Daily Discipline #64
By Colleen Donahue
Does God take a "nobody" and make him into a "somebody"? This was our study last month as we looked at the young life of David- an unknown shepherd boy that God chose to be Israel's king.
We saw that the criterion God uses to choose his servants is vastly different from man's evaluation. Man only looks at the outward body and personality, but God looks at the heart. In David, He saw a young man of integrity - a humble, teachable spirit that depended upon God for his life. The people would have bypassed this insignificant youth but with God we can never be overlooked - a great comfort when we feel like just a little cog in the great universal machine!
Although anointed as king, David remained for some years "in the background" and continued his responsibilties as a shepherd. It wasn't until David stepped forth in the power of God to tackle the giant Goliath that King Saul and Israel really took notice of him. The powerful story of David and Goliath has been told and retold down the centuries encouraging us that God is able to use a "weak vessel" to do mighty things if we let HIM do it through us.
Let's continue our study with .....
DAVID - Part 2 - God Uses "Weak Vessels"
ADVERSITY AFTER TRIUMPH
Day 1- Sometimes, it is after our biggest triumphs that we face the worst times of temptations and trouble, even when we are undeserving of them. This is usually a time when we are most off our guard.
I Corinthians 10:12 / I Peter 5:8
Day 2- David had just killed the giant Goliath, and was a hero.
I Samuel 18: 6-7
Day 3- What he didn't know was that he had become the object of a jealous man from that day on. The unsuspecting David was now on Saul's "hit list" and targeted for death.
I Samuel 18: 8-9,12, 15, 28-29
Day 4- What was Saul's first attempt at David's life?
I Samuel 18:10-11
Day 5- Saul's second tactic against David was to make him commander of thousands of military men. He would be in front of the fighting forces and thus apt to be killed. How did this plan backfire?
I Samuel 18:13-16
Day 6- The third tactic Saul employed was more subtle. At times a man or woman's fall has been because of their own husband or wife. Saul felt if David married his daughter that she would "be a snare" to him. But how did the noble David respond?
I Samuel 18: 20-24
Day 7- One more time Saul attempts an indirect murder of David. What was his plan and how did it also backfire?
I Samuel 18: 25-29
Day 8- One thing seems evident during this time that the innocent, hardworking, obedient David knew nothing of the evil set against him. We too should be so taken up with God and about His business that we let God hold back the evils and handle the blows. How did this work for David?
I Samuel 18: 14, 16, 30
ALL CRUTCHES REMOVED
There is a time when a crutch is useful in getting us back on our feet. But, if it is used for too long, it will hinder rather than help our walk. A spiritual crutch is anything we choose to lean on instead of God or as a "backup" in case God fails. This next period of David's life was very important for all his "crutches" were knocked out from under him. He was only to depend on God.
Day 9- Crutch #1- POSITION - David had been a military leader and in a trusted place in Saul's army. Now, he was fleeing Saul's sword.
I Samuel 19:8-10
Day 10- Crutch #2- WIFE - Although it seemed that David's wife saved his life, she actually betrayed him claiming he tried to kill her and offered nothing in his defense.
I Samuel 19: 11-17
Day 11- Crutch #3- TRUSTED COUNSELOR - After escaping from him home, David made straight for Samuel, the trusted and wise counselor of Israel. But Saul discovers his hiding and so David has to flee again leaving the shelter of his older friend.
I Samuel 19: 18-20
Day 12- Crutch #4- CLOSE FRIEND- from Samuel, David fled to his close friend Jonathon, but even he could not protect him from death. This was David's most painful separation.
I Samuel 20:35-42
Day 13- Crutch #5- SELF RESPECT - From dignified military hero to a slobbering lunatic, David stooped to a low point here.
I Samuel 21:12-15
Day 14- Crutch #6-FREEDOM- Being able to come and go as he pleased- that was no longer possible. David was a hunted man and went from open life in the palace to hidden life in a cave.
I Samuel 19:18a/ I Samuel 20:3b / I Samuel 21:10a / I Samuel 22:1
MORE CRUTCHES TO REMOVE!
These were the crutches God removed from David to make him strong. What might be other ones that WE have? Here are some further examples from scripture.
Day 15- FAMILIES are God's gift to us as we grow up. Yet, there comes a time when our reliance for answers, money etc. can no longer be from our loved ones. What radical statement did Jesus make concerning our families?
Day 16- ABILITY - So many of us are strong in ourselves, and can tackle anything. Jacob was such a man. Until God put him "out of joint" Jacob had been more of a hindrance to God than a witness for Him. Beware of the pride of competent ability and self sufficiency.
Day 17- WEALTH - It's not wrong or evil to have money. But when we depend on it or choose it instead of the Father, then it is our folly. Do you hold your money with loose fingers?
Matthew 19:16-24 / Luke 15:11-24
Day 18- A GOOD JOB brings great security, but like money must be held loosely. The Lord Himself is our provider and He may test us as He did Peter, Andrew, James and John who had good jobs as fishermen. Could you respond as quickly as they did?
Mark 1:16-20/ Matthew 6:25-34
Day 19- There is nothing like a SECURE HOME AND COUNTRY to make us feel safe! Yet, not until the Lord asks us to leave it do we realize that all security rests in His arms. Would you respond as Abraham did to God's call?
Day 20- For parents, SONS & DAUGHTERS may be standing in place of God. God wants us to love Him first.
Even God did not exempt Himself from this test.
Day 21- A SECURE NATION AND GOVERNMENT can bring peace and safety to our lives , but God may ask you to leave it...
Matthew 11:19 / Acts 13:2-5
OR - your own country may become increasingly hostle to Christianity and you must take your stand with God.
WHEN OUR CRUTCHES ARE GONE THEN WE CAN "LEARN TO LEAN"
Day 22- The painful removal of all that we hold dear in this life is a sign of great love from our Father in Heaven.
Proberbs 3:11-12/ Hebrews 12:6
Day 23- What is God's goal for us?
Day 24- The crutches this world offers are fragile, but God's arms are very strong!
Isaiah 25:4 / Isaiah 43:1-2
WHAT DAVID LEARNED
This painful time of running for his life produced some of the most heartfelt and beautiful psalms the world has read and still reads. In them David expresses some of the things he learned. Let's look at just a few.
Day 25- David had many enemies throughout his life anxious to kill him. How did he get any sleep?
Psalm 3: 1-6 / Psalm 4:8
Day 26- What lifelong habit did David begin that expressed his hunger to get God's mind and will for his life situations?
Psalm 5:3 / Psalm 119:147
Day 27- The fact that Jesus did the same should make us consider it for our own lives.
Day 28- What did David learn about good men and bad men?
Psalm 1 / Psalm 15
Day 29- There are many Psalms where we find David pouring out the questions and issues of despair that are on his heart. Yet, by the end of the psalm, we see that David has learned to look away from his problems. What attitude does he end with?
Psalm 13 / Psalm 43
Day 30- The impatience of youth gave way for the sweet grace of waiting upon God. What did David find true when he waited patiently?
We'll continue our study of David when we look at the LESSONS OF A CAVE DWELLER.
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