David: Serving God
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.
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 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’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.
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.”
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.”
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’s 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. Can't you imagine what a tragedy it would have been if David didn’t finish things—like the 23rd Psalm?
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!
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?
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.
David wanted to honor God with his life. God wants us as His servants to give our lives back to Him—He had 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?”
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