God-Hearted #2 — 1 Samuel 16:14-23 Preparation Of The God-Heart — Pillars

It is easy to think that, as Saul went down, David went up. But there is plenty of room in God’s kingdom. Saul could have repented of his sin and finished well. They could have both excelled.

  • As these two lives are weighed, contrasted, we learn of beautiful attributes belonging to David, attributes he will lean on for years to come.

Theme: David slew Goliath, but we mustn’t think of David as a one-hit wonder. In fact, Goliath fell because God had become David’s, and David had become God’s. Let us find inspiration in David’s Christlikeness and allow Christ to become our own.

14 Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the LORD tormented him.

  • 14 The Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the LORD tormented him: Both sides of this equation raise questions to the modern believer.

    • Did Saul lose his salvation?

      • We ask, because we know believers are “sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, the guarantee of our inheritance” (Ephesians 1:13-14).
      • But Saul is from a different era in God’s redemptive program for the world. It was only later, in Christ, that the Spirit would be given to reside within.
        • John 7:38–39 (ESV) — 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ ” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
      • No, he did not lose his salvation, but he did lose God’s Spirit for his kingly service to Israel. He is losing his position.
    • Did God really send an evil spirit to torment Saul?

      • In an attempt to explain God’s methodology, many have attempted to find another interpretation besides the straightforward one. Perhaps they are right.
      • But it seems beautiful to me that God is so entirely sovereign that He is able to use everything, even the devils, for His plans.
        • It seems God wanted to bring Saul to repentance.
        • Similar to 1 Corinthians 5:4–5 (ESV) — 4 When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

15 And Saul’s servants said to him, “Behold now, a harmful spirit from God is tormenting you. 16 Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the harmful spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well.” 17 So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me.”

At the beginning of Saul’s reign there was a time a group of prophets played music and prophesied and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, which “turned” him “into another man” with “another heart” (1 Samuel 10:5-6, 9). Perhaps Saul’s servants remembered that moment and sought to recreate it.

18 One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the LORD is with him.”

They did not need to search, for someone there already had a man in mind. David! This is the providence of God. The young man describes David, leading us to our first major contrast with Saul. The young man listed David’s qualities.

1 David Had A Godward Reflex

  • Skillful in playing: Great musician.
    • Skilled in the lyre/harp.
      • Took time: Patience.
      • Took endurance: Discipline.
      • Took artistry, an elegant expressiveness and sensitivity.
    • But David’s went beyond musical skill.
      • David entitled himself “the sweet psalmist of Israel” when on his deathbed (2 Samuel 23:1).
      • David didn’t turn to music, but used music to turn to God.
    • You might not be musical, and you might not be able to sing well, but your heart can be in tune with God, and your spirit can cry to Him.
      • David was alive to God. He used music to run to God.
  • Develop a godward reflex.
    • Saul didn’t.
      • Saul’s servants did not encourage Saul to turn to God, to really deal with the issue.
        • Jeremiah 6:14, 8:11 (ESV) — 6:14/8:11 They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.
        • Example: Coldplay’s X&Y album could not bring me ultimate comfort.
      • Do you have friends who do exactly as Saul’s servants, encouraging you towards substance, activity, and distraction, but not towards the root, especially if your funk is sin-induced?
    • Jesus did.
      • Luke 5:16 (ESV) — 16 But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
    • 1 Personal habit
    • 2 Spirit’s help
      • Romans 8:14–16 (ESV) — 14 For [Paul had said, “we are debtors” and then broke off to tell us we are not debtors to the flesh at all. Now we learn who we are debtors to.] all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear [This is not a reference to the good kind of fear, but the kind Saul had.], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
        • The Spirit in you is there to help you tune your heart to God.
    • 3 Community example

2 David Was A Courageous Fighter

  • Valor: Bravery and courage in the face of danger.
  • War: Willing to fight when necessary.
  • David was already, at a young age, battle-tested.

    • Goliath was not his first fight.
    • For one, we will learn he battled beasts (1 Samuel 17:34-36).
    • Secondly, we would expect he warded off Philistine raiders.
    • Thirdly, he was the youngest of eight brothers.
      • He had learned to lean into the Spirit’s strength in order to courageously run into the fight.
  • The ability to boldly run into battle is a Christ-like quality.

    • Philippians 2:6–7 (ESV) — 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
    • Philippians 2:5 (ESV) — 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus…
      • David ran into the battles God was interested in. We also, ought to run into the battles God has for us.
  • He wants to build up your strength to become a fighter.
    • This is not an exclusively male trait in the slightest, for men and women alike must fight for righteousness.
    • You have to be a courageous fighter to progress in Christianity:
      • 1 For consecration.
      • 2 For the basics of the Christian life.
        • Sunday worship / Personal devotion / Community / Giving / Serving
      • 3 For the advancement of the gospel
        • Making disciples
        • Preaching the gospel
        • Acts of mercy

3 David Was Thoughtful In Speech

  • Prudent in speech: Discerning and thoughtful when he spoke.

    • We will hear him speak next week, and in many weeks thereafter, and we will often stand impressed.
    • F.B. Meyer: “The sagacity of David will appear as our story proceeds. He was as prudent to advise and scheme as he was swift to execute. He had understanding of the times, of human hearts, of wise policy; and he knew just how and when to act. Frank to his friends, generous to his foes, constant in his attachments, calm in danger, patient in trouble, chivalrous and knightly, he had every element of a born leader of men, and was equally at home in the counsels of the state and the decisions of the battle-field.”[^Classic Portraits: David by F.B. Meyer]
  • The person who lives this way will speak well:

    • Psalm 62:1 (ESV) — 1 For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.
    • When one is often silent before God they often will learn to make a better noise before man.
    • James 1:19–20 (ESV) — 19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
      • You often achieve more with encouragement than you do with a tongue lashing.

4 David Was Attractive

  • Of good presence: Handsome (HCSB, NASB, NKJV). Fine-looking man (NIV). Personal magnetism.
    • This is more than external looks.
    • David’s named means “beloved.”
      • Many were drawn to him: Saul [this story and elsewhere] / servants / women of Israel / Jonathan / Michal
        • Rough soldiers: 1 Samuel 22:2 (ESV) — 2 And everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul, gathered to him. And he became commander over them. And there were with him about four hundred men.
          • Some of whom were his nephews: Sons of his sister Zeruiah — Joab, Asahel, and Abishai.
  • It reminds us of the attractiveness of Christ.
    • When He burst onto the scene, out of the wilderness temptations (Luke 4:14-15).
      • He taught; some loved it, while many hated it (Luke 4:15 glorified by all, 29 cliff, 32 astonished at His teaching, 5:1 pressing on Him to hear the word of God).
      • He demonstrated power over demons, sickness (Luke 4:33, 39-40).
        • Popularity: Luke 4:42 (ESV) — 42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them…
  • It reminds us how He wants to produce the same in us.
    • John 15:11 (ESV) — 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
    • 1 Corinthians 13:4–7 (ESV) — 4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Conclusion: David Was Joined By God

  • The LORD is with him: Above all — the highest quality of all.
  • 19 Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.” 20 And Jesse took a donkey laden with bread and a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them by David his son to Saul. 21 And David came to Saul and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer.

  • 19 With the sheep: Saul – searching for donkeys. David – tending to sheep. David was faithful in the small things and God blessed him.

    • He became Saul’s armor-bearer, so he continued to serve.

22 And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.”

  • God’s providence.

23 And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him.

  • It could have gone so beautifully.