King's Chaos, 12 February 2017

King’s Chaos
Series: Ideal Family
Psalm 3

Series Big Idea:
All families are messed up, including biblical families.

Big Idea: The “man after God’s own heart” was punished for his great sins yet experienced amazing grace.

Good morning! My name is Kirk and today we’re continuing our series entitled, “Ideal Family.” Whether you like it or not, you’re part of a family; at least one. Ever since God said it was not good for man to be alone, humans have lived with others…for better or worse. I have yet to meet someone who didn’t have a biological father and a biological mother. Most people have siblings. Aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents are a vital part of life for many of us. Family is God’s design. It was His idea.

There are two unfortunate things I’ve discovered about families. First, they are all messed up! That’s ultimately the result of sin, our disobedience toward God. Ever since Adam and Eve ate of the fruit in the Garden of Eden, we have struggled to get along. Pride divides. Greed corrupts. Selfishness hoards. Anger disturbs. Hatred destroys. Misunderstanding confuses.

The second unfortunate thing about families is the mistaken belief everyone else’s family is okay. Listen to me carefully…all families are messed up! This includes biblical families. We all need help…so let’s pray!


Ever since I was a young boy, I’ve been a collector of baseball cards. I never cared much for the gum that Topps used to include with their cards, but it continues to be a thrill for me to open a pack and see which players are inside. I’m much too young to see Babe Ruth’s face or Mickey Mantle’s eyes looking back at me, but I love to get players from the Philadelphia Phillies or Detroit Tigers—my two favorite teams—or rookie cards or superstars. My favorite cards in my collection include Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, and even a Michael Jordan from the year he tried to play baseball.

I sometimes wonder what it would be like to have Bible character cards. “Hey, I’ll trade you a Noah for a John the Baptist!” “What’s more valuable, the card of Abram or Abraham?” “I’ve got a rookie card of Jesus…in the manger!”

Obviously Jesus is the most important figure in the Bible—in human history—but if I were to collect cards of other biblical characters, I’d probably be most excited about David. First and foremost for me, he was a musician and songwriter. The psalms are my favorite book of the Bible, and he wrote most of them. As a boy, he killed a lion and a bear…and then Goliath the giant (1 Samuel 17). His music was so powerful, it would bring relief to the tormented king, even causing an evil spirit to flee (1 Samuel 16:23). David became so popular, the crowds would celebrate him over and above King Saul, the man whose thrown he would later possess (1 Samuel 18:7; 21:11; 29:5). David was a mighty warrior, a powerful king, and best of all a man after God’s own heart.

Now there was that whole Bathsheba incident that led to David committing adultery, murder, and likely rape. Oh, if only that never happened! Then again, as we’ve noted in this series, all of our biblical heroes besides Jesus are flawed. They sinned against God—and others. Like us, they needed the amazing grace offered by Jesus who died to provide forgiveness, salvation, and reconciliation.

But let’s not get bogged down with David’s dark chapter. He had a son named Solomon who built the Temple and was blessed with wisdom, wealth, and women.

Royal transition is always exciting. Queen Elizabeth just celebrated a record 65 years on the throne in England. Someday soon her heir, Prince Charles, will most likely reign as king.

Near the end of his life, King David assembled all the officials of Israel and said,

Of all my sons—and the LORD has given me many—he has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel. (1 Chronicles 28:5)

So David blesses Solomon, he becomes king, and everyone lives happily ever after. Right? Hardly.

David said he many sons. Remember Cain and Abel, sibling rivalry? Imagine many sons with different mothers!

These were the sons of David born to him in Hebron:
The firstborn was Amnon the son of Ahinoam of Jezreel;
the second, Daniel the son of Abigail of Carmel; 
the third, Absalom the son of Maakah daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;
the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; 
the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital;
and the sixth, Ithream, by his wife Eglah. 
These six were born to David in Hebron, where he reigned seven years and six months. 

David reigned in Jerusalem thirty-three years, and these were the children born to him there:
Shammua, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon. These four were by Bathsheba  daughter of Ammiel. There were also Ibhar, Elishua, Eliphelet, 
Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada and Eliphelet—nine in all. 
All these were the sons of David, besides his sons by his concubines. And
Tamar was their sister. (1 Chronicles 3:1-9)

That’s quite a clan!

Now here’s how David’s story ends:

David son of Jesse was king over all Israel. He ruled over Israel forty years—seven in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. He died at a good old age, having enjoyed long life, wealth and honor. His son Solomon succeeded him as king. (1 Chronicles 29:26-28)

But let’s back up. Last week we noted how sins can be passed from one generation to the next. Blessings work that way. Curses work that way. We often become like our parents, and our children follow our example. Jacob was deceitful like his father Isaac who was deceitful like his father Abram.

David’s sexual sin with Bathsheba may have some connection to a horrific event that would occur among his children. David’s firstborn son, Amnon, fell in love with his half sister, Tamar (2 Samuel 13:4) and raped her (2 Samuel 13:14) causing chaos in David’s family.

When King David heard all this, he was furious. And Absalom never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad; he hated Amnon because he had disgraced his sister Tamar. (2 Samuel 13:21-22)

Understandable, right?

Absalom ordered his men, “Listen! When Amnon is in high spirits from drinking wine and I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon down,’ then kill him. Don’t be afraid. Haven’t I given you this order? Be strong and brave.” So Absalom’s men did to Amnon what Absalom had ordered. Then all the king’s sons got up, mounted their mules and fled. (2 Samuel 13:28-29)

Do you see why I entitled this message, “King’s Chaos?”

We simply don’t have time to cover all of the stories of David and his family, but if you turn to 2 Samuel chapter 15, we see Absalom wreaking more havoc on his family. He decides he wants to customer service for the king’s subjects!

Reading from the
New Living Translation

After this, Absalom bought a chariot and horses, and he hired fifty bodyguards to run ahead of him. He got up early every morning and went out to the gate of the city. When people brought a case to the king for judgment, Absalom would ask where in Israel they were from, and they would tell him their tribe. Then Absalom would say, “You’ve really got a strong case here! It’s too bad the king doesn’t have anyone to hear it. I wish I were the judge. Then everyone could bring their cases to me for judgment, and I would give them justice!”

When people tried to bow before him, Absalom wouldn’t let them. Instead, he took them by the hand and kissed them. Absalom did this with everyone who came to the king for judgment, and so he stole the hearts of all the people of Israel. (2 Samuel 15:1-6, NLT)

You see where this is going, right? David’s son, Absalom, tries to seize control

A messenger soon arrived in Jerusalem to tell David, “All Israel has joined Absalom in a conspiracy against you!” (2 Samuel 15:13, NLT)

“Then we must flee at once, or it will be too late!” David urged his men. “Hurry! If we get out of the city before Absalom arrives, both we and the city of Jerusalem will be spared from disaster.” (2 Samuel 15:14, NLT)

“We are with you,” his advisers replied. “Do what you think is best.” (2 Samuel 15:15, NLT)

So the king and all his household set out at once. He left no one behind except ten of his concubines to look after the palace. (2 Samuel 15:16, NLT)

It is in this context that we read Psalm 3

A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.
LORD, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me! 
Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”
But you, LORD, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the LORD,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. 
I will not fear though tens of thousands 
assail me on every side.
Arise, LORD!
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked. 
From the LORD comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people. (Psalm 3)

David flees his son and in 2 Samuel chapter 18, we read

During the battle, Absalom happened to come upon some of David’s men. He tried to escape on his mule, but as he rode beneath the thick branches of a great tree, his hair got caught in the tree. His mule kept going and left him dangling in the air. One of David’s men saw what had happened and told Joab, “I saw Absalom dangling from a great tree.” (2 Samuel 18:9-10, NLT)

“What?” Joab demanded. “You saw him there and didn’t kill him? I would have rewarded you with ten pieces of silver and a hero’s belt!” (2 Samuel 18:11, NLT)

“I would not kill the king’s son for even a thousand pieces of silver,” the man replied to Joab. “We all heard the king say to you and Abishai and Ittai, ‘For my sake, please spare young Absalom.’ And if I had betrayed the king by killing his son—and the king would certainly find out who did it—you yourself would be the first to abandon me.” (2 Samuel 18:12-13, NLT)

“Enough of this nonsense,” Joab said. Then he took three daggers and plunged them into Absalom’s heart as he dangled, still alive, in the great tree. Ten of Joab’s young armor bearers then surrounded Absalom and killed him. (2 Samuel 18:14-15, NLT)

This is great news, right? Not to David.

Then the man from Ethiopia arrived and said, “I have good news for my lord the king. Today the LORD has rescued you from all those who rebelled against you.” (2 Samuel 18:31, NLT)

“What about young Absalom?” the king demanded. “Is he all right?” 

And the Ethiopian replied, “May all of your enemies, my lord the king, both now and in the future, share the fate of that young man!” (2 Samuel 18:32, NLT)

The king was overcome with emotion. He went up to the room over the gateway and burst into tears. And as he went, he cried, “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you! O Absalom, my son, my son.” (2 Samuel 18:33, NLT)

So What?

I’ve heard stories of some dysfunctional families, but David’s is one of the most bizarre. Incest, rape, murder, adultery…yet the patriarch, David, is called a man after God’s own heart.

After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ (Acts 13:22)

But what does this have to do with us thousands of years later?

1. David’s passion is endless. Sure, it is misdirected when seeing Bathsheba bathe, but he has a deep love for God. Read the Psalms. He loves his family, even when they go off the deep end. When his son Absalom—who is trying to destroy David and his men—is killed, rather than rejoicing at the death of his enemy, he weeps at the loss of his son.

The king was overcome with emotion. He went up to the room over the gateway and burst into tears. And as he went, he cried, “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you! O Absalom, my son, my son.” (2 Samuel 18:33, NLT)

Parents love their kids, through thick and thin (even teenagers!!!). It’s a special bond. They say love is blind, and while that usually refers to romance, it can sometimes apply to parenting. David loved his kids. Our heavenly Father loves HIs kids, too. Always.

2. One spouse is enough! I don’t want to make light of this, but so much of David’s chaos came from multiple wives bearing multiple children and a family tree that looked more like spaghetti than an oak. One man marrying one woman and creating children mirrors the Trinity of God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all One, doing life together, each serving a unique, complementary function.

3. Sin always has consequences, whether immediate or over time. We can only imagine David’s legacy had he (and Solomon) avoided sexual sins (there’s so much we don’t have time to cover here).

4. God’s grace (unmerited favor) is sufficient. Despite his flaws, God used David…and his family, both then and thousands of years later.

Always remember that Jesus Christ, a descendant of King David, was raised from the dead. This is the Good News I preach. (2 Timothy 2:8)

His amazing grace is available to you and me today.

  • You can listen to this message and others at the First Alliance Church podcast here.
  • King David, 22 December 2013

    Big Idea: The only greater king than David is Jesus. Will He be your King?

    Scripture Reading, 1 Samuel 16:4-13

    Introduction: Kings

    What do you think of when you hear the word King? We struggle in our culture to understand royalty. Most USAmericans probably think of celebrity when words like “prince” or “lady” or “royal family” are mentioned. In England, there is great wealth in Queen Elizabeth’s family, but limited power. Unless something unexpected takes place, we will soon see King Charles, King William, and King George.

    Imagine a land where one man ruled. He is sovereign and in complete control. He creates the law and is above it. He has unlimited riches…and power.

    Would you prefer to live under such a person or dwell in a democracy like our nation? Why? It depends upon who is on the throne. Today millions are oppressed by dictators in nations such as North Korea. They can submit or die.

    On this fourth Sunday of Advent, we are waiting for Jesus. For thousands of years, the world awaited the Messiah who arrived on the day we celebrate as Christmas. For the past two weeks we have examined agents of God that were forerunners of the Messiah. Each person radically changed history in anticipation of Emmanuel, God with us.

    From the beginning of time, God has wanted to pursue us and be our king. Some have called Adam the first king. He and Eve were given dominion over creation in the Garden of Eden. They failed, of course. Two weeks ago we talked about Adam, our first father. He co-created with God but also introduced sin to our world through the Fall. Jesus is called the second Adam because He reversed the curse of death through His own.

    Generations later, God makes a covenant with Abraham—our agent from last Sunday. Like Adam, Abraham was a deeply flawed man, yet God used him mightily. Out of Abraham the nation of Israel was born. God was their king, guiding Moses and the Israelites from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land. Despite God’s goodness and faithfulness, the people begged for a human king like the surrounding nations have, ultimately rejecting God as their LORD.

    Today we’re looking at our third and final biblical character, a king. The scripture read moments ago records the search for a new king. Saul is the first king of Israel, but God told the prophet Samuel to find his successor, a shepherd boy who is both an unlikely yet a perfect choice to become king. His name is…David.

    David was an agent of God. Few in human history have been more successful than the giant-killing shepherd boy who became the most famous king of Israel and, arguably, the most famous leader in human history other than Jesus. In fact, no person is mentioned more in the Bible besides Christ. To say that David was legendary is a great understatement.

    There are three things to know about David.

    First, he was immensely successful. Before thwarting Israelite slavery by killing Goliath, he had killed a lion and bear…without a gun (1 Samuel 17)! That was just the beginning. Women met King Saul, dancing and singing, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands. (1 Sam. 18:6-7)” He was a respected, powerful, magnificent ruler.

    The second thing to know about David is he was immensely sinful. Other than Adam and Eve’s infamous fruit snack, David’s lust, adultery, rape, and murder are the most notorious evil in the Bible. It has been said that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. David is Exhibit A.

    The third thing to know about David is he was a man after God’s own heart.

    After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ (Acts 13:22)

    He wrote most of the psalms, many filled with praise and others lament and question. He is my favorite Bible character other than Jesus. I love his passion, his honesty, and his musical skills. Many have wondered why a man with such a track record could be considered a man after God’s own heart. Psalm 51 reveals a broken, repentant man seeking reconciliation and restoration with the God he loves.

    Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
    according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
    Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.

    For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.
    Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
    so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.

    Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
    Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
    Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
    (Psalm 51:1-4; 10-12)

    David confessed his sins and repented. Despite his great power, he needed forgiveness. He needed a Savior. He needed a King.

    King Jesus

    For generations people waited for the true King. Not surprisingly, this Messiah was a descendent of King David. In fact, the very first words in the New Testament, Matthew 1:1, says

    This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:

    We won’t take the time to read the entire genealogy today, but verses 2 through 16 conclude with the record of

    …Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah. (Matthew 1:16b)

    Jesus was a descendent of King David, though He hardly looked like a king during His thirty three years on our planet. He was born in a barn in a small town called Bethlehem. We know almost nothing about his first thirty years of life. When He goes public, the carpenter’s son teaches, performs miracles, and enters Jerusalem, not on a horse, but a humble donkey. The most surprising moment came when this promised King freely surrendered Himself to executioners who crucified Him, dashing all hopes that this Man was the Messiah who would set the people free from Roman tyranny. Or so they thought.

    Although hijacked by Santa and shopping, this season celebrates a king,
    the King. He visited our planet once and will return soon to rule and reign over sin, death, and evil forever. Here’s a description of what is to come:

    I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

    (Rev. 19:11-16)

    So now we wait for the return of the King. In the very last chapter of the Bible, Revelation 22, we find these words…

    “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

    “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” (Revelation 22:12-13, 16)

    King Jesus is the root and the offspring of King David, the bright Morning Star. Jesus—the little baby we see in Nativity scenes—will rule and reign forever…with us, imparting to His followers His own glory and a share in His royal dominion. He is coming soon!

    But wait, He’s here. We can’t see Him, but some of the greatest things in the world cannot be seen, like the wind, love, joy, or peace. But He’s here. He sent the Holy Spirit to live on our planet. Where? Inside every believer.

    It’s easy to look back at the birthday of King Jesus.
    It’s easy to look forward to the return of King Jesus.

    We struggle with the in-between.

    God is called
    Emmanuel which means “God with us.” We’ve sung it. We know it. But King Jesus is here…now…in this room. Yes, His physical body left the planet, but He sent the Holy Spirit to live and rule and reign…in us!


    In three days we will celebrate the birthday of a King. Will it be just another holiday, a day off work and reason to throw a party, or will it be a time to truly remember the King who became one of us…and who will return soon to rule and reign forever?

    This Christmas as we celebrate the birth of a King, I encourage you to do two things:

    1. Welcome Jesus into your life, your heart, your home. He is alive and wants nothing more than you—all of you. Kings do not have part-time subjects. Many love Jesus as Savior, but refuse to recognize Him as LORD. He gave everything for you when He died on the cross. He loves you so much, regardless of your past. Jesus is a King who willingly died for His subjects, asks everything in return, but then exchanges our broken, messed-up lives for abundant life filled with hope, joy, peace, purpose, and love. It’s the greatest gift ever!

    2. Prepare for the return of the King. He will return on a white horse, not a donkey. He will rule the world with truth and grace. Forever. Are you ready?

    Joy To The World

    You can listen to this message and others at the Scio podcast here. You can also subscribe to our podcast here.

    Know Yourself That You May Know God, 8 January 2012


    “Emotional health and contemplative spirituality, when interwoven together, offer nothing short of a spiritual revolution, transforming the hidden places deep beneath the surface of our lives,” says author and pastor Pete Scazzero in his book
    Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. This series is based upon the biblical themes of Scazzeros’ book in an effort to help us better understand ourselves in order to better love God and others.

    The Big Idea

    The first pathway to emotionally healthy spirituality is to know yourself.

    Top Ten Symptoms of Emotionally Unhealthy Spirituality

    1. Using God to run from God
    2. Ignoring the emotions of anger, sadness and fear
    3. Dying to the wrong things
    4. Denying the past’s impact on the present
    5. Dividing life into “secular” and “sacred” compartments
    6. Doing for God instead of being with God
    7. Spiritualizing away conflict
    8. Covering over brokenness, weakness and failure
    9. Living without limits
    10. Judging the spiritual journeys of others

    Know Yourself That You May Know God

    How can you draw close to God when you are far from your own self?

    Augustine in Confessions, AD 500

    Our wisdom…consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves. But as these are connected together by many ties, it is not easy to determine which of the two precedes and gives birth to the other.

    John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, AD 1530

    Who Are You?

    From the beginning of sin in the Garden of Eden, we have been hiding ourselves from God and others.

    When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Genesis 3:6-7

    Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8

    We live our lives filled with guilt and shame so we put on masks.

    Here are some symptoms that you are hiding your true self:

    1. I say “yes” when I really mean “no.”
    2. I get depressed when people are upset with me.
    3. I have a need to be approved by others to feel good about myself.
    4. I act nice on the outside, but inside “I can’t stand you!”
    5. I often remain silent in order to “keep the peace”.
    6. I believe that if I make mistakes, I myself am a failure.
    7. I avoid looking weak or foolish for not having the answer.
    8. I criticize others in order to feel better about myself.
    9. I have to be doing something exceptional to feel alive.
    10. I have to be needed to feel alive.
    11. I am fearful and can’t take risks.
    12. I do what others want so they don’t get mad at me
    13. I use knowledge and competence to cover my feelings of inadequacy.
    14. I want my children to behave well so others will think I am a good parent.
    15. I compare myself a lot to other people.

    1 Samuel 17:26-40 David

    Goliath mocks God and defies the armies of Israel.

    A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him. 1Samuel 17:4-7

    King Saul and the Israelites are afraid.

    On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified. 1Samuel 17:11

    Eighty times Goliath taunts them.

    For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand. 1Samuel 17:16

    Nobody can even imagine facing this giant.

    When the Israelites saw the man, they all ran from him in great fear.
    1Samuel 17:24

    David knows himself, but He also knows God.

    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?” 1Samuel 17:26

    They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.” 1Samuel 17:27

    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 desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” 1Samuel 17:28

    How’s that for a confidence boost? Even the best of families are messed up.

    “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him. 1Samuel 17:29-31

    David stands up to his family (28-31).

    David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” 1Samuel 17:32

    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.” 1Samuel 17:33

    David stands up to significant others with authority and experience (32-33).

    King Saul and the people of Israel said they believed in God, but their acted like atheists. How often do we lack faith and act as if God does not exist?

    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, 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. 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.
    1Samuel 17:34-36

    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.”
    1Samuel 17:37

    Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 1Samuel 17:38

    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. 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.
    1Samuel 17:39-40

    David knows himself. He is an expert on himself and is able to discern wise counsel from unwise counsel.

    Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22

    We must seek counsel, but it is not always good for us.

    Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome, and he despised him. He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!” 1Samuel 17:41-44

    David stands up to Goliath (vv.41-44)

    Again, David knows himself and God.

    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. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 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.” 1Samuel 17:45-47

    As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 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. 1Samuel 17:48-49

    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. 1Samuel 17:50

    David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the scabbard. 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.
    1Samuel 17:51

    David didn’t face Goliath to look good, please people, or make a name for himself. He did not have the strength to defeat Goliath, but he had God and a slingshot. He did not lack common sense, but was aware of his God-given abilities with a slingshot and his God. He is afraid of nothing.

    You and I have God-given abilities and tools if we will use them to glorify Him.

    Do you know your strengths? Weaknesses? Spiritual gifts? Pathways to God? Personality? There are tools (see below) that can assist you in discovering how God uniquely wired you up.

    We hurt ourselves and others when we are not true to ourselves.

    The ultimate question once we know who we are goes back to last week. Do you seek to bring glory to God or yourself.

    Four practical principles to begin making the radical transition to living faithful to our true self in Christ.

    1. Pay Attention to Your Interior in silence and solitude
    2. Find trusted companions
    3. Move out of your comfort zone
    4. Pray for courage

    The people of Israel knew God intellectually, but not experientially.

    David points to Jesus. They are both saviors and conquerors opposed to Satan.

    He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Psalms 23:3

    Reflection Questions

    What does this text tell us about God?

    What does this text tell us about ourselves?

    What giants are drawn up against you in battle? How are they taunting you? Is your attitude toward them more like Saul’s or David’s? How does that attitude need to change?

    What larger missionary purpose might be accomplished for God if you would turn that battle over to the LORD?

    What’s holding you back from tackling the bull by the horns (or the Goliath by a slingshot)? What do you fear might happen if you turned and faced the enemy who taunts you and defies God? What’s the “worst case scenario”? Having imagined that, now re-write the end result with God on your side.

    What Goliaths are there in society, defying God and Christians? How can you, small and unarmed, work to bring them down? What can your Journey Group do?

    How important is the approval of people versus the depth of your soul?

    Questions for Reflection

    What are you angry about?
    What are you sad about?
    What are you afraid of?
    What are you enjoying?
    What brings you shame?
    What do you dream about?
    What do you sing about?
    What do you cry about?
    What are you beginning to realize/learn about yourself?

    Recommended Resources

    Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero

    Free Spiritual Pathway Discovery Tool

    Free Spiritual Gifts Discovery Tool

    Strengths Finder

    You can listen to the podcast here.


    Series outline and ideas from
    Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero

    Some study questions from Lyman Coleman (
    The Serendipity Bible and The Serendipity Student Bible). Used with permission from the author.

    Other study questions from
    Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Workbook by Peter Scazzero (Center for Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, 2007).