Mike Gerhardt, 6-9-19, David's Passion, 1 Samuel 16:1-14.
Life of David a man after God's own heart. Paul in Acts 13:22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ quoting 1 Samuel 13:14 Samuel to Saul: But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people because you have not kept the Lord’s command. In our passage, Samuel already told King Saul that the Lord has torn the Kingdom away from him and has given it to one of his neighbors, 1 Samuel 15:28. Samuel was fearful because to anoint someone, not in the family line and while the King was sitting on the throne was treason. The elders trembled. Saul could be a violent and jealous king as we will soon find out. Jesse was the grandson of Ruth and Boaz.
What impresses you? Maybe a sports team like the St Louis Blues beating the Boston Bruins in a run for the Stanley Cup or the Toronto Raptors finally giving it to the Golden State Warriors in their one opportunity to win an NBA title. Maybe some average person who impresses you, but don’t be fooled they may be just Keeping Up Appearances which is a British sitcom written by Roy Clarke. It aired from 1990 to 1995 and follows Hyacinth in her attempts to prove her social superiority and to gain standing with those she considers upper-class. Her attempts are constantly hampered by her lower-class extended family, whom she is desperate to hide. Have you ever thought it would be nice to have some impressive relatives to brag about? Now, how about what impresses God? Peter, one of the disciples went from being a poor fisherman to an apostle of Jesus Christ. Jesus took Peter a sinner in his own words and worked through him to become a martyr for the cause of Christ’s Kingdom. Peter didn’t have an impressive start, but God changed him. When we meet young David in 1 Samuel 16, he walks with the Lord, is strengthened by prayer, and is courageous to fight lions putting his trust in God.
How do I look to you? I may look out of place with this tie. I may look to you like I'm ancient of days because I am. Most of us would like to be more physically attractive. How many of you looked in a mirror and said to yourself, this face can't get any more handsome! OR this body is the standard for perfection! OR this face will break hearts and win beauty contests! Think about what you saw in the mirror today. In the Bible, there was a man chosen to lead Israel based upon his physical appearance. His name was Saul and Israel made him their first King. 1 Samuel 9:2 Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else. Saul was impressive, handsome and tall. Things haven’t changed much.
We too are a people obsessed with appearances. Beauty products line the shelves. Health clubs, hair, nails & beauty salons, and medical centers dedicated to plastic surgery and liposuction. Multimillions are spent on special diets, seasonal clothes, tattoos, jewelry, hair color, body piercings, spa treatments, and hair growths products. We try to impress others with our looks. We dress for success justifying that first impressions are important (which are important when sharing your faith), but have we gone too far?
Tall men & attractive children: Some time ago Psychology Today reported that after years of study tall men make higher salaries than their short counterparts and attractive children make better grades than other children.
Beauty and it's Beast. Beauty, it’s said, is in the eye of the
beholder. What makes a person beautiful? There are hundreds of beauty contests around the world. In Tokyo, there is a beauty contest for bald-headed men. The men are judged on the luster of their scalp and its ability to reflect light. Among some African tribes, a woman is considered beautiful if her lips have been stretched or she has large holes in her earlobes. Some can wear an 8" plate easily in their lower lip. In the Mayan culture, a baby's head when it was still soft would be sandwiched between two boards and marbles were dangled between the eyes making their heads flat and eyes crossed in order to be a woman of beauty.
We might think that is awful but look at our culture. Multiple body piercings and colorful tattoos. Ripped jeans and wild yoga pants. Dress shirts and ties. Who are we trying to impress? Do good looks = happiness? Verse 12: David was glowing with health, had a fine appearance and handsome features. Ruddy means red; used as a term of praise of the Hebrew’s dark but clear complexion. It’s okay to be good looking if your heart is right before the Lord.
The same studies show that physical attractiveness is not equal to happiness. The average looking person is happier than the person who has model quality looks. We know the misery of some of the most beautiful people who live such tragic lives. Doris Day who died alone recently May 13 was married and divorced four times. Founded on looks, life crumbles when beauty fades. King Saul had it all: looks, height, royalty. He was probably the captain of Bethany High football team and president of his senior class. He never had any trouble getting a date, being popular or being elected. Saul probably had never faced rejection. As we study David's passionate life, we must see the context. God has rejected Saul as king. The man who had it all. Saul could not deal with rejection. He did not have the spiritual and emotional resources. So, his life quickly fell apart. Saul could not admit his sin until it was too late.
Mark 12:28-31 a lawyer came to Jesus and asked, what is the greatest commandment? Jesus answered you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. A 6th-grade boy was asked on an English test to give the perfect tense of a list of words. You know do, did; throw, threw. He came to the word live. The teacher had a hard time with his answer. He wrote the perfect tense of live is love. Love is the perfect tense of live. Founded on agape love, life will shine.
The heart is the center of our emotions, our desires, our hopes. David wrote Psalm 24:3-4 who shall ascend the hill of the Lord: he who has clean hands and a pure heart.
Purity, holiness, and right living. I know many who want to be good, but I know very few people who want to be holy. A pure heart is one that is centered on what God wants.
One more thing: one key to living is knowing how to accept rejection. Sometimes life is hard so we must learn to grow in adversity. Revelation 7:13-14 speaks of standing before God in white robes, white as a symbol of purity. White being washed in the Blood of the Lamb. Are your sins washed away by the blood? Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. A pure heart is one the is directed toward God's heart and nothing else? How is your heart? I believe God is looking for least three qualities: A loving, pure, committed heart. Loving 1 Corinthians 13 without agape love I am nothing. 1 Chronicles 28:9: And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. 1 Corinthians 11:28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. God is looking for a heart like His. When was the last time you examined your heart? What does God see in your heart?