The Divineness Of Faith; Part 1

Dear Visionary Leader:
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. First,
We Need To Be Convinced Of Our Calling Of Faith
David entered the scene at a time of great distress for Israel. The people had chosen a king for themselves; and in the process of doing so, they had rebelled against God as their true King. They chose Saul; but Saul was a fickle and disobedient man—prone toward rebellion against God’s good way for him. But God had already begun to seek for Himself “a man after His own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14).
After a particular occasion in which Saul had grievously disobeyed God; God told His prophet Samuel, “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments” (1 Samuel 15:11). Samuel wept bitterly at this news. But God had a plan. In 1 Samuel 16 we read:
Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons” (1 Samuel 16:1).
Samuel did as the Lord commanded; and he examined carefully all of the fine, outwardly-excellent sons that Jesse had brought to him. But the Lord made it clear to Samuel that He had chosen none of them.
And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.” So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward (1 Samuel 16:11-13).
David would never forget this anointed moment. He always kept in mind that he had been chosen by God to be king of his people—anointed to that role by God’s outstanding prophet Samuel. Second,
We Need To Communicate Our Confidence of Faith
God had chosen David as king. But God’s clear calling took time to be realized in actual experience, and to be accepted by God’s people. David, the chosen king, still worked the sheepfolds of his father Jesse. But the time came for him to act in the confidence of his call from God. The occasion for his confidence in his calling, came through the oppression of the Philistines against the people of Israel—and particularly through the threats of their giant champion Goliath. He would come out daily and defy and terrify the armies of Israel and blaspheme the God of Israel. After having been sent by his father to the battlefield to bring food to his brothers, David heard this giant’s taunts and of the reward that Saul promised to whoever would defeat him.
The humble shepherd boy David responded to the call and said that he would defeat the giant. It may seem, as if David was being youthfully reckless. We read in 1 Samuel 17:31-37:
Now when the words which David spoke were heard, they reported them to Saul; and he sent for him. Then David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” Moreover, David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:31-37)
Was he really being rash and reckless? Not at all! He was confident in God’s call on his life; and new that so long as God had appointed him to be king, he never needed to fear fighting the Lord’s battles. He even had some past experiences—perhaps after his call to be king—that helped him to appreciate that God did, indeed, have His hand on him. David, in the sense of God’s call on his life, was invincible.
Perhaps out of a sense of desperation, Saul sent this young, God-trusting shepherd to fight against Goliath. We need to note the confidence with which David went! He ignored the threats of Goliath and said;
“You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:45-47).
With the defeat of Goliath, David now stood out as God’s appointed man. Saul became very paranoid in the days ahead. But David did not act toward Saul with the same kind of defiance that it was appropriate to act toward Goliath. David could afford to wait respectfully upon God’s timing of things. He had no need to make himself king before God’s time. This is where we see a faith in God’s promise demonstrated, as he waited for it to be fulfilled. Third,
We Need To Be Convicted Of Calmness In Faith
David could be useful to Saul. I Samuel 18:5, we read, “So David went out wherever Saul sent him, and behaved wisely. And Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.”
But that’s when the trouble began:
Now it had happened as they were coming home, when David was returning from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women had come out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy, and with musical instruments. So, the women sang as they danced, and said:
“Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands.”
Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” (1 Samuel 18:6-8).
We’re told that Saul kept a suspicious eye on David from that day forward. David could have very easily taken advantage of the situation. But he did not. In full faith in God’s promise that he would—in time—be king, he “behaved wisely”. We continue to read:
Now Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, but had departed from Saul. Therefore, Saul removed him from his presence, and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people. And David behaved wisely in all his ways, and the Lord was with him. Therefore, when Saul saw that he behaved very wisely, he was afraid of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them (1 Samuel 18:12-16).
David didn’t take advantage of his favor in the sight of the people. He knew that God would give him the promised kingship in His time and in His way—without the use of unrighteous manipulation or wrongdoing to the current king. What a great example to us this is to us in how to truly live a life of confident faithfulness in the light of God’s promises! If we’re in His will, we need never run ahead of Him. In the light of David’s calmness, confident faith in God’s promise, it’s interesting to note how God responded along the way by giving assurances to him.
Until The Last Person Has Heard,
Dr. James. O. Davis
Global Church Network
Cochair / Global Networking