The Christ Church Wednesday Bible Study Group is studying God's providence or divine providence in the lives of David and Joseph and how we can apply His providence in their lives to our lives today.
The providence of God or divine providence is the governance of God by which He, with wisdom and love, cares for and directs all things in the universe. Divine providence asserts that God is in complete control of all things. He is sovereign over the universe. He is in control of the physical world. He is in control of the affairs of nations. He is in control of human destiny. He is in control of human successes and failures. He protects His people.
The doctrine of divine providence can be summarized this way: “God in eternity past, in the counsel of His own will, ordained everything that will happen; yet in no sense is God the author of sin; nor is human responsibility removed.”
These are the notes to Session 4 and we look at why God chose David.
For our study we will be using Great Lives: David: A Man of Passion and Destiny, by Charles R. Swindoll, and The Hand of God by Alistair Begg. To study along with us you can purchase the books by clicking the Links here or the images after the notes.
The providence of God or divine providence is the governance of God by which He, with wisdom and love, cares for and directs all things in the universe. Divine providence asserts that God is in complete control of all things. He is sovereign over the universe as a whole, He is in control of the physical world, He is in control of the affairs of nations, He’s in control of human destiny, He’s in control of human successes and failures, He protects His people. Through divine providence God accomplishes His will.
MAN PANICS . . . GOD PROVIDES
MAN CHOOSES . . . GOD CORRECTS
MAN FORGETS . . . GOD REMEMBERS
GOD SPEAKS . . . WE RESPOND
First, God’s solutions are often strange and simple, so be open.
Second, God’s promotions are usually sudden and surprising, so be ready. At the time you least expect it, it’ll come.
Finally, God’s selections are always sovereign and sure, so be sensitive. . How easy to second-guess God’s selections! How necessary, when tempted to do that, to remind ourselves that His selections are sovereign and sure.
The Holy Spirit and His Purpose in God’s Providence
After Samuel anoints David, he goes back to his job as a shepherd and Saul continues as this king. When Saul was anointed the Bible says that the Holy Spirit descends on him.
1 Samuel 10:9-10 NIV As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day. When he and his servant arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he joined in their prophesying.
However, we learn later that the Holy Spirit leaves Saul.
1 Samuel 16:14 NIV Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.
This brings up the question of the Holy Spirit and the believer.
Before the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, the Spirit of God never permanently rested on any believer except David and John the Baptist. Those are the only two. It was not uncommon for the Spirit of God to come for a temporary period of strengthening or insight or whatever was the need of the moment and then to depart, only to return for another surge of the need of the moment, then to depart, once again.
Two men were named by the Lord to supervise the carrying out of the directions for the Tabernacle. They were men who had been endowed by God with the wisdom and talent necessary for this very thing—Bezaleel of Judah and Aholiab of Dan.
Exodus 31:1-6 NIV Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also, I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you:
The Spirit came upon certain judges, warriors, and prophets in a way that gave them extraordinary power: for example, Joshua
Numbers 27:18 NLT The Lord replied, “Take Joshua son of Nun, who has the Spirit in him, and lay your hands on him.
Judges 3:9-10 NLT But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord raised up a rescuer to save them. His name was Othniel, the son of Caleb’s younger brother, Kenaz. The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he became Israel’s judge. He went to war against King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram, and the Lord gave Othniel victory over him.
Judges 6:34 NLT Then the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon with power. He blew a ram’s horn as a call to arms, and the men of the clan of Abiezer came to him.
Judges 13:24-25 NLT When her son was born, she named him Samson. And the Lord blessed him as he grew up. And the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him while he lived in Mahaneh-dan, which is located between the towns of Zorah and Eshtaol.
Judges 14:5-6 NLT As Samson and his parents were going down to Timnah, a young lion suddenly attacked Samson near the vineyards of Timnah. At that moment the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him, and he ripped the lion’s jaws apart with his bare hands. He did it as easily as if it were a young goat. But he didn’t tell his father or mother about it.
However, at Pentecost and from that time all the way through our present era, when the Spirit of God comes into the believing sinner at salvation, He never leaves. He comes and baptizes us into the body of Christ. That happens at salvation. We remain sealed by the Spirit from that time on. We’re never exhorted to be baptized by the Spirit. We are baptized into the body of Christ, placed there by the Spirit, sealed until the day of redemption.
Ephesians 4:30 NLT And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
That’s the day we die. So, He’s there, and He never leaves. Furthermore, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit in which the Spirit of God dwells. He permanently resides within us and will never, ever depart.
1 Corinthians 3:16 NIV Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 NIV Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
With Saul the Holy Spirit left and was replaced by what is described as a “evil spirit”
1 Samuel 16:14-16 NIV Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. Saul’s attendants said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our Lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the lyre. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes on you, and you will feel better.”
The “evil spirit from Jehovah” which came into Saul in the place of the Spirit of Jehovah, was not merely an inward feeling of depression at the rejection announced to him, which grew into melancholy, and occasionally broke out in passing fits of insanity, but a higher evil power, which took possession of him, and not only deprived him of his peace of mind, but stirred up the feelings, ideas, imagination, and thoughts of his soul to such an extent that at times it drove him even into madness. The demon is called “an evil spirit (coming) from Jehovah” because Jehovah had sent it as a punishment. . . .
According to these biblical scholars God sent the evil spirit. I have always had a problem with them saying that God sent an evil spirit because of the scripture in James
James 1:13-15 NIV When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
However we do know that nothing happens outside the knowledge of God because He is all knowing so He would know that an evil spirit was going to enter Saul and if the Holy Spirit had departed there would be room for possession which this was. The Holy Spirit departed, and God permitted I like that better than sent, an evil spirit to possess Saul. All this was a part of God’s plan.
It got David in the palace where he could observe and develop a friendship that later proved invaluable with Saul’s son.
1 Samuel 16:17-18 NIV So Saul said to his attendants, “Find someone who plays well and bring him to me.” One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him.”
Remember what I said earlier God’s solutions are often strange and simple, God’s promotions are usually sudden and surprising, God’s selections are always sovereign and sure, so be sensitive.
So, David is now inside, and the king loves him because his music settles him down.
NOTE: The events in Samuel may not be chronological.
The Old Testament’s Most Famous Battle
Remember when Samuel went to Jesse’s house to anoint the next king he was impressed with the physical appearance of Jesse’s sons so he presupposed that the oldest son who was apparently physically impressive was the one and remember what God said
1 Samuel 16:7 NIV But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
A quick aside. Remember God said that Eliab was not the one. That’s because He knew that Eliab was not king material. Here’s what he said to his brother David when he was just trying to find out what was going on because Jesse asked David to check on his brothers.
1 Samuel 17:28 NIV When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”
He was probably jealous because David had been anointed over him and now he had a chance to ridicule him.
He attacks David’s motive. “Look, David, why have you really showed up here?” Then he trys to humiliate David. “Hey, David,
where did you leave that handful of sheep?”
The thing I like is that David just ignored him.
1 Samuel 17:29-30 NIV “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before.
Now take a look at what the Israelite army did they looked at the physical appearance of their enemy,
1 Samuel 17:1-11 NIV Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Sokoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Sokoh and Azekah. Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them. A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him. Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.
Goliath was not only big, but he was well protected and equipped. This went on for 40 days. The Israelites saw this every day for 40 days and they were frightened every day.
That’s the way with the giants of fear and worry, for example. They don’t come just once; they come morning and evening,
day after day, relentlessly trying to intimidate. They come in the form of a person, or pressure, or a worry. Few things are more persistent and intimidating than our fears and our worries especially when we face them in our own strength.
If you don’t address your fears, they will get bigger and bigger. The Israelite didn’t do anything about Goliath, so he became bolder and bolder until David killed him.
When Goliath first issued his challenge, “He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, and said to them . . . ‘Choose a man for yourselves and let him come down to me’” (17:8).
But look at what is said the day David arrives:
1 Samuel 17:25 NIV Now the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel.”
Goliath has now crossed the ravine at the base of the valley and is coming up Israel’s side. You see, if you don’t deal with your fear and worry they will overwhelm you. That’s why you can’t afford to tolerate giants; you kill them.
So, through the providence in comes David who is obviously not intimidated by the size or the equipment of Goliath because in His providence God has given David evidence of His help when needed to deal with danger. We know the story of how David killed Goliath, so we aren’t going to go into any detail about the battle. We know that David is confident because of his past experience. He didn’t want man made protection because he wasn’t familiar with it but he knew want God could provide and do.
1 Samuel 17:34-40 NIV But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.” Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
Remember God’s solutions are often strange and simple, so be open.
Let’s look at what we learn for his entire incident.
1. Facing giants is an intimidating experience. When we don’t know what to do. Remember all the other times that you didn’t know what to do and God made a way. Remember what David said
1 Samuel 17:45-47 NIV David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
David said, “My God is greater than you.”
2. Doing battle is a lonely experience. No one else can fight for you. And nobody else can fight for you, not even a counselor or a pastor, not even a parent or a friend. It’s lonely, but it enables you to grow up. It’s on the lonely battlefield that you learn to trust God.
3. Trusting God is a stabilizing experience. David was stabilized by his trust in God.
1 Samuel 17:34-37 NIV But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
If you try to tackle the giant in the flesh, you cannot get it done. You’ll lose. But when you have spent sufficient time on your knees, it’s remarkable how stable you can be.
4. Winning victories is a memorable experience. We’re to remember the victories of our past. We’re to pass on our lion-and-bear stories our own Goliath victories.
Romans 8:37-39 NIV No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Never, ever forget it: The battle is the Lord’s!
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