- Sermon Notes
The Path of God’s Promises
2 Samuel 2:1-11
July 17-18, 2021
David was a young man, probably in his late teens, when the prophet Samuel came to his father’s house to anoint the future king of Israel. When Samuel entered, he looked at Eliab, the oldest son and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of the stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Seven sons passed before Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these. Are these all the children?” Jesse answered, “There is the youngest, and behold, he is tending the sheep.” Samuel responded, “Send and bring him; we will not sit down until he comes.”
When David entered, Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him, and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward.”
That was the day David received the promise that one day he would receive a crown. But it would be 12 long years before he would receive that crown. God’s promises are sure, and David stood on God’s promise without wavering.
The question of the hour is this; how do you walk in the path of God’s promises? Does it matter how you walk? It mattered to David, and it matters to God.
The path to the fulfilling of God’s promise in David’s life was filled with troubles and trials. King Saul had relentlessly pursued David out of jealousy and fear and insecurity, yet David refused to be against Saul. He was God’s anointed. God had made Saul the king and David would not take matters into his own hands; God would have to remove Saul Himself. What faith and what character; how you walk matters.
When you trust Jesus as Lord and Savior, you are also filled with the Holy Spirit, there is a Crown of Righteousness and more that God also promises you.
In the end, we know who wins. There may be troubles and trials along the way, but we know who wins!
Illus – At the end of the Super Bowl, the team that wins rejoices in jubilation; tears of joy running down their faces! They’re dancing and shouting; there will be rings for their fingers and their names will be written in the book of all who have won the great contest.
But look closer. Even in their shouting and dancing you can see that they’re battered and bruised, grass plastered on the helmets. It was an epic battle, but it was all worth it! They won in the end.
We also know how this story ends. The Son of Man will return at the end of the age and will set things right. He will rule and reign over the nations when he establishes his kingdom on the earth!
And for each one of us personally, when you receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you know how your story ends!
How you walk on the path of God’s promises matters. God will build that which is beautiful in your character so that you can walk in the meaning and purpose of God’s favor on your life!
In these verses, David will be anointed king over the house of Judah and in chapter 5 he is anointed king over all Israel. The life lesson of David’s journey is the character and faith by which he walked the path of God’s promises. There is much to learn and apply to our lives from these verses.
I. Persevere – Don’t Grow Weary
- Verse 1 – “Then it came about afterwards…” That phrase captures a lot of history. It came about after what?
- It came about after David grew weary of running from Saul and said to himself, “Now I will perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than to escape into the land of the Philistines. Saul will despair of searching for me anymore and I will escape from his hand.”
- David was doing so well in his faith, but he grew weary because of the trouble relentlessly pursuing him. He went over to the land of the Philistines which brought him to the darkest hour of his life.
- There are many who can relate to growing weary in the relentlessness of life’s troubles. There are life lessons to take hold of from the story.
Galatians 6:9, Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
- There’s an old saying, “It’s not the mountains ahead that wear you down; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” It’s the relentless weariness of constant trial and trouble.
- The situation got so bad that David’s village was burned to the ground by invaders, the women and children were taken captive, and David’s men even spoke of stoning him.
- But here is a life lesson for everyone who has grown weary… You need to rebuild your soul. You need to strengthen the inner man within you.
2 Corinthians 4:16, Therefore do not lose heart, for though our outer man is decaying, our inner man is being renewed day by day. Momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.… for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
A. Strengthen yourself in the Lord
- This is what separated David from everyone else there. They had all wept, even to the point where there was no strength left in them to weep. But David did something that no one else there thought to do; he strengthened himself in the Lord.
- There are several places in the bible where we are given this reminder. For example, when Paul and Silas were on their missionary journeys, at one point, they were arrested, falsely accused, and thrown into prison.
Acts 16:22-25, The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tour their robes off them and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods. When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; and he, having received such command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them…
Illus – When I was in my young 20s and being quite worldly, it troubled my soul. I knew my soul was sick within me. I had walked with the Lord in my teens, and I wanted my soul renewed. One night, literally in the middle of the night, my soul was in such turmoil that I couldn’t sleep. I found my Bible and opened to the Psalms. And, oh did it minister to my soul.
Isaiah 40:29-31, He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not faint.
B. Speak life to your own soul
- In other words, the words you speak to yourself is the way of defeat; but it is also the key to victory.
- At the point where David had become weary and discouraged…
1 Samuel 27:1, Then David said to himself, “Now I will perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than to escape into the land of the Philistines.”
- These are the thoughts of someone who has become so worried and anxious and discouraged that he has become weary.
- Strengthening yourself in the Lord must include confronting your own thoughts of defeat, discouragement, and despair. You must confront your own thoughts when those thoughts are the words of defeat.
2 Corinthians 10:5, We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,
- There is a great example of this in Psalm 42…
Psalm 42:5, Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
- If your soul has grown weary, you need your faith to increase. That means you need words of faith in your heart and in your soul because these are the words which will strengthen you in the Lord.
Romans 10:17, Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
- Jesus said something very similar when he spoke to those who had believed in Him…
John 8:32, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
C. Live by looking to God
- Notice what was missing when David said to himself, “I will perish one day by the hand of Saul.” He didn’t inquire of the Lord. He didn’t ask God.
- The result was that it brought them to the darkest hour he had yet faced.
- After David strengthened himself in the Lord, David immediately began asking God for direction again.
1 Samuel 30:6-8, David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered… But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. Then David said to the priest, “Please bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. And David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I pursue this band? Shall overtake them?” and the Lord said to him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them, and you shall surely rescue all.”
- There is something about knowing the direction, knowing the path before you that encourages and strengthens your heart.
Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
- You acknowledge your need for him when you ask for direction. This absolutely is a key to rebuilding your life.
II. Have Honor and Admire Honor
- When Saul pursued David out of fear and insecurity and jealousy, David’s hand would not be against him. He refused to take matters in his own hands. God was the one who made him king and God must be the one to remove him.
- David respected God and so he respected what God had done in anointing Saul.
- This is a powerful aspect of faith. Troubles and difficulties come in the journey as you walk the path of God’s promises. There is a faith that respects God and respects God’s hand on your life.
Job 2:9-10, Then Job’s wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Illus – When our daughter was killed, I recognized that God wrote a number next to her name before she was even born – 10,724, the number of days of her life. I respect God so I respect that number.
A. Keep your heart from bitterness
- When David heard that Saul and his son Jonathan had died in the battle with the Philistines, he tore his clothes and mourned and wept and fasted until evening.
- David then wrote a lament, a poem and song in honor of Saul and Jonathan. “They were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,” he wrote.
- There is no bitterness in David’s heart, though Saul was embittered against him and sought his life to take it. David is a great example of keeping your heart from bitterness; it’s the way of respecting God and having honor.
Hebrews 12:14-15, Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble,
Ephesians 4:31, Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
- After David was made king over the house of Judah, someone came and informed him, “It was the men of Jabesh-Gilead who buried Saul.”
- David sent messengers to them saying, “May you be blessed of the Lord because you have shown this kindness to Saul.”
- David knows honor when he sees it and admires it; he is drawn to people that have faith and honor and character.
B. Be still and wait on the Lord
- David went up to Hebron and there they anointed him king over the house of Judah. But Abner, commander of Saul’s army, had taken Ish-bosheth and made him king over the rest of Israel.
- God was in no hurry to put David on the throne, and again, David would not take matters into his own hands. He waited another 7 ½ years to be anointed king over all Israel.
- It’s a lesson in faith. People are often in such a hurry that they run ahead of God; they find it hard to trust God’s timing.
Psalm 46:7, 10, The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold… Cease striving and know that I am God.
- To cease striving, to be still and know that He is God does not mean that you do nothing.
- It means that you trust God and wait for His timing, but while you wait, you cultivate faithfulness, you do good, you strengthen yourself in the Lord and you build honor into your character.
Psalm 37:3, 5, Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness… Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it.
2 Samuel 2:1-11 NASB
1 Then it came about afterward that David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up to one of the cities of Judah?” And the Lord said to him, “Go up.” So David said, “Where shall I go up?” And He said, “To Hebron.” 2 So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the [a]widow of Nabal the Carmelite. 3 And David brought up his men who were with him, each with his household; and they settled in the cities of Hebron. 4 Then the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.
And they told David, saying, “It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul.” 5 So David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead, and said to them, “May you be blessed of the Lord because you have [b]shown this kindness to Saul your lord, and have buried him. 6 And now may the Lord [c]show kindness and truth to you; and I also will [d]show this goodness to you, because you have done this thing. 7 Now then, let your hands be strong and be [e]valiant, since Saul your lord is dead, and also the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.”
8 But Abner the son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, had taken [f]Ish-bosheth the son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim. 9 And he made him king over Gilead, over the Ashurites, over Jezreel, over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, even over all Israel. 10 Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he became king over Israel, and he was king for two years. The house of Judah, however, followed David. 11 And the [g]time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.