10. Faithfulness

In Your Bible Read This

1 Samuel 16, 1-13, 2 Sam. 7,8-11, 18-29

Here Is Your Memory Verse

The Lord said, “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.” 1 Samuel 16.7

Afterwards Talk About This

Is there a God-anointed man today that you can unite behind to help him lead the nation to Christ?

Something To Do Before Next Time

Read the whole story of David from 1 Samuel 16 to 2 Samuel 24, and notice especially the road to Zion, and all the stopping places

Written Diploma Work

Write a one page essay on the tests of poverty, obscurity and prosperity saying where the dangers lie.

Meditate Word By Word On This Verse

Matthew 25.21

Spend a Minute to Change the World

Pray For Iraq – 22,000,000 mainly Arab peoples. 95% Muslim, 0.03% evangelicals, much suffering after Gulf War.

Be sure to teach this lesson to others. Always pray and prepare well adding your own verses and stories to bring it to life.

David was anointed as Israel’s chosen ruler when he was a very young man but many years were to pass before he actually became king at the end of a long road to Mount Zion. In all this time God was preparing him for leadership.

Today’s leaders will also travel along this same road. Zion for us is not the hilltop in Israel, but a place of spiritual rule where we carry responsibility and see growth. Zion for us is a place where people are willing, especially the youth and where we rule over our enemies. Psalms 110, 2-3; 48.11. The road to Zion has many stops on the way.

Bethlehem

David is anointed King in 1 Samuel 16,13, but he returns to the fields to begin his training for reigning. David has to learn to be faithful and Bethlehem stands for faithfulness in small things:

Faithful In Natural Things – He obeys his natural father without question, 17,17-18

Faithful In Private – He kills a lion and a bear, unseen and unrewarded, 17.35

Faithful In Small Things – David looks after a few sheep whilst awaiting his destiny. 17.28

Faithfulness Creates Opportunity

God looks for faithfulness and with it, He creates opportunity. 1 Samuel 16, 17-19; Psalm 75.7. News of David’s qualities had reached the palace and David’s name was put forward. Promotion and success came quickly but for David, success also eventually meant Saul’s anger and jealousy. 1 Sam. 18, 5-9; 19,10-13

Adullam

David was now in great personal need and he escaped to the cave of Adullam. 1 Sam. 22, 1-3, and became the leader of 400 men who came to him.

Some were distressed people – weeping with self pity!Some were in debt – and wanted help to pay their bills!Some were discontented people – who never stopped complaining!David also had to care for his parents. They were all people in need who hoped that David could help them, when David actually needed help himself! On the road to Zion, one stop is always at Adullam, which is where you learn to be faithful to the needy when you are in greater need yourself. David taught them discipline and they became an army. 23.5, and he taught them respect for authority, even in a mad, ungodly King. 24.3-7

Watch Out

But beware, at Adullam people may come to you to get their needs met by your faith. They may not come to help you, and when you need help later on, there is none! This is what happened to David with the people of Keilah whom he saved from certain death, 23, 1-13. Always remember that Jesus alone meets every need, your own and those of the people. Always point the needy people to him.

Ziklag

David was living in Ziklag at a time when his faith in God’s promise was shaky. One day when the men returned Ziklag was on fire, and all the wives and children had been taken. David’s angry men talked about killing him! 1 Samuel 30.1-6. At Ziklag David learned to be faithful to God in total loss, of faith, family and friends. David, “encouraged himself in the Lord,” and his lowest point actually became his turning point.

Hebron

Here David learns to be faithful in relationships with other anointed men who were experienced soldiers and mighty men in their own right. 1 Chron. 11 and 12. They recognised God’s anointing, authority and vision in David, so instead of pursuing their own careers or ‘ministries,’ they came determined to make David the king of all Israel. After the Adullam experience David asked them three heart-searching questions:

Have you come in peace?

Have you come to help me?

Have you come to unite with me?

1 Chronicles 12.17-18

When they entered into unity the anointing and the provision increased. 1 Chron. 11,3; 12, 39-40. Seven years later, together they conquered the mocking Jebusites, took Mount Zion and brought in God’s Kingdom rule, 2 Samuel 5,6-12.

Zion, The Journey’s End

Zion is all about faithfulness in ruling, in a Christ-like manner, neither dominating, nor manipulating the people. David did well but rule brought David many tests of faithfulness that he did not always pass: He brought back the Ark the wrong way, and a man died. He greatly sinned with Bathsheba, and her husband and a baby died. His son Absalom led a rebellion, and he and many others died.

The Hardest Test Of All

On the road to Zion you may suffer poverty but you are safe because you stay close to Jesus. You may suffer the frustration of obscurity but you do everything for Jesus and stay safe from pride. In Zion though the hardest test of all awaits every leader, and many men fail. In Zion there is prosperity and praise and strangely enough because of that leaders can and do forget Jesus, and fall.

  1. Bethlehem, be faithful in small things.
  2. Adullam, be faithful to the needy.
  3. Ziklag, be faithful in total loss.
  4. Hebron, be faithful in relationships.
  5. Zion, be faithful to God in ruling.

To Close Pray for the World’s Most Unreached Peoples by Name

Taken from the Joshua Project Unreached Peoples List these people have no church and as yet no cell, church or mission has committed themselves to prayer, adoption or church planting among this people.

Philippines

People Name Language Population
Malay (Melaju) Malay 140,000

 

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