Interrupt! Standing in the Gap • Sermon • Submitted
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The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
The entire human race was corrupt in “their ways,” which includes twisted purposes, abusive relationships, vile words, and darkened hearts.
Noah shows us that it’s possible to be godly in a godless generation.
Noah was righteous, blameless, and faithful.
Today we will look at another individual who also stood in the gap.
Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.
It is no secret or surprise that ideologies and political philosophies shape events.
What is something we see concerning individuals or small groups of people with courage?
They did whatever was needed for the cause they believed in.
Were those people of prominent positions before they stepped up to the cause?
Did they rise from obscurity to stand in the gap? Example?
What comes to mind when you think of David?
We know David was the youngest of his family and in that time period it wasn’t the most prominent position. He was overlooked, and as we read in Scripture it appears his own family did not believe in him.
David was born in a time when Israel was discouraged and distressed.
Philistines had bee attacking; and were ruthless people.
The people became so tired of the assaults; they decided they wanted a king.
They wanted a man to rule them - not God.
And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.
Saul was anointed as king over Israel, and for a while his kingship looked promising.
But soon, when the Philistine army strongly came against the Israelite army, Saul proved he wasn’t up to the task.
He could have waited patiently for God (as God instructed),
Then go down before me to Gilgal. And behold, I am coming down to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do.”
but he panicked and took matters into his own hands.
but he panicked and took matters into his own hands.
And the Philistines mustered to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horsemen and troops like the sand on the seashore in multitude. They came up and encamped in Michmash, to the east of Beth-aven. When the men of Israel saw that they were in trouble (for the people were hard pressed), the people hid themselves in caves and in holes and in rocks and in tombs and in cisterns, and some Hebrews crossed the fords of the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul was still at Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. He waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, “Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering. As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came. And Saul went out to meet him and greet him. Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had mustered at Michmash, I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the Lord.’ So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.” And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the Lord your God, with which he commanded you. For then the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”
A Gap is a place of weakness, vulnerability, and danger.
At that moment in history, God’s people were in a huge gap and their survival hung in the balance.
Broken hearts and broken societies can occur when God’s standards aren’t valued.
We aren’t facing off with the Philistine army today but we face other enemies.
What are some examples?
Media - how does mainstream media depict us concerning gay marriage? Against gay marriage.
What else are we against? Discrimination, human trafficking, gang violence, racism, hatred,
What are we For? Love, forgiveness, reconciliation, justice, and mercy.
Many have become the silent minority in these matters as a response .
What happens to those who do stand up for justice and truth?
They inevitably become targets.
So it seems that our society today is not really much different than the society David was born into. We find
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
God does not look at the things we tend to look at .
We look at the outward appearance, talents, giftings, prominence, etc.
David possessed no special prominence or recognition, but God chose him and Samuel obeyed God and anointed David.
What is the importance of God’s anointing as preparation for future action?
The anointing prepared him for his all-important role, but not yet . . . not yet.
Behind the Scenes
Behind the Scenes
It appears that Jesse had not taken time to train David for a fulfilling life. The other sons got preferential treatment it seems.
But God had a different curriculum for David.
David’s shepherding responsibilities provided him a priceless education. He faced challenges
I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him.
He killed at least 1 lion and 1 bear with his bare hands!
This education prepared David to stand in the gap in one of the most famous encounters of all time between good and evil.
God was preparing David in private.
Later God would use David in front of a large crowd.
We’ve at least heard the story of David and Goliath. You can read about it in . But lets look a few points:
Israel had a giant enemy. The enemy hurled threats.
The enemy blasphemed God, and instilled fear.
David came on the scene - he had 2 thankless jobs
he was still a shepherd but now he is an errand boy taking food supplies to his brothers for his father.
He heard the enemy’s taunting and saw the soldiers withdrawing in fear.
He sized up his opponent just like he had with the lion and the bear.
And David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
Saul and his army were terrified; David was courageous.
Saul saw an awesome enemy; David saw an opportunity.
Saul needed an ish (man) to stand in the habinayim (between two camps for combat)
David was determined to be that ish! He realized a truth he later pinned in
Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts. On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
David realized the struggle wasn’t against flesh and blood.
Something much bigger was at stake than an army becoming servants to another country - the reputation of God.
Goliath wasn’t merely threatening Israel, he was defying God Himself.
What difference does it make to realize the giants in our families and our nation are part of a spiritual battle against the forces of darkness?
When David stepped out with his sling and stones to meet Goliath - with armor, spear and sword; at the moment which side would you have wanted to be on?
Imagine being an Israelite soldier. Would you be writing your will? Would you be looking for a way of escape?
How would the gap look to you at that moment? Very wide
David had no anxiety and he wasn’t tongue-tied.
Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.”
We know what happened next!
There must have been a hushed silence that came over both armies for a brief moment; before Israel began pursuing the Philistine army.
So often we focus on the courage of a young boy. But
David’s courage was the result of his confidence in a powerful, wise, loving God.
Today our families and communities are facing enemies, some of them are giants.
When we stand up to them it’s not safe and its often not politically correct.
If we don’t stand up for righteousness and justice in our generation, someone will have to come along and find the courage.
However, by then the situation will be even worse.
Remember, Goliath didn’t start our enormous. He wasn’t born 9 feet tall. He was born smaller, but over time he became giant.
What are some Goliaths in your family? Your community? Our country?
What is God saying to you through the story of David?