dramatic ways. I believe Jesus prayed for Judas, don’t you think? I think that God prayed for Adam. I mean, sometimes people have freedom and Adam prayed for Cain and it’s important that God does answer prayers. Don’t misunderstand, but not every time, as long as a person has a free will. And so Samuel was mourning Saul. He was worried about the kind. He says, what am I going to do now? Saul’s not king. I’m too old to do this. Samuel’s sons had not been faithful. They were to be judges and they started taking bribes.

That’s when they started asking for a king. “And God said how long will you mourn for Saul seeing I’ve rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil.” It’s interesting that when Samuel anoints Saul, he uses a vial. But when he anoints David, he uses a horn of oil, which was something they used in the temple. He says, “Go, I’m sending you to Jesse, the Bethlehemites, for I provided myself a king from among his sons.”

Samuel is thinking, well, Saul is still on the throne. He says in verse 2, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he’ll kill me.” He had already seen that Saul was acting vindictive and jealous and threatened. What does it mean if you’re anointing one king while another king is still alive? Isn’t that viewed as treason? That’d be treacherous. Some of you, if you remember your bibles, you know that Elisha, the Prophet told one of the sons of the prophets, he said, I want you to go to Israel and I want you to anoint a general there named Jehu to be the king and after you anoint him and proclaim that he is to be the king, run for your life. Because if word gets back to the sitting king that someone else has been chosen as king, you can be seen as a traitor.

And so Samuel is going, Saul may not look, how am I supposed to do this? When Saul was anointed, there was a great fanfare and everybody was excited about this king and he was announced and so he says, I don’t want to do that. If Saul hears, he will kill me.

It’s also interesting. Hasn’t God taken care of Samuel all along the way that he should begin to question if God can take care of him at this point. And God says, look, here’s what you do. Take a heifer with you and say I’ve come to sacrifice to the Lord. Now, God’s not telling Samuel to lie. He did that very thing. They did come to Bethlehem to offer sacrifice, so it was absolutely true. Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice and I’ll show you what you shall do and you shall anoint for me the one I named you. So it wasn’t that unusual.

Samuel started the school of the prophets. He would go on a circuit around Israel. Rama, which was his hometown, was about 11 miles north of Bethlehem. You’ve got Jerusalem. About four miles away from Jerusalem you’ve got Bethlehem and then you go 11 miles north from there, you’ve got Rama. From that central location, Samuel used to go on a circuit to Israel like a good priest and a teacher and a judge and he would judge the people, he’d offer sacrifice, he’d intercede for the different districts and the tribes. And so it wasn’t going to be that unusual that he would go to this tribe of Judah, offer sacrifice in Bethlehem. But he was then going to call Jesse into an inner room into the house with the family and he was going to do this anointing service. Ostensibly that’s what happened.

And so Samuel did what the Lord said. Can you say amen? Do you do what the Lord says when you know what He says? You might ask questions, but when you know what God says, you need to do it. Don’t be a hearer, but a doer. Samuel did what the Lord said and he went to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled. They saw him coming maybe with a servant or two and one of them is pulled a heifer for sacrifice. And they said do you come peaceably? They’re trembling when Samuel comes.

Why? Well, I don’t know if you remember that when they prayed for a king, God gave them a king. And after Samuel introduced the king and said this is the way of the kingdom, then Samuel says, now you’ve sinned a big sin in asking for a king. You’ve rejected God in asking for a king. It’s wheat harvest now and you’re getting ready to harvest, but I’m going to pray and God is going to send thunder and rain and destroy your crops. So Samuel prays and thunder and rain comes and destroys their crops. This is a fellow who prayed and things happened. So when he came to your town, you went uh oh. They all had guilty consciences and they thought now what’s up. What did we do? So they’re worried about what his presence means. Is he coming to bless or is he coming to curse? Did we do something wrong? The elders of the town trembled at his coming. This is not your regular appointment.

Do you come peaceably? He said peaceably, shalom. I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Sanctify yourselves. Clean up and come together. We’re going to offer sacrifice and come to me to the sacrifice. And then he met Jesse and the bible says Jesse was an ancient man at this point, meaning he was one of the elders in Bethlehem and he would be hosted by one of the families. He said, Jesse, I’m going to be hosted with you. And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

And so when they came, they offered the sacrifice and then evidently he goes into this, because you don’t want this being too public, he maybe goes into Jesse’s house and he meets with them. Before they sit down, see, they would offer the sacrifice and then they would begin to butcher the sacrifice for the family and they would eat at it. Maybe he went into the house. Jesse had a home, probably a large home. He’s an elder in the land. And he says, look, I’m here on a special mission. He had to tell Jesse what was up. He says, I’m to choose and anoint one of your sons. And now we talk about the sons of Jesse. And so he has his sons pass before him.

Now, I probably need to tell you something in advance, because some of you, if you’re sharp, you’re going to spot this. I’m not implying some of you aren’t sharp, sorry. You read in 1 Samuel 10, it says, “Jesse made seven of his sons pass before him.” How many sons does Jesse have? I hear eight.

Well, let me read you another verse. 1 Chronicles 3:13, “Jesse begat Elieb, his firstborn, Abinadab, the second, Shimiah, the third, Methanol, the fourth, Redai, the fifth, Asum, the six, David the seven.” But now let me read you 1 Samuel 17:12. “Now David was the son of Efrathite of Bethlehem of Judah, whose name was Jesse who had eight sons.” I like to head these problems off at the pass, so if there’s a difficulty like this, does it appear there’s a contradiction here? How many sons did he have? Did he have another one after David? No, not based on how he judges them because he makes seven of his sons pass before Samuel and David’s not there yet.

Well, the explanation is not that complicated. There are several ways you can resolve it. First of all, sometimes family member died and you would adopt your kin. And he may have adopted one of his brother’s sons and he was sometimes called his son, but he wasn’t a blood son and it could have happened that way. He could have had a son earlier on, during this experience when Samuel was there, he died and he’s not on the leader list. And so there’s a few different ways and also there’s a possibility he remarried and he had another son that was really a stepson or a half-son. So we’re not sure, but I wouldn’t let something like that trouble you. At one point, there was eight there. The reason I say that is I need you to notice what it says.

First, go back to 1 Samuel 16. It says, “He comes into the house, he, Samuel, looks at Elieb and he said surely the Lord’s anointed is before him.” Now, Elieb was as close to Saul as any of the sons of Jesse. He is tall, dark and handsome. He looks like a prince. He looks strong. He’s the firstborn. You know, the firstborn are usually the most responsible ones because they’ve got to manage all the other siblings.

Any of you firstborn? And the ones who are the hardest to live with are the babies because they get spoiled and they have everyone else picking up after them and they get all the gooey and loving and attention. Mom and dad want to be good parents for the firstborn. By the time the last one comes, oh, who cares. Any of you the youngest? The babies? When two babies get married, now, Karen and I are both the babies in the family. They want all the attention and it can be problematic sometimes. But then again, if you get two of the olders that get married, you get two and they want to be in control and it’s a different problem.

Anyway, Elieb is the oldest and he looks like a prince. Now, Samuel is a prophet, but because you’re a prophet, does not mean you’re a person. Prophets do not walk around, everything they say is a prophesy. Sayeth the Lord, I want a sandwich. Thus sayeth the Lord, please pass the salt. Thus sayeth the Lord, not everything is thus sayeth the Lord. Prophets are just people. Now, that’s important because some people think that.

So if Samuel is thinking like any human, wow, that’s a striking young man. He looks like a fine king. He looks like he might even be better than Saul. Maybe not as tall. And he’s looking on the outside and even prophets sometimes forgot to look on the inside.

And God said to him, Verse 7, very important verse, 1 Samuel 16:7, “The Lord said to Samuel, do not look at his appearance or his physical stature because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as a man sees. For man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

So Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. He said neither has the Lord chosen this one. And Jesse made Shimiah to pass before Samuel. He said this is not the one. And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel and Samuel said to Jesse, the Lord has not chosen these. And Samuel’s beginning to think, oh, man, did I misunderstand? He’s scratching his head and he’s thinking I’m almost sure God said, he told me one of the sons of Jesse.

And while he’s wondering, he thinks are these all of your sons? And Jesse says sort of dismissively, well, there’s the youngest. And he said are these all your sons? He says there remains yet the youngest and there he is. And the way it’s worded in the Hebrew, there he is, it’s almost like behold, look over the valley there on the hill with the sheep, that’s him. You see the guy, he’s kind of slinging stones and goofing off.

Yeah, there’s David. He’s very passionate and he’s just singing and whistling all the time. You don’t mean him. And Samuel says to Jesse, are they all here? He says, well, there’s David. He said send him and bring him for we will not sit down, they had sacrificed, but they hadn’t had the feast yet, we will not sit down until he comes here. So he’s sent and he brought him. Now he was ruddy. And the word ruddy means reddish and we’re not sure how to apply that. I did a little study on it and scholars say it could mean he had red hair, which is not unheard of.

My mother was Jewish. My brother had flaming red hair. You have never met anyone with redder hair than my brother. It’s as red as it was orange. So you can have Jews with red hair. And my mother and father had brown eyes and I have blue eyes. You can’t have Jews with blue eyes. They’re not sure what it means. Ruddy could have meant red hair or it could have meant that he had ruddy cheeks, that he was fair complected and he came running in and his cheeks were red. And it says that he had bright eyes.

If you’ve got the New King James, I think, what does it say there? What’s it say about his appearance? It says he was good looking, but before good looking, what’s the term? Beautiful, bright-eyed, beautiful and good looking. And the way that word translate there, there was something bright about his face. It can sometimes translate bright eyes. They don’t know if that means that he had red hair and blue eyes. They don’t know if it meant that he just had beautiful eyes, but there was something striking and attractive about his appearance. It was very clear.

And it’s interesting that, you know, it says that sometimes about these types of Christ that they were beautiful. You know Moses, you remember they were throwing all the babies to the crocodiles and Amram and Jacobed and then they had Moses after their kings edict. Presumably Erin and Miriam were born before the king made the edict that says throw all the baby boys in the river. It wouldn’t have mattered for Miriam, but it would have mattered for Erin. But then it says they have Moses and it’s almost like they were thinking, oh, shall we keep him or not. And they said he’s a good looking baby. The bible says he was a beautiful baby. It’s almost like if he wasn’t, oh, right, but somebody said let’s keep him.

But what mother doesn’t think her baby is beautiful. Joseph was beautiful. David was beautiful. Moses was beautiful. They’re all types of Christ. Have you seen that song, Isn’t he Beautiful? And Jesus was beautiful. And so it’s just telling us that there’s this inner beauty that the outward beauty is reflected of. It’s almost strange because first is says don’t look on the outside. Finally when he does look at him, he says, okay, I’m going to look on the heart. It says he’s beautiful both says.

And that’s another reason that makes David unusual. Not only does he have all these, he’s a general, he’s a shepherd, he’s a warrior, he’s a songwriter, he’s a poet, he’s an administrator, he’s a builder, and he was good looking on top of all of that.

And Samuel then took the horn of oil and he anointed him in the midst of his brothers and the spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.

Now, why did God pick David? Because he was good looking? He said I found a man after my heart. Probably this was one of the most important things you could say about David. It’s said about David in a way it’s not said about anyone else in the bible. There was something about his heart. The Lord had sought himself a man after his own heart.

If you could pray and I wrote a song years ago. I will not sing for you, but it says, Lord, let me see with your eyes, let me hear with your ears, Lord let me speak with your lips and then it said, Lord, let me love with your heart. Give me a heart like your own. I’ll give you the whole words someday. But I thought that’s the most important thing you could pray for is that you could have a heart like God’s heart. If I could love the lost the way Jesus loves the lost, I’d be a lot better pastor and evangelist. The problem is, we don’t love like the Lord loves.

If we could see things the way the Lord sees, but David had an outlook on life. He had a passion for others like the Lord. He had a love for the Father and for God and for obedience like the Lord. And but often we look at things like Samuel did, we look on the outside.

I remember years ago, I took our son, Micah, out looking for a car. And it was time for him to get his first car and I made the mistake of stopping at a Chevy dealer and he looked at a red Camaro and he said surely the Lord’s anointed is before me. I say, oh, Micah, you’ve got to look at the heart. I said it’s a gas guzzler and it’s going to be a piece of junk in about five years. No, you’ve got to look at the inside. Don’t look at the red on the outside. The police will look at the red on the outside and you’ll get a ticket. Or a lady goes to Macy and she looks across the floor and she sees a beautiful dress. Surely the Lord’s anointed is before me. No, that is made from recycled plastic bottles in China and hasn’t looked at the price tag yet. We always look on the outside.

You know, one of the main things that Jesus was teach when he began his ministry, what’s important to Jesus is inner value. He talked about the religious leaders who prayed to be seen of not men on the outside. They did their fasting to be seen of men. They did their giving to be seen of men. All of it was to be seen. And God said it’s good to pray. It’s good to fast. It’s good to give. But you do it and your father who sees in secret will reward you openly. God is really interested in what you are on the inside. Because if you’re right on the inside, the outside will change. Isn’t that true?

You know what integrity is? Integrity means you’re the same person when no one is looking as you are when they are looking. And God wants us to be renewed and transformed on the inside. This is the most important thing. What are you in the heart?

Acts 13:22, you notice it says, and this is in our scripture reading, “When they removed Saul, he raised up for them David as King whom he also gave testimony and said I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart who will do my will.” So often when make the most important decisions in life, a girl looks at a man and says surely the Lord’s anointed is before me. And God says do not look on their outward appearance. Look on the heart. You want to see who are they really on the inside. Men do the same thing. You’ll see a beautiful girl, oh, I’ve been looking for my wife. Surely the Lord’s anointed. God said no, you can’t afford that one. You’ve got to look on the heart.

Deuteronomy 6, “Thou shalt love the Lord your God.” What’s the great commandment? All of your heart, all of your soul, all of your strength. David loved the Lord like that.

It says in Psalm 78, “And he chose David his servant and he took him from the sheepfolds, the shepherd Jacob his people and Israel his inheritance.” So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart. What was different about David? He had an honest heart. If you could show David he was wrong, he would listen to you. There are several stories that we’ll be looking at later where David, he would listen to anybody and he was willing to accept rebuke, where some kings were too proud for that. He was reasonable. He wanted to do truth and justice, the most important things to David. You read some in the Psalms and you can tell what’s in his heart.

The bible says in 2 Chronicles, one of my favorite verses, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro through the whole earth, God is scanning the world, to show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to him.” That means God is looking down from heaven. He wants to do wonderful things. He wants to show himself strong. He wants to do miracles for you if your heart is loyal. If we are fully surrendered to God and our hearts are loyal and our passion in life is to know him and do his will, he wants to reveal himself to you.

1 Kings 8:39, “Then in heaven, Solomon is praying, your dwelling place and forgiven act and to give to everyone according to his ways whose heart you know,” and notice was Solomon says, “For you alone know the hearts of all the sons of man.” God can look, the devil might look on the outside and know what you’re thinking, but he can’t read your heart. You can pray in your heart and only God really knows what you’re praying. That’s okay. You can read in the bible when Nehemiah prayed in his heart when he was before the king, he said, oh, Lord, give me favor. He didn’t say it out loud, but God heard that prayer. So God knows what you’re thinking.

The bible says often Jesus knew what they were thinking and he would answer their thoughts. At the feast with Simon, Mary Magdalene was there. Jesus knew what Simon was thinking. Oh, if this man was a prophet, he’d know what man or woman this is that touches him. Jesus answered what he was thinking. And when Jesus told the sinner, the paralytic, your sins are forgiven, the scribes and pharoses thought who is this that forgives sins. Jesus knowing their thoughts answered. He said when you pray in your heart, Jesus hears your prayer because Jesus knows your heart.

Now, David goes on and he becomes one of the greatest kings following this anointing. The oil is poured on him, a symbol of the spirit going in. But I don’t want to rush past the way that God prepared him for this great life work was through spending time out in the country in solitude. You know, it’s often true that through communion with God you can’t get it with the busy-ness of life. Some of us, we way we’re too busy to have time for communion. But you’ve got to have communion with God. David, out there following the sheep, he had a lot of time out in nature to pray and to think.

And it wasn’t just David. How did Moses get prepared? Moses thought I’m going to save Israel and God said no, you need some time following sheep. And he sent him out there to take care of Jethro’s sheep for 40 years. How did Joseph prepare for his great life work? He spent time taking care of sheep. He spent some time out in the wilderness. And the nation of Israel, before they get into the Promise Land, he sterilized them. He taught them about who he was in the wilderness. They were purified.

You know, I read something last night in the book Patriarchs and Prophets about David. While he was out there taking care of the sheep, it says, “Daily revelations of the character and majesty of his creator filled the young poet’s heart with adoration and rejoicing in contemplation of God and his works. The faculties of David’s mind and his heart were developing and strengthening for the work of his afterlife. He was daily coming into a more infinite communion with God. His mind was constantly penetrating into new depths for fresh themes to inspire his song and to wake the music of his harp.” It’s interesting. We have a harp here today while we’re talking about that. That’s quite by chance. Next week, we’re going to have one on purpose. It’s going to be an older heart.

“Who can measure the results of those years of toil and wandering among the lonely hills. The communion with nature and with God, the care of his flocks, the perils and deliverance, the griefs and the joys of his lowly lot were not only to mold the character of David and to influence his future life, but through the songs of Israel’s sweet singer, they were in all coming ages. The kindled love and faith in the hearts of God’s people bringing them near to the ever-loving heart of Him in whom all creatures live.”

You know, when you read the 23rd Psalm, that beautiful Psalm, you wouldn’t have the 23rd Psalm if David hadn’t been out there following sheep. But he had incredible ability, he was very bright. I’m convinced that David was extremely intelligent. I think there’s practical reasons for thinking he was extremely intelligent. If you had given him a test, he would have scored very high.

One reason is he fathered Solomon, who is the wisest person that ever lived, next to Jesus, right? You look at the scope of understanding he had. David, in his time in the hills, it was preparing him to be a military leader. You know, to be a good military leader, I downloaded a free book one time that talked about this ancient general, the writings of this ancient general, his advice on how you work in military. He said you need to know geography. You need to understand the land and how the land will work for or against you in a battle. And I just read that.

I was on a plane and I got bored and I read this thing about how important topography and the country and knowing the country is in a battle. Boy, did that ever come in handy in David’s life. He knew all the nooks and crannies. He ended up, you know, David, among being a poet and being a military genius and being an administrator and a judge, he was a spelunker. Do you know what a spelunker is? They explore caves. That’s one of the reasons I like David. David spent time in caves. Well, how do you think he found those caves? When he was roaming the territory of Judah, that’s where you’ve got the Dead Sea area and some of those case. He would hide from Saul. And so his time out there in the wilderness, it really came in handy later in life.

You might be thinking, Lord, why do you have me out here following sheep all these years. Sometimes your time out there in what you might have a different wilderness than I have. I quite literally did have a wilderness for a while. But the Lord is preparing you in that experience. He’s teaching you. You might not know why doing auto mechanic for years is preparing you for ministry. But you’d be surprise. There’s a lot you can learn about people from a car. You didn’t think I was going to say that. Someday I’ll preach my sermon on that.

And finally, not only was he prepared in solitude, David would spirit-filled. It says there in 1 Samuel 16:13, “Saul took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers and the spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.” So Samuel arose and went to Rama. Samuel did what he was supposed to do and he went back to his home.

That was the last mission of Samuel, but the spirit of the Lord came on David and it began to move in him. And you think once the spirit came over him, he’d now go to the palace and say, hey, Saul, I’m king. I just wanted to let you know. Can you move over? You know, he had patience. He went from this experience, his brothers watching him get anointed with oil. They had to keep this top secret. And then he goes back to take care of sheep. And he said, look, if God’s the one who chose what to do, God is the one who chose when to do it and I’m not going to rush.

Now, you may not know that this was not the only time David was anointed. David was anointed three times. He was anointed here by Samuel and then you look in 2 Samuel 2 when he finally was accepted to be king in Judah, he was anointed in Hebron. That was his first capitol. And then finally a protracted battle for three-and-a-half years with Aspasia, the son of Saul, he was anointed king over all Israel in Jerusalem three-and-a-half years later. Isn’t that interesting? Once as a child and once at the beginning of his being king when he was 30 years old and once three-and-a-half years later.

Does that sound at all familiar to you? Jesus speaks in the temple as a child, then when he’s 30 years old, Jesus is anointed with the Holy Spirit and then before He is crucified, he’s anointed by Mary Magdalene. You know she anoints him with oil before he dies. Well, there’s almost like three anointing there as well.

Well, in conclusion, this was really an introduction to David this morning. But the main thing I want you to realize is it tells us the spirit of the Lord came on David, but the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled Him. You might wonder why would a distressing spirit trouble him. I’ll talk about that a little next week. The most important thing is, David had surrendered. Saul had not. The Lord wants to reveal himself to you. He wants to lead you. He’s got some plans for your life. And the only limitation on what can do in your life is how you’re feeling with your heart.

In Mark 8:35, Jesus said, “Whoever desires to save his life will lose it. But whoever loses his life from my sake in the gospels will save it. Saul refused to humble himself and give his heart to God, he lost the kingdom. David had a heart like God’s own heart. He surrendered his heart to the Lord. He gained the kingdom.

Now, I don’t know about you, friends, but I want to live and reign with Christ. I want to be in that kingdom and what God wants is your heart. People look on the outside. Our world is preoccupied with external things. We all want to make a good showing, but with God, he wants to know what’s on the inside.

I heard a pastor say one time, in the world everyone judges a family by what kind of house they live in. God wants to know what kind of family lives in the house. And the world will have some Hollywood event and everyone looks at the dress the woman wears. God could care less about the dress the woman wears. God wants to know what kind of woman wears the dress. And men always want a high-powered car. Look at me, look at this car. People look at the car you drive. God wants to know what kind of man drives the car.

God is wanting to know who you are really. Do I have your heart. Do you belong to me. Are you willing to be made new and be a new creature and be spirit-filled. David, nothing was more important to him. He did some calculating out there when he was counting sheep and David said what profit is it if you gain the whole world and lose your soul. And somewhere out there on the hills he made his decision that nothing could be more important that God. Knowing God, serving God, loving God, his family would come together and he would listen to history.

I don’t think I mentioned to you, Jesse, his father, was born before Sampson. Jesse lived all through the time of Sampson. Jesse no doubt, those nights, no television or computer, they’d tell stories. And Jesse would tell his boys about this spirit-filled judge of Israel. His ups and his downs. And David would listen to these things and the boys would listen and David was inspired.

They’d hear the stories of Moses. David knew the scriptures. Jesse’s family read the scriptures to the family. And he made up his mind. He said I want to follow God. I want God to have my heart. And it gave him such joy that he just could not contain himself and he filled the hills with songs because nothing was more important to David than God.

Do you want to have a heart close to the heart of God? That’s my desire. And I’m hoping that all of us experience that during this series.

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