The Shepherd, David, was voted “the least likely to succeed” by his family members. When it came to finding a man who had a heart that was akin to God’s heart- David was the Lord’s top choice.
1 Samuel 13:14 14 The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart”
Acts 13:22 22 …He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I HAVE FOUND DAVID the son of Jesse, A MAN AFTER MY HEART, who will do all My will.’
As we track David’s story in the Book of 1 Samuel, some of the characteristics of the kind of attitude that pleases God begin to emerge. David is far from perfect and will sin grievously against the Lord on several occasions, but the overall direction of his heart’s motivation is to steadfastly behold the beauty of the Lord, to honor Him as his perfectly righteous Sovereign and the merciful forgiver of his sins. David seeks to live a life that will honor the Name of the Living God.
David’s heart is contrite, humble, reverent, respectful, trusting, loving, devoted, discerning, faithful, obedient, repentant, courageous, and full of praise and thanksgiving.
In our New Testament reading today, we see a far more perfect example of the kind of heart that pleases God:
Jesus says in John 8:29 29 “And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.”
In 1 Samuel 16 we were given a hint as to David’s skills and character. He was given this commendation:
1 Samuel 16:18 18 Then one of the young men said, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is a skillful musician, a mighty man of valor, a warrior, one prudent in speech, and a handsome man; and the LORD is with him.”
He is faithful in discharging his responsibilities, obedient to his father, and alert in tending his father’s flocks and caring for his brothers (1 Sam 17:17-20,22).
In 1 Samuel 17 we see David’s heart for the honor of the One True Living God:
1 Samuel 17:26 26 Then David spoke to the men who were standing by him, saying, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?”
1 Samuel 17:45 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted.
David, like ‘the Greater David’ we read about in the New Testament, Jesus of Nazareth, is misunderstood by his brothers as he takes on the task of defending God’s honor.
Goliath is called a ‘champion’. He had his trail of successes (he was a warrior from his youth, v.33.) He had his stature (9 feet, 9 inches), his strength (bearing his heavy armor 125 pounds plus his weaver beam-sized spear shaft and 15-pound spearhead). He had the advantage of Philistine technology, weapons of metal. He had an intimidating personality, boasting and taunting for forty days with bullying bravado.
David’s trail of successes is a hidden one. He has successfully defended his father’s flock by killing a mountain lion and a bear. His stature is nothing to brag about. He is considered an inexperienced youth. His weapons- only 5 stones and a slingshot. Goliath mocks him and his inferior weapons: “Am I a dog that you come after me with a stick?” David refuses to wear Saul’s armor. (Saul was the only one who had access to Philistine manufactured iron).
David stuck to his proved weapons rather than those he was not familiar with and that did not fit. His confidence was in the Lord who had given him his successes, his strength, his stature, and his slingshot and stones.
The wager of this battle is significant:
1 Samuel 17:8-9 8 He (Goliath) stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel and said to them, “Why do you come out to draw up in battle array? Am I not the Philistine and you servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves and let him come down to me. 9 “If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will become your servants; but if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall become our servants and serve us.”
David and Goliath stood on the battlefield as two representative men. We see in the Bible that there are two representative men- Christ and Adam. The first man, Adam, failed when facing the enemy in Genesis 3. The second man, Christ, will succeed where Adam failed. His victory is credited to all who believe on Him.
Rather than two armies fighting it out, we see two men fighting it out.
Jesus is the one man. He is the one who stands in for us in the battle against the enemy. He stands in for us as our representative in the cross. He became one of us, taking on human flesh, to be our representative- the Son of man.
Hebrews 2:14-15 14 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
Not only is David a type of the Shepherd-King to come, the Greater David, Jesus Christ, in this battle, he is a type of the believer.
David has one slingshot. It is his proven instrument– faith in Christ and His gospel. He is freely given what he needs- 5 small stones. 5 is the number for grace. He defeats the enemy with one well-targeted stone that strikes the enemy, Satan, dead-center in the head (Christ is the Rock -1 Cor 10:4 who has crushed the head of the enemy- Genesis 3:15). The accuser of the brethren is cast down. Through Christ’s perfect work on the cross, sin is atoned for, Satan is defeated, and the believer is no longer a slave to the enemy but a son of God (an adopted son or daughter of God with the legal rights of an heir.) As the result of David’s victory, the Israelites are no longer bound to be slaves to the Philistines. As the result of the Greater David’s victory, we are no longer in bondage to fear of our enemies- sin, Satan and the fear of death.
Goliath is killed by the stone (Christ), but the believer is called to personally de-capitate the already-slain enemy in his or her experience with the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God! (Eph 6:17)
Some have asked why Saul did not recognize David, the one who had played the harp in his household, when he was on the battlefield with Goliath (1 Sam 17:58). First, he was seeing the boy in an unfamiliar context. Perhaps Saul was not that familiar with part-time staff members in his household. Saul may not have bothered to get to know him. Secondly, and most credibly, since the battle wager involved Saul giving his daughter as bride to the victor and the promised relief of taxes to his family, Saul would have had good reason to make a fresh official inquiry about David and his family.
As a result of this victory, David is now further established in the household of Saul. Jonathan, Saul’s son, would become David’s brother-in-law. Both Jonathan and David had a number of things in common. They both had reverence for God, exhibited courage and acted in wisdom. In Jonathan, David would find a soul-companion.
NEW TESTAMENT READING: John 8:21-30;
Once again, the Pharisees misunderstand Jesus’ words about His ‘going away’ and their inability to find him in the future. They don’t perceive that Jesus is talking about His impending death, burial, resurrection and subsequent ascension into heaven. If a person does not believe upon Him and the efficacy of His saving work on the cross, they remain in their sins and will not be able to spend eternity with Him.
John 8:24 24 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
Jesus implies that His resurrection after He is lifted up on the cross will prove that He is sent from His Father and is a faithful witness to His Father.
John 8:29 29 “And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.”
The Psalm begins with the Hebrew word: “Hallelujah”, translated, “Praise the Lord!”
The Psalm is written with the form of an acrostic. Each line begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This special style of writing proved to help people memorize the Psalms. Other Psalms written with an acrostic style are: Psalm 9, 10, 24, 34, 37, 119 and 145.
The Psalm gives 4 specific guidelines for maintaining the blessing of the Lord when facing difficult situations.
- Praise the Lord! (v.1)
- Remember God’s great works (v.2-6)
- Rely on God’s Word (v.7-9)
- Obey His Will (v.10)
Proverbs 15:11 11 Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the LORD, How much more the hearts of men!
If God knows every secret of hell, how much more he knows what is in each and every human heart!
PRAY FOR THE NATIONS
Republic of Equatorial Guinea
Area: 28,051 sq. km
A small enclave, Rio Muni, on the African mainland and several islands in the Gulf of Guinea, including Bioko (2,000 sq. km) and Pegalu (Annobon, 10 sq. km).
Population: 693,385 Annual Growth: 2.64%
Official language: Spanish; French Languages: 14All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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Challenges for Prayer
Training leaders and discipling believers are strategic and growing ministries. Three training institutions exist (Reformed, WEC, AoG) along with TEE programs. YWAM runs short-term Discipleship Training Schools. Pray that graduates may be used of the Spirit to evangelize the nation and disciple believers. Pray for greater opportunities for laity to grow in their faith; the move from a nominal Catholic/animist worldview to a biblical one is a significant transition.
Missionaries have increased in number, including growing numbers from West and Central Africa, but they need wisdom in the convoluted socio-political situation. Several delicate and difficult situations in relating to indigenous leadership have occurred in recent years. Pray for grace and humility on the part of both expats and nationals. The main agencies are: EqGuiMsn, YWAM, AoG, WEC.
PRAYER- Father, You have given us the victory through Your Son. Help us to remain strong in the power of His might. Help us to accurately wield the sword of the Spirit and cut off any design of the enemy. Give us the heart of a psalmist who will sing of Your mercies forever. We thank You for Your Word and the grace to heed it. May we bring forth the fruit of obedience as those who are men and women after Your heart. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.