HOPE CHAPEL - Sunday, October 10, 2021
Teaching Series - “Our Family Tree–Through the Bible in 2021"
Weekly Topic - “After God’s Own Heart” – Happy Thanksgiving!
Text – Various texts from 1 & 2 Samuel
Today we are going to be trying to answer the question of what it means to be a person ‘after God’s own heart.’ We know that David was chosen to replace Saul as king because he possessed this qualification, so we should be able to discern what it is by doing a study of David. But first, what do you know of David? How would you characterize him?
“A PERSON AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART IS…THANKFUL”
Psalm 9:1-2 – I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. 2 I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.
David’s thankfulness was not based on circumstances, but on his relationship with God. The psalms of David are filled with pleas for rescue, repentance and calls for vengeance on his enemies. But they are also filled with praises of God, acknowledgement of His greatness and David’s often repeated thankfulness for God’s faithful care. Our gratitude is of great concern to God. Those who are ungrateful find it very difficult to give over control to God and can even become entitled. Giving thanks to God is one of the keys to becoming and remaining grateful; as we develop gratitude our need for control is diminished and we find ourselves better able to be generous. Thankfulness protects us from being miserly, selfish and laying claim to credit that belongs to God.
It’s a good thing we don’t have a God after our own hearts! Can you imagine if God was as whining, petulant and selfish as we can be? God has given us His Holy Spirit so that we can be transformed into the image of His Son, as fellow heirs. Our hearts need transformation in many respects; but one of the key areas is remembering to be thankful, just as David was.
David’s psalms also reveal a vulnerability…he wore his heart on his sleeve. His genuineness and lack of pretense won him friends, even within Saul’s family. It is also an aspect of David’s personality that reflects the God he served.
For a time, David worked in the service of King Saul, but Saul soon became jealous and began to plan on how he could kill David. What was David’s great crime? Always seeking to do his best for God, King Saul and the nation—David wanted to be obedient and God blessed him for it. David possessed a genuine love for God, desire to serve and the people had taken notice.
Jonathan, Saul’s son and heir to the throne, was David’s best friend. Jonathan knew that God had rejected his father and his family line from ruling the nation of Israel and had chosen David instead. But rather than assisting his father in getting rid of the would-be usurper, he chose to side with his friend and warned him to leave and escape from his father’s murderous plans. Theirs is a grief-filled departure.
“A PERSON AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART IS…GENUINE”
1 Samuel 20:42 – At last Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn loyalty to each other in the Lord’s name. The Lord is the witness of a bond between us and our children forever.” Then David left, and Jonathan returned to the town.
It is obvious that Jonathan trusted David implicitly. At this point in history, it was not uncommon for a new king to murder the relations of a deposed king to remove all threats to the throne. Jonathan and David agree that they will not treat one another or their families in this manner. How could Jonathan trust David not to go back on his promise? Because he knew his friend and trusted David to keep his word. David was no fake…saying one thing while intending another course of action entirely.
Jonathan knew that David was honest and could be relied on to keep his word. It is good to point out that being genuine requires a level of honesty that doesn’t simply refrain from telling lies, but is characterized by a life lived transparently. It begs the question of us, “Do people know the real us, or simply the version we choose to present?” People didn’t have to wonder with David and they really shouldn’t have to with us as well.
But I think that one of the most observable traits that David possessed for being identified as a man after God’s own heart was his humility.
“A PERSON AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART IS…HUMBLE”
1 Samuel 24:1-12 – When Saul returned from following the Philistines, he was told, “See, David is in the desert of Engedi.” 2 Then Saul took 3,000 chosen men from all Israel, and went to find David and his men in front of the Rocks of the Wild Goats. 3 He came to the places where the sheep were kept on the way. There was a cave there, and Saul went in to get rid of his body waste. Now David and his men were sitting farther back in the cave. 4 David’s men said to David, “See, this is the day the Lord told you, ‘See, I am about to give the one who hates you into your hand. You will do to him what you think is best.’” Then David got up and cut off a piece of Saul’s clothing in secret. 5 After this, David felt guilty in his heart because he had cut off a piece of Saul’s clothing. 6 So he said to his men, “May the Lord not let me put out my hand against my leader, for he is the Lord’s chosen one.” 7 David stopped his men with these words. He did not let them go against Saul. So Saul stood up and left the cave, and went on his way.
After Saul had left the cave and gone on his way, 8 David came out and shouted after him, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked around, David bowed low before him. 9 Then he shouted to Saul, “Why do you listen to the people who say I am trying to harm you? 10 This very day you can see with your own eyes it isn’t true. For the Lord placed you at my mercy back there in the cave. Some of my men told me to kill you, but I spared you. For I said, ‘I will never harm the king—he is the Lord’s anointed one.’ 11 Look, my father, at what I have in my hand. It is a piece of the hem of your robe! I cut it off, but I didn’t kill you. This proves that I am not trying to harm you and that I have not sinned against you, even though you have been hunting for me to kill me. 12 May the Lord judge between us. Perhaps the Lord will punish you for what you are trying to do to me, but I will never harm you.”
In this story, we read how Saul had placed himself in a rather vulnerable position. Here he is in a cave, relieving himself. [It is interesting to note the various English translation gymnastics that are undertaken to explain the Hebrew’s literal but euphemistic words, “to cover his feet”…which was just a polite way of saying, “to empty his bowels.”]
The very man he has been chasing, intent on killing, is just a little further back in the same cave. And whether David was particularly stealthy or Saul was overly distracted with the task at hand, David manages to sneak up to his would-be killer and cut off a piece of Saul’s clothing. What happens next in the verses we read? [David regrets taking liberties, refuses to allow his men to do any harm to Saul, acknowledges that God put Saul in the position as king and it isn’t his place to speed up his own ascendancy to the throne, not even to eliminate his need to live on the run]
David recognized his need to wait on God’s timing and God’s vengeance. Humanly speaking, David was in his rights to kill Saul…everyone agreed. But David refused to do harm; he set aside what others claimed he had a right to and refused to take matters into his own hands. David had placed his future squarely in the Hands of God. God requires all of His children to surrender their lives to Him, but that cannot be achieved fully until we humble ourselves—our pride, our desire for self-determination, and having a say over our lives must be done away with. Humility protects us from the pride that separates us from God.
What does God want us to confess and repent of this morning? Is there anything in our lives that prevents us from being declared, “A person after God’s own heart?”
· Are we thankful, grateful and generous or miserly, greedy and think of our own needs over that of others?
· Are we genuine or disingenuous? Can others rely on us or do they need to second guess whether we will follow-through on our commitments? Do we manipulate others or can they trust that our only motivation is to demonstrate the love of God?
· Are we humble or do we get caught up in the arguments that focus on ‘my rights?’ If we are God’s and have fully surrendered ourselves to His will we will live in a way that proves we are following in the footsteps of David, “a man after God’s own heart,” and of our Saviour as well.
Philippians 2:1-5 speaks directly to what we’ve been talking about this morning, “Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.
3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” Which requires nothing less than fully surrendering ourselves to the will of the Father!
Sunday, October 17, 2021- “A House Fit for God” (1 Kings 3-6) - In-person and Online
Pastor Jane Peck, Hope Chapel
(Collingwood EMCC Church)
"Learning and Living the Way of Jesus!"
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!