A Heart for God: David.
Sermon: Sun 20th September 2015
Setting the scene:
Having stepped up into Saul’s place and defeated the ‘good luck charm’ of the Phillistine army the Hebrew soldiers are filled with courage and inspired to attack and rout the Philistines. The victory of the shepherd over the military hero was taken as a sign that the God of the Hebrews had triumphed over the Gods of the Phillistines and that this victory would be mirrored on the hill sides of the Elah valley.
The Hebrew’s take the day. Given the military superiority of the Philistines, this was astonishing. David had saved the nation of Isreal and restored national pride. The young shepherd boy had become a national hero and his rise to the top had begun.
It’s easy to think of this narrative as happening in a vacuum, as a 2 dimensional story where each character simply follows a pre-written plot line in a mechanistic fashion. But of course this is not the case, each character represents a life full of hopes and fears, successes and failures, a mixture of drivers and motivations, some good some bad. Each situation is full of political and social complications, subject on the one hand to the desires of Yahweh, and on the other to the desires and actions of man.
And so we see here, as we do in each day of our lives, the point of intersection between God and human life. The mechanics are beyond our fathoming, but in a world of unlimited possibilities and complexity, somehow God’s hand is at work accomplishing his purposes without doing violence to the autonomy of the people he has created as fundamentally free.
Let’s come back to the narrative…
Thinking back to the euphoria of David’s victory, let’s try to enter into the spirit of it. Maybe you can share memories of how the British people reacted when the end of the Second World War was announced, either your own or those of others?
A new day dawns, new hope rises, confidence soars…unless of course you are the disgraced monarch upstaged by a shepherd…
Read 1 Samuel 18:6-16
A) Understanding David & Saul
1. Why do you think David succeeded in defeating Goliath?
2. Why do you think King Saul reacted as he did to the jubilation that followed
(Note: A key theme is the contrast between King Saul and David. How, due to
his disobedience to God the ‘mighty Saul fell’ and the humble David was
3. (verses 10-12) How do you think this incident may have changed David’s
opinion of Saul?
4. Remembering that he had been anointed by Samuel as King, does Saul’s’
attempted murder of David, make David’s’ continued allegiance to the King all
the more surprising?
5. (verse 13) Why did Saul promote David, give him command of 1,000 men and
send him into battle?
6. What does Saul’s reaction reveal about him and his faith?
B) Learning from David & Saul
1. David did not know that the Lord had rejected Saul as King (1 Samuel 15:26)
and that Saul was living on borrowed time. Do you think that this was fair on David – not knowing this information?
2. As we follow God, why do you think God may allow us not to know ‘the full
facts’ and to experience challenges such as those that David encountered with
C) Praying with David
Read Psalm 20:7
Two difficult lessons in life are:
? learning that we cannot always place too much confidence in others and
? learning to trust God completely as we journey through life
This was to be David’s experience. In this psalm (and in many others) that David
wrote, David reveals his complete faith and trust in God.
Conclude by a time of sharing and prayer together.
RJ / SB, 07/08/2015