Archive for April, 2010

Then the men of David said to him, “This is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it seems good to you.’ ” And David arose and secretly cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. Now it happened afterward that David’s heart troubled him because he had cut Saul’s robe. And he said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.” 1 Samuel 24:4-6

Looks Can Be Deceiving

Let’s recap what has been going on. David is in flight-mode and King Saul is in hot pursuit. Saul ducks into a nearby cavern to use the ‘facilities’ unaware that David and his band of merry men are hiding out in the recesses. David’s men alert him to this information and in essence advise him, “What a blessing David! God has delivered Saul into your hands!”

David’s men were wrong. Oh, their hearts may have been in the right place, but their discernment was way off. Given the opportunity to look back upon this incident we should see that this was not a blessing from the Lord, but rather a testing by the Lord.

David’s Test Grade

So how did David fair on this test? The primary purpose of any test is to evaluate progress and most [of us] would probably agree that David faired well since he did not kill Saul. From that we can rightly suppose that David saw this experience not as a blessing, but as a test. However, I submit to you that if David did pass the test, it was not by very much. We can deduce such a thing because in the very next chapter, David heads out to kill a man (Nabal) for merely refusing to give him food. It would seem that the test revealed David had not progressed very much at all.

The good news is that David is teachable and in time he will progress wonderfully. Given that reality the good news for us is that God’s testings have the capacity to transform into blessings. It’s true, everything from the Lord is either a bless’n or a lesson. And when we endeavor to walk in His way, those lessons will always turn into blessings.

Take a look at those blessings in your life–are they blessings or are they tests? The Lord has provided us [in His Word] these examples so we might better know the difference.

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So Jonathan told David, saying, “My father Saul seeks to kill you. Therefore please be on your guard until morning, and stay in a secret place and hide. And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak with my father about you. Then what I observe, I will tell you.” 1 Samuel 19:2-3

A Picture of Jesus

Because of his intercessory measures, Jonathan the prince becomes a picture of Jesus, the Prince of Peace; the One who intercedes for us continually before the Father on His throne.

And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 John 2:1b

However, the illustration falls apart almost immediately for two significant reasons. The first is that our Father in Heaven is nothing like King Saul. He does not seek to destroy us, but will allow us to obliterate ourselves if that is our desire. The reality is that our Father endeavors to save us.

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned… John 3:17-18a

A Stronger Case

Jesus, as pictured by Jonathan, is protection for His followers, persistently pleading our case before the Throne. The other reason Jonathan’s representation breaks down is because his case before his Father is not as good as our Lord’s case before His Father. How so? Because Jonathan’s defense is based solely on David’s work on the battle field, while Christ’s case is based exclusively on His work on the cross of Calvary. As a result, Jonathan’s intercession lasts but a season, while our Lord and Savior’s intervention endures eternity.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

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Now it had happened as they were coming home, when David was returning from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women had come out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy, and with musical instruments. So the women sang as they danced, and said: “Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands.” Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him… 1 Samuel 18:6-8a

Let’s Play ‘Find the Sinner’

If you are just a little familiar with the story you will recall that David, empowered by the Lord for service, had just single-handedly defeated the enormous Philistine Goliath and much of their army. The achievement essentially saved the entire nation of Israel from becoming enslaved by the enemy. It’s only natural that everyone would be elated by the hearing of this wonderful news…right? Nevertheless, the sight of thousands of women dancing joyously in the streets celebrating the triumph only served to anger Saul.

Aside from Saul’s obvious blunder, what’s wrong with this picture? The rejoicing women were in sin also. How so you ask? These women were giving their glory to David rather than to God and in so doing they played a part in causing Saul to transgress.

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence…to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 and Romans 16:27

Now before we go any further we need to recognize that no one (not even satan) can cause a person to sin therefore no sinner can use that as his or her excuse. It might be more prudent to say that these woman in their sin enabled Saul in his. Be that as it may, Jesus had some good advice on the topic.

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:6

The reality is that sinners sin and Saul did not need any assistance in this arena, but the fact he would have likely committed it anyway is irrelevant. We need to know that there are things we do (and sometimes neglect to do) that make easy the sinners path. As I said earlier, these women in their sin (and even David in his sin) fashioned a vehicle by which Saul could easily facilitate his sin. What sin did David commit? It can be inferred that David likely heard the praise and did nothing to redirect it towards the Lord.

Again, the purpose of today’s application is not to make excuses for Saul, but to be cognizant of the fact that we are sometimes quick to point out the wickedness of others when in fact we may have played a role in their offense by transgressing ourselves.

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So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off. 1 Samuel 17:38-39

Pretty much every sermon I have ever heard regarding this story of David and Goliath assumes that because David was a boy (or at least a young man), Saul’s armor and sword were too big for him to handle. Personally, I don’t suppose that’s the issue at all. I believe that when David said he wouldn’t wear the equipment because he hadn’t tested it, he was really just politely turning down King Saul’s offer.

Why would I put forward such a notion? Because we know a little bit about Saul’s history and how he pridefully likes to steal other people’s thunder. We would remember the 1 Samuel 13 account of how he stole his own son’s glory after he (Jonathan) won a victory over the Philistines.

And Jonathan attacked the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. Then Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear!”

The truth of the matter is that if King Saul was truly concerned for David’s welfare, he could have requisitioned some suitable armor for him. In actuality Saul was more interested in putting on appearances—he desired to dress David up in his garb (with that big ol’ bronze helmet covering his head) so the people would think that it was he who was going into battle against Goliath. Saul was after all the most logical choice to fight the giant because he was a full head taller than any other Israeli man—but he was dreadfully afraid of Goliath. I contend that David would have none of this charade. The basis for the argument is found later on in 1 Samuel 17:50-51…

So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.

Amazingly, David takes the untested sword of Goliath and cuts his head off with it—a sword by the way that was likely twice the size (if not more) than Saul’s weapon. Makes you wonder doesn’t it?

But having said that, I believe the scope of this picture is much larger than David not wanting to be duped by Saul. The reality is all of Saul’s armor rightly belonged to David anyway—the Lord (in the previous two chapters) had rejected Saul as king and had anointed David! So what is this event really illustrating?

First we need to recognize that David is a type; that is a picture of Jesus Christ in this story—the parallels are amazing. David and Jesus were both shepherds sent by their fathers. David was sent to his brothers with the bread. Jesus would say in John 6:48 and John 10:11, “I am the bread of life…I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”

David sought the treasure Saul offered: great riches, the daughter in marriage, liberty for the family and Jesus seeks the prize of His saints; His rich inheritance (Ephesians 1:18), His bride (Revelation 21 and 22), and our freedom (John 8:32). David was scorned by his brothers. Jesus was scorned by His brothers and the entire nation.

There are many more, but most importantly (and as it relates to this event), David laid aside the armor of King Saul, essentially striping himself of that which was rightly his and in so doing illustrated what Jesus would do when He came to earth as a man.

(Jesus) who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:6-7

Whether David realized it at the time or not, his purpose of rejecting Saul’s armor was not because it was ill-fitting or even because it was untested; the reason was because the deed pointed directly to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the singular victory He would have for all humanity.

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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. 1 Samuel 16:13

This is a good thing, right? In the previous verses we see Saul rejected by God as king and then here we see a young David anointed as king over Israel. The problem, as we know, is that Saul will remain in power for many, many more years to come.


I submit to you that God’s reasons are innumerable, but that this event pictures Christ Jesus and His earthly reign to come. Jesus has been anointed as our King and although the faithful see Him as such, He has not yet been entirely received by the world—one day He will be so received. Odd as it may seem, satan, the prince of this world still usurps his power on earth. We have our peace in knowing that our Father allows him to do so because true love requires true choice—satan is merely an ignorant tool in the Masters hand.

Back to David

The fact of the matter is that David is anointed three times: first here by the Lord in the midst of his brethren, then later on by his tribesmen (2 Samuel 2:4), then finally by the entire nation (2 Samuel 5:3). As David waits on the Lord for his earthly throne we get to see his awesome witness and testimony as he faithfully loves the man (Saul) who continually attempts to kill him.

Those in our Anointed Path

Have you been anointed by the Lord for a specific role in the kingdom? Then you should glean from the triple anointing process David underwent. David was set aside by the Lord for a special work in the midst of some friends, but it was a while before he was accepted by the entire tribe. And only then after proving himself was he then accepted by the entire nation. If this is the process Jesus is submitted to, then it should be an acceptable process for us to endure as we patiently wait for our spiritual positioning to materialize.

Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on theLord! Psalms 27:14

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