1 Samuel 18:1-16 (Part 1) – That Moment When It Hits You…

Posted: February 25, 2018 in Book of 1 Samuel

1 Samuel 18:1-16 (Part 1 of 3)
Saul Becomes Jealous of David

Last night, my wife and I braved the rain and cold of a Moline, IL winter night to have a date night at the Taxslayer Center, the local coliseum venue here in downtown Moline (right on the Mississippi River), with about 8,000 others. We were used to venues like The Well (Bon Secours Wellness Arena) in Greenville, SC and The Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC so we left plenty early to get to the “Slayer”. In those two venues in Charlotte and Greenville, the downtowns are more densely packed and thus parking is at a premium for coliseum events which involve parking garages and walking. Well, at the Slayer, getting to the venue and to the parking was easy peazy. And then we only had to walk about maybe the length of a football field to get to the entrance. So, first date at a concert in downtown Moline was a great experience except for the cold rain before the concert and, though it wasn’t raining afterward, the cold wind off the Mississippi cut right through you after having been inside the warm arena for 3 ½ to 4 hours. But all in all the experience was fun. We got to see Mandesa, Danny Gokey, Finding Favour, and finally, the man, Toby Mac. A great collection of Christian artists of which Toby was the topper. Man, what a great show, he and his band put on.

But that’s just background information to what I wanted to talk about this morning. It was something that was said in the 45 minutes that we were in our seats before the show started munching on an order of French fries and sucking down Pepsi-Colas (for some reason we were both soooo thirsty – that was about the best Pepsi I’ve ever had) that caught my heart and mind. You know at these Christian concerts during the lead up to the concert in that hour after the doors open, people are milling around, getting stuff at the concession stand, getting settled in their seats, talking to the people or group that they came with, the main act and supporting acts will invite pastors to come back stage so that they can bless and encourage them. So often it is pastors who encourage their flocks but it is rare that they receive encouragement themselves.

I said to myself, “oh that’s nice. Pastors need encouragement too. That would be pretty cool to be able to meet Toby Mac and the others and get prayed for by these giants in the Christian contemporary music industry.” After that thought, I did not think much more about it. Then a few minutes after I saw a group of pastors head toward the backstage entrance area and after it was too late for me to join them, I realized, “hey wait a minute! I am a pastor too. I am a pastor now!” That’s kind of really the first time that it hit me is that I am a staff pastor at my new church here in Moline. Me, a pastor, can you believe that? I cannot at times believe that it is true.

It got me to thinking about how pastors can become celebrities. Even if they do not have widespread popularity, they can become celebrities among their own flock in the local church. Even if you are not some nationally or internationally renowned mega-church pastor and author of a bunch of books, you can become a celebrity within your own church. And, you don’t even have to be the lead or senior pastor within that church. Youth pastors, family pastors, worship pastors, and even administrative pastors can become celebrities within the local church. And if you are not careful, you can become aware of a certain amount of importance that people place on you. You can become aware of a certain amount of adoration given you as a pastor.

It got me to thinking too that I need always have that feeling of humility about being a pastor to the point that it’s hard to believe that I am a pastor now. I think I need to continue to have that feeling of wow what a job Jesus has done in my life. If people just knew that my life is a story of redemption from self-seeking from making idols of things other than God himself and just a hedonistic lifestyle for much of my life. Why would God call me to be a pastor? It’s so humbling that I really didn’t think of myself as being a pastor til last night when that invitation came to go backstage and be prayed for. I hope that I always keep that humility of thinking “wow, me a pastor!” as we progress down this road in Moline.

With that idea of remaining humble and not letting ourselves become a celebrity couple even just within our own church, Calvary Church of the Quad Cities, let us read today’s passage for the first of three reads, 1 Samuel 18:1-16:

Chapter 18
1 After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond between them, for Jonathan loved David. 2 From that day on Saul kept David with him and wouldn’t let him return home. 3 And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, because he loved him as he loved himself. 4 Jonathan sealed the pact by taking off his robe and giving it to David, together with his tunic, sword, bow, and belt.

5 Whatever Saul asked David to do, David did it successfully. So Saul made him a commander over the men of war, an appointment that was welcomed by the people and Saul’s officers alike.

6 When the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed the Philistine, women from all the towns of Israel came out to meet King Saul. They sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals.[a] 7 This was their song:

“Saul has killed his thousands,
and David his ten thousands!”

8 This made Saul very angry. “What’s this?” he said. “They credit David with ten thousands and me with only thousands. Next they’ll be making him their king!” 9 So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.

10 The very next day a tormenting spirit[b] from God overwhelmed Saul, and he began to rave in his house like a madman. David was playing the harp, as he did each day. But Saul had a spear in his hand, 11 and he suddenly hurled it at David, intending to pin him to the wall. But David escaped him twice.

12 Saul was then afraid of David, for the Lord was with David and had turned away from Saul. 13 Finally, Saul sent him away and appointed him commander over 1,000 men, and David faithfully led his troops into battle.

14 David continued to succeed in everything he did, for the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul recognized this, he became even more afraid of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David because he was so successful at leading his troops into battle.

In this passage, we see that, while Saul’s popularity made him proud and arrogant, David remained humble (see ahead at 1 Samuel 18:23) even when the entire nation praised him. Although David succeeded in almost everything he tried and became famous throughout the land, he refused to use his popular support to his advantage against Saul. We, like David, should not allow popularity to twist our perception of our own importance. It’s comparatively easy to be humble when you are not on center stage, how will you react when you are on center stage and in the spotlight?

Help me oh Lord as I grow into this pastoral position to remain humble, faithful and teachable. Help me to honor you and not myself. Help me to be a David-like servant to the cause of the kingdom. Help me to serve and not seek service to myself. Help me to keep my eye on the ball as to what my calling is – to serve you full-time my Lord. Help me to keep in mind what is important and it is You and not me.

Amen and Amen.

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