Samuel

People Who Shaped David:  Samuel

 (1 Samuel 16:1-13)

 

1.   Peanuts cartoon...often ill-tempered Lucy and affable Charlie Brown in deep conversation...talking about what wanted be when grow up...Lucy, who is notorious for being bossy and not being able get along with people says, “I think I want to be a doctor.”... Charlie Brown says, “You can’t be a doctor.  Doctors are supposed to love humanity.”...after giving it some thought Lucy replies, “I do love humanity.  It’s people I can’t stand!”

2.   Suppose from time to time all of us feel that way...we just get enough of people...just need to get away from them...even Jesus on occasion withdrew from the crowds and His disciples to spend time alone with God...but truth is, can’t live our lives in isolation from people...we need people and people need us...to a large degree we are who we are because of the influence other people have had and continue to have on our lives...

3.   As we continue our study of some of the key characters in the Bible, in this session we are going to begin focusing on David…he is, without doubt, one of the most influential and interesting people in the Bible --David...

--David is mentioned by name more than 1000 times on the pages of God’s Word...that is three times more than Abraham’s name is mentioned and even more than Moses...and what may surprise you is that David’s name appears on the pages of Scripture more than the name of Jesus, even though the whole message of Scripture points to Him...

--David is well-known among religious and non-religious people alike...Hollywood has made movies about him...artists have sculpted him...parents have named their sons after him... almost everyone knows something about David’s life...

--One of the interesting things about David is that his life is full of paradoxes:

·         He was called described in Scripture as “a man after God’s own heart” (cf. Acts 13:22 and yet he not only took another man’s wife (Bathsheba) but he also took another man’s life (Uriah)

·         He was tremendously successful as the leader of a nation and a colossal failure as a leader of his family

·         He was a fearless warrior who stood his ground against a giant and the mighty Philistines, yet he fled in fear from Saul.

4.   The story of David’s life is found basically in the books of 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, and 1 Chronicle...and one of the things I noticed about David is how his life was shaped by other people...he was shaped by people who believed...misunderstood...challenged... loved...disappointed...warned...confronted...served...needed...and followed him...there is no way to tell the story of David’s life without looking at the lives of those who shaped him…

5.   The first person to shape David’s life, outside his immediate family, was Samuel…Samuel’s story is told in the book of 1 Samuel…the highlights include:

·         1 Samuel 1-2 tells of his unusual birth to Hannah and Elkanah and of his dedication as a young boy to serve in the temple at Shiloh with Eli…the name Hannah gave her son “heard of God”or “God has heard” (shama – heard and el – God)…

·         1 Samuel 3 tells of his calling to be a prophet…three times the Lord called to Samuel in the night and Samuel thought it was Eli…Eli told him when the Lord called again to say, “Speak, Lord, for Thy servant is listening.”…the last part of 1 Samuel 3 says all of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord…

·         Samuel ministered during the period of the judges over Israel, but the people longed for a king as other nations had…Samuel warned them of the danger of having a king, but the people insisted and the Lord told Samuel to appoint a king over Israel…after a nationwide search, in 1 Samuel 10 Samuel anointed Saul as the first king of Israel…

·         Saul, on whom we will focus next week, did not live up to his potential and was rejected by God…the Lord instructed Samuel to anoint another king of Israel as Saul’s successor…that’s where Samuel’s and David’s paths crossed…the story is told in 1 Samuel 16:1-13…

 

T.S. – In Stephen Ambrose’s excellent book on D-Day he tells on an interesting thing that happened on he eve of the Normandy landings…late in the evening of June 5, 1944, as paratroopers preparing board planes to be dropped behind enemy lines, General Eisenhower showed up to encouraged them...he walked among the troops, many of whom would die that night, expressing his confidence in them...men who saw/heard him said would never forget his words of encouragement to them...

 

And I suspect that’s how David felt about this action of Samuel toward him...probably all of his life David looked back on this moment when the great prophet said, “You are chosen by God to be king of Israel.”

 

Nothing more encouraging to person than have someone say, “I believe in you...have confidence in you...know you can do it...”...and from Samuel’s example in relation to David, want to share with you some principles which will help us be encouragers of the people around us...

 

I.    Principle 1:  To be an encourager of others we must not let bad experiences with some people sour us on all people

1.   Notice question v.1 – “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel?”...Saul had been great disappointment to Samuel...old man when anointed Saul king...had high hopes for the brilliant and handsome young man...Samuel hoping for Saul take his place, not as merely political/military leader of Israel, but as spiritual leader of Israel...but didn’t happen that way...Saul deliberately walked outside God’s will...brought upon himself, his children, and his nation serious consequences...

2.   That brought great grief to Samuel and to the Lord...last verse of previous chapter says, “And Samuel did not see Saul again until his death; for Samuel grieved over Saul.  And the Lord regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel.” [15:35]... and apparently this grief made Samuel reluctant to entrust to anyone else the mantel of leadership...and the Lord tells him, “Quit grieving over Saul...get yourself together for I have another leader for you to anoint.”

 

  1. Lesson in that for us...few people make it through life without being deeply disappointed and hurt by some other person...may be—

--parent who didn’t give attention/direction needed...

--spouse who is abusive emotionally or physically...

--friend, co-worker who takes advantage/uses/lies...

--some stranger who is rude/insensitive...

2.   If not careful can allow the hurt caused by some person in past to make us suspicious/untrusting of all people...I’ve know people who wake up everyday mad at world because of something some person did to them long ago...can easily transfer to those around us in the present our anger/hurt/disappoint which is really aimed at some other person and situation from the past...

3.   We must be careful not to allow our disappointment with some people make us untrusting/suspicious of all people...for doing so will cause us miss opportunity of offering encouragement to those around us who need encouraging...if Samuel would have kept his focus on his disappointment over Saul, would never gotten to point anointing David as future king...

 

II.  Principle 2:  To be an encourager of others we must learn to see people as God sees them

  1. When Eliab, the first son of Jesse, was brought before Samuel, Samuel was impressed with what he saw...Samuel’s first thought, based on outward observation, was “This must be the one!”...but look at what God said to Samuel in v.7 – “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
  2. We must never forget that God has unique way of looking at people...He sees things we cannot see...while we tend to focus on the outward and the obvious, God focuses on the inward and the not so obvious...while invariably see what a person is and has been, God sees what a person can become...
  3. Robert Kennedy is given credit for saying, “Some people see things as they are and ask ‘Why?’  I see things as they could be and ask “Why not?’”...when it comes to people, we must learn to view them, not so much as they are, but as they could be... that’s what Jesus did...He looked at—

--man like Simon Peter and saw much more than what others saw...instead of hot-headed, impetuous, impatience, rough fisherman, he saw a potential leader of his band of disciples and the early church...

--man like Saul and saw much more than angry, legalistic Pharisee...saw the church’s first great missionary/ theologian..

--woman like Mary Magdalene and saw much more than soiled person with questionable reputation...saw devoted follower who would be first to get news of His resurrection...

--the brothers James and John and saw much more than just the sons of thunder, as they were nicknamed...in James saw first of the 12 disciples to be killed for his faith...in John saw man with sensitive spirit who would write about 1/5 of NT...

4.   To encourage others we must learn to view them in terms of their potential...not just what they are, but what they can be...

 

III. Principle 3:  To be an encourager of others we must learn to be sensitive to God’s Spirit as He leads us in relating to them

  1. Want you get in your mind scene being described in this chapter...apparently Jesse knew that Samuel was looking to anoint a future king for Israel...so he began to pass his sons one at a time before the great prophet...first came Eliab, the one Jesse apparently thought had best chance of being anointed... Samuel said not the one...then came Abinadab...then came Shammah...then came four others who are not named here... each time the response was same...he is not the one...when asked if any others, Jesse says as almost after thought, “Well there is the youngest...but he is tending sheep.”...and Samuel sent for him and of course he was the one...
  2. What want you see in that is the contrast between Samuel’s sensitivity to Lord’s leadership in relation to David and Jesse’s insensitivity...how encouraging must have been to David, who was overlooked by his own father, to be summoned by the great prophet...
  3. One thing can learn from that is importance of being sensitive to God’s leading us in dealing with the people around us...

One man who was ousted from his profession for an indiscretion took work as a brick carrier simply to put bread on the table. He was suddenly plunged into a drastically different world; instead of going to an office each day, he was hauling loads of concrete block up to the fifth level of a construction site. Gone was the piped-in music in the corridors; now he had to endure blaring [boom boxes]. Any girl who walked by was subject to rude remarks and whistles. Profanity shot through the air, especially from the foreman, whose primary tactics were whining and intimidation; "For---sake, you---, can't you do anything right? I never worked with such a bunch of --- in all my life..." 

Near the end of the third week, the new employee felt he could take no more. "I'll work till break time this morning," he told himself, "and then that's it. I'm going home." He'd already been the butt of more than one joke when his lack of experience caused him to do something foolish. The stories were retold constantly thereafter. "I just can't handle any more of this." A while later, he decided to finish out the morning and then leave at lunchtime. 

Shortly before noon, the foreman came around with paychecks. As he handed the man his envelope, he made his first civil comment to him in three weeks. "Hey, there's a woman working in the front office who knows you. Says she takes care of your kids sometimes." "Who?" He named the woman, who sometimes helped in the nursery of the church where the man and his family worshiped. The foreman then went on with his rounds. When the brick carrier opened his envelope, he found, along with his check, a handwritten note from the payroll clerk: "When one part of the body of Christ suffers, we all suffer with it. Just wanted you to know that I'm praying for you these days." He stared at the note, astonished at God's timing. He hadn't even known the woman worked for this company. Here at his lowest hour, she had given him the courage to go on, to push another wheelbarrow of mortar up that ramp. 

Dean Merrill, Another Chance, Zondervan, 1981, p. 138.

Conclusion

1.   All around us are people who are burdened, weighed down with cares, and need to be encouraged...may we relate to them as Samuel related to David...

--not allowing previous disappointments with some people to sour us on all people...

--seeing them as God sees the...

--being sensitive to God’s leadership in our lives in how we relate to them...

That’s how to be an encourager of others...

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