WHY WAS DAVID DIFFERENT?
TEXT: Acts 13:20-22, Psalm 89:1-4
We began this topic last week and we hope to round things up today. Last week we said that David was not very different from many of us. We said he made mistakes like many of us do. He even made worse mistakes. Some people say God has not been able to bless them because of their position in life. They often come up with several wishes which would have made it possible or easy for God to bless them. David did not have all the positives, yet he was so blessed by God that his blessing extended beyond generations, on to an everlasting blessing. I am saying this morning, that the blessing of God for you has nothing to do with your education, location, position in your family etc but your disposition with God.
Last week we examined the negatives in the life of David. For example we said he descended from the line of an incestuous family, He failed in child upbringing, and he was the last child in the family. In fact David had more negatives than any of us could comprehend. At the end though, he ended up been blessed with an indefinite covenant with God. This morning we are going to examine the positives of David that endeared him to God’s heart. Let us note that David never focused on his negatives. Today, we shall be discussing the remarkable positives of David. It was not the negatives of David that made him to stand out before God. Negatives never distinguish a man for good. He might only be remarkably notorious.
DAVID LOVED GOD Psalm 122:1- I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD
David was excited about going to the house of the Lord. To many people today, going to church is a task that is very difficult to carry out. At the best we go if there’s going to be a financial gain or some social interactions with friends or perhaps still some pot-lock. At such times, God is not our main focus when we go to church. Sadly, to some youths these days, it is a place to “select” the next date. I once spoke to a sister (youth) who spent twelve hours in a youth program at a church in Chicago. After the program, she said to me that throughout the program, there was no ‘Christian music’ they danced to the latest pop/social music. It was a ‘great’ time for the youths to interact and unwind. She quickly added that the senior pastor’s rep was present at the meeting. Oh what a Christian youth meeting and how times have changed. We have simply transposed in the church what we were doing in the world. Do you know that some of us deliberately put jobs on Sundays so as to have a ‘genuine’ excuse for not being in church? However, we long for the sure mercies of David. If you want the blessing and the everlasting covenant obtained by David, you will have to love God and cherish going to his house.
I know there are enough reasons these days to make us not want to go to church. Examples are color prejudice in church, poorly prepared sermons, gossip in church, unbridled competition, comparison and criticism. These normally result in loss of individual liberty. Recently I even heard a finding that says that religious people are more prone to gain weight than non religious people. I simply laughed because the research is not only unscientific but it also has no bearing with the scripture. It is actually anti scripture. Now you can see why ‘there are lies, damn lies and statistics’- Winston Churchill. Well, be these as they may, the church is still the house of God. We have got to be happy to be in the church every time. Some people feel slow to go to church when there is no crowd. Churches tend to grow bigger in size when they cross a certain number. Before you get to the number, there is often a challenge in attendance. Your purpose for church attendance should not be because there is a crowd there. Meeting with God should be our reason for church attendance.
1 Samuel 13:14 says the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people. God knew the heart of David but men knew the errors of David. By men’s judgment, David was a failure but by God’s judgment, he was a man after God’s own heart. What are people saying about you and what is God saying about you? Do you remember when David was being pursued by his son? I guess the group that supported Absalom had lots of things against David and enough reasons to want to dethrone and kill him.
DAVID HAD A CONTRITE AND BROKEN HEART, Psalm 51: 17. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
The sacrifice of God has little to do with the amount of your tithes and offerings, the money given to charity, the good dresses which you wear to church etc. These are good but they do not amount to the sacrifice that God demands. The best sacrifice you can give to God is a broken spirit and a contrite heart. God is despising many people in-spite of their huge ‘donations’, tithes, offerings etc. because they are full of pride. Sadly if you rebuke some of the high donors in the church today, they could arrange to transfer the pastor. In addition they can possibly give you the list of things they have contributed to the church. This was not the case with King David. Do you remember his response when God revealed to him through Prophet Nathan what he did wrong? John the Baptist preached a message against a celebrity King and he lost his head. There are lots of Herod’s in church in our days. They sit there like Kings and Kingmakers. They contribute to the poor spiritual performance of the church. These men are not like David. They may have so many physical credentials but they do not possess a broken and a contrite heart. You cannot preach a message from the scripture to them. On the contrary they look forward to an every Sunday praise from the pulpit.
DAVID KNEW HOW TO THANK GOD, Psalm 107: 1. O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Some people think coming to church every Sunday is sufficient. That is great beloved, however the people that know how to thank God best do not do it in church only but also in their closet. Your demonstration of dance in church does not necessarily show that you are thanking God. You might know the latest dance steps and Sunday might be the best day to show them off. In your quiet moments how do you thank God for what he has done for you? The words ‘give thanks’ showed about sixteen times in David’s Psalms. A remarkable demonstration of how David loved to thanks God.
HE KNEW HOW TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP GOD. 2nd Samuel 6: 14 And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.
Praise and worship is not the same as saying thank you. You can say thank you for what you have received or hope to receive but when you begin to say all the good things someone has done for you, it amounts to praise. You need to know how to praise and thank God. The Bible Says David danced ‘with all his might’. I have found out that when people become wealthier and more influential, they tend to reduce the strength they put into dancing for God. Also see Psalms 95: 1-6.
We talk about King Josiah but we do not have records of how King Josiah led praise and worship sessions like David. Josiah gave instructions for things of righteousness to be done. David gave instructions on praise and worship and led the sessions.
DAVID KNEW HOW TO GIVE TO GOD. 2nd Samuel 24: And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver
David refused to accept Araunah’s gift for free. He chose to pay a price. Please note that he did not just pay any money. He paid a price. A price meant something reasonable for the property. David could have just given some money for the property or taken it for free. He did not do that he paid a ‘price’. What do we do when it is time to offer to God? Don’t we do financial analysis to our favour before we decide to give?
HE UNDERSTOOD GOD’S MERCY. Psalm 5: 7: But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple
This is the greatest of them all. If you understand and exploit this, you will be beyond reproach. David knew that all he was enjoying has nothing to do with his good works or his righteousness. He did not rely upon any thing he could do. Psalm 89: 1- He said I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.
Ruth Benedict says ‘A man’s virtue begins when he dedicates himself actively to the job of gratitude`. A man who is ever grateful to his benefactor is actually saying ‘I appreciate what you are doing, please do it again’. The Edo’s in Nigeria will say ‘A man who expresses gratitude is actually saying please repeat your benevolence to me.’
Expression of gratitude to God should be a daily venture. It should be so much in us that it becomes an involuntary thing. That you have what you think is sufficient should not make you ungrateful to the provider. The biggest of all ingrates is someone who gives his gratitude to the wrong fellow. I have seen pastors praise some individuals in the church. This is wrong.
Pastor Nosa Idahosa