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THE FAITH OF DAVID – Hebrews 11:32e

Posted by Pastor Greg Allen on September 14, 2016 under PM Bible Study |

PM Home Bible Study Group; September 14, 2016

Hebrews 11:32e

Theme: David’s story illustrates for us what it looks like to live a whole life of confident faith in God’s promises.


Over the past while, we have been studying the lives of the heroes of faith that we’re told about in Hebrews 11. And particularly, we have been studying the heroes who are only mentioned by name in verse 32. All of them 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”; and also of what is said in verse 6—“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

And now, we consider the fifth hero mentioned in this verse; and that’s King David. David’s life of faith is valuable to study, because he built it upon two great promises from God: (1) that he 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.

Obviously, there are far more details of the life of ‘the Sweet Psalmist of Israel’ than we could possibly consider in just one study. But sticking to the basics, perhaps we can see how David’s story illustrates for us what it looks like to life a whole life of confident faith in God’s promises.

* * * * * * * * * * *

First, consider …


A. 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).

B. 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. 1 Samuel 16 tells us;

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 that moment. He always kept in mind that he—of all people—had been chosen by God to be king of his people—anointed to that role by God’s outstanding prophet Samuel. This leads us next to consider …


A. 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 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 as well. 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.

B. The humble shepherd boy David responded to the call, and said that he would defeat the giant. It may seem, at first, as if David was being youthfully reckless when 1 Samuel 17 tells us;

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).

But read those words again carefully—and consider David’s certainty of his calling. 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.

C. Saul—perhaps out of a sense of desperation—sent this young, God-trusting shepherd to fight against Goliath. And 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).

So then; was David being reckless in his confidence in God’s call on his life? Our knowledge of the rest of the story confirms to us clearly that he was not! A lesson: we can be as confident in our challenges as we are of God’s call on our lives.

* * * * * * * * * * *

With the defeat of Goliath, David now stood out as God’s appointed man. And this made Saul—the king that God intended David to replace—very paranoid. 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 in …


A. David could not now help but be useful to Saul. I Samuel 18:5 tells us, “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).

B. We’re told that Saul kept a suspicious eye on David from that day forward. And 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”. The Bible goes on to tell us;

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 calm, confident faith in God’s promise, it’s interesting to note how God responded along the way by giving assurances to this ‘man after His own heart’. This is where we see …


A. Consider the confirmation David received from Saul’s own son Jonathan. Jonathan knew that God had appointed David to be king over his father; and 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. 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 on, when David was on the run for his life from Saul, Jonathan would find him and bring comfort to him; telling him,

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).

B. Clearly, it’s true that Saul recognized this. In a fit of rage—when he found out that Jonathan had made a covenant with David—he screamed at him and said (in, by the way, what was very, very bold cursing at the time);

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).

Later on, after David graciously spared the life of King Saul, Saul had a brief moment of repentance and told him;

And now I know indeed that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand. Therefore swear now to me by the Lord that you will not cut off my descendants after me, and that you will not destroy my name from my father’s house” (1 Samuel 24:20-21).

C. 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 (and notice carefully what they call him),

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).

D. 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).

E. 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).

* * * * * * * * * * *

All of these words of confirmation would have assured David that God would—indeed—keep his promise to him and give him the throne. This leads us to the fulfillment of that first great promise from God …


A. On the day after his encounter with the witch that he consulted, Saul and his son Jonathan were killed in battle. And when we come to the Old Testament book of 2 Samuel, we find;

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 coronation did not come easily though. There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David (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 (see 2 Samuel 3:6-11).

B. 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!

* * * * * * * * * * *

But there was another promise—a truly remarkable one—that came after David was made king. And this leads us to …


A. As king, David had set his heart upon building a temple for the Lord. But 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. But more; 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! 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” (2 Samuel 7:12-13).

B. 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).

C. Perhaps there’s a lesson for us to learn in this. 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?

* * * * * * * * * * *

All of this, of course, didn’t mean that 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 (see 2 Samuel 12:7-12); and that’s when we find further evidence of a faith in the promise of God through …


A. 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).

Many Bible scholars believe that 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, and perhaps also Psalm 32, show that this confession was sincere.

B. And graciously God forgave David. But sin, sadly, 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. And this is where we see faith in the promises of God become a struggle during …


A. 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).

B. 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; and trusted that, in God’s time, the throne would be restored to him, and the promise of God kept. And indeed, David was restored. When the rebellion was all over and 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.

* * * * * * * * * * *

And that leads us to the end of the story; and to …


A. 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. And 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).

B. Did God keep that promise? We have but 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. And this 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; and let’s live accordingly!

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