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A Man Who Made a Difference

2 Samuel 23:1-7 

 

"Now these are the last words of David. David the son of Jesse declares, And the man who was raised on high declares,The anointed of the God of Jacob, And the sweet psalmist of Israel, [2] The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue. [3] The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me, 'He who rules over men righteously, Who rules in the fear of God, [4] Is as the light of the morning when the sun rises, A morning without clouds, When the tender grass springs out of the earth, Through sunshine after rain.' [5] Truly is not my house so with God? For He has made an everlasting covenant with me, Ordered in all things, and secured; For all my salvation and all my desire, Will He not indeed make it grow? [6] But the worthless, every one of them will be thrust away like thorns, Because they cannot be taken in hand; [7] But the man who touches them Must be armed with iron and the shaft of a spear, And they will be completely burned with fire in their place."

These are the final words of David as he reflected over his life. I've learned a lot the past few months as we've studied David's life. This past week, I jotted down a few notes of what I consider to be the great life lessons from David's life, let me share four of them with you today.

EVEN A YOUNG MAN CAN BE USED OF GOD.

David was a courageous man-even as a young man. He who took a stand against Goliath the Philistine. Though Goliath was a seasoned warrior of great reputation, David would not let Goliath mock the armies of God. "Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?" (1 Samuel 17:26 NLT) David asked. David wasn't intimidated. Why? Well for one, he knew his God was bigger-he had faith. But he also had a humble confidence in his ability to defeat the giant.

The young shepherd boy took his sling shot, five smooth stones, and the confidence of a man on a mission from God into battle. Before Goliath got within range to strike David, David launched a stone at the Giant. God directed the stone to hit Goliath at a point of vulnerability and David used the giant's own sword to kill the him, which in turn set the enemy to flight. In the center of God's will, David lost his fear, and Goliath lost his head.

Remember that this great victory occurred while David was a young person. The church is frittering away one of its greatest assets if it insists on viewing young people as the church's future instead of fully vested members of the church of today. Remember, even a young man can be used of God.

EVEN POWERFUL MEN CAN'T STOP THE HAND OF GOD.

Try as he might, King Saul was unable to stop the hand of God from establishing David as the next King of Israel. Saul tried to kill David several times. On one occasion, David began playing the harp to soothe Saul. With David occupied, Saul grabbed a spear and threw it at David, intending on pinning him against the wall. David leaped out of the way and ran for his life. Another time, King Saul told his son Jonathan, along with Saul's servants, to put David to death. Instead, Jonathan intervened and was a peacemaker between Saul and David. With everything patched up between Saul and David, David returns to his duties and was playing the harp for him, as he had done countless times, and like he had done in 1 Samuel 18:10, Saul tried to kill David while he was ministering to him. And once again, David ran for his life. This time, Saul dispatched messengers to watch him and kill him in the morning in his own bed. Just as Jonathan had intervened on David's behalf, so did Michal, Saul's daughter and David's wife. She helped him escape and deceived the king and his messengers so David could escape. Michal lied, saying he was sick, Saul asked the messengers to bring David to him so Saul could kill him himself (I guess he thought he could handle David himself if he was sick.) Saul was shocked to learn that his own daughter had deceived him to help her husband escape. 

David survived and on two occasions, David found Saul in a vulnerable position and could have killed him and ascended to the throne, but he chose a different path. In a self-imposed exile to preserve his life and the life of his king, David lived in the land of his enemies-the Philistines for over a year, waiting for God to take His vengeance on Saul. It was all a matter of trust-trust that his God could and would protect him and take vengeance on his king who was trying to kill him.

In the end, God used two of Saul's greatest enemies to defeat Saul. The battle turned against the armies of God and one of Saul's enemies-the Philistines-killed all three of his sons. Advancing into the core of Israel's command, the archers hit and weakened Saul. Saul knew the end was near, so he commanded his assistant to draw his sword and kill him. Saul did not want his enemies to have the satisfaction of killing or even torturing him. But his assistant refused to obey the order. So Saul's greatest enemy-himself- fell on his own weapon. Resulting in David ascending to the throne. Remember, no one can stop the hand of God.

EVEN GODLY MEN SIN.

King David was a man of great contradictions. He was a hard working man who was equally comfortable playing a musical instrument or fighting in a war. He was a tender-hearted poet, with musical talents that could soothe the souls of his listeners. He was a "man after God's own heart"-- a spiritual man. 

David wasn't a softie. He was a warrior without peer. The people said of him: "Saul has killed his thousands, but David his ten thousands." Even the smallest child in our Sunday School could retell the story we just discussed of David defeating the giant Goliath. 

David was a strong man--a leader of men, a man that anyone would feel safe walking beside. David was a spiritual man who penned many beautiful psalms that were sung in his day and read in our day. Yet, David had a severe moral lapse. 

It was the time of year when Kings lead their troops to war, but David was no where to be found. Instead of assuming his leadership role, he lingered around the palace. While walking around the palace roof, he spotted a beautiful woman taking a bath. Instead of turning his head and walking away, he stayed and watched. 

Later, he sent for her and consummated his sin with her in the palace. She became pregnant. His sin found him out. He tried to cover up his sin, but to no avail. Ultimately, his sin lead to murder. 

His sin began with him being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Why wasn't he at work where he belonged? Why didn't he run when he was tempted? Why didn't he show self control and remain righteous. 

This sin became a defining moment in his life. It is too bad that he didn't finish as strong as he started. He could defeat countless Philistines in battle, but was overcome by the seduction of a single woman. Remember, even godly men can sin.

EVEN THOUGH SINS CARRY CONSEQUENCES, GOD LOVES AND RESTORES THOSE WHO REPENT.

David had always known he'd sinned against God, but after this conversation with Nathan, the weight of his sin sunk in. David didn't try to shift the blame or avoid responsibility, instead he confessed his sin to God. 

David admitted his sin. Psalm 51:3 "For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me." ( KJV)

David requested forgiveness for his sin. Psalm 51:1-2 "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. [2] Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin." (KJV)

David invited God to change his life. Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." (KJV)

David asked for his joy back. Psalm 51:12 "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit." (KJV)

God judged David, but in the midst of God's judgment, His grace flowed freely. His sin was forgiven. Grace was extended.

That is the power of confession. In the midst of confession, God's grace freely flows and gives us what we don't deserve-forgiveness and his mercy falls down on us and doesn't give us what we do deserve-death. God forgave David, and He can forgive you too. Remember, God restores those who repent.

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