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David and the eternal king

Back to all sermons Jesus in the Old Testament 2017

Date: December 10, 2017

Speaker: Eric Stillman

Series: Jesus in the Old Testament 2017

Scripture: 1 Samuel 7:12–7:16

This morning we are continuing in our series on Jesus in the Old Testament, and we’ll be looking at King David and how his life points ahead to the Messiah, King Jesus. Last week we were looking at Moses and the Exodus. After their time in the desert, the Israelites enter and settle into the Promised Land, and God raises up judges to lead the people. Judges were not kings, but were God’s chosen men (or women in the case of Deborah) – leaders in battle, rulers in peace, spiritual powers, prophets, counselors of the people, connected to God. The real leader is of course God, but the judge is God’s human leader. In the 11th century BC, Samuel becomes judge over Israel and ends up being the last of the judges. Samuel has two sons, and as he is getting older, his sons are not godly men, and so the elders of Israel come to Samuel and ask him to appoint a king to lead them, like all the other nations.


1 Samuel 8:6 - But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.”


They do not want God as their King any more, but they want a king they can see and take pride in.  Samuel goes on to tell the people that the king will oppress them and enlist their sons in the army and their daughters to serve the kingdom, that the king will take the best of their fields and vineyards and servants and livestock for his own use, and one day they will cry out to God to save them from the king they have chosen.


 1 Samuel 8:19 - But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”

21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord. 22 The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.”


Saul is the first king, but he ultimately fails. And so God sends Samuel to Bethlehem, to the family of a man named Jesse, to anoint the man who will be the next king. Samuel tells Jesse to bring his sons out to meet him:


1 Samuel 16:6-13 - When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, "Surely the LORD's anointed stands here before the LORD."  7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."  8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, "The LORD has not chosen this one either."  9 Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, "Nor has the LORD chosen this one."  10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, "The LORD has not chosen these."  11 So he asked Jesse, "Are these all the sons you have?" "There is still the youngest," Jesse answered, "but he is tending the sheep." Samuel said, "Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives."  12 So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, "Rise and anoint him; he is the one."  13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power.


And so David is anointed as the future king, and after a number of years, Saul finally dies and David becomes King. This morning I want to look at King David and how his life points to King Jesus, specifically at five aspects of David’s kingship.


David may have not looked like a king, but he was a king after God’s heart


Jesse brought out seven sons, and didn’t even bring out David, the runt of the litter. Samuel thinks the king is the oldest, Eliab. But God replies "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."  We focus primarily on what we can see with our eyes, but God looks at our heart, our true self, our character, our motives.  Man sees with the eyes, looking on what it noticeable with our eyes, but God looks with the heart.


And this is what God saw in David: Acts 13:22 - After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: 'I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.'


David may have not looked like a King, but he was a king after God’s heart. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. I’d like to take five minutes to reflect on that before moving on.


What God is saying here is that as humans, we are blind to what really matters.  By looking primarily at the outward appearance, we are obsessed with things that are not spiritual reality; we are captivated by things that are not of primary importance, we spend our time worrying about things that in the end are inconsequential.  In 1 Samuel 16, the prophet and judge Samuel, the most godly man in all of Israel, looks at the physically impressive, tall man, Eliab, and is convinced that this man should be the king, because he looks like a king. No – man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.


We are blind to what is really important.  And what is really important?  Character of the heart.  A person’s character is a million times more important than appearance.  Who you are on the inside is so much more vital than what you look like and what you do on the outside. 


Think about our obsession with outward appearance.  Our nation, more than any other in history, is obsessed with the outward appearance, what we can see with our eyes – a person’s looks and talents.  We choose people who are presidential (think Nixon & Kennedy).  We unconsciously think more highly of the tall, dark, and handsome, assuming that they are better people and make better leaders.  But we do not see as God does, and do not realize that a person’s character is of so much more importance than their appearance.


Our nation is obsessed with the outward appearance, and that is a dangerous thing.  Think about what it does to women, obsessed with the way they look, fed a steady diet of lies about the ideal woman.  Think about the destruction our obsession has caused in the lives of women and girls everywhere, the depression and disease and amount of energy and money spent on industries that focus on outward appearance.  Think about what it does to men, with the steady diet of half-naked women thrown in their face every day, with a pornography industry that trains your heart to judge a person in the exact opposite way that God does.  No man looks at pornography because he is looking for a woman of great character.  Who cares about the women’s character?  All that matters are her measurements.  You become trained to focus on those things that are spiritually inconsequential.


Think about how this affects dating.  How do the majority of people look for a mate?  You Begin by eliminating the uncool, the not good looking, and then hope that some of the ones that you are attracted to have character.  But what the story of David does is tell us is that by doing that, there is a very good chance that you just eliminated the true prince, the true princess, because character can not be judged by a fleeting glance.


We are obsessed with outward appearance.  Think about how it affects your self-worth as you age, how it can affect relationships as the older you get, the more likely you are to get cast aside. 


Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. When God looks at you, He is not concerned about the things you are most concerned aboutHe sees right through you.  Right through your posing, your humor, your attempts to appear competent, your makeup, right into your heart.  He is looking square at your heart, your character.  That is what really matters to God.  He doesn’t care that you got dressed up in your Sunday best, that you’ve got a smile on your face.  He knows the motives of your heart, he knows how you spoke to your wife this morning, how you treated your child this morning, what you spent your time doing last night.  He sees right through you to your heart.  He sees right through me to my heart.  He does not care if my words come out right. He cares if my heart has been formed by the words I am speaking.  He cares if I am living out what I say.  He is looking for a man or woman of character. 


Quit your posing, quit your show, quit your pretense, because God is not fooled.  Be real, and if people can not handle it, that is on them, but God can handle it.  Come just as you are to worship.  I would rather you be real here than put on a show.  God had a name for people like that – hypocrites.  Actors.  Putting on a show.  Any church can so easily turn into a routine in which your heart is not engaged.


If we are to follow God, we will have to fight against this every day of our lives, to not see as the world sees but as God sees, to not judge based on what we see with our eyes, but to recognize that heart and character mean so much more than appearance and talent.


David may not look like a king, but he is a king after God’s heart.


2) David is a warrior king


David is best known by people for the story of David & Goliath. After being anointed as the future king, he goes back to tending sheep. The Philistine and Israel gather for battle. David brings food to his brothers on the front line and hears Goliath defying Israel.


1 Samuel 17:8-11 - Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, "Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me.  9 If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us."  10 Then the Philistine said, "This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other."  11 On hearing the Philistine's words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified. 


The have all lost heart, lost courage, and among them is their king, Saul.  Certainly, as the most physically impressive Israelite, Saul should have been the one to stand up to Goliath, but the king is not being kingly.  Instead, he was “dismayed and terrified,” intimidated by Goliath.


David is bringing food to his brothers, and hears Goliath. He asks who is this Philistine that defies the armies of the living God. He volunteers to fight him and gathers a slingshot with five stones. Listen to what he says to Goliath:


1 Samuel 17:45-50 - "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.  46 This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.  47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands." As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.  49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.  50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.


All throughout this passage, David’s eyes are on the Lord. His courage comes because his eyes are fixed on God.  All he is concerned about is God’s name, God’s reputation.


Look at David.  Notice how God saves them here.  David fights as a representative of the people.  He doesn’t just fight to inspire them – he is fighting as them. He is winning the victory for them.  He is not just their example and inspiration but their Savior.  Remember how Goliath put it:


Choose a man and have him come down to me.  9 If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us." 


David is representing the people of God, fighting as Israel. And he wins the battle.


3) David is a shepherd king


He worked as a shepherd, caring for and protecting the sheep. And God anointed him to become king over Israel, which meant doing the same thing with people – caring for and protecting them.


2 Samuel 5:1-4 - All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, "We are your own flesh and blood.  2 In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the LORD said to you, 'You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.'"  3 When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a compact with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel.  4 David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years.


4) David is an imperfect king


2 Samuel 11:1-5 - In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king's men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.  2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful,  3 and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, "Isn't this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?"  4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home.  5 The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, "I am pregnant."


David started off so well, but in this tragic chapter, he sleeps with Bathsheba and has her husband Uriah killed. As a result, his family begins to spiral downward, as his children experience murder, rape, division, and even cause David to have to run for his life from one of his own sons. David was a warrior and shepherd king after God’s own heart, but ultimately an imperfect king.


5) David will have an eternal kingdom


Despite David’s imperfections, God established a covenant with David, promising him an eternal kingdom.


2 Samuel 7:12-16 - When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom.  13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.  14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men.  15 But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.  16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.'"


It was widely expected that the Messiah would be a descendant of David. They waited and waited and waited until Jesus began his public ministry, and then it became obvious that this was the One who the prophecies spoke about.


Jesus may have not looked like a King, but He is THE King after God’s heart


Isaiah 53:2-3 - He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.  3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.


In 2001 forensic anthropologist Richard Neave created a model of a Galilean man for a BBC documentary, Son of God, working on the basis of an actual skull found in the region. Neave did not claim his model showed Jesus’s face but rather offered it as a means of prompting people to consider a Jesus who looked like a man of his time and place, since the Bible does not describe Jesus as having distinctive features:

He may not have been physically impressive, but Jesus perfectly obeyed the father and loved to do His will


John 14:30-31 - I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me,  31 but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. "Come now; let us leave.


Jesus is THE warrior king


David freed Israel from the terror of literal bondage to Goliath and the philistines; Christ freed all people from spiritual bondage to Satan and death.


Colossians 2:13-15 - When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,  14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.  15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Jesus fights as the representative of all people and defeats Satan. We are not David. We are the Israelites cowering in fear, in need of someone to fight for us.


Romans 5:17-19 - For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.  18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.  19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.


He is a King of courage, doing the right thing even when it will cost Him His life.


Jesus is THE shepherd king


John 10:11-15 - "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  12 The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.  13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.  14 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me--  15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father-- and I lay down my life for the sheep.


Jesus is a king who protects and cares for his sheep.


Jesus is THE perfect king


John 8:46 - Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me?

Hebrews 4:15-16  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-- yet was without sin.  16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.


He is without sin, and yet he is a king who died for us.


Jesus is the eternal king


Isaiah 9:6-7 - For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.


Luke 1:30-33 - But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.  32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,  33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."


Revelation 11:15-16 - The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever."  16 And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God,


The story of King David is not really about David, but about the Son of David, the eternal king. We are the cowering Israelites, lost in our sin, with no chance of defeating Satan, but Jesus fought for us and defeated Him, setting us free. He is our warrior King. He is our shepherd King. We are His servants. Go after His heart, living authentically before Him and before each other.