Current Series: Son of David
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David. Who can compare to him? He was the ruddy, handsome youth tending sheep, writing psalms and worshipping God in the humble Bethlehem fields. He was the lone Israelite brave enough to decapitate Goliath and the sole warrior adept enough to cut off the scourge of the Philistines. He was the stately king who established peace, expanded the borders and reigned in prosperity for 40 years. Who else could be a gentle shepherd, a glorious hero and a noble king?
Would there ever be another leader like David?
Yes. The Son of David. Every prophet pointed to him. Every Hebrew yearned for him. Every generation waited for him. But when He came, many did not recognize Him. He was a shepherd, but of souls not of lambs. He was a hero, but of spiritual rescue not earthly. He was a king, but of a heavenly empire, not a political one.
April 13, 2014
David was a praising and worshipping king. His joyful celebration of God is put on plain display when he leads the ark back to Jerusalem. Through this text we are reminded of the Son of David—the Lord Jesus—who leads us back to our core purpose. We are made to praise, worship and enjoy God with Jesus as our worship leader. Through saving union with Him we have cause to celebrate!
April 6, 2014
Joab kills David’s wicked and conniving son, Absalom. In the three main parts to David’s response upon hearing the news, we see not only the depth of David’s fatherly heart but also longings of God the Father realized only through the cross of Christ. It is only through the cross of Christ that we are truly well, that our sonship trumps our sinnership, and that the righteous takes the place of the unrighteous. Such, however, is the love of our Father in Christ!
March 30, 2014
In 1 Samuel 22 we find David hiding from Saul in a cave in Adullum. Worried for his life, David’s family visits him as well as four hundred people described as distressed, indebted, and bitter in soul. By God’s grace and transforming power, however, these people become David’s mighty men of valor, a forceful group akin to the modern day Secret Service.
Why did these types of people come to David? The same reason the same types of people drew – and still draw – near to the Son of David, Jesus: God most frequently uses the available and equips the called. We may think that our past disqualifies us, but truly it is God’s redemption of our past distress, indebtedness, and bitterness that brings the presence of God to bear in and through our lives.
March 23, 2014
Jesus, the Son of David, did everything right on our account so that we can come with confidence and in great freedom into the manifest presence of God. Alan illustrated this through the story of David’s reclamation of the ark of the covenant from Israel’s enemy. David planned a large and extravagant homecoming for the ark in Jerusalem; but, when, Uzzah, a man helping transport the ark, placed his hand on it, God struck him dead. David canceled the party and sent the ark to the house of a Gittite.
After the presence of God blessed the house of the Gittite, David decided he indeed wanted the manifest presence of God in Jerusalem and recalled the ark from the Gittite. This time, David, dressed in priest’s clothing, transported the ark without error, and with sacrifice and recognition of God. He then danced before the Lord with all his might.
March 16, 2014
Alan analyzed David’s prayer in 2 Samuel 7 and noted that it is the prototype of a godly prayer; one that is neither pitiful nor presumptuous but rather grounded in 1) God’s goodness, 2) God’s covenants, 3) God’s ultimate glory, and 4) God’s word.
The problem with pitiful prayer is that it focuses only on our sinfulness and unworthiness but has no expectancy or boldness. The problem with presumptuous prayer is that it focuses only on our faith and wants but has no humble recognition of God’s sovereignty. David’s prayer in 2 Samuel 7, however, is neither pitiful nor presumptuous but godly and worth emulating.
March 10, 2014
God’s got this. It’s not time to panic but pray. When you feel like a sports team that thought it had won in regulation but surprisingly now must battle for victory in overtime, take heart, God’s got this.
Based on David’s ascension to the throne of Judah in 2 Samuel 2, Alan noted that though God had anointed David king years before, he had endured severe persecution from Saul and even at this point God only allowed David to reign over Judah and not Israel. David probably felt like a sports team heading into overtime, but he used the time on the throne in Judah as preparation for his long-term reign over Judah and Israel.
Likewise, may we not despair, become impatient, or grow complacent as we face “overtimes.” Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, “the author and perfecter of our faith,” and know that in Him God’s got this.
March 2, 2014
Alan preached through a brief story from David’s life wherein he dishonestly garnered the Bread of the Presence from a priest because he was hungry. Alan cross-referenced this story in 1 Samuel 21 to Jesus’ mention of it in Matthew 12 and argued that all of Scripture, even the most seemingly obscure Old Testament stories, ultimately relate to Jesus.
Jesus’ interpretation of David’s consumption of the Bread of the Presence is basically twofold. First, Jesus asserts that he is greater than the temple and all its rules and regulations. That is, he is the better temple, the eternal Bread of the Presence, the perfect High Priest, etc. For one to be connected to Jesus is far better than keeping bits and pieces of the law. Second, as Ahimelech the priest reckoned David a priest, so all who have trusted in Christ are reckoned priests and are therefore authorized to partake of Jesus, the Bread of Life.
February 24, 2014
Alan cited David and Jonathan as an example of a biblical friendship, one based on covenant and consisting of availability, vulnerability, and accountability. The root of such friendships is the fact that God designed us for connection with Himself and other people in friendship as he said in Genesis 2:18, “It is not good that man should be alone.”
The Son of David, Jesus, came to ensure that people might never be alone, but experience friendship with God and others like David did with Jonathan.
February 17, 2014
Alan highlighted the contrasting experiences of David and Saul with regard to suffering, the Holy Spirit, and sacrifices. By doing so, Alan established that though David and Saul were both anointed as king and experienced the Holy Spirit, it was David who exhibited superlative character through longsuffering, a correct view of the Holy Spirit, and joyous, celebratory sacrifices. David was the king with whom people could connect because he developed character and became a hero through real, hard life circumstances.
David was a harbinger of Jesus, the ultimate hero with utmost character. As David had, so Jesus demonstrated character in the midst of real, hard life circumstances. Though he was perfect, he experienced separation from God on the cross and cried with David, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Why? So that we who trust in him would know that he is the king with whom we can connect.
February 10, 2014
Chris contrasted the ways in which Saul and Jonathan related to David. Saul valued credentials over calling. David’s victories threatened Saul because Saul was always focused on his own advancement and glory, not God’s. Saul thus sought to humiliate and even kill David. Jonathan, however, despite being Saul’s first born son and therefore the heir apparent, recognized David’s character and celebrated his successes as if they were his very own. Jonathan gave David his royal garb, acknowledging God’s hand upon David and David’s single-heartedness toward God.
The point of the story is not that we should strive to be more like David but rather recognize how David points to Jesus. Jesus’ own people, those he had come to save, valued credentials over calling. They, like Saul, could not see God’s hand upon Jesus, because his birth, upbringing, teaching, and power looked nothing like what they expected. They humiliated him and indeed killed him on a cross. Such humiliation, though, preceded exaltation and represented victory over the forces of evil; and, to anyone who, like Jonathan, recognizes the hand of God upon Jesus, renounces the royal garb of their own little kingdom, and trusts in him for salvation, he gladly welcomes into the kingdom of God!
February 2, 2014
Everyone needs a hero and Jesus is the ultimate hero as the perfect embodiment of David. David, however, was an unlikely hero in the story of David and Goliath, as he was a young, civilian shepherd. From the outside looking in, he was an underdog against the older, bigger, more experienced Goliath. David, though, never viewed himself as an underdog, believing from the onset that he would defeat Goliath, because 1) he never intended to fight Goliath on his own terms and 2) he knew that Goliath’s strength was also his greatness weakness. He killed Goliath with a rock and made a public mockery of the enemy, obtaining victory for all of God’s people.
Jesus, likewise, was an unlikely hero from the outside looking in. He was born and grew up in obscurity. He was a shepherd not a soldier, posing no threat of force to the Roman Empire. Hanging on a cross it appeared that he was losing but his greatness was that he never intended to fight Satan, sin, and death on their terms. Rather, his death on the cross was the victory. By it he dismantled Satan, sin, and death and turned away the wrath of God, obtaining victory for all of God’s people. He publicly mocked the ploys of Hell and Hell, like Goliath, never saw what hit it!
January 26, 2014
Will the people see the king they really need? This was the question in the time of David and it is the question now in the time of Jesus. In the time of David, the people of Israel could not see God but could see that all the other nations had human kings; so they wanted and asked for a human king as well. God gave them Saul, and, as far as the natural eye could see, he would be a great king. However, as compelling as Saul’s external attributes were, so his internal attributes were lacking. Saul was not the king everyone anticipated.
So God revealed a new king to his prophet Samuel. David was the eighth and youngest son of Jesse, a shepherd by trade, possessing no military experience. Jesse did not even think to set David forth when Samuel arrived to anoint the next king; and even Samuel thought that, by the looks of them, the next king was surely one of Jesse’s elder sons. God’s king was David, however, the forgotten son who no one thought kingly based on his external appearance and credentials. God looked on David’s heart and directed Samuel to anoint him as king.
So it is with Jesus. The King of all is also a shepherd. He came without the might, force, or pomp of the world and yet he was God’s king. He was the forgotten son on the cross in our place for our sin. And like David, only God can allow us to see Jesus’ kingship as it’s neither perceived by the natural eye nor based upon external appearance or credential. Surely God will allow you to see Jesus as he truly is if you ask him for he is the king we really need.
January 20, 2014
Alan connected the Old Testament prophecy that God would make David a house to the New Testament fulfillment in the body of Christ. While David spoke to God about a physical house, God spoke to David about a spiritual house. Peter picks-up on this in his epistle when he says that, “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house… (1 Peter 2:5a)” This means that the house of God, the place God dwells, is not a physical building but rather the very people of God.
Further, Alan argued that connection to God and others via the spiritual house is the antidote to the epidemic of loneliness in our society. He cited many studies that exposed the sad statistics related to the increase in loneliness, isolation, and suicide. Alan held out hope though, that through the good news of Jesus Christ we are always with God and others. Therefore, connection to the spiritual house is not optional but essential!
January 12, 2014
“The Blessing Service” is a Reynolda Church tradition wherein each family unit receives the spoken New Year’s blessing from the scriptures. This stands in stark contrast to New Year’s resolutions that depend on our effort and resolve (and never work!).
January 5, 2014
Alan began a new series entitled Son of David: Shepherd. Hero. King. The first sermon included background on David’s life and various roles and finally revolved around the covenant that God made with David, known as the Davidic covenant, in 2 Samuel 7.
From Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew 1, Alan established that David was the central figure in Israel’s history and thus that the promised savior would chiefly be “the son of David.” As the son of David, Jesus was the faultless David, embodying perfectly everything David was – a shepherd, hero, king, warrior, etc.
Jesus fulfilled the Davidic covenant by building a house for and among his people over which he reigns forever and ever. His house is the antithesis of religious effort, which says, “If you build something for God he will love you.” Jesus builds his house for us not because we’ve done great things for him but rather because he loves us and chooses to do so. This is good news!