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Waiting to Rule

Text: II Samuel 2-4
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: March 29, 2009

Now that Saul is dead and buried, one might think that David’s troubles would be over and that he could soon fulfill his destiny as king over all Israel.

Life often doesn’t work out as we would hope, however. While the tribe of Judah immediately recognizes David as their king, General Abner puts Saul’s surviving son, Ish-bosheth on the throne of Israel and the nation seems on the brink of civil war. In the midst of these trials God is still at work, accomplishing His purpose to enthrone His chosen king. David demonstrates Christlike patience as he seeks and follows the LORD’s will, waiting upon God to elevate him at the perfect time.

Chapters 2-4 describe David’s elevation as king over Judah, Abner’s putting Ish-bosheth over the other tribes, the power struggle which ensues, and how the LORD uses surprising instruments to remove the final obstacles to David being the undisputed leader over all Israel. David’s regal character is further demonstrated as he rejects the help of wicked men and upholds justice in the land.

David’s experience reminds us that we should not be surprised by the frequency and intensity of our trials. We, like David, need to wait on the LORD to fulfill His promises to us.

We are also reminded of David’s greater Son, Jesus, who patiently waited for the Father to exalt Him at the proper time. Just as David’s kingdom started small (only Judah) but later expanded, the kingdom of Jesus appears now to be small, but one day it will fill the earth.

How Have the Mighty Fallen

Text: II Samuel 1
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: March 22, 2009

Today we begin 2 Samuel which is really a continuation of 1 Samuel which had ended with Israel’s defeat and Saul’s death at the hands of the Philistines. 2 Samuel opens with David in Philistine territory (Ziklag) when he gets the news from the battle.

Instead of rejoicing over the death of his enemy, David mourns Saul’s death and honors the former king by composing a moving lament for him and his son Jonathan. In all this David shows himself to be a worthy leader of the LORD’s people. Rather than seizing the power through a coup, he waits for the LORD’s timing. David sets an example for us as he waits upon the LORD to exalt him and as he is gracious to his enemies.

If such a wonderful song can be composed to praise Saul and Jonathan, how much more gloriously should we sing the praises of King Jesus!

God’s Universal Invitation

Text: Isaiah 55
Speaker: Nathaniel Hutchison
Date: March 15, 2009

In this sermon GBC’s missionary to the Philippines, Nathaniel Hutchison, preaches the Gospel from the Old Testament.

The King is Dead

Text: I Samuel 31
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: March 8, 2009

The theme of I Samuel has been Israel’s need for a leader. It opens in the final days of the Judges as Eli’s dynasty fails because of his wicked sons. Samuel is the last Judge who anoints Saul, the people’s choice for king (“man looks at the outward appearance”), and later David, who is chosen by the LORD (“God looks at the heart”) to replace disobedient Saul. The book ends as it began as Saul’s house falls, just as Eli’s house fell, in one disastrous day in which the Philistines defeat Israel in battle and the leader and his sons die. This final chapter also reminds us of Hannah’s Psalm in chapter 2 in which she declared how the LORD will bring down the mighty and exalt the humble (the theme of the book).

I Samuel 31, however, is not the end of the story, but rather it is the end of the beginning. I and II Samuel were originally part of one larger book which was divided into two parts, much as our Bible has been divided into chapters. The LORD removes Saul at the end of I Samuel so that he can install His chosen King, David, in II Samuel.

There are some practical issues addressed in the gruesome death of Saul and the defeat of Israel. We are reminded that the LORD is in control of life and death. We are faced with the issues of euthanasia (when Saul tries to convince his armor bearer to kill him) and suicide (when Saul attempts to kill himself). We are challenged to consider our own mortality. Are we ready to die? We are also reminded that God’s people can hope in Him, even in the darkest of times.

We also see Christ in our text as we compare and contrast His triumphant death with the tragic death of Saul. Saul was defeated by death. Jesus took the curse of death and conquered death for us.

The Living, Loving Letters of our Lord

Text: Hebrews 4:12-13
Speaker: Mike Kelley
Date: March 1, 2009

Hebrews 4:12-13 – “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”

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