David: A King with a Heart for God - Part 2
Our introduction to king David is a rudy, red-haired boy who flunked the king test by appearance. The only thing that David could get at first glance would be snickers. However, as the story progresses Goliath enters the stage and silences all the fierce fighters in Israel. Let's just say Goliath was a giant of mammoth proportions; no man in his right mind would stand up against him.
Enter the king of God's choosing. The first words to come out of his mouth are these. "What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?" (1 Samuel 17:26). Take special note of the tone used by David when referring to the God of Israel. For David, this fight was not between two men, but two Gods, one the living God and the other a false god.
What we know of Saul has been said in previous articles, chiefly he first appears to be humble, but the reality of his nature quickly comes to the surface, and his arrogance overtakes his phony modesty. Then comes an event in Saul's life that can easily fool the simple-minded. I mean no personal criticism, but of Christianity, it has been said, "Christianity is about a mile wide, but only about one inch deep." Sad but true!
It is said of Saul that the Spirit of God came upon him. Some will take this to mean he was saved. Only time can determine the reality of a man's salvation because only those who persevere to the end will be saved. (Mark 13:13) Once David was anointed king, without Saul knowing it, we learn this. "Now, the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD terrorized him" (1 Samuel 16:14).
Let the naive pay close attention to what is about to be said; we are dealing with the spirit world. We are first told the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul. Second, we are informed that an evil spirit from the LORD terrorized him. Those who were with Saul suggested to him that music might make him feel better. In today's terms, music soothes the savage beast, first spoken by William Congreve, The Morning Bride (1697).
However, God does not possess an evil Spirit, but He can choose to use a fallen angel. Consider our Lord's teaching on the subject.
"When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' "And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. "Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first" (Luke 11:24-26).
In the house that is swept and put in order, God may choose to offer a man a better path for his life. Nevertheless, apart from a changed heart, the man will only choose to return to his first condition. Unfortunately, the second state is worse than the first because he has turned his back on the light bestowed during a time of God's grace. Grace and then greater evil is what happened to Saul.
The king that replaced Saul was not swept and clean but possessed a heart created anew by the living God. "Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come" (2 Corinthians 5:17). David's salvation was an Old Testament form of a New Testament reality. David did not have the clarity of those living after Pentecost, but please make no mistake, his heart panted after God as the deer pants after the water brook. The unsaved have no such heart.
We best understand the story of David when we consider the interactions with the people around him. David was not all that different than Joseph in his relationship with his brothers. "Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab's anger burned against David and he said, "Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your insolence and the wickedness of your heart; for you have come down in order to see the battle." But David said, "What have I done now? Was it not just a question?" Then he turned away from him to another and said the same thing; and the people answered the same thing as before" (1 Samuel 17:28-30).
People who are bold for God are brave because of God. It sounds like bragging to the world, but in reality, it is faith in the LORD. David's statement, "What have I done now?" means he must have heard that many times before.
There is a spirit in man that goes unseen by others.
An evil Spirit is not part of God's nature.
Evil spirits can be influential in a man's soul.
A temporary change in a man's character is not evidence that guarantees salvation.
Men of faith are often in conflict with the world.
Godly people see beyond the conflict of men and trust in the LORD.