March 24, 2019: 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Philippians 2:5-11 “Capture the Heart for God”

Sermon Details
Date: Mar 25 2019
Speakers: Grace Howard
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It is very hard to grasp that God is a real person who likes and dislikes. We only think of God as the almighty Holy God in heaven who answers our prayers or judges us. In fact, do you know that God is the most sensitive person in the universe? God has a heart that there are certain things that please him and certain things that do not please him. Also, the Lord has voluntarily put himself into a position where you and I can either wound him or bring him pleasure. But many of us do not relate to God in this way. We don’t realize that God created us to be a partner with him in love. If we really want to walk with him in loving relationship, if we want him to trust us enough to share with us his heart, we need to learn from people who pleased him and captured his heart. Before I introduce them, let us pray.

Gracious Father, we thank you for your loving kindness in Jesus Christ. We also want to love you and please you. Please, help us to learn how to love you with all heart through the word of God that will be proclaimed now. Holy Spirit, come, inspire us, and transform our hearts to please our Father. In the name of Jesus, we pray.

Today we are looking at two people who captured God’s heart and pleased him, David and Jesus.   In Acts 13:22, Paul describes “David a man after God’s own heart; he will do everything God want him to do.”  In Mathew 3: 15, Matthew describes Jesus’ baptism, behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

Since David was the greatest king of Israel and the ancestor of the Messiah, it is not surprising that there should be some parallels between David and Jesus.  These parallels can help us, as we seek to live our lives for God in a fallen world.

The first parallel between David and Jesus is their humble beginnings.  David was the youngest son of Jesse. His grandmother was a Moabite, Ruth. His great-grandmother was Rahab the Canaanite harlot.  From a human point of view, Jesus shares David’s genealogy and was a humble carpenter’s son conceived out of wedlock.

Thus, it says in our New Testament reading from Philippians 2:6-7,

“Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.

So there’s hope for you and me, and our little congregation in Delaware City.  God delights in using the small and obscure to do great things for his kingdom.  That way, he gets the glory. Whenever you feel small, remember that God uses the humble.

A second parallel between David and Jesus is that they didn’t look very impressive.  Poor David didn’t get very much respect in the beginning. The prophet Samuel told Jesse to gather his sons and have them pass before him to find a new king.   Jesse didn’t even bother to call his son David, the runt of the family, until Samuel insisted.

In 1 Samuel 17:28, we hear his eldest brother Eliab’s opinion of David. Jesse sent David to the Israelite camp with supplies.  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 wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”

A little later in that chapter we hear Saul’s initial opinion of David. When David tells him that he will go and fight Goliath. Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are just a boy…”

Goliath had even less regard for David.  The scripture says that when he saw him, he disdained him. For he was only a youth, and said to him, ‘Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?’

Likewise, Jesus, during his earthly ministry, was not impressive in his earthly appearance. It was foretold of him in Isaiah 53:2:  “he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” In spite of the miracles he performed, the religious leaders of his day refused to recognize him as the LORD’s anointed Messiah. When he did not turn out to be the conquering King desired by the people, they too turned against him and screamed for his crucifixion.

Like the people of biblical times, we also tend to judge people by their appearance.  Aren’t we glad that God does not look on the outward appearance when choosing someone for service? I am so glad that God does not look on the outward appearance.   

In fact, according to 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, God prefers to confound the world by choosing those with little status and power to perform mighty works for his kingdom: “Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.  But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;  God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are,  so that no one might boast in the presence of God.  He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

The third parallel between David and Jesus is that they both have the title warrior and king. David became so successful in his military campaigns that poets were writing songs for him. We see in 1 Samuel 18:7 that the people were having their version of a parade and the women were singing, “Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”  In spite of his all his struggles, David was finally a victorious warrior and king.

The most common impression of Jesus is that of a loving, tender, compassionate Savior. These qualities must never be minimized. But there is another side to that “coin” – the one portrayed in Revelation 19 that of the righteous warrior.

Revelation 19:11-16 11 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. 12 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. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 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. 16 On his robe and on his thigh, he has this name written:
king of kings and lord of lords.

We are in difficult journey in fallen world, but we have the king of kings, Jesus, who protects us from all enemies. As David trusted in God, if we trust in God and Jesus, we will have victory in every aspect of our lives. I pray that you have courage and hope in Christ and win your enemies with the love of God.  

The fourth and probably the most important parallel between David and Jesus is that they both had a heart for God, and they captured the heart of God. David’s heart of love for God and his trust in the Lord is evident from his psalms, such as Psalm 18 which begins, “I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so I shall be saved from my enemies.”

David’s heart for God grew out of the faith he had been taught. His heart was fed by his rich devotional life and his experience of trusting the Lord when protecting his sheep. His heart led him to trust the Lord for victory in his battle with Goliath. In his later struggles on his journey, he trusted the Lord that lead him to become king of Israel and Judah.

Here is young David acting with his heart for God.  We hear David “boasting in the Lord” in his dialogue with Goliath before their battle.  When Goliath said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the field,” David replied, ‘You come to me with sword and spear and javelin; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This very day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down…so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not save by sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give you into our hand.”

David’s heart for God and his trust of the Lord won his battles. Also, the Lord allowed him to resist taking vengeance against King Saul, who was unjustly pursuing him, when he was twice given the opportunity to kill Saul. In 1 Samuel 26, Abishai said to David, “God has given your enemy into your hand today; now therefore let me pin him to the ground with one stroke of the spear.”   But David replied, “Do not destroy him; for who can raise his hand against the LORD’s anointed, and be guiltless? As the LORD lives, the LORD will strike him down; or his day will come to die; or he will go down into battle and perish. The LORD forbid that I should raise my hand against the LORD’s anointed.” David sought to be faithful to the LORD and awaited the LORD’s timing. In due time he was rewarded with the kingship, after Saul had been killed in battle.

Likewise, Jesus had a heart of devotion to God the Father. He was manifested in his life of prayer.  For example, we learn in Mark 1:34-35 that after a successful night of ministry in which he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons, Jesus got up early in the morning while it was still very dark, and went out to a deserted place to pray.

Jesus’ heart of devotion to God the Father led him to a life of obedience to his Father’s will. In John 5, he only said what he heard his Father saying and did what he saw his Father doing.  In his complete devotion to the Father, Jesus was willing to humble himself and become obedient to the point of death–even death on a cross, where he prayed for those who crucified him saying, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Both David and Jesus had humble beginnings.   Both David and Jesus were not much to look at.   Both David and Jesus were kings. And both David and Jesus had a heart for God.  But this is one striking way the David is not parallel to Jesus. As we will see at this Thursday’s Bible Study ‘The Story’ at 7PM, despite his heart for God, David was a sinner in need of salvation that could only come from God, whereas Jesus was without sin.  

David needed a new heart, which the Lord promised through the prophet Ezekiel would come through the Messiah. Ezekiel 11:19-20, 19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. 20 Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.

Indeed, Messiah Jesus said in John 7:37-39, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.'” ….he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive.”  That invitation is for anyone to come and receive a new heart through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ who gave his flesh and blood. Whoever receives his body and blood in faith will receive the living water and the bread of life so that they will never hungry and thirsty and live forever.

In an interview on, John Martinez tells his story.  The youngest of five children, he was hit hard by his parents’ divorce when he was 13.  His brothers and sisters were grown, and he felt lost. He longed for a place to belong. John found that place in the street gangs of Rio Alto, California.  The gang brought him acceptance, and because of his anger issues, he fit right in. By the age of 14, John had dropped out of school and was completely engulfed in the gang lifestyle.  


By the age of 30, John had been in and out of the county jail 20 times and had served 5 sentences in the state prison.   When in 2002 he was sent to Chicago State Prison, John began to think about God and was influenced by some of his friends back home who had become Christians.  He thought that if God could change them, maybe he could change him, and for the first time he began praying.

Upon his release from prison, John began to study the Bible and pray regularly.  His desires began to change and become godly. John never returned to gang life or his addictions.  Today he is married and has reunited with his family. He is the pastor of a church and runs a street ministry.  He says that God has not only delivered him but also has been his strength in the time of his storms.

His story is an example that no matter who we are, no matter what has happened to us or what we have done, God can deliver us and give us a new heart—a heart for God. That same new heart—a heart for God, can be ours for the asking.  Since none of us have the heart for God that God intends, let us ask him to renew our hearts today.

Let us pray….

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