Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 7 years ago

Victory For David (1 Chronicles 14:8-17)


Rev. Christopher Chelpka

If you are able, please remain standing and let's hear God's word now, from first chronicles, chapter fourteen. First chronicles fourteen, verses eight through seventeen. This is God's word. Let's give our attention to it. When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David, but David heard of it and went out against them. Now the Philistines had come and made a raid in the Valley of Rephaim, and David inquired of God. Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand? And Jehovah said to him go up and I will give them into your hand. And he went up to Bayll Pezzarim and David struck them down there, and David said God has broken through my enemies by my hand like a bursting flood. Therefore, the name of that place is called Bay all perizeem. And they left their gods there and David Command, gave command, and they were burned and the Philistines yet again made a raid in the valley. And when David inquired of God, God said to him you shall not go up after them, go around and come against them opposite the Balsam trees, and when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the Balsam trees, then go out to battle, for God has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines. And David did as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army from Gibbeon togetherer, and the fame of David went out into all lands and Jehovah brought the fear of him upon all nations. You may be seated. Ever since God began to form a people for himself, is people have faced enemies. Sometimes they were very close, like the serpent and the garden, or like Abel's brother came. Other Times the enemies of God's people were miles and miles away, like the Assyrians or the Babylonians, encroaching, getting closer and closer, and yet also distant in some ways. One of the most common enemies that God's people faced in the early days of the monarchy were the Philistines. We hear of them often in these this portion of scripture, particularly under Saul and under David. The Philistine people live along the coastal and southern border of Israel. They were made up of small communities and larger city states. You may have heard of some of them, like Gaff Ekron, Gaza Ashkelon. And one of the first encounters of the Philistines that we read in the Bible is when Samson was lured by Philistine women and his own lusts to go and unite with them. Eventually they get the better of him, but things will turn around and after much embarrassment and the even the cost of his own life, they are, I'm brought to some measure of destruction. God's people are saved. Other notable encounters at the Philistines include the capture of the ARC and, perhaps most famously of all, a boy's defeat of one of their mighty warriors, a great man named Goliath. Now, one day this boy named David would become king, the king that we read about... in first chronicles fourteen. But at that time, when he was a boy that is, he was not the one God's people were looking to for victory over God's enemies, over the Philistines in particular. They were hoping in a man named Saul saw, whom we've heard about already in first chronicles, back in First Chron mircles ten. When we revisit that chapter in light of what we have here, we find that the chronicler is setting up this great contrast before us, a story of two kings, a good one and a bad one. Saul was the bad one, the first King of Israel. Things seemed to start out somewhat well, at least in terms of how he looked. Things were well. He was regal, he was handsome. The Bible describes him as a head taller than all those around him. But when it came time for him to rule and defend God's people, he forgot the most important thing, God. God is the most important thing among God's people and indeed everywhere. To rule as king under God was to rule on God's behalf. which men Saul and all other kings like him were to follow his law, follow God's words, follow God's directions, and this makes sense. Of course. God loves us, He loves his people and he would never let someone rule over them in his place without having without being in control. We have absent fathers and absent rulers in our families and societies, but God has never an abso in God he never disappears for a while or checks out for a while or takes a vacation. He's always in charge, he's always ruling over his people because he loves them, and so the Kings who were under him were had this most important task. Those who ruled in his name were to seek him, to obey him. Well, this is the exact point at which Saul failed. Listen to the end of first chronicles ten, where this is summarized in verses thirteen and fourteen. So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with Jehovah in that he did not keep the command of Jehovah and also consulted a medium seeking guidance. He did not seek guidance from Jehovah. Therefore, Jehovah put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David, the son of Jesse. This is the reason behind the story that I'm going to remind you of in just a moment. In first chronicles ten, the chronicler puts this as an end, as it's an explanation of why things happened, of why Saul died of the way he did. I won't read all the verses which is versus one through ten, but just summarize it for you, in a very similar way, the Philistines come out against Israel, they fight against Israel and there is on this battle. But because, as we read in verses thirteen and fourteen, Saul did not seek the Lord, did not obey, the Lord did not find guidance from the Lord, he was overcome. The philistines overtook Saul and his sons. They eventually kill him and his sons. They even be head Saul and we read that his head and his armor are taken and presented to their idols,...

...into their gods, in their temples. We have this great tragedy. Really, this king is supposed to rule, he is supposed to seek God, seek his wisdom, follow his commands and in that God rides out through his king victoriously. But because, because Sault doesn't do these things, he's defeated, the people are defeated and these idols receive a certain measure of penultimate glory. God was not satisfied with this result, as we read. Therefore, he was put to death and turned the kingdom over. God turned the kingdom over to David. He would not let God would not let human failing and false idols and out over his people. God had another king in mind, and he had for some time, and it was then that he brought the boy that had killed Goliath, the Philistine giant, to the throne. Now this is where the contrast comes in. Is, I hope you've already noticed, David is very, very different from Saul. He was one who, since he was a boy, had sought after God, had obeyed God. The heart of Dave Fid can be heard throughout many of the songs that appear in the psalms. When we read those psalms, we find very quickly that David is not putting on a show. His obedience to the Lord is not a some kind of political maneuver to gain people through some kind of game, the commitment of people through some kind of religious fervor. Now, David really believes, he really seeks, he really trusts. When he's alone and on the run and in the desert, he cries out to his God. He seeks God as his shield, as his armor, as his hiding place, as his food. One example of this psalm sixty three. Oh God, you are my God. Earnestly I seek you. My Soul thirsts for you, my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. David describes his desire for the Lord, his God, as one who is dying of thirst and really hungry. He wants God that bad he seeks after that, after God that earnestly. This is his heart. The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want or Psalm Twenty one. Oh Jehovah, in your strength, the king rejoices, and in your salvation, how greatly he exults. This is David's heart. It's what gave him confidence when he went before Goliath. You remember how it goes. He goes into the army, among the armies of the Lord, and he says, who is this dog who is calling out against the Lord? And his armies and his brothers are saying, go, Oh, what are you doing here? You come to see a fight, and David persists. He Says No, the Lord can defeat him, and he does through David. So when it came time for David to be king, he acted in accord with what was in his heart. He sought God and he obeyed him, and that is what we have happening here on the ground on the battle ground of first chronicles fourteen. The PHILISTINES here about the new king and they want to establish themselves over Jehovah and his king. They want to make it known...

...that they are in control of this region, perhaps a press their boundaries a little further. And you know what David Does? Instead of running away from the Lord, instead of ignoring God, not seeking his guidance, the first thing that happens is he inquires of God. That's not a complicated question. Shall I go up against the Philistines, yes or no? Will you give them into my hand? What does God say to him? He says go up and I will give them into your hand. And What is David Do? He goes up, and what happens? God gives them into his hand. It's so simple, isn't it? It's so beautifully simple. It's so often that sin is what makes things complicated, messy and Yucky and ethically difficult. Of course that's not true all the time. The world is a complicated place, but so often, so often, the Lord is simply asking for obedience, and that's what David gives here. He seeks God, he obeys God, he trusts God, and God is king over the people and God has promised to David to be a to be his warrior, to be a defender of his people. David is not asking presumptuously, he's not seeking to know something that is beyond what God has promised. God has called his king to seek him and to gain instruction for him and from him, and that is what David does. He does it again, well again, and it's important too. Not only does the repetition help a affirm David's confidence in his actions. That's not a one time kind of thing, but in the differences as well. We see that God trusts or, sorry, David Trusts God. He doesn't simply assume that things because they were once one way, that they will be another. He inquires again of God. God says this is the way you shall do it. It'll shall be different, and it all works out again, and the result is amazing. The PHILISTINE army is routed and the fame of David goes out into all the lands. The fear of David is brought upon all the nations. So it's the story, as I say, is a complete reversal of what had happened earlier. Obedience instead of disobedience the victory instead of defeat, the glory of God instead of the glory of idols. But though David was very much not like Saul, in other ways he was also very much like him. Indeed, David was a good king, but he was not a perfect king. That way, David is like you and like me. Saul is like you and like me. David, like Saul, would fail at some very important and critical moments in his life. His life, like Saul's and like ours, shows that he ultimately was not sufficient in himself. Now this is plain enough from first chronicles. Four team, the Lord being the one victorious, the want the Lord knowing what shall and shall not be. But nevertheless, David sin gets the better of him at times and we find that he needed God's victory, not over Israel's external enemies, but her internal ones as well. Heart Enemies, Life Enemies, mortal enemies, sin and death. It's not a jump at all... think about things like sin and death as enemies of the people of God. Not only are they called as much in scripture, but there are many, but there are, in many ways, the things that make God's enemies God's enemies. In other words, God is a good God. He is not an arbitrarily in choosing who is against him and who is afore him. Who is against him and who is for him is based on his goodness, and therefore it is sin. It is sin that is against God, and the man who sins, who is against God. Man is an enemy of God because he sins against the good of God. Where man is a friend of God, it is because he has been forgiven by the mercy of God so as to be made good. And so sin, the darkness of evil, the absence of good, transgression, all of these things must be to be defeated if God's people are to be good, if the relationship between him and his children is to be holy, and not approximately holy or kind of holy or mostly holy, but holy, holy, perfectly holy and clean. Sin Cuts against this, though. Sin Cripples us from the inside in the way that external army is can cripple us from the outside. It makes fear, it makes guilt, it makes shame, it takes our wills and perverts them and twists them and bends them to do all other kinds of sinful things. It brings about God's curse on us. It makes us his enemies, it brings about our death. And David had sin in him, just as his people did, just as salt did, and because of that it meant that someone greater than David would need to come, someone greater than David would need to come and defeat these enemies, the greater enemies, not just the sinful Philistines, but sin itself. But what King could defeat that enemy? Who among US would go up against death or sin or the wrath of God? What King could rule not only a people but also the hearts of the people? Well, no human king, that is, of course, unless he's divine. And so that's what God did. The end of days. David's greater son would not only be his son, but he would be the very son of God, Jesus, of course, our Lord and our King, and this king, human and divine, who was not crippled by sin, would be sent to rule over his people. He was like David and that he sought after God and obeyed him, but he was unlike David and that he did this perfectly and completely and finally for God's people and against their enemies. When you consider David's obedience as being great in many ways, but still so far and incomplete from God's perfect, holy will. And then you...

...consider Jesus. Is Obedience perfect in every way, at every moment, in his heart and his mind and his actions in every difficult situation, every word that he spoke, every thing that he did, was always executing perfectly, but God had sent him to do. When we consider the example of Jesus's obedience, it puts even the most godly among us to shame. He sought and obeyed God like no one who had ever come before him. He's entire life was completely devoted to this one thing. Sometimes, when we hear the command of you know that we are to obey God, love him with all of our heart, all of our soul, all of our mind, all of our strength, we kind of, I think always sort of lower the bar a little bit because we know how impossible that is. We kind of say in our hearts and in ourselves, well, I'll try really hard anyway. But imagine someone, remember someone who actually did that, who is entirely devoted, loving to God in every aspect of who he was and everything that he encountered. And this is the obedience that brought about victory. God would be victorious through his obedience much like he was with David, only here, instead of routing a few armies and making this king's name famous throughout the land, God would make Jesus's name famous throughout the whole world. You remember what Philippians says, that upon Jesus is obedience, even obedience unto death and death on a cross, that God would glorify him, and did glorify him, so that, at the name of Jesus us, every knee would bow, the whole world would submit to this great king. And he does this by casting off the curses that were on his people, by overcoming death in the Resurrection, by forgiving sin. We see little foretastes of this throughout King Jesus's life, as demons are cast out of people and the evil one is overcome and routed, as he forgives the sins of people who are sinful, as he lifts curses off of people who have been cursed for years, as he makes unclean people holy. But ultimately, all this obedience would indeed be a come to, a kind of consummation on the cross. And as we consider that, let us remember that it was not easy. Sometimes you no doubt face moments of temptation where you are at least aware of it enough in your heart that you confess to yourself and hopefully to God. This is really hard. I don't know if I can do this. I don't know if I can withstand the desire to do the evil thing. Jesus faced that as well. He faced it so strongly, in fact, that we read that in the garden before he was in the garden of Cassemite, before he was crucified, he even prayed to God that he that God might take the cup of Wrath that was coming against him from him, if it were possible, didn't...

...want to face it. Heave and bled great drops of blood as he prayed and fought against temptation. He would have to suffer and he would die because this great sin that was in the hearts of his people had to be paid for, it had to be atoned for. Victory would come, but it would come only through sacrifice, and that's what Jesus did. When Jesus faced the great enemy of sin and death and curse and wrath, he didn't do it from a distance. In fact, he was the onely one fighting, and so we have a story here in first chronicles fourteen, not only of two kings, but of three. I tell you this story so that you know who it is we follow when we sit alone in our thoughts, when we, like David and Saul and Jesus, face moments of temptation, when we decide, are making decisions about who we ought to seek, let us remember the king who is greater than Saul and greater than David, because we have a king over us who has already given us a victory over these things. We have one who has not only given us an example of what it means to seek and follow after God, who has done that so that we can be free from our sin, so that we don't longer have to fear God's wrath and belong on the side of enemies, but instead be counted as his friends. We are those who have been known by Jesus, who have been saved by him. We have, in other words, a king who has given US victory through his own life so that we might live. At one time, we were Philistines on the wrong side of the border, fighting against God, but now, because of Jesus, we belong to Israel and we have his protection and his guidance. Let us learn to seek it in obedience and by faith. Let us pray.

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