The Divineness of Faith; Part 2

January 26, 2021
Dear Visionary Leader:
Last week we began looking at the divineness of faith, and went through the first three divine faith lessons. Throughout Hebrews Chapter 11, all of the champions of faith have in common that they heard some particular promise of God; and believing—though acting at times imperfectly—they nevertheless trusted in that promise faithfully and saw God prove Himself to be faithful to them. In doing this, they all proved what the writer of Hebrews said in verse 1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
In Hebrews 11:32e-f, we consider David and Samuel. I have chosen to study David and Samuel together because both of them are linked together in the work of God. Both David and Samuel’s life of faith are valuable to study because they built it upon two great promises from God: (1) that David would be king of Israel; and (2) that from him a king would be born who would have an everlasting kingdom. He lived the whole of his life in the light of these two great promises from God.
We can learn many divine faith lessons to be applied to our lives and our families. The fourth divine faith lesson is:
We Need To Consider Our Confirmation of Faith
Consider the confirmation David received from Saul’s own son Jonathan. Jonathan knew that God had appointed David to be king over his father. Even though Saul hated David and sought to kill him, Jonathan requested that David—when he came to the throne—would show favor to him. In 1 Samuel 20:14-15, Jonathan told him:
“And you shall not only show me the kindness of the Lord while I still live, that I may not die; but you shall not cut off your kindness from my house forever, no, not when the Lord has cut off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth” (1 Samuel 20:14-15).
Later, when David was on the run for his life from Saul, Jonathan would find him and bring comfort to him stating: “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Even my father Saul knows that” (1 Samuel 23:16-17).
In a fit of rage—when Saul found out that Jonathan had made a covenant with David—he screamed at him and said: “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, you shall not be established, nor your kingdom. Now therefore, send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die” (1 Samuel 20:30-31).
Not only did Saul recognize what God had in plan for David, but so did the enemies of God’s people! David sought to flee from Saul and hid out among the people of Gath. He went to Achish, the king of Gath; but Achish’s servants strongly objected, saying:
“Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of him to one another in dances, saying:
‘Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands’?” (1 Samuel 21:10-11).
The godly people of Israel themselves also seemed to have recognized God’s plan for David. There was a time when David and his band of men were treated very badly by a sheep rancher that they had protected. David, in a fit of rage, was prepared to go and destroy the man; but the man’s wife met David and stopped him in time from committing a rash act that would have been a great sin. She told him:
“Please forgive the trespass of your maidservant. For the Lord will certainly make for my lord an enduring house, because my lord fights the battles of the Lord, and evil is not found in you throughout your days. Yet a man has risen to pursue you and seek your life, but the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the Lord your God; and the lives of your enemies He shall sling out, as from the pocket of a sling. And it shall come to pass, when the Lord has done for my lord according to all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and has appointed you ruler over Israel, that this will be no grief to you, nor offense of heart to my lord, either that you have shed blood without cause, or that my lord has avenged himself. But when the Lord has dealt well with my lord, then remember your maidservant” (1 Samuel 25:28-31).
Even Samuel—in a most remarkable circumstance—was given voice to affirm David after he had died! In the strange ‘seance’ story in which Saul sought to use occult practices to contact Samuel, God allowed Samuel to appear and tell him news he did not want to hear:
“So why do you ask me, seeing the Lord has departed from you and has become your enemy? And the Lord has done for Himself as He spoke by me. For the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, David” (1 Samuel 28:16-17).
The fifth divine faith lesson is:
We Need To Commit To Our Conquest Of Faith
On the day after his encounter with the witch that he consulted, Saul and his son Jonathan were killed in battle. In 2 Samuel 2:1-4, we read:
It happened after this that David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up to any of the cities of Judah?” And the Lord said to him, “Go up.” David said, “Where shall I go up?” And He said, “To Hebron.” So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. And David brought up the men who were with him, every man with his household. So they dwelt in the cities of Hebron. Then the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah (2 Samuel 2:1-4).
This conquest of coronation did not come easily though. There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David (2 Samuel 3:1). At first, only the tribe of Judah recognized David. But through a series of events that were completely outside of David’s control, a former leader in the house of Saul—in a fit of anger—purposed that he would bring all the house of Saul under David … which is what he did (2 Samuel 3:6-11).
In the end we read:
Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and spoke, saying, “Indeed we are your bone and your flesh. Also, in time past, when Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel out and brought them in; and the Lord said to you, ‘You shall shepherd My people Israel, and be ruler over Israel.’” Therefore, all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord. And they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years (2 Samuel 5:1-5).
David had patiently trusted God to keep that first promise—that He would make him king. And God did as He said! However, there was another promise—a truly remarkable one—that came after David was made king. Sixth
We Need To Have Clarity In The Covenant of Faith
As king, David had set his heart upon building a temple for the Lord. Yet, the Lord told him no—that he had been a man of warfare and bloodshed; and that it would not be appropriate for him to build the temple. Instead, it would be his son who would build it. God also told David that rather than David building a house for the Lord, it would be the Lord who would build up David’s house forever!
In 2 Samuel 7:12-13, God told him;
“When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”
What an astonishing promise! David understood this to be speaking of an offspring who wouldn’t simply be on the throne for a long time; but rather, who would have an eternal kingdom! David recognized this to be a promise of a coming Messiah who would reign on earth as God’s appointed ‘eternal’ King—the King of kings! In response, David prayed;
“Now, O Lord God, the word which You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house, establish it forever and do as You have said. So let Your name be magnified forever, saying, ‘The Lord of hosts is the God over Israel.’ And let the house of Your servant David be established before You” (2 Samuel 7:25-26).
God did not give David this greater ‘second’ promise, until after the lesser ‘first’ one had been kept. Thus, God built David’s faith up; so that the second promise—the one that benefits us all today—would be more fully believed. Doesn’t God nurture our own faith along in the same way?
David’s life was perfect from them on. Sadly, it wasn’t. David had gone on some time afterward to commit a terrible sin of adultery—and then to try to cover it up with murder. God confronted David with this great sin (2 Samuel 12:7-12).  When David made his confession, we find further evidence of a faith in the promise of God. The seventh divine lesson is:
We Need To Have Courage In The Confession of Faith
In David’s heartfelt Psalm 51, we see how David’s heart was broken over his sin. And perhaps most on his heart was what would happen to God’s great promises to him. Would God now remove His blessing and kingship, and now not allow an offspring of David to rule as King forever? In that Psalm, he prayed;
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me (Psalm 51:10-11).
David’s words in these verses reflect his fears about the loss of the covenant promise God had made to him. In true repentance, David admitted he had sinned—and no doubt, Psalm 51 shows that this confession was sincere.
God graciously forgave David. However, sin has unavoidable consequences. God allowed the child that was conceived in this terrible act of adultery to be taken from David (2 Samuel 12:13-14). But David was given another son. His name was Solomon (2 Samuel 12:24-25); and it would be through Solomon that` the promise God made would be kept.
Among the many other consequences of David’s sin, however, was the fact that—from that day on—there would be trouble in David’s household. His eldest son, in time, rebelled against David and sought to draw the people to himself in order to dethrone his father.
The eighth divine faith lesson is:
We Need To Be Consistent In The Crisis Of Faith
We can see something of this struggle when David was on the run from his son. As he sought to make his way out of the city, in order to save his own life and the life of his royal household, the priests sought to bring the ark of the covenant from out of the temple. But David wouldn’t have any of this. He said to the priest;
“Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, He will bring me back and show me both it and His dwelling place. But if He says thus: ‘I have no delight in you,’ here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him” (2 Samuel 15:25-26).
But would God still have favor on him? Would he ever return? Were the great kingdom promises now withdrawn from him? It seemed that David again had patience in God’s promise. He trusted in God’s time, the throne would be restored to him, and the promise of God kept. Indeed, David was restored. When the rebellion was all over, he was restored to the throne, David wrote a song in which he declared of God:
“He is the tower of salvation to His king,
And shows mercy to His anointed,
To David and his descendants forevermore.” (2 Samuel 22:51)
God is faithful to His promises—even when we are not as faithful to Him as we should be. The last divine faith lesson we can learn is:
We Need To Continue Until The Conclusion of Faith
In the course of time, David died; and his son Solomon was placed on the throne; and built the temple of the Lord in the place of his father David. After Solomon dedicated the temple he had built, the Lord told him;
Now if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man on the throne of Israel’” (1 Kings 9:4-5).
Did God keep this promise? We only have to read about it in Luke 1; when the angel spoke to Mary and told her;
“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:30-33).
Among David’s last words, we find him affirming God’s blessing on those who fear Him faithfully and obey Him. His statement is recorded in 2 Samuel 23:5;
“Although my house is not so with God,
Yet He has made with me an everlasting covenant,
Ordered in all things and secure.
For this is all my salvation and all my desire;
Will He not make it increase?” (2 Samuel 23:5).
Indeed, God did! David’s life was a life lived in humble and confident faith in God’s promises—greatest of which was the promise of the Savior, Jesus Christ; the Son of David; the King of kings. We live in the light of God’s promises to David—both kept and still being kept. Let’s learn from David to trust our God to keep all of His promises!
Until The Last Person Has Heard,
Dr. James. O. Davis
Global Church Network
Cochair / Global Networking
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