Tag Archive: David


IF

This week, we look at Abigail in our Unsung Heroes of the Bible sermon series. Youth Director Tim Kightlinger shares his thoughts…

 

They are all over the place…Salvation Army collection cans, scan away hunger cards, up your bill so the change can be used to help others, buy this or that so we can go to camp, save the children, save the dogs, save the whales, save the _________ (you fill in the blank). We are bombarded with ways in which we can help others. Is it no wonder that we can become callous to the needs of others? Our hearts can become hardened to their cry.

We think to ourselves, “I can’t help everyone, I can’t give to everything, heck, I don’t even like whales!” We feel overwhelmed and we decide to do nothing. We choose not to help anyone. After all, it is my hard earned money. It is my stuff. Or is it?

In the story from 1 Samuel 25:1-44, we find the story of Nabal and Abigail. David is out in the wilderness protecting Nabal and his household. David sends a message to Nabal that they are in need of some food. Nabal has a choice to make. Do I help David and his people or not? Nabal decides to not help David. He chooses this because of his selfish need to keep his own stuff for himself. He didn’t care about the needs of David or his people. He even throws a party for himself that would be fit for a king! On the other hand, Nabal’s wife, Abigail, hears about the request and has a choice to make as well. She decides that she needs to help David and his people, so she sends enough food for the entire group to enjoy. By providing for David’s group she ends up saving the lives of all her people.

As we are called to be stewards of what God has given us, we need to be reminded that all we have is God’s in the first place. What we have been entrusted with is a gift from God—some with much, some with a little. No matter how much you have or possess, we are called to help. But again, we can’t do everything and we can’t help everyone. So, how do we know whom we should help?

#1 Pray that God gives you a heart to help others, and to know His will.

#2 Let God direct you to whom you should help. He will give you a sense of peace when you give. You will know, if you are seeking His will, on whom to help.

#3 Give because it brings joy to you and your family. Giving shouldn’t feel like an obligation, you’re using God’s gifts to help others.

#4 Then…do it! Give! Share with others, so they can know God’s love and provision. Just as God sent his Son, Jesus, to this earth to show us the love that God has for us—His ultimate love (John 3:16)!

We need to have our hearts and eyes opened to seeing where God is leading us to give and care—where we can share His love with others. Together we can make a difference in the world, if not for many, then in the world of the one we helped!

God’s blessings,

Tim “TK” Kightlinger

 

Photo credit: Stock photo: basket of bread and rolls

The Trials of a King (Bible Study)

Kings

Recap of Chapter 12

David was voted least likely among his brothers to be anointed king.  He was the last person on the battlefront you’d pick to play the hero’s part, but David was the underdog who overcame. He confronted lions, giants and kings with bare hands and bold faith.  At last, the man after God’s own heart became the man on Israel’s throne.

But kings who stay home from battle are seldom at rest.  David’s eyes wandered and so did his heart.  He summoned the very lovely and very married Bathsheba to his palace and then into his bed. When Bathsheba sent word she was pregnant, David turned his strategy tactics toward her husband, Uriah.

He called Uriah home from the battlefield to visit his wife, expecting a night together would position Uriah as the father-to-be. The plan failed, so David concocted a surefire Plan B.  He sent Uriah back to the front-lines carrying his own death warrant: an order for General Joab to engineer a battlefield “accident” and guarantee Uriah’s death.  The plan worked.  David married Bathsheba and went back to the business of the kingdom.

Then Nathan, the prophet, came to the palace. Guilty kings never fare well when prophets arrive for a visit.  Nathan told a parable and pointed the finger of blame squarely in David’s face.  He asserted, “You are the man!” and David knew he’d met his match.  The man after God’s own heart had become the man with blood on his hands. David and Bathsheba’s marriage feasting turned quickly into mourning the death of their son. David repented of his sin, and God forgave him.  They had a second son named Solomon, which means peace.

Sadly, David was a better king than father.  David’s sin was forgiven, but its aftermath was calamitous.  His son, Absalom, attempted to usurp the throne, and his rise to power resulted in a rebellion.  David instructed his troops to be gentle with his proud son, perhaps because he connected the dots between Absalom’s behavior and his own failures as a father.  But the clash between David’s army and Absalom’s rebels was brutal.  When Absalom was found hanging from a tree limb, Joab seized the moment and killed the conspirator.  King David mourned in anguish when he heard the news.

David’s closing chapter turns the page from battles to building.  He knew that his son, Solomon, would build a house for God, so he did all he could to prepare the way.  From the overflow of David’s heart came the emptying of his bank account.  Others followed the king’s example and gave willingly to build God’s temple.  King David’s story draws to a close with poetic psalms of praise, reminders of faithfulness to Solomon and his sights set on living “in the house of the LORD forever.”

David’s Lower Story places the spotlight on one man’s sin and its tragic consequences.  Yet it also beams with the offer of forgiveness and redemption. God’s grand Upper Story reminds us that no one is righteous on their own.  God’s promise to David pointed across a millennium to a sinless King of Kings; no end of righteousness, no end of peace, and the redemption of all things.

The Artistry and Anatomy of the Psalms

When Queen Victoria had just ascended her throne she went, as is the custom of Royalty, to hear “The Messiah” rendered. She had been instructed as to her conduct by those who knew, and was told that she must not rise when the others stood at the singing of the Hallelujah Chorus. When that magnificent chorus was being sung and the singers were shouting “Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth,” she sat with great difficulty.

It seemed as if she would rise in spite of the custom of kings and queens, but finally when they came to that part of the chorus where with a shout they proclaim Him King of Kings suddenly the young queen rose and stood with bowed head, as if she would take her own crown from off her head and cast it at His feet.

—J. Wilbur Chapman

Queen Victoria was not the first royal to understand that there is a King who is worthy of more honor and respect than any earthly queen or king.  King David knew full well that he was lower than God and therefore rendered honor and respect to Him throughout his lifetime.  David often “cast his crown” at the feet of God by writing psalms of praise and thanksgiving, and fear and lament.

I.       The Artistry of the Psalms

A. A psalm is a form of Hebrew poetry that is usually in the form of a prayer.  The psalms were collected and used in the community of faith for worship, for comfort and for teaching.

B. The psalmists—including David—use vivid imagery and life experiences to express themselves.  These figures of speech turn an ordinary prayer into an artistic and memorable expression of emotion common to all worshipers.  Many of the images reveal the earthy culture of the Israelite shepherds and farmers living close to nature.

C. In Psalms, there are 150 separate psalms which are numbered as chapters.  Of them, 73 are attributed to David.  Psalms is the longest book in the Bible.

D. If there is a single theme to all the psalms, it might be the belief in the sovereignty of God over all the creation.  Sometimes psalmists praise God in awe as He rules the universe and other times the psalmists view God as in control of their very lives and the lives of their enemies.

E. Types of Psalms:  Understanding the different types of psalms helps in understanding their purpose and meaning.  Each type has a loose structure.

  1. Individual lament: These psalms cry out for help for a need (sickness, war, slander, etc.)  The typical pattern is:  introductory cry, the lament, confession of trust, prayer for God’s intervention, expression of praise.
  2. Communal lament:  The psalmist cries out to God on behalf of the nation.  The pattern is the same as for the individual lament.
  3. Thanksgiving or praise psalms:  These poems praise God for what He has done either for the individual or for the nation.  The pattern:  proclamation to praise, the content of the praise, a lesson or instruction
  4. Descriptive praise psalms:  While the thanksgiving psalms focus more on what God has done, these offer direct praise to God for who He is–His attributes.  The pattern:  call to praise, the cause for praise, the conclusion.
  5. Didactic or wisdom psalms:  These poems instruct worshipers about living life in accordance with God’s law.  The pattern is historical or similar to wisdom literature.

II.       The Anatomy of the Psalms

A. Poetry differs from other genres of Scripture.  It is more concentrated and employs symbols, images, figures and emotional language.

B. The “bone structure” of Hebrew poetry is parallelism or repetition.  Understanding the parallelisms will help readers grasp the meaning of the figures of speech and ultimately the meaning of the psalm.  There are three main types of parallelism:

  1. Synonymous parallelism—the thought of the first line is expressed in the second line, but using different but synonymous words.  For example 

                      “Hide your face from my sins, 
                      And blot out all my iniquity” (Ps. 51:9)

      2.  Antithetical parallelism—the first line expresses one thought, while the second line is a contrast or opposition.                     

                    “For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
                      But the way of the wicked will perish.”  (Ps. 1:6)

      3.  Emblematic parallelism—a figure of speech is used in the first line and explained in the second.      

               “As the deer pants for the water brooks

                So my soul pants for Thee, O God.” (Ps. 42:1)

C. A psalm stands alone as a unit.  There is an overall message to a psalm tied together to express one main feeling.  Like anatomy, you can cut a psalm apart into its pieces, but you will probably kill it in the process!

III.       The Analysis of the Psalms in The Story.

Slow down and read the psalms in such a way as to appreciate the author’s experience.

A. Ps. 59 is found on page 123.  What kind of psalm is it?  [It is an individual lament psalm.  David is crying out for deliverance.]  What is its main message?  What emotions do the figures of speech evoke?

B. Ps. 51 is on page 133.  What kind of psalm is it?  [It is an individual lament psalm.]  What is the message of the psalm?  What emotions does it express?  How is God described?

C. Ps. 32 is on page 135.  What pattern does it fit?  [It is a psalm of thanksgiving or praise.]  What images express David’s feelings?

D. Ps. 23 is the most well-known of all psalms.  What kind is it?  [It is a praise psalm for what God has done and will do for David.]  Why do you suppose this psalm brings such comfort to people?  What in David’s background or experience might have contributed to the images that he used in this psalm?  [David was a shepherd.  He would understand the care and duties of a shepherd for his sheep.]

IV.       Applications and Implications

A. David expressed every emotion to God.  It is OK for me to do the same, the good, the bad and the ugly—God knows anyway!

B. Faith is more than just intellectual assent.  It is also from the heart.

C. I can learn to pray and worship better using the psalms as a guide.

D. Manly men are also artistic and creative.  David was a warrior, king, musician and poet.

E. It is OK for manly men to express emotions, especially about God.  Plus, chicks dig men who love God J

F. The psalmists seek God because He is sovereign to act and worthy of all praise.  I should do the same.

G. The psalmists see the hand of God in all creation, the big stuff and the little stuff.  I can train myself to see evidence of God and praise Him for it too.

H. I can use Ps. 51 as a pattern for confession of my sin and Ps. 32 as a pattern for my thankfulness to God for His forgiveness.

Write a psalm

Now that we have talked about it and examined it…Give it a try. Write a short psalm.  It could be praise or thanksgiving, lament or descriptive.  Below you will find some beginning lines to help you get started.  Antithetical parallelisms are actually slightly easier to write than the others.  As another alternative, you could update Psalm 23 to a 21st century psalm.  What image of God might replace the shepherd?  If you like please share your final products. Here are some beginning lines:

  • It is important for me to do God’s will.
  • I will always praise God.
  • The person who turns away from God is in for big trouble.
  • Like a ship caught in a storm,
  • Deliver me from my enemy
  • Thank You, O God, for my spouse

Truly BeautifulStudy of David and Bathsheba

Chapter 12 of THE STORY is devoted to the story of David and Bathsheba.  David’s actions set the course of the rest of his reign as king of Israel.  David saw Bathsheba, and he wanted her because she was truly beautiful.  In Bathsheba’s case, physical beauty was not a blessing.  But as David and Bathsheba allowed God to reclaim their lives, he turned a bad mistake into something truly beautiful.  What God did 3000 years ago in David and Bathsheba’s lives brings us this assurance today: God can turn a bad start into something beautiful.

I.  A Bad Mistake Times Two. 2 Samuel 11:1—12:25

1. In the spring time what usually occupied the kings?  (11:1)

2. In the space before the arrow briefly note the events that are related in 2 Samuel 11:2—5. After the arrow with each of the, note what choice Bathsheba had in the matter.

v.2                                                                                           →

v.3                                                                                           →

v.4                                                                                           →

v.5                                                                                           →

3.  In your opinion, was Bathsheba a victim or a party to the sin that was committed?

One of the tallest buildings, David’s palace would have been constructed with a railing or battlement around a flat roof with openings to view the area and for protection.  In fact the Israelites were to build a wall around their roofs to avoid liability for a fall (Deuteronomy 22:8).

Uriah’s home was located in close proximity to the palace for David to be able to see Bathsheba, bathing on her roof.  Women were commanded by God’s law to cleanse themselves after a period.  It was common practice for a woman to bath after the day’s work, at night, in the privacy of the roof top.

4.  What additional atrocity did David commit after learning of Bathsheba’s pregnancy? (11:14)

5.  What happened to Bathsheba next? (11:26-27)

6.  What displeased God?  (11:27b)

II. Truth and Consequences.  2 Samuel 12:1—23.

1.  What did Nathan use to convict David of the truth of his sin? (12:1—10)

2.  What is the meaning behind the heartfelt words from God that Nathan related? (12:7—9)

3. What consequences did the Lord declare? (12:11—18)

4.  How did David react to God’s truth and consequences? (12:13)

5.  The Lord struck the child with an illness and, in spite of David’s pleading and fasting, the baby died seven days later.  What losses did Bathsheba endure because of her encounter with David?

6.  Describe David’s anguish and his reaction to the death of the son. (12:18—22)

III. A new life for Bathsheba. (2 Samuel 12:24-25; 1 Kings 1; 2:1—25)

Bathsheba’s attributes go beyond beauty. David’s remaining years were plagued by family turmoil and war, as God promised.  But the rest of Bathsheba’s story reveals a woman with strength and character.  She was honored by David and Solomon.  She was respected by Nathan the prophet, as well as others in the kingdom. God gave a new life to Bathsheba, and she helped bring his treasure to the world.

1.  How did God Bless Bathsheba. (2 Samuel 12:24)

2.  Who did God love?  What does this mean to you? (2 Samuel 12:25)

3.  Why did Nathan consult with Bathsheba about Adonija? (1 Kings 1:9—13)

4.  What shows David and Bathsheba’s relationship at this point? (1 Kings 1:16—21, 31)

Adonija was determined that as the oldest living heir of David, he should have the throne, despite David’s proclamation.  Knowing the Queen Mother’s influence on Solomon, Adonija involved her in a plot which could actually have resulted in their deaths.

5.  Describe what actions of Solomon show respect toward his mother. (1 Kings 2:19—20)

6.  Was Bathsheba naïve or wise in her approach to Solomon with the request from Adonija? (1 Kings 1:21—27)

One has to wonder how David, described as someone God loves (cf. Acts 13:22) could stray so far off the path of godliness.  He let his desires take over, hurting innocent people in his wake. Yet we know that God loves all of us as well.  This is still the same struggle for followers of God today.  Praise God, the perpetrator and the victim alike can find help and healing.

IV. A New Life for You and Me (Psalm 51)

1.  Read Psalm 51:1-2.  David confessed and asked God to deal with three kinds of sin.  Note them:

Blot out my____________________________.

Wash away my _________________________.

Cleanse me from my_____________________.

2. David pled with God: “ …create a new heart within me “(Psalm 51:10).  How does this happen for you and me? (1 John 4:16; Acts 2:38, Ro. 6:1—14)

3.  Why then, do Christians struggle with sin? (Romans 7:21—24)

4. In Romans 7:7—8:37 we read how Christians who love God and follow Christ can be victorious over sin.  How does the writer describe those who remain faithful, despite the difficulties? (Romans 8:37-39)

5.  Share how God has helped you make something truly beautiful of your life, even after a bad start.

Key Question:  What do you need to let God do in your life to make it more beautiful to Him?

The Trials of a King (4 Perspectives)

Kings

Perspective 1- Kelsey Rath

While reading chapter 12 in the story the part that spoke to me was when it said…  Then David said to Nathan,” I have sinned against the Lord.”  Unlike Saul, David didn’t make excuses for his sin. Right there when it said David didn’t make excuses for his sin, it made me think… Have I ever made excuses to hide my sin? Am I like Saul in that case? Well the answer is yes. No one is a perfect human being so we tend to think oh I won’t get in trouble if I just try to hide my sin. Are you that kind of person? Or are you like David—not afraid of the consequences that come when you sin?

Perspective 2- Barb Miles

One of the discussion questions for this chapter brought me to compare how David was different from Saul.  They sinned in different ways.  Saul made excuses for his sins.  David asked the Lord for forgiveness of his sins.  Even though they both sinned, one treated the Lord with respect by asking for forgiveness and the other one didn’t see his own faults.

Which kind of Christian am I?  Is it easier to take a sin and make an excuse for why we did it?  Take the example of getting change back from a transaction.  If I realize I have been given more than I am entitled to, do I tell the clerk, or do I just pocket the change and just say later, it was just a simple mistake!  Or, if I was part of a family estate settlement and had the choice of cutting down a sibling rather than daily praying to God to guide me, praying for His will, and to forgive me when I would say something hurtful to my siblings?

My lower story has shown me that where I let my heart lead my way, God takes care of my needs.  When I let my head lead my actions, I don’t feel worthy of His forgiveness.

Perspective 3- Dan Petrak

Perspective 4- Laura Rath

“She (Bathsheba) gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The Lord loved him; and because the Lord loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah.” (Jedidiah means “loved by the Lord.”) – The Story pg. 166 (2 Samuel 12:24-25)

I’m reminded of Jeremiah 31:34b:

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

David sinned against the Lord when he slept with Bathsheba, had her husband killed, and then took her for his wife. But when confronted by Nathan, the prophet, David confessed his sin, accepted the consequences of that sin, and received God’s forgiveness.

God forgave David and remembered his sin no more.

God could have forgiven David, but then fulfilled His plan through someone else. But He didn’t. His plan continued with David and Bathsheba when He blessed them with a son—Solomon, continuing the lineage to Jesus.

fries

Sue Wilson is our guest blogger today. She often contributes different blogs and topics on here that you have already read. I pray you will be blessed today by her message. 

I saw a little plastic highway cone at a truck stop that I just had to buy. Its printed message was “Darned right I have a Master’s Degree–you want fries with that?”

What hope is there for a fast food worker in today’s high-end job market? Well, King David began to demonstrate his abilities and his faith while doing menial chores for his father, and turned out to be far more than a food carrier.

Jesse (David’s father) sent his youngest son to the war front just to take his brothers some food and check on how they were doing, but more than that happened.

Israel was stuck in a stalemate with their enemy, the Philistines. It seems that the giant warrior, Goliath, would come to the “zone” separating the two armies every day and challenge at least one of Israel’s warriors to do battle with him. Now, this was an age in which the average man was about 5’6″ tall. It is estimated that Goliath probably pushed nine feet. The Israelites, not surprisingly, had a problem finding volunteers. This made not only the Israelite army look bad but also reflected on the opinion the Philistines had of Israel’s God.

Anyway, here comes David–the fast food guy–into the scene. After asking what all the trouble was about, David was roundly chastised by his older brother who accused him of neglecting the sheep, having a wicked heart, and wanting only to watch the battle. David replied as many of us have at times, “Now what have I done?! Can’t I even speak?”

David, the one thought to be the least, said something outstanding–“Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”  David then got Saul’s permission to fight the giant, rejected the armor that was too heavy for him to carry, and downed the evil giant with a slingshot. Not bad for a sheep watcher/lunch deliverer/message boy.

We too often assume that those we consider of a lower-income, or job, than our own are not worthy of our respect. David hit this problem even from his own family.

Using our fast food server as an example, how often have you seen people speak rudely to the server, toss money at them, or come screaming back to the counter if the order is incorrect? David was not respected either, but he became the most famous of Israel’s kings. God knew his capabilities whether anyone else did or not.

Next time you see someone who “appears” to be of less worth than yourself, remember that we cannot see the masters degrees standing before us, or the wisdom, or a great mom who handles work and home, or a grandmother raising her grandchildren as the children of God. Only God knows the heart and mind of any person. We are called to assume that God has great plans for all of His children, not just a chosen few.

When Samuel came to Jesse to anoint the one to replace the failing King Saul, it was assumed that the father would know which of his sons was best qualified. He did not. Nor did Samuel. All Samuel knew was that he wasn’t getting the high-sign from God in his heart as he looked at Jesse’s boys. There is a lesson for us here.

Never assume anything about your children. Their wisdom can exceed our own; their faith almost certainly can exceed our own; their trust in our ability to answer the most obtuse questions possible is amazing. The one that you are sure will qualify for Harvard may choose to go to trade school and become a mechanic. The one you assume will be a mechanic may turn out to be an MIT graduate.

Watch your children without any assumptions except that they need your love, guidance, and trust. They need your faith that God will guide their feet and minds. Our job as parents is to show our love to them equally, guide them equally, treat them equally, trust them equally, and show our pride in them equally.

sue wilson

From Shepherd to King (4 Perspectives)

Perspective 1- Barb Miles

David constantly reached out to God in prayer when he was fearful and needed direction and help.  And David also thanked God for being his deliverer, always giving thanks to God for hearing his prayers.  This is a good lesson for me.  My take away for this chapter is to always pray for direction and to always give thanks.

Perspective 2- Pastor Ron

Sometimes the egos of the characters in the Bible are as fragile as that of the stars in Hollywood! Saul is the king anointed by God to lead his people. God has blessed him during his reign. He even provides him with David. Yes, David will be the next king, but he has intense loyalty to Saul. One would think, what a wonderful blessing to have this naturally gifted warrior by my side! David did so well that the people sang about him:

“Saul has slain his thousands,and David his tens of thousands.”

This can be taken one of two ways. Either, Saul has done a great job mentoring the boy and can celebrate his success, or he can see him as a threat…Saul chose the latter. How sad. Can you imagine what a powerhouse the two of them would have been? Saul on his way out, but David being chosen by God and groomed by Saul. But Saul’s ego would have none of that. David was a threat and the fact that Saul’s son was David’s best friend was just salt in this open wound. What a missed opportunity. What pain and agony was put upon so many…in part, at least, because of an ego.

We all have an ego and it is necessary to have a positive self-image. We can get into all kinds of trouble if we have too negative of a self-image of ourselves. Like all things though, if left unchecked it can get us into a lot trouble. How many times have you failed to celebrate with another person’s success because somehow you saw that as a poor reflection on you? How much more productive would your place of business be if egos were removed and everyone celebrated everyone else’s success?  What if sibling rivalry was removed from your home? What would happen if we put our egos aside?

It reminds me of this passage in Philippians 2:5-8

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!

Perspective 3- Diane Schmidt

I just love the example of David as he demonstrated his faith in the living God; how he loved and trusted him in all things. Right from the beginning of this chapter David demonstrates his faith in God. He questions the army when they allow Goliath to “defy the living God.” (pg. 148) He convinces Saul that he can slay this enemy because “the Lord…will rescue me from this Philistine.” (p 148-149) He gives credit to God and shows great trust when he says, “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.” (p 149) As Saul pursues David, he once again turns to God for deliverance. At the encounter in the cave, David could have slain Saul but he didn’t. Why? I think it’s because he knew it would not be pleasing to God. David was taught God’s laws and knew that God’s story was bigger than his own. David knew that God had a plan for him and even if he couldn’t see the magnitude of the Upper Story he still trusted God. Throughout this chapter we see David’s trusting faith and God’s blessings, and the strength and courage he gave David. David gives us some great images of who God is: my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my refuge, my shield, my horn of salvation, my stronghold, my savior! What great words and images that we can hold on to when we are surrounded by a world of doubt, struggle, fear, unbelievers, death and destruction. To be comforted and strengthened by a God who is so personal that he cares about my daily life and yet so big he can fight and defeat my biggest enemies, just like he did for David.

Perspective 4- Dan Petrak

David- He has a “Great Personality”

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

“They have a great personality.” What does that usually mean? When you are trying to get a friend to go out on a blind date and you open with those words, what does it mean? This has often been the joke amongst people to say that they are not the best looking, but they should really like who they are anyways. It is a heartfelt way of saying do not judge them based on looks but based on their heart.

Is this really the way that God is describing David? Don’t look at his appearance or stature or really anything about his outer appearance but instead look at his personality. Is David an odd-looking man? Or is there something else going on?

We have a tendency to judge people based on their outward appearance. We will decide whether we will talk to someone or even enter into conversation with someone based on their looks. It looks like that’s the way things have been for thousands of years. God identifies it when he says, “people look on the outward appearance…”

Have you allowed outward appearance to be a stumbling block in getting to know someone? Have you ever found out that your judgment was wrong? 

I think it is interesting to see the big difference between the picking of Saul and David. Saul was the guy who was at least a head taller than everyone else. He was the strong, tall and handsome guy that everyone knew. And for a while he was a good choice as king over Israel. He quickly dropped off the charts when he was arrogant enough to make moves without God’s direction.

God knew that the decision for the next king had to based more on the heart, character, etc. God says I am not after any of that outward junk anymore, its time to base my decision based on substance. There is a stark contrast to the first two Israelite kings.

So if God is looking at the heart then what did David have in his that was desirable for service?

David is a humble shepherd boy with a quiet confidence in what has been given to him. He is growing up in an age when knowing God and following his ways are unimportant. But, he has been raised in a household that it has been made important. We see a culmination of all of this when he goes to the place where the Israelites are in a battle with the Philistines. He is not a full-time enlisted member of the army, but he stands up when the Philistines are insulting the God of Israel. He was willing to fight a giant of a man because it was a matter of principle.

Did he have that confidence because he was anointed or was it simply he was the man God made him to be? God prepared David to be the man he wanted him to be, even before he was ever made king. David was not perfect, even if he was called the man after God’s own heart. He was perfect for the job because God saw and used a willing heart. We don’t have to be perfect to be chosen by God. We need a heart that is open and ready for the opportunities that God places in front of us.

We may not be the best looking people but we can have a “great personality” ready to be used by God.

What is God currently preparing you for? Have your eyes been open to the multitude of possibilities?

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