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David – Serving God
So, whose life is considered important to God? Well, who did God chose to write more about than any other single person in the whole history of the world? The answer is the young man we met this morning.
Please open to Acts 13:22
And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’ NKJV
Acts 13:36 “For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed. NIV
David was “God-hearted” which meant he served God’s purposes. The word “served” is the verb form (hupereteo) of the word for an under rower (huperetes) that we have often studied as a model of how to serve the Lord.
David was under God’s command, he did what the Lord asked him to do, willingly unseen and obscure—always wanting the Lord to get all the glory. A simpler way to say that is—David was God’s servant all his days. No wonder Paul uses the very same concept to describe his own life and ministry.
What is a person’s life like when they are committed to being God’s servant? God wants to explain that to us! First–
DAVID’S LIFE WAS ON GOD’S MIND
God uses the unchangeable features of servants for His Glory!
David’s family life again shows God’s grace. He was not oldest, strongest or most likely to succeed. He was overlooked and even abused. But what matters is if God has His hand upon you! God uses our circumstances! David is the youngest, David is neglected, David is unwanted, and David is left out. Yet with all that potential life warping treatment—David just keeps following the Lord he loved. God’s choice of the younger over the elder is another picture of His grace as we’ve already seen with Abel, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and now see with David!
1 Samuel 16:11 And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.”
DAVID’S LIFE WAS DISCIPLINED
God uses the disciplined lives of servants for His Glory!
God uses the diligent. He is handsome and hard working. When the Samuel sent for David they called him from where? They knew he would be right where he was supposed to be, watching the flocks!
1 Samuel 16:12a So he sent and brought him in.
Check out Psalm 132 for a moment. What did David do during those monotonous, endless hours with the dumb, fearful and easily wandering sheep?
1. Note in v. 3-4 he sought God ahead of personal comforts;
2. v. 5 He made time for the Lord;
3. v. 6 this was as a shepherd boy;
4. v. 7 he longed for God;
5. v. 9a he was pondering the priority of personal purity;
6. v. 9b he was strengthened by righteous living because the righteous are bold as a lion, they have quietness and assurance from God and their hearts overflow with joy!
DAVID’S LIFE WAS AVAILABLE FOR GOD TO USE
God uses the available lives of servants for His Glory!
David was chosen by God because God is always on the lookout for servants!
1 Samuel 16:12b Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!”
What is a someone after God’s heart like? They are God’s servants. They are in harmony with God, burdened with what burdens God, obeying all they know that matters to God. In others words—their heart is all God’s. Is your heart for God? Does He have your heart? Is it all His?
2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.” NKJV
David was on God’s mind (1st Samuel 13:14); he was loyal (1st Chronicles 16:9); and as God later reveals—David was a man of integrity (Psalm 78:72).
Psalm 78:70-72 He also chose David His servant, And took him from the sheepfolds; 71 From following the ewes that had young He brought him, To shepherd Jacob His people, And Israel His inheritance. 72 So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands. NKJV
David was schooled by sheep which vary little in their habits, they walk so often down the same path it is soon a rutted canyon.
- Sheep are helpless – they can’t even clean themselves.
- Sheep are dumb – they can’t even find food unless they are led to it.
- Sheep are dirty – they walk around and collect any and all filth they come into contact with.
- Sheep are helpless, dumb, and dirty – and can only be cared for by the patient.
David was forged by God in the desert as he watched the sheep. His life was trained by solitude. He will was shaped by obscurity. His will was steeled by monotony. His mind was trained by reality. When God trains us on the inside He takes His time.
So David was a patient man, who sat on the same hills as his grandfathers had sat upon, watching the same stars and seeking the same God. Only God saw a man of integrity, a man of loyalty, a man God could trust and count on!
DAVID’S LIFE WAS EMPOWERED BY THE LORD
God uses His Spirit to empower servants for His Glory!
Never forget that it is God who will empower His servants. The Spirit of God anointed David—and anyone else who ever does anything worth anything for God. Nothing apart from God will last. Only what is attached to God will have any value.
1 Samuel 16:13 Then Samuel 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 Ramah.
Do you know what that verse does to my heart? Each time I read it my heart wells up with the cry of the hymn writer—
Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me. Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me.
DAVID’S LIFE WAS AN EXAMPLE OF GODLINESS TO OTHERS
God uses the actions of servants for His Glory!
Others watch our life. David’s actions provided a powerful testimony to those who saw him—and they were willing to tell what they saw. What kind of advertisement have we been this week for God? A good one or a bad one?
1 Samuel 16:18 Then one of the servants answered and said, “Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the Lord is with him.”
Does that remind you of what we are all to be? Listen to Paul—
1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. NKJV
What do people see in my life, what do they remember, and what do they report to others? Is it something that pleases the Lord?
DAVID’S LIFE DISPLAYED TRUE HUMILITY
God uses humble servants for His Glory!
David never sought the spotlight. David resisted the pride that often tempts us after great accomplishments. David had a job to do and he humbly did it. He was consistent, faithful, dependable, and as a humble servant–genuinely unaware of himself. A test of humility is whether or not one is unconcerned who gets the credit.
1 Samuel 16:19 Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.”
After David was anointed by Samuel as the next king—what did he do? Did he hang up a sign, “King David lives here”? No—he went back to his obscure, humble, monotonous job with those dumb and dirty sheep!
David never seemed to let life go to his head–he tended the sheep, worked as a courier for his dad during the war by taking provisions to his brothers in the army. Then after defeating Goliath he had been hired by the government (King Saul) and worked in the various departments: entertainment (he played his harp), military (he was sent out to raid and kill the enemy Philistines), and finally as a member of the cabinet (he sat at Saul’s table as his son-in-law and advised him on security and military issues and led a squad of warriors for the king.
After being elevated to being the king, David goes on with life, stays the same humble servant of the Lord that he was before that day.
DAVID’S LIFE MINISTERED TO OTHERS
God uses the ministry of servants for His Glory!
It produces comfort in others. David’s love and passion for God warmed the souls of those around him. David spiritual influence even calmed demonized Saul.
1 Samuel 16:23 And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him.
We are to be salt (preserving decay around us) and light (the beacon of truth pointing at Christ) to a lost and dying world around us. By your kindness and goodness impress a lost world with Christ’s love!
DAVID WANTED TO HONOR GOD WITH HIS WORK
God is glorified by diligent working servants.
David was responsible. He kept at his job until it was finished. Canb you imagine what a tragedy it would have been if David didn’t finish things—like the 23rd Psalm? Oh, I’ll get to that someday…
1 Samuel 17:15 But David occasionally went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.
Nothing entrusted to him was too small to maintain. David cared for one lamb!
1 Samuel 17:34-35 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. NKJV
Matthew 25:21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ NKJV
As a shepherd, David had to risk his life for a lamb, for his dad, and for his family. He took life seriously and responsibly. By the way—when do great men and women start to be great? Isn’t it just a continuation of many little choices? You will never become something in the future that you are not doing now. Your current habits and character only will enlarge. Are you responsible or careless? Are you self absorbed or others oriented?
What has God entrusted to you? Adults, you may have a marriage, a family, a job, and a ministry. Young people, you may have a smaller brother or sister, school, your room, a bike, a job? What are you doing with what God has put under your care? Jesus said something about little things once.
Luke 16:10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. NKJV
DAVID WANTED TO HONOR GOD WITH HIS HABITS
God is either honored or dishonored by the habits of His servants.
Did you notice David’s habits? This next verse lists several. David is disciplined, responsible, trustworthy, and obedient.
1 Samuel 17:20 so David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, and took the things and went as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the camp as the army was going out to the fight and shouting for the battle
Do you really think that was the first time he acted like that? Be careful what habits you allow to grow up and take hold in your life! Every action and habit we allow has an either positive or negative consequence in our lives. Beware of bad habits and sinful actions.
Sin always pays us back with boredom, guilt, shame, loneliness, confusion, emptiness, loss of purpose, not to speak of–loss of rewards. But obedience always produces eternal blessings!
Galatians 6:7-9 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
DAVID WANTED TO HONOR GOD WITH HIS LIFE
God wants us as His servants to give our lives back to Him.
He had a Divine perspective. He was God fearing. So immediately David thought of one thing—what can I do for the Lord!
1 Samuel 17:25-26 So the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel; and it shall be that the man who kills him the king will enrich with great riches, will give him his daughter, and give his father’s house exemption from taxes in Israel.”26 Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “What shall 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 defy the armies of the living God?”
Check Out All The Sermons In The Series
You can find all the sermons and short clips from this series, David’s Spiritual Secret here.
Looking To Study The Bible Like Dr. Barnett?
Dr. Barnett has curated an Amazon page with a large collection of resources he uses in his study of God’s Word. You can check it out here.