A TALE OF TWO KINGS: OUR WAY OR GOD’S WAY
Isaiah 55:8-9 (CSB)
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways.” This is the Lord’s declaration. 9 “For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
1 Samuel 16:13-23 (CSB) 13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully on David from that day forward. Then Samuel set out and went to Ramah. 14 Now the Spirit of the Lord had left Saul, and an evil spirit sent from the Lord began to torment him, 15 so Saul’s servants said to him, “You see that an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16 Let our lord command your servants here in your presence to look for someone who knows how to play the lyre. Whenever the evil spirit from God comes on you, that person can play the lyre, and you will feel better.” 17 Then Saul commanded his servants, “Find me someone who plays well and bring him to me.” 18 One of the young men answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is also a valiant man, a warrior, eloquent, handsome, and the Lord is with him.” 19 Then Saul dispatched messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.” 20 So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a wineskin, and one young goat and sent them by his son David to Saul. 21 When David came to Saul and entered his service, Saul loved him very much, and David became his armor-bearer. 22 Then Saul sent word to Jesse: “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor with me.” 23 Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would pick up his lyre and play, and Saul would then be relieved, feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.
1 Samuel 8:19-20 (CSB) 19 The people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We must have a king over us. 20 Then we’ll be like all the other nations: our king will judge us, go out before us, and fight our battles.”
1 Samuel 10:18-19 (CSB) 18 and said to the Israelites, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I brought Israel out of Egypt, and I rescued you from the power of the Egyptians and all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.’ 19 But today you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your troubles and afflictions.
- The people wanted to be like everyone else.
- God had chosen them not to be like everyone else.
- God’s way was not their way…and it’s not to this very day!
- And God’s way was not Saul’s way, so the Spirit of the Lord left him.
God’s divine presence had been given to guide and empower him as the king, and now that God had rejected Saul, His Spirit was removed. Saul remained king for the rest of his life, but he no longer knew the power and presence of God in his life nor did he receive words from God through the prophet.
Kenneth L. Chafin and Lloyd J. Ogilvie, 1, 2 Samuel, vol. 8, The Preacher’s Commentary Series (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1989), 125.
God’s presence is the constant in all situations!
Saul’s life was an example of doing things our way
God’s Way to Prepare a King
1. Allow God to map the way – vs. 14-17
What do we know about this evil spirit?
- It was under God’s sovereignty – sent by God
- Sent as judgement
- This was the result of Saul’s sin – disobedience
- It followed the departure of the Spirit of the Lord
- It was temporary
- Saul’s struggle was how God moved David to the palace
2. Rely on God’s presence – v. 18
“The Lord is with Him”
- David had all the job qualifications that Saul wanted.
- He also had one qualification that Saul desperately needed.
- Saul never asked his servants to find someone who had the Lord with them.
- Saul’s servants could see something that Saul didn’t.
3. Serve in obscurity – vs. 19-22
David was the anointed king but was waiting for God’s timing.
- He had been sent back to being a shepherd.
A pure heart and a shepherding attitude come from the pasture, not the palace.
- D. Greear and Heath A. Thomas, Exalting Jesus in 1 & 2 Samuel (Nashville, TN: Holman Reference, 2016), 1 Sa 16:1–13.
- Psalm 78:72 (CSB) He shepherded them with a pure heart and guided them with his skillful hands.
- Kings are prepared in the pasture not the palace.
- David would spend the next 15 years in obscurity.
- David’s story is not teaching us to hang on until we get on the throne because Jesus is already there.
- Service is the pathway to favor – v. 22
- David had been promoted to armor bearer
- He didn’t hesitate to pick up the harp when Saul was in need
4. Status is the enemy of service – v. 23
Proverbs 22:1 (CSB) A good name is to be chosen over great wealth; favor is better than silver and gold.
- Luke 22:24-27 (CSB) Then a dispute also arose among them about who should be considered the greatest. 25 But he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who have authority over them have themselves called ‘Benefactors.’ 26 It is not to be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever is greatest among you should become like the youngest, and whoever leads, like the one serving. 27 For who is greater, the one at the table or the one serving? Isn’t it the one at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.
Psalm 22:10 (CSB) I was given over to you at birth; you have been my God from my mother’s womb.
Psalm 95:1-3 (CSB) 1 Come, let’s shout joyfully to the Lord, shout triumphantly to the rock of our salvation! 2 Let’s enter his presence with thanksgiving; let’s shout triumphantly to him in song. 3 For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods.
If David’s life teaches us anything, it declares that God will accomplish His plan His way.
But He has a place for us in His plan.