We first find David, the son of Jesse, tending to his father’s folk in a field. David’s had a great influence on Biblical history and is mentioned 970 times in Scripture. In 1 Samuel 16, if we know the story, the Lord had rejected Saul as king of Israel and was sending Samuel to Jesse because the Lord had made His selection of one of Jesse sons to anoint as king. Samuel seeing Jesse’s oldest son, Eliab, thought &quot;Surely the LORD's anointed stands here before the LORD.&quot; But God’s response is: “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.&quot; And, so it is that David is a man’s after God’s own heart. (Review slide) E.M Bounds has this to say about David: “In citing the Old Testament saints noted for their praying habits, by no means must David be overlooked, a man who preeminently was a man of prayer. With him prayer was a habit, for we hear him say, “Evening and morning and at noon will I pray and cry aloud.” He knew the way to God and was often found in that way. It is no wonder we hear his call so dear and impressive, “O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” He knew God as the one being who could answer prayer: “O thou that hearest prayer, to thee shall all flesh come.”
What made David a man after God’s own heart? Here is a little Bible quiz (Review slide) Let’s review the answers: Did David pray without ceasing? Nope, there is no evidence to suggest he that he did. How do we know that’s the case? If David had inquired of the Lord would he have taken Bathsheba, would he have had her husband Uriah, murdered? Was David holy and sinless? Nope - First, The Bible tells us that no one other than Jesus was ever able to live a sinless life. Second we know a few things. David had many wives. We know that he was not always the best disciplinarian of his kids; the story of Tamar is an example. David knew that she had been raped by her half-brother, but he did nothing. This incident snowballed and almost cost David his life and his kingdom, because Tamar's natural brother wanted to avenge her. And, of course, there is the Bathsheba episode. Did David have perfect faith? - Nope, although David had faith in God and trusted Him, he was much like us; there were times when he lacked faith. (see 1 Samuel 21:12-13 NIV). Acting like an insane man in fear certainly shows a very distinct lack of trust, wouldn’t you say? Did David do everything God asked him to do? Yes! How do we know? Paul preached in Antioch that “after removing Saul, (God) made David their king. He testified concerning him: 'I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.” (Acts 13:22).
David touches the Bible in many places, he is mentioned 970 times throughout Scripture. David achieved the epitome of success in his day; he was not only the CEO but CIO – Chief Intercessory Officer of Israel. In this Lesson where going to look at some occasions of David’s praying. (Review slide)
Brandt and Bickel tell us that the first recorded prayer of David was in his encounter with the Philistines in 1 Samuel 23:1-5. (Read) How did David Pray – David inquired of the Lord, not once but twice. David needed direction on how to proceed in the matter of delivering the people of Keilah from the Philistines. The problem was his men were in fear. But both times the Lord says “Go!” How often do Christians respond like David’s men: “Look we are afraid here in…”? The Lord has not given us a Spirit of fear and doubt but of power love and a sound mind. God appoints the day of our birth and the day of our death, until that day comes nothing should cause us to fear so much that we cower like David’s men. Where did David Pray – David and his men were afraid in their own neighborhood, the hill country of Judah. They were hiding, afraid of King Saul who was looking to kill David. Who was involved – other than David and his men, the people of Keilah who were trusting David to rescue them from the Philistines instead of Saul. Why did this prayer matter – David needed direction on what to do, David sought God’s will of whether he was called to deliver the people of Keilah. There is an interesting sidebar to this prayer. David just didn’t assume that because there was a need he should minister to that need, or rush into battle with the Philistines. David recognized that need does not necessarily constitute a call to ministry. I’m sure this doesn’t apply to you, but there is an important lesson here for us zealous Christians who think we need to meet every need and too often don’t ask the Lord for direction. Recall from the first lesson that the enemy uses our busyness to keep us from praying. To quote the Kneeling Christian again: “Satan laughs at our toiling, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.” And, we know from this account that the Lord delivered the Philistines into David’s hands, prayer assured David’s victory! (Discussion: Examples of asking the Lord for direction)
Recall that we’ve been saying that prayer is communion and communication with God. We’ve said that God has been and is at work restoring relationship. Noah had initiated altar building. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all build altars. God had given Moses the pattern for the Tabernacle as a dwelling place. David is now King of Israel the Philistines had been defeated (2 Samuel 5). The Ark has been brought to Jerusalem and David had danced before the Lord. (2 Samuel 6). Now David desire is to build a Temple, a more permanent house for God, but is this God’s design? Let’s look at what the Lord says in 2 Samuel 7:1-17 (Read). In verse 5 God begins by asking a question David’s intended plan. Apparently God hasn’t asked for a house nor does He need one. Instead the Lord declares He will be the one building the house – and we now know, that “house”, the “Temple”, are the people of God. 1 Corinthians 3:16 says “Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?” How did David pray – Initially David says I’ve got this great idea for God. Did David inquire of the Lord about this? Clearly his motives were pure but they lacked understanding. God addresses Nathan and says “let me tell you who I am, I don’t dwell in a House.” Why did this prayer matter – Nathan goes to David and says listen to what God just told me – “that He will make you (David) a house.” God’s unfolding plan for history is to establish for Himself a people, now through the House of David. And, then we see David’s response - a great prayer of thanksgiving! (see 2 Samuel 18-29), This prayer also shows David’s heart for God (Note: see Brandt and Bickel page 104-105) What was the outcome – David’s line is established forever!
How do we respond to the blessings of God? We can learn many lessons from the life of David in how to respond to God’s blessings. Let’s look David’s public prayers of thanksgiving – 1 Chronicles 16:7-36 (read). Chronologically this follows David’s personal prayer of Thanksgiving in 2 Samuel 7. The Ark of the Covenant, had just been set in the Tabernacle of David, in Jerusalem. This prayer was a public expression, a declaration to God for the blessing He had bestowed on David and the Israelites. Let’s break down this down this public prayer (review slide) This prayer is the first psalm given for use in the tabernacle service which was established by Moses and the role of the Priests and Levites from that point forward. David’s prayer abounds with understanding God’s greatness and the display of His marvelous works, which is Christ’s supremacy, and contains many pointed allusions to the origin, privileges, and peculiar destiny of God’s chosen people. David prayer truly animates the devotions and call forth the gratitude of the assembled multitude. The gathered people respond with a resounding Amen! But most importanly, David here foreshadows the coming of Christ by taking on the role of the Priestly King. Space here doesn’t allow us to develop this fully but tonight’s handout goes into more detail (see The Priestly King.doc) Who else has been called to the function of the Priestly King? (see 1 Peter 3:16) How should that matter to our prayer life? (Responsive)
We know come to one of the most famous stories in Biblical history, or is that infamous? The story begins in 2 Samuel 11 with these words “It happened in the spring of the year, at a time when kings go out to battle…But David remained at Jerusalem” That was David’s first mistake, remaining behind when all of his men went off to war. The Bible is silent on why David decided to remain at home; but what happens next is well documented… “One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3 and David sent someone to find out about her.” (11:2) And, so it begins, David is tempted and falls into sin. And, the rest as they say, is history. David actions have grave consequences, pun intended. The drama of adultery, murder and cover-up follows. Let’s pick up the story in Chapter 12 (read 2 Samuel 12:1-15). David confessed; the consequence for David’s sin was his first born son. Brandt and Bickel point out that “prayer could not blot out the damage done; certain consequences had to follow, complete forgiveness not withstanding.” Why did this prayer matter – “I have sinned against the Lord” David’s response can teach us much. David recognized it was the Lord to whom he needed to go for forgiveness for it was the Lord he had sinned against. In Psalm 51, David pours out his heart to God, saying “against you and you only have I sinned.” (read Psalm 51). The level of supplication is deep and profound. We see in this Psalm one of the reasons why God could say David was a man after His own heart. What was it’s outcome – “The Lord also has put away your sin.” - Wow! Evidence of divine grace, even in the Old Testament! “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9.)
In 2 Samuel 21 we find a story that speaks to an issue of corporate repentance, or what some today call “Identificational Repentance.” This is only mentioned to give a way for us to understand this episode where David prayed for the land and God heeded His prayer. Brandt and Bickel make this point: “David learned that Israel’s present problem had it’s roots in the previous administration.” There was a three year famine in the land due to Saul’s injustice against the Gibeonites, a people whom the Israelites had sworn to protect (Read 2 Samuel 21:1-14). David does two thing here; he inquires of the Lord and takes action to rectify the wrongs done by his predecessor. This raises some interesting questions about prayer. First, why was it David’s responsibility to make amends for Saul’s sin? God in visiting a famine on the nation of Israel displays His divine justice, and His desire to make things right, to reconcile all peoples to Himself. Clearly, if His people’s sin is keeping another people from worshipping the One True God, He is going to deal with that issue in His providence; God’s purposes will prevail. Second, is there a corporate sense of sin that we still need to deal with today? Second, while most Christians have memorized the Lord’s Prayer, and many of us have prayed it thousands of times, we can easily miss the corporate nature of the prayer. Notice the use of corporate language, the plural pronouns in the prayer… “ OUR Father, Who art in heaven…Give US this day OUR daily bread…Forgive US OUR debts…As we forgive OUR debtors…And lead US not into temptation…But deliver US from evil… What lessons might we learn from David’s example here for the Church today?
Praise is certainly another form of prayer. 2 Samuel 22 begins with these words “The David spoke to the Lord.” Praying is communion and communication. For many reasons, commentators assume that this was a psalm David wrote and sung many years before it is inserted at the end of 2 Samuel out of its chronological place. This is possible, but not necessary. James Boice commenting on David Praise for deliverance notes: “The psalm appears almost as David's final words. Hence, it is a summary thanksgiving for God's many deliverances of him through his long life of service.&quot; Praise is certainly appropriate following David’s final victory over the Philistines and his deliverance from Saul; David attributes this Praise to both. (Read 2 Samuel 22:1) Let’s just look at the beginning few verses and last few verses of David’s song of Praise (read 2 Samuel 22:2-4 & 47-51). What are the words that David repeats in these verses? (Responsive – i.e Rock, salvation, deliverer) Throughout this Song, David also repeats the personal pronoun “my”: My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence. So shall I be saved from my enemies. He heard my voice from His temple He delivered me from my strong enemy You are my lamp, O LORD God is my strength and power and more… Clearly, we get the idea David know who is God was, and why God could call David a “a man after my own hear”!
For our prayer time this evening, what I like us to do this evening is not make any petition but to give praise to our great God, just like David did.
Next week we’re going to study the prayer of the Psalmists. As for your reading assignment, please continue to read through Chapter 5 – “The Prayers of Solomon and the Later Leaders” But in closing, consider these thoughts from our “unknown author”
“ The Spirit Helps Us To Pray” A Biblical Theology of Prayer
Home: Bethlehem during his youth; probably Gibeah while he served Saul; Ziklag during much of the time while Saul pursued him; Hebron during the first seven years of his reign; Jerusalem during the rest of his reign.
Family: Was a son of Jesse, a descendant of Judah; had seven brothers and two sisters; married to numerous wives and concubines, including Saul's daughter Michal, Abigail, and Bathsheba; father of numerous sons and daughters, including Absalom and David's successor, Solomon; ancestor of Jesus.
Occupation: Shepherd, court musician, military commander under King Saul, and king of Israel.
Best Known As: The king under whom the Israelite monarchy was firmly established; most significant ancestor was Jesus Christ. Also known for killing Goliath, the Philistine giant of Gath, with a stone from his slingshot.
Best Thing Said Of: “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22)