This morning, we’re continuing our series entitled, “Unexpected” where we are going to recall the truly unexpected ways in which God worked in the past and some of the unexpected places and times where He showed up.
These reminders of God’s faithfulness and miraculous power and authority will serve to encourage us in our present and give us hope toward our future.
This morning, we’re going to continue building from a previous message in this series when God unexpectedly stepped aside as King of Israel and allowed His people to replace him with a man named Saul.
As King, Saul tried to keep a balance of obeying God, but also pleasing people. He also did not accept responsibility for his own actions, but always excused them away. A very unexpected sentence came from God’s mouth. He said, “I regret that I have made Saul king.” God regretted a decision that He had made even though He knew what the outcome would be when He made it.
Saul rejected God’s clear word to him, so God rejected Saul as king. Relationships just don’t work one way.
Now God may have rejected Saul as king, but His eye was on another man to take this position. One whose heart was after His own and who would faithfully follow Him and represent Him as king. This may be a familiar account to most of us, but let God speak a fresh word through it and do a new thing in your life this morning.
Many of us don’t think much of ourselves and of our daily chores and routines. Our lives are mostly full of things that seem small and insignificant that most others don’t even notice. Rest assured, though, that God notices it all.
David was a young man out serving his family by shepherding his father’s flock. When God sent Samuel to Jesse’s household to anoint one of his sons as the next king of Israel, David wasn’t even a consideration. Yet another unexpected way for God to work!
1 Samuel 16:6-13
6 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 people look at. People look 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. “He is tending the sheep.”
Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”
12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.
Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this 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 powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.
When everyone else counts you out, even your own family, don’t let it get you down. Be the person who God called you to be and you can never go wrong. Live a life of integrity, loving God and others with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Do it whether alone or whether in front of others. Integrity catches God’s attention, especially in this ever-deceitful world!
Whatever you do, do it with all of your heart because it is ultimately Jesus that you are doing it for.
God took note of the dedication of David to carry out this household chore of tending the sheep. God took note of the warrior that he was when it came to protecting his father’s sheep. God took note of the care that he showed toward each and every one of those sheep in providing for them and leading them. David’s shepherd heart was exactly what He was looking for in a man to shepherd His own people.
To shorten a long story, David was brought in to serve the very king that he was anointed to replace. David could sooth Saul when tormented by the evil Spirit by playing the lyre. Saul liked David so much that he became one of Saul’s armor bearers. David would go back and forth tending his father’s sheep and serving Saul during a time that they were at war with the Philistines.
1 Samuel 17:3-11;16;20;26-51
3 The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.
4 A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span (9 feet 9 inches). 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels (125 pounds); 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7 His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels (15 pounds). His shield bearer went ahead of him.
8 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 armies 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.
16 For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.
20 Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry.
26 David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
27 They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.”
28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”
29 “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?”
Don’t fret when people question your heart and your character; even people close to you. Don’t worry if you don’t measure up in their eyes. Don’t worry if they just think you’re a screw up and unable to do great things. The Lord sees it all and knows the truth and it’s His opinion alone that matters!
30 He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. 31 What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.
32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”
33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”
Again, don’t worry when you don’t measure up in the eyes of others. Don’t allow the poison of comparison to destroy or discourage you! Know who God says that you are and allow that to be your truth no matter how things may look otherwise!
34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.
“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.
Others will try to label you and try and force you to conform to their view of you, but don’t let it happen! Don’t try to be someone that you are not. Be who God created and has called you to be.
Take off the expectations of others. Take off the labels that they try to place on you. Look to the Lord and His word and allow Him to define who you are. After all, it is He alone that created you on purpose and for a purpose!
Don’t try to rush things, either. David was anointed to be the next king of Israel, but David had never worn the king’s armor and helmet before. It wasn’t comfortable and he wasn’t used to it. Although David might have looked more threatening and courageous in that armor to everyone else, it just wasn’t for him at that time. The day would come, but it was not yet the right time.
David was a shepherd, not yet a king.
David was a shepherd and that was enough.
David was a shepherd and this shepherd was about to protect God’s flock from a threat!
David took off the king’s armor. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him.
Goliath was about the learn the hard way God’s warning to Samuel not to judge by mere appearances. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”
45 David said to the Philistine, “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 deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, 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.”
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. That battle that you are facing? It’s not yours, it’s the Lord’s! That thing that keeps you up and night in worry and consumes your mind all day with anxiety, it was never yours to carry! That battle is the Lord’s and he’s going to give it into your hands!
48 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.
51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.
When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran.
When we stop trying to be the king and just embrace being the shepherds that we are supposed to be right now, we’ll start winning our battles! When we stop comparing ourselves to others and focus on growing in our own giftings and callings, greater things come as our confidence in the Lord grows stronger.
David may have sounded bold and confident, but he was truly an incredibly humble person. Shortly after this, he moved in with Saul, was given a high rank in the army, was loved by all of Israel and Judah, the ladies sang songs about him, and he was successful at everything he was tasked to do.
When given the opportunity twice to marry Saul’s daughter, he said:
1 Samuel 18:23
…“Do you think it is a small matter to become the king’s son-in-law? I’m only a poor man and little known.”
Humility was a key attribute in how David went from shepherd of a few sheep to shepherd of a nation. Humility is what enabled God to move mightily in and through David’s life. Humility is what allowed
David to carry the anointed of king and yet wait for the appointed time refusing to take Saul’s life. We may possess an anointing, but we must also await the appointing! There is a time and a season for everything. If lay out in the bright sun on our floaty raft out on the lake until we get a nice tan, but in the middle of winter, we’ll die of hypothermia first!
David was anointed and had a call on his life to be king of Israel. However, he acknowledged that he just wasn’t there yet. It was not yet his time. He defeated Goliath not as king, but as shepherd. He defeated Goliath not with a bronze helmet and tunic and coat of royal armor, but with a staff and sling and five stones.
You have what it takes! You don’t need what everyone says that you need to win this victory! You already have everything that you need to reign victorious! God will meet you where you are at and do the miraculous using whatever it is that you have to offer up to Him.
Moses had a staff and a cloak that worked many miracles and won many victories, David had a staff and a sling with some stones, Elijah’s widow had some flour and oil that never ran out during the drought, Elisha’s widow had some oil and a whole lot of jars that paid off all of her debt and enough to live on the rest of her and her sons’ lives, Jesus’ disciples had a few loaves of bread and fish that fed thousands, Jesus had some mud made from spit to heal the blind, Peter had nothing but a hand to help him up with and using it, he healed a lame man.
You are enough and you have what it takes! When we surrender all that we are and all that we have to the Lord, there is nothing impossible for us! The victory is ours because the battle has already been won!