Talk for Sunday 25th Aug 21013
Conventional wisdom or Gods wisdom & gifting
Trust what others do or Trust God to Rescue
Matthew 6 19-24
Psalm 34 1-10
1 Tim 6 17-21
1 Samuel 17:32-53
Last week Robert looked at the first part of this story, the story which the whole of the last weeks has been leading up to.
We have seen the People reject God as there leader and want a king because that is what all the others have.
We have seen that king not fully obey and follow God’s word to him, after all I am King I know best and the others do it this way.
We have seen him lose Gods blessing.
Last week we see David who has already been used to sooth Saul now be the one to stand up to those who say God is weak.
Today we see the outcome of this part of the story.
Usually when looking at this story we concentrate on the sling and the stone, but today I am going to look at it slightly differently.
Conventional wisdom or Gods wisdom & gifting / Trust what others do or Trust God to Rescue
- Conventional wisdom says that David is mad.
33 “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”
This is a job for a man an experienced warrior someone who we know knows what he is doing not a musician.
Would you expect the government to send the band to protect the country?
Would you expect One Direction to take on the local gang?
No you would go to the processionals, the police or army, or in my case a super hero like Spiderman.
- 34 But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, 35 I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. 36 I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! 37 The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!”
David responds with a list of things he can do, I am not afraid God has protected me as I have followed Him.
He has given me these gifts they will do as they have in the past.
God will protect me from this threat as well. Just as He as protected me in the past.
I have protected my fathers flock with these gifts and I will protect Gods flock as well with His aid.
Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the Lord be with you!”
Saul gives in to his arguments, I wonder if at this time he remembered those times he had not listened to Samuel and how that had turned out, and realised that David was blessed by God as he had once been.
1 Sam 16 18 One of the servants said to Saul, “One of Jesse’s sons from Bethlehem is a talented harp player. Not only that— …… and the Lord is with him.”
- 38 Then Saul gave David his own armor—a bronze helmet and a coat of mail. 39 David put it on, strapped the sword over it, and took a step or two to see what it was like, for he had never worn such things before.
I love this bit, as a boy being given control of a tank would have made my day.
I can see David being offered this wonderful armour and forgetting that he should just trust in God and being caught up in the glory and the honour and so putting this armour on.
Now This makes me stop and think about those times we feel that we can only do what God is asking of us if we do it the way others have done it before us and with the same resources they had.
Church growth often brings out these thoughts in people, it worked for them it will work for us.
However we then forget Gods wisdom and go with conventional wisdom, even if it is a Church wisdom.
Conventional wisdom said that the Slaves were doomed once they reached the Red sea [backs to the water with an army catching them]
…………………… Said that the Israelites were doomed once in the desert.. [No food or water]
…………………… That if you kill the leader of a small group that will be the end of it [Death of Jesus]
…………………… said that the Christian church would not survive in Communist countries.
………………………said that you can not walk on water [Peter still did]
“I can’t go in these,” he protested to Saul. “I’m not used to them.” So David took them off again.
Before long David realised he had to do it a different way the way he knew the way God had gifted him, not the way the rest of society expected.
He had not spent the years in armour it takes to fight effectively in it, also it had not been made to fit him and even if he was roughly the same size as Saul it would not be a good fit.
We need to use the gifts and skills which fit us and not those given to other people.
- . 40 He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine.
Actually this is wrong he was not only armed with a bit of leather and a stone was he?
No he was armed with the power of God.
He was not going to face this great warrior with just a stone, but with all the power. and strength of God.
- 41 Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, 42 sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. 43 “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. 44 “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled.
Goliath responds as anyone would, conventional wisdom said that David had no chance and Goliath like all bullies thought that this was going to be easy. He knew he would win and that there was really no contest.
You can almost see him thinking, get this knat out of the way and I can go and have a meal while the army mops the rest up.
I wonder how often we look at a situation like that, thinking it will be so easy.
Or like the Israelites, it is to hard.
Many people would have tried for a cleaver comeback to bluster and threaten, or wonder why they thought they could do this and run away.
Trust God He Rescues
- 45 David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! 47 And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!”
David had faith a deep faith in God, his experiences had taught him that God would always come through and that as long as he stood up in Gods name he would succeed.
Our society is very much like the one at the time of this story, a small group of people some of whom have faith but many who would rather trust in the strength of others facing an alliance of people, who have more power, bigger sticks, more wealth and everything going for them.
Is our faith enough to stand up to these threats, will we stand up for God and defend His people?
David knew that God will rescue His people when they trust in Him.
David had that trust even if the people did not. He was not afraid, he had trust in God.
Only when you’re convinced God will take care of all your material needs, will you start putting spiritual things first in your life. Until that happens, you’ll think you have to take care of yourself. As a result, you will walk in fear and not faith. That’s not how God wants you to live. ‘…seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you’ (Matthew 6:33 NKJV). When you worry, you don’t trust God. When you trust God, you don’t have to worry. The choice is yours. [UCB Word for today]
David seems to have sought first the kingdom doesn’t he?
- In Psalm 34 as in many others it says
1 I will praise the Lord at all times.
I will constantly speak his praises.
2 I will boast only in the Lord;
let all who are helpless take heart.
We are told to praise speak and boast in the Lords Name and all He has done.
This is what David was doing.
4 I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
He freed me from all my fears.
David could advance on Goliath because he had no fear, because God had freed him from them.
5 Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
David looked to God for help in defeating the great warrior, and his heart was at peace.
6 In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
he saved me from all my troubles.
9 Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
for those who fear him will have all they need.
10 Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.
David knew that things do not always go right for a follower, but that it would be worse if he did not have trust in God to help him.
- In our reading from Timothy this is reinforced.
1 Tim 6 17-21
17-19 Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.
20-21 And oh, my dear Timothy, guard the treasure you were given! Guard it with your life. Avoid the talk-show religion and the practiced confusion of the so-called experts. People caught up in a lot of talk can miss the whole point of faith.
Overwhelming grace keep you!
Putting God first before all else is better than chasing wealth or being obsessed with consumerism, these things are of the world are conventional wisdom not Gods wisdom.
We have seen how Saul put his faith in wealth rather than follow Gods word a few weeks ago.
- In Matthew 6 19-24
19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
22 “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!
24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Jesus tells us that where your treasure is where your heart is, that you can not have two masters.
Its not that its wrong to have money or possessions, its when they become the whole point of your life, when you can not give them up and trust in Gods grace. When you trust in your own abilities rather than Gods grace.
Saul and his men did not want to risk losing what they had fighting a battle they expected to lose.
Conventional wisdom said they would.
[the small weak army stood no chance]
After all they had not had this wealth for very long.
they only gained it in the last few years after defeating the Amalkermits.
Why risk it.
David trusted that God would give him the victory and provide for him.
Even though every one around him thought that was mad.
They were going with the conventional wisdom of keeping what you have safe and not risking it.
David was trusting God to provide and rescue.
Last week Robert said this
- Confidence that God is God even though most are overwhelmed by the circumstances
- Hope for the future of the people of God beyond what is seen there
- A relationship with God he hadn’t let what had happened to him in his life so far weaken his relationship with God. No in what had happened to him he had gone after God, wanted to strengthen his relationship with Him.
- Awareness that these people are the people of God, servants of, indeed the ‘armies of the living God (Prayer Card – Ephesians 4.15b-16).
Will we do what David did…
- Learn to have Confidence that God is God even in overwhelming circumstances
- Discover Hope for the future of the being part of God’s people God beyond what we see today
- Develop our relationship with God as we go on through our lives after God
- Ask God for Awareness of just who we are, The Body of Christ, the armies of the Living God
- This week I want to leave you with these words.
- 1. What or who do you have real deep faith in?
for David it was God what is it for you?
- 2. What is your treasure?
For David it was God what is it for you?
- 3. if faced with a problem or need who or what do you look to for answers?
For David it was God
- 4. What do you boast of?
For David it was God.
- 5. who or what is your master?
For David it was God
- 6. Where is your peace?
For David it was in God.
I hope you can answer God / Jesus to all of those, most of the time I can but not always.
Like Peter I have days when I struggle to have faith and stand up for what I believe.
In Isaiah48:1–11 –
1 You claim to worship me, the LORD God of Israel, but you are lying.
2 You call Jerusalem your home and say you depend on me, the LORD All-Powerful,
the God of Israel.
8 You have never been willing to listen to what I say; from the moment of your birth,
I knew you would rebel.
God knew from the day He made Adam and Eve [the first people] that we would not fully follow Him. He knew that free will meant that many would go there own way, only a few would truly believe and follow. But He has never given up looking for the lost sheep.
I pray that we can all be more like David, a person who could trust in God even though all around him said it could not be done and not his way.
Who had lost there trust and faith who really did not believe in the God who rescues and saves.
Let us pray.
Conventional wisdom or Gods wisdom & gifting
Trust what others do or Trust God to Rescue