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Sunday, 15 June 2014

'DAVID, MAN OF GOD'

Rev. Brian Wilkie
By Rev. Brian Wilkie                                                                                    

Pastor of St. Andrew's Christian Community
Rockland, Ontario


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PODCAST LINK to CFRA broadcast - Sunday, June 15th, 2014:
http://proxy.autopod.ca/podcasts/chum/6/22919/good_news_109_june15.mp3
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Broadcast Notes:
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‘David, Man of God


Welcome to Good News In the Morning a program of words and music bringing a Christian message of hope and encouragement to those who are looking for intelligent meaningful and spirited approach to faith and to life.

This program is sponsored by Good News Christian Ministries PO Box 184 Rideau Ferry, Ontario K0G 1W0. I'm your host today, Brian Wilkie of St. Andrew's Christian church in Rockland. I want to thank you our listeners for your encouragement and support. Please remember that you can always visit our website for materials to encourage and support you in your Christian walk.

If you miss an episode of the show you can go to our website and download the podcast or the MP3 of our broadcast.

Today I want to share with you a Scripture that is just one of many references to the life of David, who became king of Israel. I want to take a look at David as a man of God on this Father's Day broadcast. This is taken from the first book of Samuel chapter 17 beginning at verse 32.

Scripture 1 Samuel 17:32–40

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 boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.”
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 delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver 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. 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.

This word of God is one of many stories about David. We find in Scripture repeated reference to the honor that God gives to David he speaks to him as a man after God's own heart. What is it that makes David so special as a man of God is so many skills and characteristics that stand out in Scripture which is it that makes him such an example and someone that the Lord keeps pointing to as a man after his own heart. There are certainly many things that we can relate to in his life because he's skilled in so many different areas. Are you perhaps a farmer taking care of animals? David was a shepherd boy who faithfully and courageously cared for those animals under his protection. Are you are you an athletic person perhaps skilled in martial arts? David is a champion in battle taking on Goliath, a 9 foot giant. Are you artistic? David is a musician who uniquely in the stories of Scripture is the only one who can soothe Saul who's gone mad because the Lord has departed from him. Are you adventurous? David is a raider. He defends Israel even when he's on the run from the King he is providing for the defenseless. He's a generous compassionate man.  He’s a man of honor. Does that fit? He's loyal even when the King was trying to kill him. He is an incomparable friend to Jonathan. There is a characteristic that we hope we have and that we hope we find in other people around us. David also is an astute politician, a good manager, good at running things, he brings greatness and wealth to his nation, he's a poet. He praises God and his heart is so set on God's praise that his poems populate the book of Psalms. He’s described by the Lord as “a man after my own heart.” What can we learn from the life of this man? We’ll take a look at that in a few moments but would you listen with me to this hymn about the God who is the God and Lord of King David. This hymn is Rock of Ages as performed by Steven Curtis Chapman on his new album Deep Roots.

I must say that when I listen to the example of David I have two reactions. One is that he's kind of a renaissance man. If you been born in the 17th century he'd be one of those people that seems to be a master of everything:. He's a warrior, he's a poet, he's a leader, he's a friend. He knows so much, does so much and he seems like an impossible example to measure. Does someone have to be that good in order to be loved by God, in order to be a man after God's own heart?

My other reaction is to remember that David was a sinful man. He was a man whose  fall and whose mistakes are a large part of his story. We learn that David was a man who had strong lusts. He sought Bathsheba and in fact murdered Bathsheba's husband (or caused him to be murdered) in order to have the woman that he saw. In addition to that he was a promiscuous man. He had many, many wives and concubines. The Bible documents polygamy and describes the true history of fathers of the faith who were polygamists. Abraham and his descendents the leaders of the household of Israel seem to have had more than one wife and sometimes concubines as well. David surpassed them all in that respect. Though the Bible documents polygamy, it never seems to approve of it. We see that every family that has many wives and partners, many children of different parents, we see these families seething with enmity, with rivalry, with dishonesty and deceit. We even see this problem arise in David's household. So in addition to being a polygamist, one of David other faults is that he's not that great a father.  For instance that matter of Tamar, his daughter, who was attacked by another of his sons, a half brother to Tamar: He failed to deal with that. He failed to address the problem and that led, in the end, to the rebellion of another son, Absalom. That was a rebellion which nearly cost David his kingdom. David was led to grief as a father. Perhaps on Father's Day that is something we can relate to as fathers.

Maybe David isn’t an example it all with his sin and his promiscuity, with his poor example in parenting. Yet God says that this is a man after his own heart. You see, David isn't defined by his faults, nor he is he defined by his skills. God defines him as a man who seeks the Lord. He is a man who in his heart wanted to honor God. When he was a King, established with bountiful resources and wealth, he was ashamed that he was living comfortably in a palace, while the temple of God had not yet been built. He wanted to honor God with his life, and when he did sin, did he ever repent!  He was ready to own up to his faults and seek to be made right. You see David is identified and David is defined as a recipient of grace, and that's a great example for all of us.

Sometimes we may think we have to be a certain kind of man. When I go to men's events in Christian circles, I see most often they feature an athlete, a football player, or a Marine, or a heroic war hero. I see people who are managers of businesses and celebrities who make it big and famous, and I wonder, ‘What do these people have to say to me? Is this the kind of man I need to be?” But David is a man who, I think we can see, shares features with any other man. He’s not just a strong warrior he's also a sensitive, loving and compassionate person. He is not a brawny person: in fact when  he is selected as King by Samuel, the Prophet is uncertain whether God's made the right choice, because David is the smallest of the of the children of Jesse and he's rosy cheeked and handsome and doesn't look like the strong man that God would want to have as King. That's when God says. “I'm not looking at the outside, I'm looking at the heart. “

Whatever kind of a father we are, whatever kind of a man we may be, we ought to know that God looks at our heart. Like David we can be recipients of grace, whom God is willing to show his love, to lead us away from sin, to use us for good purposes and to bless us in what we do.

David is a good example for me because he's made a bunch of mistakes. Now I don't want to follow him and those mistakes but unfortunately I do, don't you? Maybe not the same mistakes, but those things which you regret, things that you wish you'd done better. You see some of your weaknesses playing out in your family and you wonder if you've done damage, rather than good for your children. Well there is a God who loves us with an everlasting love. There is a God who sees us in our hearts and is ready to pour out grace upon us in every circumstance. We are going to explore this a bit more as we continue on with looking at these Scriptures about David. But first would you listen with me to Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing which is sung by Houston's Grace Presbyterian Chancel Choir. It is a beautiful hymn about the gracefulness of God.

David was a great man who accomplished many things. David was a was a good man. He sought the Lord. David was a flawed man and needed the Lord's grace, the Lord's forgiveness and the Lord's help in all that he did. As we consider how that speaks to us we need to think about how God can bless us, help us and restore us in our need.
It's a hard time for men to be fathers in this generation. In fact there are many children growing up without their fathers because marriages have become fragile, because sometimes, frankly, we are not making the right decisions as men. Sometimes we are not growing up soon enough, and look back later and regret some the choices we've made.

Fatherhood is a great blessing, but it's probably also the thing that cuts closest to our hearts. Like David we can be filled with deep emotions around the lives of our children. We can share regret and we can share joy. We can wonder whether we've got what it takes. I know that I hear the same words out of other men's mouths that were in my heart when my first child was born; when you look at that little baby you may wonder, “Am I ready for this?” Then, as each stage of life goes on, that question may recur with greater intensity. Here's some good news: nobody's perfect accept God, but God is able to perfect us. That process is slow and that process is arduous, but God calls us to persevere. Over and over again throughout Scripture he calls us to endure in the things he's called us to, and he has called us to endure in our relationships, and even in those things that we think we've messed up.

So how does this happen? God has sent us his Son Jesus Christ. Now in Jesus Christ is the perfect man. Jesus Christ doesn't sin like David but he's filled with compassion, he seeks the Lord with all his heart, he is courageous in the face of of difficulties, he's patient with the foibles of his disciples, he's loving towards the outcast and the people who think their failures. He lifts up the weak and broken and heals the sick. He delivers those who are oppressed by evil and he does this not just in the pages of the New Testament but he does this for us today.

The life that we need, the perfect life, the perfect love, is available to us from Jesus. In fact the Scripture says that when we receive Christ, Christ comes to dwell in us. Christ is the one who has died to forgive us our sins, so that we might be free from guilt and says that he's also taken the burden of our sins upon him. We can trust Christ when we failed to restore not only us but to reach out with restoration the people we've hurt. Isn't it good to know that when we seek the forgiveness of sins, we can also be confident that Jesus Christ is at work in the lives of other people to heal them from the harm we've done. It must've been a great blessing for David to know that that God forgave him when Nathan declared that forgiveness. But he also sought through his life to see that forgiveness and that restoration would work out in his family. Jesus Christ can be trusted with this good work that he is doing in us. He has shown the fullness of his love in dying for us on the cross. He has shown his endurance by all that he endured on that cross. He's shown his power to restore all things when God his Father raised Jesus Christ the Son from the dead. Jesus has sent his Holy Spirit to all who will receive him, so that the power of God might be working in us to give us hope for the future. Not just a thought or emotion of hope, but a real hope because we will be changed and we will become more like him.

If all I had was the example of David to follow, to try and do what he did right, and to try to avoid the things that he did wrong, it would be an impossible task. I can't be David, but Jesus Christ can live in me and transform me by his glorious power.
He can do the same for each of us and that is the good news of the gospel.

Let's join together in prayer.

Almighty God, we want to thank and praise you, that you have sent your Son in order to show us how to live in compassion; to show us how to live in faith, to show us how to live integrity and honesty. We pray almighty God that he would more than show us this: that he would be Lord in our hearts and cleanse us from sin, fill us with his life and his spirit, and lead us and form us into his image. We ask this in Jesus name, that we might share with him in the eternal life that he gives, and that your world might be blessed by what he does in us. In his name, Amen.

Once again, friends, I want to thank you for your encouragement and support. We do thank you because you keep us on the air week by week. Please let us encourage you to support our ministry financially. your gift can help us continue to meet that one vital expense of this ministry, the cost of broadcasting, which enables us to reach you and over 7000 listeners in the Ottawa River Valley. If you can, make a check player payable to Good News Christian Ministries and send it to P.O. Box 184 Rideau Ferry, Ontario K0G 1W0. We will be happy to send you a tax receipt at income tax time. I also encourage you to tell others about this program.
Please be sure to worship in a church where the gospel is soundly proclaimed and lived out with compassion, integrity and resolve.
Now to conclude our program I'd like to have you listen to a song from Steve Bell’s album, Smple Songs. This is actually cover of a Bruce Cockburn tune called All the Diamonds.
I do pray that the Lord will hold your heart and you would know Jesus personally and profoundly. May the Holy Spirit reside deep within your heart. May the Heavenly Father surround you with his constant, abiding and accompanying love.

Good News In The Morning is produced in the Studios of News Talk Radio 580 CFRA.


- Rev. Brian Wilkie
St. Andrew's Christian Community, Rockland, Ontario
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To listen to the above broadcast, click on the following link:
 

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