DEVOTIONAL 1 - THOSE WHO BUILD ON DAVID’S FOUNDATIONS WILL STAND (10/11/19)
Updated: Nov 14, 2019
Come to Jesus Daily Devotional
Community Group/Family Devotional
This week, we are considering how David, in God's sovereign will, was chosen by God to become the King of Israel. David was a man of destiny.
Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain, had a similar awareness of his destined greatness; an incident in 1943, When the Canadian Prime Minister -William Mckenzie-King - said to him that no-one else could have saved the British Empire in 1940, he replied, “I’ve had very exceptional training, having been through a previous war and having had large experience of government”. King responded, it almost confirms the idea of predestination or preordination of his having been the man selected for this task. This idea was reiterated by the Conservative politician, Lord Hailsham, who had been a junior minister in Churchill’s war-time government, when he said, “the one case in which I think I can see the finger of God in contemporary history is Churchill’s arrival at the premiership at that precise moment in 1940.
In his book, ‘The Gathering Storm’ Churchill wrote of the evening of 10th May 1940 when he become Prime Minister, “I felt as if I were walking with destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour, and for this trial.” Andrew Robert writes of him, He had believed in his own destiny since at least the age of 16, he had told a friend that he would save Britain from a foreign invasion.’ (Andrew Roberts, Churchill, Walking With Destiny- all the above reference are from this source).
How about you? Do you know that you are ‘walking with destiny’? Do you know that God is sovereign - He rules all things - and He has created you for a purpose? We, like David, need to learn to build our lives on the unshakeable foundation of God’s sovereignty over the nations and our lives.
1. COME TO JEUS DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MONDAY- ALL OUR DAYS ORDAINED
Unlike insects, our skeletons are on the inside. This structure that enables us to stand, and keeps us from being a heap on the floor, is hidden. Likewise our ‘spiritual skeleton’ - our faith foundation - is normally hidden, only being revealed as our lives, or those of those around us, are shaken. Let’s take an ‘X-ray’ of David - let’s examine what was deep within him that enabled him to stand through all the perplexities of his life.
Psalm 139: 13-16 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
‘All the days ordained for me...’
David understood the sovereignty of God. He knew that his birth, life and even death had all been planned by God. When sickness, challenge and disappointment come our way, the strength or weakness of our ‘bones’ (osteoporosis) is revealed. Those, like David, who have deep faith in the rule of God will remain standing and flourishing.
We have three alternatives:
God is not in control – The events of my life are at the mercy of fate or evil powers.
God is not interested – God is not interested in me or my life.
God is in control – He rules all things ultimately.
Are you building on David’s foundation of utter trust that Jesus reigns over all? Are you waiting for Him to act in a particular circumstance that is shaking your trust? Read and pray using the following psalm, written by David, as inspiration.
The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.(Psalms 103:19)
TUESDAY - DAVID BECAME KING BY GOD’S CHOICE
We are often concerned about what to do with our lives - what career, who to marry, will I ever get married, where should I live...If you’re a parent, no doubt you have the additional burden of worrying about these kinds of this on your children’s behalf.
There are certain principles to apply when making decisions, but, firstly, one must rest in the truth that our Heavenly Father has a plan for our lives and those that we love; if we don’t rest in God’s sovereignty, we will worry or even try to manipulate situations and people in unhealthy ways.
David became king by God’s will
Yesterday, as we considered psalm 139, it teaches that,
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalms 139:16)
All the days - the good and bad were ordered by God, including his becoming king of Israel. Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin, was ruling at this time. However, God had made a promise that one from Judah, David’s tribe, would be king,
‘Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you… The sceptre will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his.’ (Geneses 49:8, 10)
God had ‘predestined’ David for the throne. In these words, Jacob predicts the great empire of David, and the greater kingdom of Christ, the second David (who is also from the line of Judah).
Paul became a Christian and leader by God’s choice
Another example of God’s rule over our future is that of Paul. He wrote,
‘For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles’ (Galatians 1:13-16).
Paul would have been deemed the least likely to become a Christian, let alone to be a leader. However God had written his future by grace. Likewise our salvation, our gifts, our opportunities...are by God's grace.
David became king by God’s will. Nothing could hinder His plans. Are you burdened, worried about your future or that of another? Let’s confess again that our Heavenly Father has the future in His trustworthy hands. If David was lifted to royalty by God's grace, Christians have been forgiven and adopted into the family of God by His grace. Paul summarises God's sovereignty in our lives and salvation in Romans 8,
'And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.' (Rom. 8:28-30)
The God who gave you the ‘greater David’ - Jesus - has demonstrated His love toward you; it’s time to rest in Him.
Let’s end today’s devotional by meditating on some more words from David,
“Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken...Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” (Psalms 62:1-2,8 )
WEDNESDAY – DOES GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY MEAN THAT IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW WE LIVE?
David wrote, ‘all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.’ This, as we have seen, is a great comfort to us; however, does God’s sovereignty (His rule over all things) mean that it doesn’t matter how I live? Will God fulfil His good plans for our lives and the church, no matter how we live?
In summary, scripture affirms that God’s plans will come to pass whilst we are able to make real choices for which we are accountable. How these two truths work is a mystery (a paradox), but, both must be kept in tension.
Firstly, God is sovereign
The bible teaches that God is sovereign in all that happens in the world - sometimes called His providence. Paul, makes it clear that everything that happens (directed or permitted) fulfils His purposes.
‘In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.’ (Eph. 1:11)
So, for David, this meant that, no matter what He did, He was destined to become king in Israel. R. C. Sproul wrote,
‘God’s sovereign providence stands over and above our actions. He works out His will through the actions of human wills, without violating the freedom of those human wills.’
For us, this means, that everything that God wills for us is guaranteed, no matter if we mess up.
Secondly, We make real decisions
Paradoxically, even though God rules over everything that happen, He still has somehow created us with the ability to make real, consequential decisions, for which we are accountable. The bible never endorses the kind of attitude that says, “It doesn’t matter how I live or apply myself, God will have His way and do great things through me.”
David made real choices, made real mistakes, but God worked in all things to fulfil His will for Him. Likewise, we make real choices - choices that have consequence upon our ‘success’ as Christians; but, we make those choices trusting and resting in the providence of God. We must get the balance right: If we make God’s will contingent upon our getting things right, we will have no confidence of success - we may be scared into inaction! However, faith in God’s power to do all that He promises, creates great action. Paul’s words are the kind of balance that one needs to try to have,
‘Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.’ (Philippians 2:12-13)
THURSDAY – DEALING WITH EVIL LIKE DAVID
If God is the Sovereign King - everything that happens is under His will - how do we deal with the difficulties, suffering and evil in our lives and around us? In David’s life, he had to wait 15 years before God’s promise of his becoming king came to pass - why, he could have wondered, if God loves me, has made a promise to me, if He is so awesome in power, why am I having to wait and deal with so much opposition?
David, after worshipping God’s absolute providence, wrote in the psalm that we have been considering,
‘If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty…’ (Psalms 139:19)
David’s prayer comes out of a longing that God would deal with evil (See Jeremiah 12:10 also). Likewise, we can wonder and pray, “If only you would sort out the problems in my life, end war, heal that person or myself, provide that thing, resolve that problem... Like David we pray, “Away from me!” Another example of how evil can challenge our faith in God's goodness is Psalm 73,
'Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.' (Psalm 73:1-3)
David, although he is angry and anxious, sets us an example of asking God to help Him to have a good heart and make good choices,
‘Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Psalms 139:23-24)
The author of Psalm 73, likewise, teaches us the importance of worship in seasons of perplexity. God may not always deal with bad things according to our timings! But a fresh vision of Him in worship will bring revelation and sustain us,
'When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.' (Psalm 73:16-17)
David does not throw out God’s sovereignty, love or even God’s existence because evil is happening around him. Rather, David holds to the truth of God’s supreme power over all things, whilst choosing to humble himself and trust Him in the perplexities of his life. Rest is found in faith and worship.
FRIDAY – JESUS’ PERFECT EXAMPLE OF FAITH
This week we have been considering the foundations of David’s life. David believed in the sovereignty of God - everything that happens to him and in the world serve His plans. David was convinced that God had ordained all of His days and this foundation enabled him to persevere and refuse to take matters into his own hands.
However, David’s life and faith were imperfect. Jesus is our ultimate example - He is our true David.
Jesus trusted His Father perfectly. Through His suffering, He never wavers in His faith that what was happening was according to the perfect plan of God. At a time when the the disciples were doubting their faith after the death of Jesus, the risen Jesus corrects them,
‘He said to them, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.’ (Luke 24:25-27)
Through His suffering, Jesus never doubted His Father’s plan; He knew that there was great purpose through the cross.
i) Are we building our lives on shakeable things?
We will be constantly fearful if we build our lives on shakable things:
Governments - they fail
Our spouse - they can be unfaithful, they can die!Parents - They are imperfect
Church leaders - They are imperfect like you! Just recently I read of a prominent church leader who has left his wife and renounced his faith.
Teachers - They get things wrong
Friends - friends fail us!
Ourselves - we fail ourselves.
Poor teaching - Poor teaching can be attractive, but, in the storm, it’s a poor foundation!
ii) Those who build on unshakeable things will stand!
This is not to say that we should not love and trust people, but, we must not expect people or institutions to be flawless- they are not Jesus!
Arthur Pink wrote, ‘There is no fixed and sufficient resting place for the heart and mind but in the throne of God.’
We all go through seasons when we wonder if God is in control, loves us, or even exists! Like David, and, ultimately, like Jesus, let’s choose to put our faith in God as He is revealed in scripture - the one who reigns and is working out His plans for us, the church, the world, for His glory.
2. COMMUNITY GROUP/FAMILY DEVOTIONAL
THOSE WHO BUILD ON DAVID’S FOUNDATIONS WILL STAND
Opener: who in all the world would you say knows you best and why?
This week we have been looking at building our lives on David's foundation. He trusted in God's rule in his life and the world (Sovereignty). David was able to persevere through many trials because his foundation - God's reign and love - cannot be shaken.
What does Psalm 139:1-6, say about how deeply God knows you?
Do you ever feel you need to put on a mask, pretend or keep up appearances? Why is that the case?
What does it mean to you that God sees everything about you and still loves your perfectly?
How does Psalm 139:13-15, make you reassess from when God began to be involved in your life?
How do you feel about the future? Excited, anxious, worried, pessimistic, optimistic? Why?
What does Psalm 139:16 have to say about all the days of your life, past, present and future?
You were made for eternity; how does Ephesians 1:4,11 change your perspective on life?
Are you building your life on things that are shaken - feelings, emotions and circumstances...? What should you build it on instead?