Pod Prep: 9-1-17
The Pure Faith of Hannah and David
DELAYS IN RECEIVING ANSWERS AND BLESSINGS CAN MAKE ONE GREATER
If one handles the trial of delayed answers to prayer in faith they get stronger. Hannah was childless for a long time before she became a mother. We see the pattern in the Bible that women who had to wait for their sons, developed into wonderful mothers. Those sons are dedicated to God in a way that would not have happened otherwise. This is true of all the patriarch children. Look at the examples of Sarah and John the Baptist's mother Elizabeth.
1Sa 1:5 But to Hannah he gave one double portion, for he loved Hannah. But the LORD had shut up her womb.
6 And her foe also provoked her grievously, in order to make her tremble, because the LORD had shut up her womb.
Lu 1:7 And they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren. And both were advanced in their days.
Lu 1:13 But the angel said to him, Do not fear, Zacharias. For your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
14 And you shall have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice at his birth.
15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall neither drink wine nor strong drink. And he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.
These children were born of miraculous answers to prayer. Their mothers exhibited great faith. The sons were no doubt, given special attention. The sons became great spiritual giants. Waiting on God in faith is the clear lesson. Hannah chose to dedicate the child Samuel, to God. She wrote a prophetic prayer or poem in thanks to God. It is the first ten verses of I Samuel chapter 2.
1Sa 2:8 He raises up the poor out of the dust; He lifts up the needy from the dunghill to set them among princes; yea, He causes them to inherit a throne of honor; for to the LORD are the pillars of the earth; and He sets the habitable world on them.
9 He keeps the feet of his saints, and the wicked are silenced in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.
She wrote that God takes care of those with the greatest needs and ultimately the meek shall inherit paradise. We must learn to truly believe and wait on God. She continued to encourage him to be a man of God.
Sa 2:18 And Samuel served before the LORD, a child girded with a linen ephod.
19 And his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.
She dressed her son as a priest and God choose him to be one of the greatest high priests and prophets. He had a pure faith. Much of it, he no doubt, learned from his mother Hannah.
DAVID WAITED IN FAITH FOR HIS CROWN
David's long wait for his throne, both made his faith and character stronger. David, the greatest of all Israel's kings, was in training during those long years. David had to wait an estimated 15 to 20 years before he ascended to the throne fully. David receives more coverage in the Bible than anyone else except the son of David, Jesus Christ. Therefore, we will focus just on one incident to understand the pure, strong, faith of David. Saul became jealous and fearful of David. God removed his spirit from Saul and he became a fearful, vengeful monster. Saul took the best of the army and relentlessly hunted down David. Saul's army stops at a cave where David and his men are hiding. Saul comes in alone to relieve himself. This obviously is not a coincidence. God was testing David or allowing the devil to tempt him.
1Sa 24:3 And he came to the folds of the flock on the way, where there was a cave. And Saul went in to cover his feet. And David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.
4 And the men of David said to him, Behold, this is the day of which the LORD said to you, Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand so that you may do to him as it shall seem good to you. And David arose and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe secretly.
The relentlessness of Saul reminds us that our problems and sometimes our tormentors, may last until we are born into the spirit family of God.
Joh 16:33 I have spoken these things to you so that you might have peace in Me. In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.
God's message to us is to be of good cheer when under pressure. God will eventually rescue us as He did David. Because of this relentless pressure, David was encouraged by his own men to assassinate the napping King. They said God had placed him in this situation so he could dispatch Saul. What a temptation! But David did not kill Saul. He realized that it was not up to him to execute God's anointed King. David faced this test twice and passed the test each time. God was pleased with David. God would not want those in his Kingdom eager to remove those in power. David knew it was up to God to remove Saul. God does not want usurpers of power in his family. He wants us to wait in faith for him.
VENGEANCE BELONGS TO GOD NOT US
VENGEANCE AND ANGER AND HATRED ARE often the worse attributes of human nature. God does not want us to be absorbed with these emotions. The government has a role in punishing crime and obviously so does God. We need to learn to wait for God. Note David's godly behavior.
1Sa 24:6 And he said to his men, Far be it from me, by the LORD, if I will do this thing to my lord, the LORD's anointed, to stretch forth my hand against him, since he is the anointed of the LORD.
7 And David held back his men with words, and did not allow them to rise against Saul. And Saul rose up out of the cave and went on his way.
David also restrained his mighty warriors who volunteered to kill Saul, if David didn't want to do it himself. We are instructed to let God handle vengeance. This is possible because David did not let bitterness over Saul's persecution of him build up in him so much that he could not have restrained himself. Paul advises us to release our anger also. Anger management is one of the urgent issues of our day.
Eph 4:26 Be angry, and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down upon your wrath,
27 neither give place to the Devil.
Some people use the model of thinking that says the ends justify the means. David rejected that kind of thinking. He should be king therefore some said take the opportunity even if it is an assassination to achieve the wonderful goal. Much of the suffering radicals and dictators produce in this world is based on that premise. You must break a few eggs to make an omelet has been used to murder millions by communists and others. David was not bitter. David did not have a large reservoir of bitterness and anger. Why because he had faith in God. Later in life I am sure he realized that his years in the wilderness made him stronger spiritually. He became more dependent on God and stronger. He and his men became better warriors and leaders as well.
David humbly got Saul to repent. This was very risky since Saul had three thousand soldiers with him. David was trying to heal the breach. He gave Saul room to repent and even blame his relentless pursuit on Saul's advisers.
1Sa 24:9 And David said to Saul, Why do you hear man's words, saying, Behold, David seeks to do you evil?:10 Behold, your eyes have seen today how the LORD had delivered you today into my hand in the cave. And one said to kill you. But I had pity on you. And I said, I will not put forth my hand against my lord, for he is the LORD's anointed.
11 And, my father, behold! Yes, see the skirt of your robe in my hand. For in that I cut off the skirt of your robe and did not kill you, know and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in my hand, and I have not sinned against you. Yet you hunt my soul to take it.
Unfortunate Saul's repentance was fleeting and David knew he could not trust it. Someone who looses God's Holy Spirit is mentally unstable. God wants us to be like David; men of mercy and grace toward rivals. David humbly asked for reconciliation even calling Saul, Father ( he was his father-in-law).
He actually mourned Saul death. David wrote a poem about Saul and Johnathan's death in battle that was paraphrased and made famous by Shakespeare. The line 'Oh how the mighty have fallen' is so descriptive of how David felt about Saul and Johnathan.
2Sa 1:19 The beauty of Israel is slain upon your high places! How are the mighty fallen!
20 Tell it not in Gath, do not let it be known in the streets of Askelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.
David loved Saul and Johnathan and passed this test of his faith in relying on God with flying colors. We can all learn from the examples of Hannah and David, a man after God's own heart. We should all try to follow Paul's advice.
Rom 12:20 Therefore if your enemy hungers, feed him. If he thirsts, give him drink. For in so doing you shall heap coals of fire on his head.
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.