Songs and Praise
   

 
 
 

Less 214 DAVID'S REGARD FOR THE LORD'S ANOINTED

 
1Samuel 24:1-22; Psalm 57:1-11;

Lesson 214 Senior Lessons

MEMORY VERSE:  "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God" (Romans 13:1).

 

I Saul's Relentless Pursuit of David

1 Saul's 3,000 chosen men outnumbered David's forces 5 to 1, I Samuel 24:1-3; 23:13; Psalm 33:16-20

2 David's persecution and trial inspired a great confidence in God, Psalm 57:1-11

II David's Noble Behavior

1 Bad advice was given by those who were not seeking God's leadership, causing David to act hastily, I Samuel 24:4; Psalm 1:1, 2; I Kings 12:6-11; Job 2:9, 10

2 David regretted his act, harmless as it was, I Samuel 24:5-7; Exodus 22:28; Acts 23:5; Romans 13:1; I Peter 2:17

3 David respected Saul as king and as the Lord's anointed, I Samuel 24:8, 10; 15:30; 10:24; Daniel 6:21

4 David's testimony proved he had no malice, or covetousness for the kingdom, I Samuel 24:9-11; Galatians 5:20; John 5:44

5 David left judgment and vengeance to God and had proper love for his enemies, I Samuel 24:12-15; Exodus 23:4, 5; Leviticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 32:35; Psalm 20:6-8; 35:1-28; Proverbs 20:22; 24:17, 29; 25:21, 22; Matthew 5:43, 44; Hebrews 10:30

III Saul's Temporary Change in Attitude

1 Saul, touched by David's mercy and godliness, became reconciled to him, I Samuel 24:16; Proverbs 15:1

2 Saul admitted David's superior righteousness, I Samuel 24:17-19; Proverbs 25:21, 22

3 Saul knew that God was with David and that he was to be the next king, I Samuel 24:20

4 An armistice was declared and an oath taken regarding Saul's posterity, I Samuel 24:21, 22; 20:15; II Samuel 9:1-11

NOTES

Saul the Rejected King, and David the Fugitive

The text of our present lesson brings two Biblical characters to us that we might profit from an examination of their lives and the motives behind their actions. Saul was king of Israel, anointed by the man of God in obedience to God's instructions, and accepted by the nation. After a series of misdeeds, rebellions, and disobediences, Saul was rejected by God but allowed to remain as king. The other one is David, a compara­tively young man, also anointed to be king by the man of God in obedience to God's instructions, accepted by a few as their leader, and hailed by many as a hero and valiant man. David gave humble, willing, and obedient service wherever he was placed by God; but he was, for years, a fugitive from his own people and from the nation he loved so dearly.

There are times, as we look at the workings of God's plan in us and in others, when there would seem to be strange paradoxes. Even God's faithful servant, David, prayed for help and strength from God when the wicked oppressed and persecuted him He reminded God that the 'wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.' He further stated that the 'wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. . . . He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in ad­versity' (Psalm 10:3, 4, 6). But through it all David was taught a valuable lesson; because of the hard trials, his strength and wisdom were increased and his confidence in God multiplied. He knew that God would send help from Heaven, and save him from the reproach of the wicked who would swallow him up, even though they had already prepared a net for his steps and digged a pit before him. Evidently, David saw God answer and all things work out for his good, for he said that the wicked ones fell into the pit and snare they had made for him. In all this David glorified God (Psalm 57:3, 6-11).

Trials and adversities are not always indications that God's face is turned away from us. God looks with pleasure and love on his :suffering children, whom He has seen fit to subject to trials and afflictions that some imperfection may be taken out of their lives. The fact that clouds come over our horizons, to hide the sun of God's obvious approval, does not mean that that sun has ceased to shine. These time of trial come to all who are godly, who love righteousness, and who desire perfection. When in such trials it is well that we say, as David said: 'My heart is fixed, 0 God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. . . . Be thou exalted, 0 God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth' (Psalm 57:7, 11).

To be driven away from =home and loved ones would bring great suffering to anyone. To be counted as an enemy and hunted as an outlaw would cause great anxiety, even to a- David, especially when there was no evil intent or guilt in the heart of the hunted one. To be forced to live in caves in the wilderness, foraging for food and the necessities of life, to be denied the comforts of home and the security and solace that it brings, knowing all the pangs of hunger, thirst, sleeplessness, and mental anguish that our human bodies are capable of enduring, would try the very soul of even the most devout. But all these trials came upon the man God had chosen to be king — a man after God's own heart — and served to teach him a still deeper truth than he had yet known, and to give him a more sublime and complete trust in God than he had yet found necessary, or possible. 'All things work together for good to them that love God' (Romans 8:28). David said, 'When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path' (Psalm 142:3). And he said it in faith, for he had the assurance, even though the clouds were heavy and the oppressions great, that, eventually, 'the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me' (Psalm 142:7).

Saul was different from David. When Saul was first anointed king, he was humble in spirit, but soon became self-willed and stubborn. He did not go from 'strength to strength' through the valleys of testing, to prove the providence of God in His purifying trials; nor did he go from 'faith to faith' to see the righteousness of God as it is revealed to us when we follow the eternal precept: 'The just shall live by faith' (Psalm 84:7; Romans 1:17). Saul went, instead, in his own strength, in his own wisdom, in his own will, and according to his own desires and plans. His life was a complete failure. It could have been a complete success, had he walked in God's way.

The Lord's Anointed

Prophets, priests, and' kings of the Old Testament were anointed for their work. This was an indication that their call was of God, and also that so long as they continued in accordance with God's will they would be sustained and protected, as well as led, by God. The anointing was also a symbol of a much greater anointing -- a spiritual anointing — that was to be made available to all those whom God would call to be His children in the New Testament dispensation. The Old Testament anointing was necessary for these appointed ministers of God, no matter to what position they were called, as their work would not have been fully successful without it. Just so, the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire — the spiritual anointing' that is now given to all who diligently seek it in faith — is absolutely vital and necessary for success in our work and service for God, no matter to what branch or phase of His service we are called.

Saul had been anointed by Samuel. The Spirit of God had come upon him at that time to witness to the fact that God's approval was upon him. He was given a new heart by God which, we have seen, testified to his state of godliness. Saul prophesied among the prophets, and this proved that he had the approval of the Spirit of God and a certain endue­ment of power and that he was, at that time, walking closely to God. But we know that the Spirit of God can easily be grieved. We are warned of the danger of doing it to our ultimate rejection by God if we willfully and maliciously persist in it. There came a time when Saul grieved the Spirit of God so badly that he no longer felt His leadings. But David felt that Saul had been placed in the position of king by God, and that it was God's place, and God's place alone, to remove him.

In a lawful earthly state or province, where due regard is given to order and correct administration, it is an accepted fact that the power to make a law is the power to change that law, and the authority to place an individual in a position of trust is the only authority that can remove him from that position. The only ones who disagree with this principle are those who rebel at orderly administration and who are, in reality, an­archists or rebels. There is no room for either of these evils in the realm of God's righteous administrations or in the hearts of God's people. David was far from either classification, as this lesson proves.

David was anointed for the position of king soon after God rejected Saul. But there was a spirit in David that would not raise his hand to pro­cure or defend what may seem to have been his rights, even though those rights were God -given and entirely unsought by him (I Corinthians 13: 5) . He could easily have reasoned that because God had made him king, his duty was to conduct a righteous kingdom for the honor and glory of God, and depose everything that would oppose or rebel against God. He could easily have felt that because his anointing was after Saul's rejection, and because Saul had been told another man was going to take his throne, it was his re­sponsibility and duty to carry out the will of God so plainly indicated.

There are times when we feel we can clearly see God's Will in certain matters but yet we cannot move lest we advance ahead of God's time. God's ultimate will may be shown us independently of His time for the execution of that indicated will. We must be sure that we await not only God's will in every matter but God's time also.

Since God is omnipotent, if He desires a certain thing to be done He can see that every hindrance is removed that would obstruct or oppose His will. It has been well said that God works out His purposes through the agencies of men who are acting according to their own free choice. God is sovereign, and can exercise His sovereignty and still not violate the free will with which He has endowed man.

It is through the development of God's plan in any matter that we know, for sure, the will of God concerning that particular plan. If God does not fully provide for a thing, it can then the said it is apparently not His perfect will that that thing be undertaken at that time.

In advance of a time when we will have to assume a responsibility, God may notify us of the responsibility that is to be ours, that we may prepare ourselves, by prayer, by consecration, and by study, for that position. It is seldom that He can trust any of us with such information. But if God chooses to do it that way He has a sovereign right to do so. And if He chooses rather to prepare us in the long and exacting school of experience for a position to which He is calling us, not daring to tell us of it in advance, for our own good, that also is His sovereign privilege. But if we take any matter in our own hands and refuse to wait God's disposition of the affair, according to His infinite wisdom and unimpeachable plan, we shall find God's will for us hindered and His plan for us delayed by our unwise con­duct. We shall also find that our 'wilderness experience' will, necessarily, be longer and our opportunity to fully serve God delayed even more.

David followed only a small part of what might have seemed the wise counsel of those who were associated with him. But in doing even this, he did that which he immediately regretted. Cutting off a part of the king­ly clothing would seem but a small thing, especially when he had been urged to destroy the life of the king instead. What he did reflected upon the dignity of the king, but that was a small thing compared with what he was fully able to do and also seemingly justified in doing. Those who ad­vised David supported their arguments with the incorrect use of the words which God had given him for reassurance and upon which he, no doubt, had leaned heavily in this time of trial.

But these men did not know the voice of God as David did, and it is obvious that they did not desire, above all else, to follow the leadership of God as David did. David intended to let God work out every situation completely, for he knew that only in this way would God receive the glory and honor and the plan be a success. It would be said by some that he was justified in doing as he did, since he was then able to exhibit the portion of the garment as a proof that he did not wish to harm Saul; but his very appearance in the mouth of the cave that had just been evacuated by Saul would have done as much. For even this slight act of belligerence against the anointed of the Lord David suffered in his spirit. His was a tender spirit toward God and the will of God. He prayed constantly that God would not allow him to become callous in any way in his spirit or at­titude toward God or God's people. This was one of the reasons God could say that David was a man after His own heart and that he had a perfect heart. David sought the honor and glory of God and the welfare of God's people in everything that was done; and even though he made serious mis­takes, he always was ready and willing to acknowledge them and to repent bitterly of them (Psalm 51:1-19). David highly regarded the one whom God had set aside and anointed, reasoning that God was capable of taking care of his interests and appointments when it was His time.

To have regarded the anointing of Saul with any less degree would, logically, have caused David to put a lesser appraisal upon his own anointing than he desired to do. The leadership of God was unmistakable when Samuel allowed seven sons of Jesse to pass by without pouring the vial of oil upon one head because he did not feel the witness of the Spirit of God that the chosen of God had appeared. David had, no doubt, con­secrated very deeply as he hurried in from the field to receive his anoint­ing. He had done the same in the months and years prior to that time, beyond all doubt. He would have been unworthy of the anointing if he had not thus prepared himself for it. And to disregard the special benefits of that anointing upon another would be merely saying that his own anoint­ing had no value that was greater than the ability of a mere man to set it aside.

As children of God and laborers together in the harvest field of God, there is a like obligation resting upon each one of us in our attitude toward those whom God anoints and places in positions of special responsibility in His vineyard. These persons are called to a higher calling than that of kings with temporal authority. Theirs is no earthly diadem, scepter, or throne. They have no absolute monarchial power. Their leadership and authority may not even be acknowledged by the world at large. But their appointment and responsibilities are real, nevertheless.

These whom God has appointed to feed the flock of God, to take the oversight of them, and to administer reproof and discipline when necessary, are to be regarded by us in no less degree than David regarded Saul as the anointed of the Lord. They stand or fall before God and not necessarily before man. They must answer to God for all that they say and do. If they are unfaithful in their responsibility, it is God who will discipline them and set them aside, if that is necessary for the good of His cause. Our part is to hold a high regard for the anointing of God and to leave those things which are His completely in His hands that He might do with them as He pleases, when He pleases.

There are many wonderful virtues in the life of this godly king of Israel. Much more could be written on this particular subject, as well as on others that are suggested by the text of this lesson. In a future lesson, where David again spares Saul's life, we shall have another opportunity of studying more of these godly virtues and characteristics which speak to us of the exacting requirements that God set for those in that age. We will learn also of the much higher stipulations that are incumbent upon us who live in the full blessings of the Gospel dispensation — the time that godly men of old looked forward to with anticipation and wonder, marvel­ing at the glorious things that would be freely bestowed upon all who will seek God in faith and true worship.

QUESTIONS

1 Who were anointed in Old Testament days?

2 How are people anointed today? and what are the full benefits of the promises given to those who are thus anointed?

3 Why was David a fugitive?

4 Is it wise always to follow the advice of those who are not necessarily following the Spirit of God?

5 How is one to know when it is God's will to do a certain thing?

6 What else must we look for besides God's will in our plans?

7 Does the Holy Spirit ever lead in ways that oppose each other? (Read I Corinthians 14:33, 40.)

              8 To whom does vengeance belong?

9 What attitude did David take toward Saul's anointing?

10 What promise did David make to Saul after they had made peace with each other?

 

 
   
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