Palms Baptist Church
The Fortress You Need
January 10, 2021

The Fortress You Need

January 10, 2021

The Fortress You Need

Unfamiliar Stories of David part 1

  • David is the most mentioned man in Old Testament (600 times). He is referenced in the New Testament another 60 times.
  • David is on the first page of the New Testament. Jesus is called in Matthew a “son of David.”
  • David is on the last page of the New Testament. Revelation 22 calls Jesus the root and offspring of David.
  • His home city, Bethlehem, is called “the City of David.”

Question: What do you do when you’ve done everything you can do?

God asked Samuel how long he would mourn for Saul. He sent Samuel to Bethlehem and selected David from among Jesse’s sons. (1 Samuel 16:12)

Notice in 1 Samuel 16:13, the Spirit rushed on David. Receiving the Spirit was a own payment on the kingdom that would be given to David. The giving of the Holy Spirit has a similar impact in your life. The Spirit is a “deposit” on your citizenship in the final Kingdom of God.

David’s problem: His government, his boss and his father in law; who all happened to be the same person! How did that happen?

  • David played music for Saul, and Saul loved him. 1 Samuel 16:21
  • Saul put David in the army, but was jealous when the women praised David more than Saul. (1 Samuel 18:19) The next day Saul tried to kill David.
  • Unable to kill David, Saul had a new idea: Control him by making him part of the family. When that didn’t work, he sent troops to David’s house to kill him, but David escaped.

It’s interesting, in 1 Samuel 19 when David escapes, his wife Michal props a household idol in the bed, so the troops think it is David. The word for “idol” (1 Samuel 19:13) is “teraphim.” It means image and seems to have been related to ancestor worship.

It seemed nothing David did worked!

David had five big frustrations.

1. didn’t work. He tried submitting to Saul and playing music, but Saul threw a spear at him three times.

2. didn’t work. He led Israel in their military campaigns. But it just caused Saul to hate him more.

3. didn’t work. (See 1 Samuel 19:4-10) Jonathan tried to reason with Saul and explain that David was not a threat. Saul agreed with his son, but the next day threw a spear at David anyway.

4. didn’t work. Instead of fighting Saul’s troops, David went out the window of his house.

5. Even didn’t seem to work. Psalm 59 is the prayer David prayed when Saul sent the army to arrest him at his house.

II. What did David do?

What do you do when you’ve done everything?

Psalm 59 lets us look in David’s heart during this season. Three times he says that God is his “fortress.”

Ps 59:9: O my Strength, I watch for you; you, O God, are my fortress.

Ps 59:16: I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.

Ps 59:17: O my Strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.

 

Notice: Idea of God as a fortress is tied is tied to God’s love. When in trouble, David did not question God’s love, his character or faithfulness or His worthiness. He took refuge in the character of God.

1 Samuel 19:18-24

1 Samuel 19:18: When David escaped, you would expect him to go home to Bethlehem. But instead he goes to Samuel. He poured out his heart to Samuel. Really, he’s not going to Samuel, he’s going to the Lord.

1 Samuel 19:18: Naioth means “dwellings.” It’s not a town, it’s a camp. Samuel lead a group called “The Sons of the Prophets.” They probably lived and worshipped at this camp. David and Samuel go to Naioth to spend time with God.

Why did David go to Samuel? Samuel did not have the influence Jonathan had, or the cunning Michal ha, or event he warrior skills that David himself had. He was old and weak and had nothing to defend David with. What Samuel had was a walk with God. God was his fortress. And in a moment of desperation, David realized, that’s what I need!

 

This is the kind of moment when people would likely say, “The Lord failed me. Don’t talk to me about prayer or worship or Jesus.” But David said, I need the Lord more than ever right now!

1 Samuel 19:21: Funny. All Saul’s troops fall down and start worshipping. Saul sent an army with swords; David had the Lord. The scene reminds me of the arrest of Jesus. When they came to take him, Jesus asked who they were looking for. When he said, “I am he” all the troops fell to the ground.

1 Samuel 19:23: Even Saul fell and began to prophecy before Samuel. The text doesn’t say exactly what it means that Saul and his men “prophecy” before the Lord. It may reflect a form of ecstatic worship (ancient equivalent of speaking in tongues.) It could reflect intense worship. It could be actual prophecy; he may have been prophesying that David would be king one day.

1 Samuel 19:24: Saul is reduced to just another man before the Almighty. Twice the text says, “he too.” That is, even though he is king, he too is just another human. Kings cannot be kings in the presence of the Almighty. Saul strips off his royal garb and stands like a naked captive before the King of Kings. He falls on his face naked before God like a common captive. He is nothing but a slave before Yahweh.

In all of this, what did David have to do? Because everything David tried to do didn’t work. He tried diplomacy and fighting, he tried humility and he even tried prayer. Here’s what David did: He kept going back to the Lord until God did it His way. Sometimes we have to keep praying, keep worshiping, keep pressing until we make a spiritual breakthrough.

III. How Do I Make God My Fortress?

If you are saved, God is your fortress. But here’s the deal, you must keep coming back. Not for salvation; but back into the fortress of God. Because we get impatient, problems persist, and we get tired; so, we stop coming to the Lord.

David just kept coming to the Lord, even when it seemed nothing was going to work.

 

When God works:

1. It will probably take longer than you want.

Gal 6:9: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (NIV)

2. He probably won’t answer the way you expect.

There is no way David would have seen the outcome that God brought about. Saul strips naked and prophecies? !!!

Isa. 55:9: “as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (ESV)

God doesn’t do it your way because: 1. He is a king. 2. He’s smarter than you.

In a crisis, God’s ways look trite, hollow and even weak. “Keep worshiping the Lord” does not seem strong when faced with a problem. We want to leave the fortress of God and go kill some people. “Keep trusting” and “keep walking” and “keep doing right” do not seem like real solutions. But they are. Because they open the door for God to act.

3. I know this: God will work it so he gets the glory in your life.

God will work the situations in my life in such a strange way that I cannot take credit.

Ps 59:16 But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.

IV. How Do I Make God My Fortress?

If you’re saved: God is your fortress. Here’s the deal: Have to keep coming back.

1. Because we get impatient. 2. Problem persists. 3. We get tired.

I know this: When God works:

1. It will probably take longer than you want. Resist discouragement.

Gal 6:9: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (NIV)

2. He probably won’t answer the way you expect. (Saul broke out in prophecy)

ILLU: No way David would have thought of this outcome! Saul naked…

Isa. 55:9: “as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (ESV)

Because: 1. He’s a King. 2. He’s smarter than you.

ILLU: In Crisis: God’s ways look trite. Weak. Hollow.

Worship. Focus on the Lord. Keep trusting. Keep walking. Keep doing right.

(David’s way: Fight! Sling shot, sword, spear.)

–We ask: Send money. Give me power. Get me out of the situation.

3. I know this: God will work it so he gets the glory in your life.

God will work situations out in your life: So strange, you can’t take credit.

That’s not just for other people: What a great God you have.

For you to realize: No one but God could’ve gotten me through that.

Say this to God: Do it your way. Do it in your time.

And while I wait: I’ll worship. Serve. Pray. Love.

While I wait: (I’ll cry. Just cry with me. Like David, pour out my heart.)

Any David’s out there today? Not the giant killer. David’s fighting same old battle.

Just needed to hear: God’s your fortress. Still your fortess. Always be your fortress.

Don’t give up/Get discouraged.

You need to come to this altar: Give it to the Lord again.

I’m not going to be ashamed to keep coming to the Lord. (Just keep coming!)

Listen to these words David running from Saul: come to the altar:

Ps 59:16 But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love;

for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.

 

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