Saul was a King, David was a Leader

1 Chronicles 11:1-3 Then all Israel gathered together to David at Hebron and said, “Behold, we are your bone and flesh. In times past, even when Saul was king, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the LORD your God said to you, ‘You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over my people Israel.'” So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD. And they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the LORD by Samuel.

Look at what Israel said to David!

Even when Saul was king, it was you (David) who led out and brought in Israel.

Who was the king? Saul. Who was the real leader in Israel? David.

To whom did the people go to for leadership? David. Who was the person who understood the real enemy of Israel? David. Who was the one who had the courage to face the giant with God’s help? David. Who was the one who encouraged the hearts of Israel to trust God and take on the enemy? David. Who was the one who walked among the people and knew the people? David.

What was Saul doing? Hiding. Doubting. Cowering. His focus was his power, his image and keeping his throne. He was incredibly fearful and jealous of David and anyone who supported him. He devoted the rest of his life to chasing David all over Israel to eliminate him because he was a threat to Saul’s power. In fact, you can see that Saul lost focus of the real enemy, the Philistines, until they had completely surrounded him and it was too late.

You see, the people of Israel were smart enough to know who the real leader was. That is still true today. It is evident in churches, homes, businesses, sports teams, politics, etc. The people in charge are not necessarily the ones who are really leading. Sometimes it is a husband who likes to assert his authority all the time, while the wife and mother is the one really leading the kids. It might be in a sports team where the “captain” of the team is just bossy but another player is the one who inspires the team. We see it in businesses, where the CEO is a controlling, micro-managing type, and there are a few others who really make that business what it is.

So, what about you? Are you a boss, or a leader? Are you an elder, or a leader? Are you the “head of the home” or a leader? Leaders inspire, set examples, communicate and build relationships. There is an atmosphere of welcoming and safety around a leader. Leaders don’t have to go around asserting their authority all the time to do so. Look around, are people following you because they respect you or because you are in charge? Also take a look, are people continually going to someone else instead of you? It might be that you have asserted your authority way too much and they don’t feel safe coming to you. How do you respond when others get the praise and recognition, yet you are in charge? Do you encourage and welcome that or are you intimidated by that?

God’s encouragement for you today is to be a leader like David, not a king like Saul.

David and Goliath – Facing the Giants, Part 5

Today we are going to wrap up our look into the account of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. Here are a few final observations, although so much more could be said from this chapter.

The Battle Belongs to the Lord

1 Samuel 17:36-37 Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you!”

1 Samuel 17:45-47 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hand.”

David recognized that this was God’s battle to win. He saw that Goliath was bringing reproach to God and Israel, and that God would bring victory. This was not a physical battle in David’s eyes. One reason David wanted to kill Goliath was that the whole assembly there that day (Israelites and Philistines) would know that the battle belongs to the Lord.

Your battle against sin and against the Devil is a battle that belongs to God. It is not your fight to win, and in fact, you won’t win it if you try to go it alone. Be like David and see that this is God’s battle to win through you, in you and for you!

David Picked Five Stones, Not Just One

Here’s a point that I received from a friend, Geoff.

1 Samuel 17:40 Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.

As a Christian, God expects you to be prepared. He wants us to have faith, but we have our duty to be plan and be prepared. David could have said, “I only need one,” but he didn’t. He went in prepared to the battle. We trust God saying he will provide for us financially, but we still need to work, budget, plan and save. We trust God will protect us, but we still don’t let our kids walk alone down dark alleys. We have our part to do as well.

Your victories will inspire courage in others

1 Samuel 17:51-53 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. And the men of Israel and Judah rose with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath and the gates of Ekron, so that the wounded Philistines fell on the way from Shaaraim as far as Gath and Ekron. And the people of Israel came back from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their camp.

Everyone in Israel was cowering and running, but when one man stood up and showed real faith, look what happened. The above verses shows that the people rose up and shouted and gained courage to fight! What happens when one person in our church or in our family stands up and shows the way to live! It inspires others to stand up and do what is right. We all need a David sometimes in our lives to stand up and show true faith, character and courage. Hopefully we can be that David for others in our relationships.

Goliath was well-armed, but his armor did not save him in the end.

1 Samuel 17:54 And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent.

Look back at the description of Goliath’s armor early in chapter 17, its impressive. This was one scary dude and he was incredibly well-armed. But what did all that armor do for him in the end? One well slung stone and he was down. Just remember that Satan and all his forces were well armed, but Jesus disarmed them all making a public spectacle of him. If you look at Satan all all his forces have done, you would think no one could defeat them, but Jesus conquered them all through the cross.

The enemy seems so powerful and so strong and so impossible to overcome, but their armor is taken away in Christ. Wear the Lord’s armor (Ephesians 6:10-20) like David did.

1 John 4:4 – Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

David and Goliath, Facing the Giants – Part 4

1 Samuel 17:38-40 Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, (39) and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off. (40) Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.

You Can’t Wear Someone Else’s Armor

David couldn’t wear Saul’s armor. David wasn’t Saul. David had to fight like David with the abilities and grace God gave David. You can’t be someone else. The armor David had was very simple as a shepherd, a sling and a spear. But don’t be fooled, a sling in the hand of a skilled shepherd was deadly. This weapon has been used for thousands of years with deadly accuracy. God prepared David to be a shepherd who used a sling, and most importantly, God prepared David to use God’s armor. David did not go into that battle unarmed. The Lord was with him. David was clothed with God’s strength.

You can’t be someone else. You can’t fight this warfare with somebody else’s talents and abilities. You have to be you. God’s grace has given you amazing gifts and strengths that are unique to you, and that’s what you need to take into the battle. Stop trying to be somebody else.

Here is one final thought. My sister-in-law made a great point on Sunday that I’ll share with you. “David didn’t have to know Goliath’s strength, because he already knew God’s strength.” Amen! David didn’t have to take a detailed assessment of the armor and strength of Goliath, because he had already deeply believed and was familiar with God’s strength. That’s the real weapon David took into the battle.

 

David and Goliath – Facing the Giants, Part 3

As we continue our unpacking of 1 Samuel 17, we can see David being run down by those in his life who should have been encouraging him. Here’s what is said by David’s oldest brother and by King Saul himself.

1 Samuel 17:28-33 Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.” And David said, “What have I done now? Was it not but a word?” And he turned away from him toward another, and spoke in the same way, and the people answered him again as before. When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul, and he sent for him. And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.”

Don’t be distracted by naysayers on the sidelines.

Who of all people should have encouraged David as he went to face the Giant?

How about his brothers? Yes, they should have, but they didn’t. Eliab made fun of his little brother and called into question David’s motives. You can see why God refused Eliab (see 1 Samuel 16:6-7). What was Eliab doing about Goliath? Nothing but tucking tail and running like the rest. So how do you think Eliab liked it when his little kid brother comes from watching sheep saying he could take on Goliath? That didn’t go over well, did it? Those who are sitting on their hineys doing nothing have all kinds of comments about those who are standing up and facing the Goliaths of the world.

How about the king himself, King Saul? If anyone should have been an encouragement to the man who offered to take on Goliath, it should have been the King of Israel, but that’s not what happened. Remember that Israel wanted a king to go out and fight their battles for them (1 Samuel 8), but King Saul isn’t facing Goliath, is he? And what words does the King have for David? “You can’t do it! Goliath is too much for you, you are not even close to being able to do this.”

This happens today, too. Sometimes those who are older are not as encouraging as they should be to the younger. In fact, Paul had to encourage Timothy not to be swayed or discouraged by those who would “despise” or “look down upon” his youth (1 Timothy 4:12). There are times when the younger person is reminding the older ones about faith, courage and the proper way to behave. That is exactly what Paul told Timothy to do. Timothy was to be an example to the believers and that includes those who are older. We all need reminders, don’t we? Even if we are older, and even if those who are reminding us are much younger, we still need to accept the lessons God is sending our way. David was probably a teenager, and King Saul was older (not sure how much older), but David was showing the King and all of Israel what real faith looks like.

What does David do with all of this negativity? Here is a great quote, and I’m not sure who first said it…

“In order to lead the orchestra, you must first turn your back on the crowd.”

David had to turn his back on the negativity and keep his focus on God’s strength. Verse 30 says that David “turned away” from his brother and kept asking about the reward. David had to move away from the negativity and keep his eyes focused on God and on the reward for following God.

Draw from past victories, don’t just sit on them.

David answered Saul’s negativity and discouragement by focusing on what God had already done for David.

1 Samuel 17:34-37 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you!”

God had already worked amazing things in the life of David. With God’s strength, David had already struck down and killed lions and bears. What was a giant to the God who helped him kill such dangerous creatures? David was able to look back on what God had already done for him and draw strength for the next battle. This is what we need to do, too! What has God already done for you, with you and through you? Meditate upon the amazing things God has done for you already. If He helped you then, will he help you now? Of course God will. He promised it!

Remember that God’s victories He has worked through you are not intended to be used as trophies filling a case, they are intended to give you strength and courage to face the next Giant.

Hebrews 13:6 – So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

David and Goliath – Facing the Giants, Part 2

We continue our dive into the epic battle between David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17.

We are going to take two observations today from the text:

Saul and his soldiers were fighting the Philistines, but they were not facing the Giant.

1 Samuel 17:11 – When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

1 Samuel 17:19 – Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.

1 Samuel 17:23-24 – As he talked with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him. All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were much afraid.

Above are a few excerpts from 1 Samuel. What you see is that when Goliath came and spoke, Saul and his men cowered and fled. Yet, what do we see in verse 19? Saul and his soldiers were fighting with the Philistines. That is a point that cannot be overlooked. They were fighting with the Philistines, they were engaged with a war against the enemy, but they were not facing the Giant. Whenever the Giant came back (vs. 23-24), they all tucked tail and ran away in fear.

We can fool ourselves in our marriages, in our parenting, in our churches, etc., that we are doing good things and engaged in the “good fight,” but are we really facing the Giants? Some may call it, the “elephant in the room,” but it is the same concept. I can be doing great things for God with my wife, and engaged in the spiritual warfare with her, but is there a giant like lust (Matthew 5:28) or bitterness (Colossians 3:19) that needs to be beheaded? We can be doing good works for God in our churches, but is there a “Giant” that needs to be defeated there? Think about it. Saul and his men were fighting the Philistines, but they were not progressing, because they did not have the faith to face the Giant head on.

The reward was offered to every soldier in Israel.

The final observation for today is that King Saul’s reward was offered to every soldier in Israel…to anyone. Here is the reward offered.

1 Samuel 17:25-27 And the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel. And the king will enrich the man who kills him with great riches and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel.” And David said to the men who stood by him, “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?” And the people answered him in the same way, “So shall it be done to the man who kills him.”

David comes to the camp and finds out that the prize for conquering the Giant is (1) Money, Money, Money (2) Marrying into the King’s family (3) No taxes for all his family. Dude, that is some reward, isn’t it? But go back to the text and see that this was offered to “the man” who kills Goliath. Not specific, this reward is offered to anyone.

Question, why were there no takers? If you were offered this great of a reward, wouldn’t it be a no-brainer? Nope. Because for every soldier in Israel, this reward wasn’t worth the risk. If you offered me a billion dollars to tightrope 1,000 feet in the air in between two skyscrapers, I wouldn’t take the challenge! Why? It’s not worth the risk to me. All I can see is me becoming tomato sauce on the pavement.

The men of Israel were not encouraged by the reward because their faith was not strong enough to face the Giant. This point is true for us today, men. We can sing songs about heaven and read passages about heaven all day long, but if it is not joined with faith in the God who has conquered Satan and will conquer our Giants, then those rewards are just pie-in-the-sky dreams. Do you believe that God will help you overcome the giants in your life?

God’s reward of heaven and grace is offered to every man (Titus 2:11), but not every person has the faith in God to walk into the fiery battle with Him. Are we like David? Or are we like every other soldier in Israel?

David and Goliath – Facing the Giants, Part 1

Friends, I apologize for no Men’s Daily Briefing for last Tuesday through Friday. There was a communication breakdown on my part while I was on vacation.

For the next few days I would like to look at the Battle between David and Goliath. I encourage you to read 1 Samuel 17 and reflect upon it. This is not just a little kids’ story, it is a wonderful picture of a real event that God gives us to show how we can conquer any giant with God’s help.

Today’s briefing looks at the first part of this text. The enemies of God, the Philistines, were camping on God’s land and taunting Him and His people. This took place for 40 days.

Enemies of God camped on God’s land!

Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle. And they were gathered at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim.
(1 Samuel 17:1)

Notice that the Philistines are camping in a land that “belongs to Judah.” This was the property of God and His people, and yet the enemy was waging a war there.

Also pay attention to the fact that when Goliath, the great intimating and impressive warrior, came to mock Israel, he did it for 40 days, saying the same words morning and evening.

40 Days, 80 Times, Same Words, God’s Land

The enemies of God were taunting Israel and their God for 40 days, morning and evening, saying the same words. Quick math will tell you that at least 80 times Israel heard these mocking words. Remember they are camping on God’s property. They are not shouting from a safe distance on their own land, they are right in the living room of the people of God.

He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” And the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together.” When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.
(1 Samuel 17:8-11)

For forty days the Philistine came forward and took his stand, morning and evening.
(1 Samuel 17:16)

As he talked with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him.
(1 Samuel 17:23)

What was the result at this point? The great King Saul was afraid, and so were all the men of Israel. Remember that the people wanted a king to go out and fight their battles (1 Samuel 8:1), and God gave them King Saul. But where is King Saul? Cowering with the rest of his men.

Here is the main point for today, men. Satan and all his forces are camping on God’s property. They are not taunting you from a safe distance in their own land, they are right in your living room. They are on your computer and on your phone. They are in your mind. They are in your church. They are fighting to break up your marriage. They are seeking to destroy your kids and your relationship with your kids. They are at work seeking to corrupt you with materialism and unfaithfulness. Satan is defying God and His people and he is sending out his “giants” to say we cannot overcome those giants.

Are you and I going to be the Saul’s who cower, hide and do nothing to face those giants? Or are you and I going to be like David who saw the reproach coming to God and Israel through this Giant and face it head on with God’s strength?

More coming tomorrow, Lord willing.

David Served God’s Purpose in David’s Generation, Part 4

Acts 13:36 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption,

God called David from shepherding sheep in order to shepherd the people of Israel. What in the world did David know about leading a nation? Not much, but what he did have was valuable to God. David had the right heart, and you can’t teach heart. God could teach David and would teach David everything he needed to know about being a king. But David had the right start…a great heart.

Think about some simple things David learned as a young man in the field shepherding sheep:

  • He learned to meditate upon God. David from the very beginning had a heart that was devoted to God. You can tell from his Psalms that he spent time outdoors looking up and around at the amazing creation of God. This started young for David. Would this come in handy later as David was fleeing from Saul, facing giants, planning wars, managing all the minutia of being a king? Absolutely!
  • He developed great musical talent. Not only did this soothe David and his animals, it would later bring David into a king’s palace to soothe troubled KIng Saul. These talents would also be used later as David wrote worship music and created many instruments to go along with that worship music. Those Psalms are still being used in worship 3,000 years later.
  • He learned about faith and facing adversity. As a shepherd, he had to face cold and heat, life and death. Read about the other shepherds in the Bible, a shepherd has to think about pasture, dark valleys, robbers, weather, good water, sickness, predators, etc. Would those skills come in useful later in life? Sure, he was learning how to multi-task, even when life and death were at stake. But he showed great care and devotion to his sheep, and God knew David would show that same care and devotion to the people of God (Psalm 78:70-72).
  • He learned to be faithful in a few things. If you are not devoted to your job at McDonald’s, why do you think God will bless you with being CEO of a corporation? If you are not dedicated to sweeping the floor at work and you cut corners and lie about how much work you did, you will do the same thing when managing billions of dollars. It’s that simple. Jesus said, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?” (Luke 16:10-12). David was faithful with his father’s few sheep, and God gave him the kingdom of Israel.
  • He learned how to use a sling. Do you think that will come in useful later with Goliath? Shepherds by necessity became deadly with a sling and stone, and David’s skill he learned keeping sheep would one day take down a giant.

Sometimes we minimize and discount the little jobs and little lessons we are learning on a daily basis. It’s like the college student that wonders why he has to take a certain class that has nothing to do with his desired career, and then maybe later he realizes he did learn something in that class that was valuable to him later in life. It is easy to forget that God is preparing us for future work in His kingdom. The work you are doing now, and the faith lessons you are learning now will someday be used in a powerful way later in life. That’s just the way it works. David didn’t know that being a shepherd was training him to be king, but God did.

 

Here is a link to David Served God’s Purpose in David’s Generation, Part 1

Here is a link to David Served God’s Purpose in David’s Generation, Part 2

Here is a link to David Served God’s Purpose in David’s Generation, Part 3

David Served God’s Purpose in David’s Generation, Part 3

Acts 13:36 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption,

We continue our dive into the life of David and that he served God’s purpose in his own generation. At a practical level for David that meant as a young man he focused on being a shepherd of his father’s sheep. Even when he knew his next job was going to be king of Israel, he still did his everyday job of tending to the sheep. As an older man, while serving as king, David wanted to build a temple for God. God blessed David for his desire, but said, “No…Solomon your son will build the temple.” How did David respond? He devoted the rest of his life to preparing Solomon and Israel for the building of the temple.

Let’s summarize it this way:

  • When David was young, he didn’t focus on the job he was GOING to do, he focused on the job he CURRENTLY HAD.
  • When David was older and king, he didn’t focus on the job he ASKED God to do, he focused on the job God WANTED him to do.
  • Are you and I like David?

Here are a few points to consider about God’s purpose for you:

  • Let God DECIDE what your purpose is. For David as a young man it was shepherding, as an older man it was mentor and temple-preparer.
  • Let God DEFINE what a great purpose and work is for you. David could have gotten a big head as a young man, saying I’m going to be great someday and be king. Instead, he knew greatness at that period in his life was serving God and keeping sheep. As an older man he wanted to do this great work of building the temple, but God’s great work for David was preparing Solomon to build the temple.
  • Let God DETERMINE the right time for you to live out that purpose. David didn’t know when he would become king, so he just kept doing his job and living for God until God revealed the right time for him to be king.

 

Here is a link to David Served God’s Purpose in David’s Generation, Part 1

Here is a link to David Served God’s Purpose in David’s Generation, Part 2

David Served God’s Purpose in David’s Generation, Part 2

Acts 13:36 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption,

If you were working at a fast food restaurant, and a prophet of God came to you and said that none of the current candidates would become President of the United States (I would say, hooray!!). But then you are told by the prophet that YOU will be the next President. On January 20, 2021, you will be sworn in as the next President and move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Would you leave your headset at the drive thru and tell your boss you quit?

Most would. But the young teenager David didn’t do that, did he? Nope, he went right back to work as a shepherd in the field watching his father’s sheep.

For today’s briefing, I want to walk you through a few verses and ask some simple questions along the way.

What was David doing BEFORE he was anointed to be the next king? He was “keeping the sheep” of his father Jesse (1 Samuel 16:11).

What was David doing AFTER he was anointed to be the next king? When David was called to play music for King Saul, it was said that David was “with the sheep” (1 Samuel 16:17-19).

What was David STILL doing while he worked at the king’s palace to play music for the King? He went “back and forth from Saul to feed his father’s sheep” at Bethlehem (1 Samuel 17:14-15).

What did David make sure to do WHENEVER he was sent back to the king? David rose early in the morning and left the sheep with a keeper…and went.

Now, men, that is a sermon left for us from a young teenager. He wasn’t entitled, he was humble and grateful and dedicated to his job. Even when he knew that he would soon live in a palace and be the king of all Israel, he still did his “lowly” job of shepherding sheep. He wasn’t even shepherding his own sheep, they were Daddy’s sheep. Look at that attitude!

Do you want to know why God called David to be king? Here is a great reason why, David didn’t get too big for his britches. His heart was humble and dedicated to God, his job, and his family.

Psalms 78:70-72 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheepfolds; from following the nursing ewes he brought him to shepherd Jacob his people, Israel his inheritance. With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.

More to come on this.

Here is a link to David Served God’s Purpose in David’s Generation, part 1

David and Saul: A Contrast in Two Hearts, part 2

Psalm 78:70-72 – He also chose David His servant, and took him from the sheepfolds; from following the ewes that had young He brought him, to shepherd Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance.  So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.

Yesterday we began looking at a contrast between two hearts: the heart of King Saul and that of King David. Why was David a man after God’s own heart? Why did God choose David over Saul? Let’s look at this side by side comparison.

Saul was led by fear. David was led by faith.
Saul sought his own glory. David fought for God’s glory.
Saul viewed the battle as his to win. David saw the battle as belonging to the Lord.
Saul was his own counsel. God was David’s counsel.
Saul blamed others and did not take accountability for his actions. David looked in the mirror, accepted the blame and took accountability for his own behavior.
Saul only valued the word of God when it lined up with his thoughts/plans/lifestyle. David valued God’s word as a light to shine in the darkest recesses of his soul.
Saul worshiped his way. David worshiped God’s way.
Saul destroyed and drove away those who were in anyway a threat to his image, status, plans and power. David surrounded himself with those who were free to give him advice and differing opinions (Samuel, Nathan, Bathsheba, Joab, etc.), and sometimes they were pretty blunt when they gave that advice…yet he listened to their counsel.
Saul took matters into his own hands, David put matters in God’s hands.

Which man was perfect? Which man did everything right? Which man always made the right choices? Well, neither man was perfect. David made some real bad choices in his life, too.

But let me ask you this question: Which man do you want leading you?

And let’s ask ourselves this question: What kind of leader are we? Are we a Saul or a David-type leader?