What do you do when the consequences of your bad choices come crushing down upon you? When we pick up with chapter 29, we find David in a position where he is going to have to join the Philistine army in battle against his own people. His lack of faith in God’s protection and his deception of King Achish of Gath have brought he and his men to this critical point. Thankfully, David could never put himself beyond God’s ability to rescue, and God’s mercy is exactly what we see in this text.
We were made for worship. Every single human being who has ever or will ever exist is made to worship the one true Lord of the universe. Thus, Revelation 5 is a picture of what every child of God can anticipate for their future — being gathered around the throne to give honor and praise and glory to Him who sits on the throne and unto the Lamb!
In an episode very reminiscent of chapter 24, Saul once again pursued David into the wilderness of Ziph with 3,000 choice men. God caused the whole army to fall into a deep sleep which allowed David and Abishai to walk right into the middle of the camp and stand over slumbering Saul. David once again spared Saul’s life, and from his response, we learn of the depth of his faith, and of his desire to not be cut off from the means of public worship in Israel.
In this passage, we see Saul fully expressing the evil of his heart. As he accuses his own men of conspiracy, then orders Doeg to slaughter the priests and people of Nob, he joins the ranks of antichrists who have already appeared (1 John 2:18). In contrast, David is the embodiment of the lovingkindness of Christ as he grieves over loss of life and becomes a refuge for the priest of the Lord.
At this point in First Samuel, David has reached a point of deep desperation. In the eyes of his own king, he is a threat to be hunted down and killed. So in this text, David takes the daring step of attempting to hide in the hometown of Goliath — the city of Gath. As David is quickly discovered, he must work through overwhelming fear to trust in the Lord and walk the path of deliverance out of a very deadly situation, the perspective of which he recounts in Psalms 56 and 34.
In this chapter, we see Saul’s hatred for David and his intent to kill him is going to become open and public. Saul will try to kill David another four times, and each time, we will see how God delivered His annointed one. As we consider God’s protection of David, we are able to see that God sovereignly works through various means to accomplish His purpose. We also find that God most often protects us through sin and trouble, not from sin and trouble.
Chapter 18 of first Samuel is where the relationship between David and Saul takes the turn for the worst. As God is at work through young David, he is more and more esteemed in the eyes of the people. But as David’s reputation rises, Saul erupts with jealousy. His jealousy leads him not only to the attempted murder of David, but to use his own family as a means to place David in harm’s way. Through Saul, we learn of the dangers of selfish fear, sinful jealousy, and anger.
In this second sermon on the narrative of David and Goliath, we explore the responses to David from his older brother, Eliab, as well as King Saul. The former is directly opposed to his brother, though he is one of the few people in all of Israel who knows that David has been anointed as the new king. The latter is resolved to hide in cowardice as the Lord’s name and people are defamed by the giant. But thankfully, David is not deterred by their unbelief.
Our tendency is to esteem people based upon outward appearances, such as their stature, their dress, their appearance, or even their education and accomplishments. Samuel thought the same thing when God sent him to anoint the new king of Israel, but he very quickly learned that God sees what we cannot. He looks perfectly upon the human heart, knowing us better than we know ourselves. So what does this mean for us, and how do we cultivate hearts that reflect our Lord’s?
In preparation for preaching on the life of Israel’s King David, Pastor Shawn sets the stage by recapping the first fifteen chapters of First Samuel and the major themes of the book. In David and his contemporaries, we find the triumphs and tragedies of the human condition, all of which reveal our need for our perfect King, Jesus Christ.