2 Samuel 5: David the King: “First Steps”

 David the King: “First Steps”

You’ve waited – it seems like forever – to get what was coming to you. You worked hard, fought hard, and finally got the position. Now what? How do you set patterns in your life that will bring fulfillment, honor God and help you to be everything you dreamed you could be? David’s example will help us nail down the first steps.

Benjamin Disraeli: The great secret of success in life is for a man to be ready when his opportunity comes.

Key Principle: Getting the job is one thing. Doing it well and attaining what God intends is another!

  1. Learn to wait and let others reward you with what God has promised, don’t take it by force or struggle (5:1a “all the tribes came”).

Thomas Kelly, “People nowadays take time far more seriously than eternity”

“Now notice that this waiting isn’t procrastination. We don’t get a picture here of someone who just can’t make the decision to go for it. In fact just the opposite. He’s quite decisive when it comes to the question of what to do with the earlier two assassins of Ish-Bosheth. Nor is he sitting around doing nothing. He continues to consolidate his position as king in Hebron to the point where the Philistines are so concerned about him becoming king over the whole country. But he is willing to wait for the people of the northern tribes to make up their mind. Eugene Petersen describes his waiting as poised submissiveness. It’s a not-doing that leaves adequate space and time for God to initiate actions through others.”

Ortberg’s book, “Not long after moving to Chicago, I called a wise friend to ask for some spiritual direction. I described the pace at which things tend to move in my current setting. I told him about the rhythms of our family life and about the present condition of my heart, as best I could discern it. What did I need to do, I asked him to be spiritually healthy? Long pause. ‘You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.’ He said at last, Another long pause. ‘Okay I have written that down,’ I told him, a little impatiently. ’That’s a good one. Now what else is there?’ I had many things to do, and this was a long distance conversation, so I was anxious to cram as many units of spiritual wisdom into the least amount of time possible. Another long pause. ’There is nothing else,’ he said’ (p. 81).

Sometimes people don’t wait on God. They want to marry someone and they think it’s obvious that this person is God’s will. Maybe they want to make a purchase or enter into a business agreement or make a major change and everything seems obvious to them. But, it may not look that way 6 months from now. We make mistakes when we rush into something without waiting on God first.

An old sailor got lost at sea, so his friends gave him a compass and urged him to use it. The next time he went out in his boat, he followed the advice and took the compass with him. But as usual he became hopelessly confused and was unable to find land. Finally he was rescued by his friends. Disgusted and impatient with him, they asked, “Why didn’t you use that compass we gave you? You could have saved us a lot of trouble!” The sailor responded, “I didn’t dare to! I wanted to go north, but as hard as I tried to make the needle aim in that direction, it just kept on pointing southeast.” That old sailor was so certain he knew which way was north that he stubbornly tried to force his own personal persuasion on reality – his compass. Unable to do so, he tossed it aside as worthless and failed to benefit from the guidance it offered.”

  1. Stand upon your reputation as “one of them” and remember that is how they came to believe you are the one they should choose for this task (5:1b “bone and flesh”).

  1. While you let them acknowledge your time of faithful service, remember that must continue to keep the trust you have earned (5:2a “you were the one who led Israel”).

While they were telling him what he haddone, it would be easy to think David got puffed up. Nothing is farther from the truth! Andrew Murray said, “We can never have more faith than we have humility.” He continues, “As long as we take glory from another, we do not seek and cannot receive the glory that comes from God.”

Murray states, “We need only think for a moment what faith is. Is not the confession of nothingness and helplessness, the surrender and the waiting to let God work? Is it not in itself the most humbling thing there can be-the acceptance of our place as dependents, who can claim or get or do nothing but what grace bestows? Humility is simply the disposition which prepares the soul for living on trust. And every, even the most secret, breathing of pride-in self seeking, self-will, self confidence, or self-exultation-is just the strengthening of that self which cannot enter the kingdom or possess the things of the kingdom, because it refuses to allow God to be what He is and must be-the all in all” (46).

Humility releases more of the Spirit of God because it gets the “self” out of the way..
Sittser notes, “If God is not in control, then we should abandon faith and find our own way through the hard times of life”(38).

  1. When others see that you have been marked by God to do this work, celebrate that and don’t deny it (5:2b “you will shepherd”).

  1. Be accountable before the Lord and people to live up to the task you are being given (5:3 “before the Lord”).

  1. Note the tangible blessing of God and celebrate it daily (5:4-5 “thirty-three years; 2 for every year of prep!).

  1. Take on the new assignment and its problems head on (5:6-7).

Vince Lombardi :”The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”

  1. Reward those who work hard, just as God has rewarded you! (5:8; cp. 1 Chron. 11:6).

  1. Build up systems that will make the work successful (5:9 and 13).

Though it was smart to have some alliances, when they got to be too many, it would become a problem. Remember Deut 17:17: “[The king] must not acquire many wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; also silver and gold he must not acquire in great quantity for himself.” But David ignored this instruction and the result was that he had many children – who later caused problems for him! But that’s for another day.

  1. Constantly keep in mind how you got where you are – GOD! (5:10 and 12).

It is NOT the man with a motive that wins, but the man with a purpose!

  1. Stay close to God and talk with Him often about how to do what He has given you to do (5:17-21).

Erwin W. Lutzer : Many who are climbing the ladder of success have their ladders leaning against the wrong walls.

  1. Timing is terribly important! (5:22-25). Do what you should do, when you should do it. Remember, Saul’s big downfall was to “jump the gun”. Laziness and impatience are BOTH from an untrusting heart that God will fulfill those who do what He says!

Getting the job is one thing. Doing it well and attaining what God intends is another!

2 Samuel 1:1-3:5 “Lessons from the Bench” (Part One)

 “Lessons from the Bench” (Part One)


Introduction: Though David was probably a very young man (a teen) when he was anointed king of Israel and told he would gain the crown, he did not actually receive that crown until age forty in 2 Samuel 5. On his best day he believed it was coming. During dark days he openly admitted that he lost hope. The first five chapters of this book find David learning the final lessons before God crowns him. The time between the promise of a great career and the first opportunity to live it – that is “BENCH TIME’.

By college, Michelle Akers had become an All-American soccer star, earning ESPN’s woman athlete of the year in 1985 – the same year the United States formed its first women’s national team, with Michelle a starter. In 1991 the U.S. team won the first-ever Women’s World Cup and Michelle scored 10 goals in five games, including the championship’s winner. She signed an endorsement deal and became the first woman soccer player to have a paid sponsor. She played professionally in Sweden. Michelle’s drive and tenacity were beginning to pay off. She even tried out as the place kicker for the Dallas Cowboys: her longest attempt reached 52 yards.

But just as her star was rising, Michelle’s health was declining. By 1993, the woman who used grit and determination to make life happen found her life unmanageable.
“Each day I felt like I had flown to Europe with no food or sleep, then flown right back and trained for hours,” Michelle says.She suffered from Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dystfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), a debilitating disease affecting more than a million adult Americans. “When it was really bad, I couldn’t sit up in a chair. The racking migraines stranded me at home, unable even to get up to brush my teeth or eat.”

For the first time, Michelle could no longer count on her old friends – strength and hard work. She had to find a new way to cope.”I couldn’t bear not to be the best in the world, not to be the one who could bounce back from an injury,” she says. “it was the only me I knew.” When her marriage of four years broke up in 1994, Michelle had reached the end of herself.
“I was so sick I couldn’t take a five-minute walk without needing two days on the couch to recover. I was forced to spend a lot of time thinking about who I was. I didn’t like what I saw.”

Michelle had put her trust in Christ as a high-school student, but ignored God in college and after graduation. Now sick and alone, Michelle, reluctantly accepted an invitation from a strength coach to attend his church, Northland Community Church in Longwood, Florida. Although she couldn’t atrticulate it at the time, in retrospect Michelle says she knew she “needed to get things right with God. Looking back,” she explains, “I think God was gently, patiently tapping me on the shoulder and calling my name for years. But I continously brushed him off, saying, ’Hey, I know what I am doing. I can make these decisions. Leave me alone.’ Then I think He finally said, ’Okay,’ crossed His arms and looked at me sadly – because He knew I was going to make a lot of mistakes by ignoring Him. He knew I would be hurting in the future. It took devastation before I would acquiesce and say, ’Okay, God. You can have my life. Please help me.’” (Christian Reader, March/April 2000)

Key Principle: Even when God has a great plan for you, you may not experience it until God has fully prepared you for it. Time for training and patience are essential to becoming what God desires you to be!

There are seven lessons we will observe in today’s lesson:

  1. Learn to deal with obedience to God’s commands (2 Samuel 1:1-12). This lesson was an observed lesson from Saul’s life. During the bench time, keep your eyes open and your heart keen to observe the people around you. What really brings happiness and holiness? Imitate that in your heart and life!

  1. Stick to your truth principles, even when abandoning truth for a season appears to be a great advantage (1:14). The people you must live with the rest of your life are you and the Lord, and you will both be disappointed if you compromise now!

In the first season of the popular TV show “24,” Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) was a federal agent charged with protecting a presidential candidate from an assassination plot. He was given that responsibility because in the uncertain world of espionage he possessed that rare character trait of integrity. In the show’s first episode, Jack’s integrity was already put to the test. Because he turned in other federal agents for bribery, some of his own comrades turned against him. In particular, Jack’s immediate boss came down hard on him and tried to persuade Jack not to be so honest in his job. Jack has an explosive confrontation with his boss and would not budge on this point. Just after the confrontation, Jack bristles with intensity as he explains his actions to his closest partner.

“You can look the other way once, and it’s no big deal, except it makes it easier for you to compromise the next time. And pretty soon, that’s all you’re doing—compromising—because that’s how you think things are done. You know those guys I blew the whistle on? You think they were the bad guys? They weren’t the bad guys. They were just like you and me, except they compromised once.”

  1. Take time to acknowledge the good of the past before you forge ahead into the future with others (1:17-27). You are not more permanent than those who you follow, and it is wise to see yourself as part of the chain of life in your family, organization and community.

Most of us are much better at excusing our sins and failures than we are at confessing them. We’re quick to point out other peoples’ mistakes, but we have a hard time admitting when we’ve blown it. Here are some actual excerpts from insurance companies where individuals who had accidents explained what went wrong:  Coming home, I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree that I don’t own. The other guy was all over the road and I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him. I had been driving my car for 40 years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident. The telephone pole approached my car at a rapid speed, as I swerved to get out of its way, it hit me. I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law, and drove over the embankment.

  1. Truly seek God’s direction for your next steps (2:1-4). Don’t just simply follow the circumstances and “lean into them” even if it looks like things are going the way you expected they would. Why should God hear any less from you when things are going as anticipated?

John Piper in “Let the Nations Be Glad” said, “Life is war. That’s not all it is. But it is always that. Our weakness in prayer is owing largely to our neglect of this truth. Prayer is primarily a wartime walkie-talkie for the mission of the church as it advances against the powers of darkness and unbelief. It is not surprising that prayer malfunctions when we try to make it a domestic intercom to call upstairs for more comforts in the den. God has given us prayer as a wartime walkie-talkie so that we can call headquarters for everything we need as the kingdom of Christ advances in the world. Prayer gives us the significance of front-line forces, and gives God the glory of a limitless Provider. The one who gives the power gets the glory. Thus prayer safeguards the supremacy of God in missions while linking us with endless grace for every need.”

  1. As God opens doors and leads you, use every opportunity to spread HOPE and encourage others, especially if things are changing uncomfortably around them (2:5-7).

In the book Stories for the Heart, Catherine Marshall tells this story. “There once was a king who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The king looked at all the pictures. But there were only two he really liked, and he had to choose between them. One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace. The other picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky, from which rain fell and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But when the king looked closely, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest – in perfect peace. Which picture do you think won the prize? The king chose the second picture. Do you know why? “Because,” explained the king, “peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace.”

  1. Don’t attempt to control loyalties of everyone around you, especially loyalty to you! (2:8-32). Do right before God and allow others to find you through that alone.

  1. Watch God bless, and count that blessing daily. You may be on the bench, but there is a lot that God can be doing in your life to improve the coming days of service. (3:1-5). You should keep your focus on what God can do in you to help you become what He created you to be, nothing more and nothing less!

Years ago, Orel Hershiser was pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers. They had just won the World Series. And Orel had been named the MVP. A clip during the series showed him in the dugout just before the 9th inning started. He was leaning against the wall. And his lips were moving.

When he was a guest on the Tonight Show, Johnny Carson asked him what he had been saying. “I wasn’t saying anything,” Orel responded. “Well, then, tell us what you were doing.” Finally Orel replied, “I was singing.” Johnny said, “You were singing? I didn’t know you were a singer. Come on, let’s here it!” And Orel said, “Nah. I don’t want to.” And the audience clapped and said, “Yeah! Let’s hear it! Wooooh!!!!” Finally, Orel Hershiser started to sing: “Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise him above Ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost! Amen!” And Johnny Carson was speechless. The whole audience was dead silent. Then one person stood up and started clapping. And soon, the whole audience joined in applause.

This was Orel’s way of saying, “Lord, the only reason I’m a Most Valuable Player is because you’re a Most Valuable God. You’re the one who gave me my ability. You’re the reason why my life has been so blessed. And I respect you. And I love you.