Saturday, May 27, 2017

Armor Bearer

Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the Lord tormented him. And Saul's servants said to him, “Behold now, a harmful spirit from God is tormenting you. 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.” So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me.” 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.” Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.” 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. And David came to Saul and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer. And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.” 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. (1 Samuel 16:14-23)

1. As with Saul, we choose sin.  We are slaves to sin, and God gives us up to our sin.  His spirit departs from us.

2. God is also sovereign, and all lies beneath his providence.  He uses sin sinlessly.  He is good and good only, but as evil and sin have been brought into the world, he uses this evil and sin to his purposes.  He sometimes allows evil to flourish, because he can see the big picture.  Remember, all is for his own glory, and if evil can be used to bring more people into his kingdom, then he will allow evil.  If the use of sin will bring another soul into his eternal presence, then so be it.  He is not responsible for evil but only good.  He can bring about good from evil.

3. God did not make the harmful spirit harmful, but he allowed the harmful spirit to torment Saul.  He withholds his grace in order to let wickedness increase.  Just so, God did not create sin, but he allows sin to torment us.  He withholds his grace in order to let sin increase.  In this way, God can display his glory by rescuing us from sin.

4. The servants are like the prophets, seeking out the one with the lyre who can rescue us from evil.  The servants find David.  The prophets "find" Christ.  David is Christ, from Bethlehem, and he is all the things to Saul that he is to us, when we are battling sin.  He 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.  He is our good shepherd.  We know later on that David has struck down both lions and bears.  Contrary, as the good shepherd, Christ lay down his life for his sheep.

5. Jesse, the Father, brought along with David bread and wine and a young goat.  To break this down: the body, the blood, and the sacrifice of Christ.

6. David became Saul's armor bearer.  Indeed, Paul instructs us in Ephesians 6:11 to put on the full armor of God, which is Christ, so that we would be able to stand against the schemes of the devil, the evil spirit that torments us, that God allows to harangue us, so that we may hide ourselves in Christ for protection, hide under his wing as he battles for us.

7.  Whenever the harmful spirit tries to take hold, only those in Christ can resist.  Just as David's playing of the lyre would drive the spirit away from Saul, so Christ's music, the song that he created for us, drives sin away from us.  We still sin, but whenever we do, we are to seek Jesus and his righteousness.  He lay down his life for us sinners, so that we could die with him and rise again and lead a new life.

Again, the Life of David perfectly forms an image of Christ for us.

Saturday, May 13, 2017


When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord's anointed is before him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah. (1 Samuel 16:6-13)

1. Samuel is standing in for us.  The brothers are the various idols we have from which to choose.  We are tempted to follow false idols, because they look to be the strongest and greatest.  They will make our lives better.  So, our sin compels us to choose the idols that will send us to hell quicker.

“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:14-15)

2. But serving Christ will not make your life better.  You will find joy in suffering, but you will still suffer.  Jesus Christ is not ever our first choice, or even our last choice, but he is God's choice for us.

His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
    nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
    in those who hope in his steadfast love. (Psalm 147:10-11)

God wants faith alone (fear and hope in his steadfast love).  Do you have faith in Christ? That is what God wants from you. Even Christ's followers wanted him to overthrow the Roman government, not be killed on the cross.  It takes great faith to look at what Christ did and believe that to be the best way to conquer.

3. David is not even included with the brothers.  He is off tending the sheep.  Likewise, in our sin, we do not even consider Christ to be an option for us.  The world hates him, and we don't want the world to hate us, so we reject him, too.  This is important: God chooses him for us.  We reject him as an option, but Jesus Christ turns out to be the only option for us.

The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone. (Psalm 118:22)

The cornerstone is the most important stone, the foundation stone; it holds up the whole structure.

He was despised and rejected by men,
    a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53:3)

Peter explains how crucial Christ is in Acts 4:

On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:5-12)

We must remember:

a) Only by the name of Jesus are we healed.

b) We reject this name.

c) We not only reject him, but we crucified him, too.

d) He is the cornerstone of our lives, when the Lord makes him so.

d) Only by the name of Jesus are we saved.

God chooses David.  Samuel anoints David.  Christ is the anointed one, the messiah.  Put your faith in him only.  Fear God and keep his commandments.  By the name of Jesus only are you saved.

Saturday, May 6, 2017


The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. And you shall anoint for me him whom I declare to you.” Samuel did what the Lord commanded and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, “Do you come peaceably?” And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. (1 Samuel 16:1-5)

1. Saul stands in for the old Adam, our sinful flesh.  We want our old self to reign over us, like a king, but God has rejected the old Adam.  He has replaced him with the new Adam, Jesus Christ.

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:12-14)

2. We are to go to Bethlehem to find our new Adam.  God has provided us with a new king, a king of righteousness, there.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2)

3. Our sin, our old Adam, will attempt with all its might to keep us from turning to and serving the new Adam.  Our flesh will war against our spirit.  The evil in us will attempt to destroy the good that Christ is working there.

Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. (Matthew 2:16)

4. To crucify the flesh and turn from our sins toward the one who saved us is to be imitators of God, as beloved children.  We walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1-2)

The whole Bible, old and new testaments, screams at us, "be reconciled to God."  Reject Saul, the old Adam, the flesh.  Travel to Bethlehem, find the new Adam, Christ.  Resist temptation.  Be obedient.  Offer up yourselves as a living sacrifice to the God who made you.  The Father draws us to Bethlehem.  The Son meets us.  The Spirit breaks us.  Repent.  Be forgiven.