Morning Bible Study
Caleb and I have been looking at this topic of “transition” because our
church is going through transition.
At the end of the year, Caleb will become the new Sr. Pastor, and I will be
one of his assistants.
Yet the subject of “transitions” goes way beyond what’s happening at
Life is filled with “Transitions”.
Some are wonderful – like getting married, birth of a child
Some are hard – like the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, failing
Some are carefully planned – like buying a new house
Some are unexpected – like an automobile accident
“Transition” is that time in between things – like when Israel wandered in
the wilderness in their journey from Egypt to their Promised Land.
How many of you remember this?
Before Neil Armstrong could take that small step, he had to go through
quite a lot, including that Saturn V “rocket” of transition. This is from the film “First Man”…
Some transitions are a bit loud, a bit rough, and you wonder if things are
going to blow up.
Are you going through a time of being “in between” things?
Does it feel a little like sitting on top of that Saturn V rocket?
Like it or not, life is filled with change.
The question is, how will I handle the change?
This week I want to look at a few snippets from the life of King David.
The youngest of seven sons, David didn’t start out as a king, he started
out as a shepherd boy.
David’s father considered him the least likely to become king when the
prophet Samuel came for a visit. (1Sam. 16)
People’s perception of David began to change the day that he alone was
willing to take on the challenge of that nine-foot tall giant, Goliath.
I have actual video of that event:
(1 Samuel 18:5–11
NKJV) —5 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. 6 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. 7 So the women sang as they danced,
and said: “Saul has
slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands.” 8 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?” 9 So Saul eyed David from that day
forward. 10 And it happened on the next day that the distressing spirit from
God came upon Saul, and he prophesied inside the house. So
David played music with his hand, as at other times; but there was
a spear in Saul’s hand. 11 And Saul cast the spear, for he said,
“I will pin David to the wall!” But David escaped his presence twice.
From this point we will watch Saul’s relationship with David go through ups
and downs, but mostly downs.
Saul will keep throwing spears at David until David finally realizes he
better stop hanging out with Saul if he wanted to live.
David was one of Saul’s best assets, yet Saul’s jealousy drove David away
rather than utilizing him for the sake of the kingdom.
Friend or Foe?
I’m not sure how it happens, but sometimes transitions can change friends
It’s really sad when two people are actually
playing for the same team. Instead of
focusing on beating their opponent, they fight each other.
We have to be careful we remember who our real
6:12 NKJV) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood,
but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness
of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
If you’re struggling with a person who is a believer, you
are on the same team as they are … even if they are a stupid jerk.
Our real enemy is Satan and the world.
The only way we’re going to win that battle is with a
relationship with Jesus.
Jesus disarmed Satan when He died on the cross.
We win our daily battles when we trust in Jesus.
(1 John 5:5 NKJV) Who is he who overcomes the world,
but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
To make things harder for David, even some of his closest friends were
egging him on to consider Saul his enemy.
Our next vignette takes place while David and his men are on the run from
(1 Samuel 24:1–7
NKJV) —1 Now it happened, when Saul had returned from following the
Philistines, that it was told him, saying, “Take note!
David is in the Wilderness of En Gedi.” 2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen
men from all Israel, and went to seek David and his
men on the Rocks of the Wild Goats. 3 So he came
to the sheepfolds by the road, where there was a cave; and Saul went in
to attend to his needs. (David and his men were staying in the recesses of the
cave.) 4 Then the men of David said to him, “This is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will
deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it seems good to
While David was running from Saul, he often had his own men telling him to kill
Saul, or at least let them do it (1Sam. 26:8).
David arose and secretly cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. 5 Now it
happened afterward that David’s heart troubled him because he had cut Saul’s robe.
6 And he said to his men, “The Lord
forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing
he is the anointed of the Lord.”
7 So David restrained his servants with these words, and did
not allow them to rise against Saul. And Saul got up from the cave and went on his
While Saul treated David with suspicion, David maintained a better attitude
He recognized Saul as God’s chosen king.
David would have several opportunities to turn on Saul,
but he never did it.
David could have said to himself, “I’ve been chosen by God
to be the next king, so I’ll just take care of Saul and kill him”, but instead
he put it all in God’s hands and waited for God to take care of Saul.
Transition times can be tremendously difficult on the best relationships.
Don’t fall into the friend or foe trap.
It’s important to get the right kind of encouragement.
If the only encouragement we get is from people who want us to go kill
Saul, things can get pretty ugly.
This next vignette takes place while David is that man on the run.
(1 Samuel 23:14–18
NKJV) —14 And David stayed in strongholds in the wilderness,
and remained in the mountains in the Wilderness of Ziph.
Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand. 15 So David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life. And David was
in the Wilderness of Ziph in a forest. 16 Then Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David in the woods and
strengthened his hand in God. 17 And he said
to 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.” 18 So the two of them made a covenant
before the Lord. And David stayed
in the woods, and Jonathan went to his own house.
:16 strengthened his hand in God
strengthened – chazaq – be
strong, be courageous
This is the same word used when God told Moses to
“encourage” Joshua to take the people into the Promised Land. (Deut. 3:28)
(Deuteronomy 3:28 NKJV) But command Joshua,
and encourage him and strengthen him; for he shall go over before
this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which you will see.’
It’s the same word used 4 times in Joshua 1 when God
Himself tells Joshua to “be strong”. (Josh. 1:6,7,9,18)
1:6–7 NKJV) —6 Be strong and of good
courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I
swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be
strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the
law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand
or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.
(Joshua 1:9 NKJV) Have I not commanded you? Be strong
and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you
wherever you go.”
(Joshua 1:18 NKJV) Whoever rebels against your command
and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to
death. Only be strong and of good courage.”
Jonathan didn’t just pat David on the back, his encouragement helped him to
trust God’s promises.
Now…There will be times when there are no people around you to encourage
you, and everyone seems to be against you.
This next story takes place when the evil Amalekites had raided the city
where David was living.
(1 Samuel 30:1–6
NKJV) —1 Now it happened, when David and his men came to Ziklag,
on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the South and Ziklag, attacked Ziklag and
burned it with fire, 2 and had taken captive the women and
those who were there, from small to great; they did not kill anyone, but
carried them away and went their way. 3 So David and
his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives,
their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. 4 Then David
and the people who were with him lifted up
their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. 5 And David’s two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal
the Carmelite, had been taken captive. 6 Now David
was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul
of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But
David strengthened himself in the Lord
Everyone wanted David dead.
:6 strengthened himself in the LORD
This is the same word (chazaq) that describes Jonathan’s encouragement.
The main thing is to get back to God and find your strength in Him.
You won’t always have the luxury of nice people being there to help – but
God is always there.
Sometimes you have to move yourself closer to God
and dance like nobody’s watching.
Video: Dancing Queen Bus Stop
Even while Saul was after him, David kept doing what he was called to do, fight
the battles of Israel
(1 Samuel 23:1–5
NKJV) —1 Then they told David, saying, “Look, the Philistines are fighting
against Keilah, and they are robbing the threshing
floors.” 2 Therefore David inquired of the Lord,
saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the Lord said to David, “Go and attack the
Philistines, and save Keilah.” 3 But David’s
men said to him, “Look, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more then if we go to Keilah against
the armies of the Philistines?” 4 Then David inquired of the Lord once again. And the Lord answered him and said, “Arise, go
down to Keilah. For I will deliver the Philistines
into your hand.” 5 And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines, struck them with a
mighty blow, and took away their livestock. So David
saved the inhabitants of Keilah.
What is it that God has called you to do with your life?
It is to take care of your family?
Video: Dayquil commercial – Moms
don’t take sick days
Is it to be a good spouse?
When transitions come, sometimes we can neglect the person
we’re supposed to be closest to.
Jesus said to those who had left their first love, His
bride, in Ephesus:
(Revelation 2:5 NKJV) Remember therefore from where you
have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly
and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.
It’s a good practice when your marriage is struggling to
stop the things that are hurting your relationship and go back to basics – do
those “first works”.
Is it a ministry?
I find that when people step up to serve God a little
more, that Satan pushes back a LOT more.
If Satan can use some trouble in your life to cause you to
stop serving, he will.
Video: The Last Samurai –
Never Say Die
By the way … he isn’t done. This is just the middle of the movie.
When things are changing, you can’t always just stop doing the things
you’re supposed to be doing.
Prepare the next generation
After David had finally become king over Israel, he had this notion that he
was going to build a Temple for God. (2Sam. 7)
(2 Samuel 7:1–3
NKJV) —1 Now it came to pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and
the Lord had given him rest from
all his enemies all around, 2 that the king said to Nathan the
prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells
inside tent curtains.” 3 Then Nathan said to the king, “Go,
do all that is in your heart, for the Lord
is with you.”
As nice of a gesture as that was, that wasn’t what God wanted.
God said “no”.
Yet that didn’t stop David from preparing things for the day that the
Temple would one day be built.
28:11–19 NKJV) —11 Then David gave his son Solomon the
plans for the vestibule, its houses, its treasuries, its upper chambers, its
inner chambers, and the place of the mercy seat; 12 and the
plans for all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the Lord, of all the chambers all around,
of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries for the dedicated
things; 13 also for the division of the priests and the Levites, for all the
work of the service of the house of the Lord,
and for all the articles of service in the house of the Lord. 14 He gave gold by weight for things
of gold, for all articles used in every kind of service; also silver for
all articles of silver by weight, for all articles used in every kind of
service; 15 the weight for the lampstands of gold, and their lamps of gold, by
weight for each lampstand and its lamps; for the lampstands of silver by
weight, for the lampstand and its lamps, according to the use of each
lampstand. 16 And by weight he gave gold
for the tables of the showbread, for each table, and silver for the tables of
silver; 17 also pure gold for the forks, the basins, the pitchers of pure
gold, and the golden bowls—he gave gold by weight for every bowl; and
for the silver bowls, silver by weight for every bowl; 18 and refined gold by weight for the altar of incense, and for the
construction of the chariot, that is, the gold cherubim that spread their
wings and overshadowed the ark of the covenant of the Lord. 19 “All this,”
said David, “the Lord made
me understand in writing, by His hand upon me, all the works of these
David had all the pieces in place for Solomon to build the Temple.
He had purchased the land.
He had drawn up the plans (under God’s inspiration)
He had provided all the supplies.
All Solomon had to do was get the workers working.
For me – there are things that I had hoped to accomplish as a pastor that
I’ve not been able to pull off.
I have been praying for 25 years that God would help us have a building of
I know now that I’m not going to be the guy to do that – but I hope that
I’ve set Caleb up so that perhaps he might be able to pull off a more permanent
home for the church.
I think that some of the plans God has put on our hearts may take more than
Just because we aren’t going to finish it doesn’t mean we can’t enable the
next generation to move it further.
(Sometimes we are just too focused on ourselves to see the next few steps
down the road.
Has God put plans on your heart?
Could it be that you might start something that others will finish?
I think it’s a good thing to always look at training our own replacements.
The vision God has given you doesn’t have to stop with you.