(1 Samuel 18:5 NLT) Whatever Saul asked David to do, David did it successfully. So Saul made him a commander over the men of war, an appointment that was welcomed by the people and Saul’s officers alike.
This morning I continue our series entitled, “Standing on a Word from God.” This is Part 56 of the series and Part 28 of the life of David.
In chapter 17 we saw how just after David cut Goliath’s head off, king Saul reached over to the commander of his army, General Abner, (who was clearly not in command that day) and asked, “Abner, whose son is this young man?” The General did not know and he was charged to find out. General Abner went out to meet David and ushered him back to the king. As Abner brought David before Saul the head of the giant was still dangling from his fingers. Blood must have still been dripping from the neck as they stood there. Imagine the scene for a minute. Abner is a battle-tested General who had no-doubt led his men in combat. He had been with Saul for years, probably decades. However, General Abner and every one of his men had been paralyzed in fear, because of the giant, for 40 long days. Next to the General was a kid who did not fear Goliath and who was standing there with the head to prove it. This same kid, David, had instilled courage in the army of Israel that day. His actions led to a great military victory for the nation. General Abner did not know it, but this kid would soon become his replacement.
In our last message we learned that David was invited to live with king Saul. While in the palace he established a covenant relationship with prince Jonathan. Our text today tells us that whatever the king asked David to do, he was able to do it successfully. This reminds me of Joseph. Grace and favor were in operation in Joseph’s life and it is clear that they were also in operation in David’s life. One day David was out in the field, tending sheep, going about his life as normal, knowing that God had something great for him, but not really knowing how it was going to happen. And here we are in the story, just a few weeks later, and his life was completely different. David had a special moment, where God approved him in front of his family, and after that moment he went back to tending sheep, knowing that God was up to something. A few weeks later he had another special moment, this time in front of the king and his entire army, and afterwards he was invited to live in the palace. And after all of this, our text says that David was appointed as commander over the men of war. Without any military experience, without ever serving a day in the ranks, without ever even wearing a suit of armor, David took command of Israel’s military forces as a Commanding General. How in the world did that happen? The answer is clear: God’s grace and favor! This promotion was unearned, unexpected, unprecedented and arguably unfair. But that’s how it is when you walk in the grace and favor of God.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things about grace and favor.
- Grace and favor are not fair. Philip Yancey calls the mathematics of grace “scandalous”. Grace and favor are not about equity, fairness or justice. Grace and favor fly in the face of merit. When God favors you it has nothing to do with your performance and everything to do with his goodness.
- Grace goes against everything you have ever been taught about having to earn (or work for) everything you get. See, if you earn it, it’s not grace. Don’t mistake what I’m saying. I am not saying that the Father wants you to be lazy, that He does not expect you to work hard, or that you do not have to pursue your purpose with passion and zeal. But what I am saying is that God has things for you that He gives you by His unfailing grace and favor. You don’t work for these things, nor could you ever earn them. They come simply by the goodness of God.
- We should be very thankful that God does NOT always give us what we deserve. If God only gave us what we deserved, we would be men-most-miserable. The woman caught in the act of adultery did not receive justice from Jesus, she received grace. She was clearly wrong, but Jesus did not condemn her. The thief on the cross was not hanging there, at the point of death, because he was innocent. No, he was a convicted criminal. He deserved what he was getting. But Jesus did not give him what he deserved. He gave the man grace. It is unfair that a convicted criminal would receive the same eternal life for calling out to Jesus in the last seconds of his life, that a person who dedicates decades to the service of the Lord receives. But grace and favor are not about fairness. Grace and favor are about God and His immeasurable love towards us.
- David did not earn his way up the ranks. It was not fair for him to be placed in command of troops who had served in the army for decades. But God’s promotions are not always about fairness or equity. This promotion came by grace and favor. Why? Because it was part of God’s plan for David’s life. What happened for David will happen for you time and time again as you pursue your purpose.
- Don’t fight against God when He is giving you what you clearly do not deserve. You may feel unworthy. You may feel like it is not fair. You may feel a lot of things. But don’t let your feelings get in the way of God’s goodness. Accept whatever God gives you by faith, knowing that it came to you by grace. This is the only way you will become the man/woman God called you to be.
Father, 2018 has been an amazing season of expectation for me. I acknowledge the fact that You have not always given me what I deserve. For that I am extremely thankful! I did not deserve Your salvation. You sent Your Son Jesus to die in my place anyway. You have also loved me unconditionally all my life, even when I wanted nothing to do with You. And since I have been walking with You, the laundry list of things You have blessed me with, that I did not deserve, is way too long to mention. You are better to me than I could ever even be to myself. You don’t give me justice, You don’t give me fairness, You give me grace, You give me favor, and for that I shall forever be thankful. So Father, as I enter this day and every day that follows, I am open to receive all You desire. I know everything I need to maximize my purpose and potential in the earth is already stored up for me. I know You have already prepared for my success. I know You have already equipped me to leave an indelible mark in this world. You did not do this because I earned it or deserve it. You do this simply because of Your amazing grace. So instead of fighting against Your goodness, I open my heart to everything You planned and everything You want to do IN and THROUGH me. I remove all boundaries, borders and limits. My life is in Your hands! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.