Surrendering the Crown

King David- A Man After God’s Own Heart

Surrendering the Crown

Sunday, February 28th, 2021

 

Welcome!

WOW was the weather gorgeous yesterday! It’s so good to get out and soak up some sun and vitamin D isn’t it? Breathe in some fresh air and take in the beauty of nature. I pray you are doing that in different ways in your week-that you get out of your homes, out of the offices, out of your vehicles and just let nature minister and revive you. It is so healing in so many ways. Change up your scenery and get out of confined spaces. It’s amazing how that can clear our heads and give us new perspectives. 

Let’s pray and ask the Holy Spirit to grant us that now as we worship our God-fresh perspective, revival in our spirit, hope and renewed strength as we trust in and follow our Lord. 

 

Today is our final message in this series on David-A Man After God’s Own Heart. We’re going to look at a time David was being attacked again and his kingdom was at stake. We’ll see how David chose to surrender everything into God’s hands and let Him determine his fate. 

 

Have you had times like that before in your life where someone or a group of people come against you and you have a choice to make. Do you stand and fight with all you have against them and hope you come out on top, or do you surrender it all to God and let Him choose your fate? Do you let Him truly fight the battle for you? 

 

I can think of two examples in my career I had people coming against me and that is just a reality we live in isn’t it? It’d be great if that never happened and we all just supported one another and built each other up, but that is just not how life plays out. People will come against us at times. The first time it happened, I did not have a close relationship with God yet. I tried to fight in my own power and my own reasoning. I tried to defend myself because it was so clear in my mind what some colleagues were doing to throw me under the bus. Everything I said or tried to show other leaders, even HR who is supposed to be an advocate for all employees fell flat-it was like crickets with any support coming back towards me. I never had any write-up’s or performance issues mind you-I was not a problematic employee, so it was all so bizarre. As many of you know, I ended up losing that position. There was no reasoning or involved explanation and that too is the reality of our jobs isn’t it-they are never truly secure. All I received was the standard, “we don’t think you’re a good fit any longer.”  Very difficult and very lonely to walk through. But God makes good from what others mean to harm-He uses it for good Amen! So my path began that ultimately led me here. 

 

Another time later it was happening again. This time I knew and trusted God very well. I knew the battle belongs to the Lord and not me. I knew His mighty right hand would uphold me. I also trusted that if I was meant to continue in the role I had, He would affirm that and let the truth be known. I laid my position at His feet and said this is for You to decide Lord, not me. I prayed and invited Him to move as He saw fit. God showed up in a powerful way and made all things right. He affirmed my position and strengthened me in that role all the more. That experience was powerful for me to know I can always trust God, with everything and know He is surely with me and for me. I needed to walk through that experience to learn true surrender by faith. Going through that, helps me guide each of you as you work through surrendering to God. Sometimes His answer might be no, or I have something else for you now and I still want you to trust Me. We can trust God is working for our good as we bring all things before Him. 

 

So let’s look at a time of ultimate surrender for David in what has to be one of the most difficult times in his reign as king. We are years down the road in his reign. David had been restored by God after his repentance for his actions with Bathsheba and Uriah. He continued to lead Israel and had several more sons with Bathsheba, including Solomon who would later inherit the crown after David. But David had other sons with different wives prior to Bathsheba and these sons were now grown into young men. It would be expected that the oldest son should be the rightful heir to the throne, but God always looks to the heart, just as He did when He chose David. Becoming the next king was not meant to be for those older sons. That didn’t mean they wouldn’t try to take the crown. 

 

In this time, everything David had been warned about from the prophet Nathan was about to come full circle as far as “the sword never departing from his house” and utter chaos erupting. David had another serious matter in his household that he did not handle well as a father and it left one son with bitter disdain for his dad, the king.  One son named Amnon found his half sister Tamar to be quite beautiful, had impure thoughts towards her and wanted her for himself. He arranged for her to be in his bedroom pretending he was ill so she could help care for him, and then he forced her to be with him. Not only was it inappropriate, it then left her disgraced for another man to choose to be her husband. Her full brother Absalom was beside himself with anger at Amnon and what he did to his sister. King David found out and was furious as well, but never did anything to truly handle matters properly, including consoling his daughter or his son who was also affected in this awful event. In Absalom’s mind it was swept under the rug and David did not step up to be a just and fair king or father. The seeds of hate were planted towards his father after that time. 

 

Absalom waited for an opportune time to get Amnon alone and away from the castle by attending an event he was invited to. While they were away Absalom killed Amnon, and then Absalom fled away from Jerusalem and went to live in Hebron for 3 years. David grieved over both of his sons but never sent word for Absalom until he was coaxed by his commanding officer, that he should allow his son to return to the city. So Absalom returned but David refused to see him at first. 

Finally, they spoke and on the surface all seemed ok, but underneath the wheels were in motion for Absalom to overthrow his father. He decided in his heart he wanted the throne and he was willing to take his father out to get it. He had won over the hearts of the people in Hebron. He stood at the city gate greeting people in Jerusalem and listening to their troubles, kissing their hand and being quite charming and engaging. The hearts of many of Israel were with Absalom and he reached a point where he had rallied his own army and support and told people he was king. Absalom was coming for the king. He was coming for his father, and he would not stop until David and anyone else who got in the way were dead.

 

David knew trouble was brewing and there were unsettled waters between him and Absalom. But the tides turned much quicker than he anticipated and suddenly an attack was upon him and the palace. The very throne was at stake. He had to decide would he stay and fight, his own son, or would he let him enter unchallenged and flee, letting God determine the fate of who would wear the crown. 

This is where we’ll pick it up. Let’s listen for David’s heart and what was guiding his choices in this incredibly difficult circumstance he found his entire family in. He knew judgment had come for his actions with Bathsheba and the only thing David knew to do was to throw himself at the mercy seat of God and offer his repentant heart (for the mishandling of family affairs), in surrender to God’s righteousness. 

2 Samuel 15: 13-17, 23-26 NIV

13 A messenger came and told David, “The hearts of the people of Israel are with Absalom.” 14 Then David said to all his officials who were with him in Jerusalem, “Come! We must flee, or none of us will escape from Absalom. We must leave immediately, or he will move quickly to overtake us and bring ruin on us and put the city to the sword.”

 15 The king’s officials answered him, “Your servants are ready to do whatever our lord the king chooses.” 16 The king set out, with his entire household following him; but he left ten concubines to take care of the palace. 17 So the king set out, with all the people following him, and they halted at the edge of the city.

23 The whole countryside wept aloud as all the people passed by. The king also crossed the Kidron Valley, and all the people moved on toward the wilderness.

 24 Zadok was there, too, and all the Levites who were with him were carrying the ark of the covenant of God. They set down the ark of God, and Abiathar offered sacrifices until all the people had finished leaving the city. 

25 Then the king said to Zadok, “Take the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the Lord’s eyes, he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place again. 26 But if he says, ‘I am not pleased with you,’ then I am ready; let him do to me whatever seems good to him.”

  • Trust God is a Righteous Judge (v. 25)

Several advisors told King David to stay and fight-afterall, he was Israel’s mighty warrior. He and his army had won victory after victory and they had a kingdom to protect. David did not want to stand against his own son. He didn’t trust Asbalom,  but he loved him.

David knew God was and is a righteous judge.

He placed his very life in God’s hands and whether or not he would remain king of Israel was in the hands of God. God would determine David’s fate. 

David knew where Absalom’s hatred stemmed from as he reflected on how this all led to where they were currently, David had mishandled traumatic family affairs. David had failed his daughter and his son. Their relationship was completely broken and that was on David. Absalom’s heart was set on making his father pay for their heartache. 

 

David did what he knew to do in moments like this, he cried out to God and pled for mercy.

He repented of his mishandlings over his children and family and he put everything at the feet of God to deal with David however God determined best. You see, David knew, God is unchanging in His nature and ways. He is righteous, just, full of mercy and lovingkindness. A broken and contrite heart He will not despise. David trusted in who he knew God to be and once again laid it all out there for God to judge and handle, because surely David was not equipped to handle it well on his own.  

 

Psalm 89:14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.

Psalm 34: 15, 17 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry;  17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.

David didn’t fight his son. He humbled himself and walked away from the palace, the city and allowed his son to enter unchallenged. He said God you decide. If you want me to continue as king make a way for us to get through this as only You can do. If you want Absalom to be king, so be it. I will accept Your will. 

Can we say that in our own lives? Can we remember and trust God is a righteous judge always, even if it means He might bring an end to something we have and give it to another? Can we humbly lay all of who we are and have at His feet and trust in His will to determine what is right in His eyes? Can we accept the outcome? David was ready.                                                                   

  • Act with the Integrity of the Lord (v. 24)   

David was not perfect as we have discussed, but when he was made aware of his great shortcomings, He was repentant and humbled. He would not let bitterness consume him ever-not with Saul, not over losing his sons, and not even when another son was coming after him.

David knew bitterness is never truly justified.

Not in God’s eyes. We are the ones who lose when we let bitterness enter our heart. 

David would not simply react out of emotion in this difficult circumstance. He would respond with faith and reasoning with God. There is a big difference between reasoning on our own, and reasoning with the Spirit of God leading us. 

On their journey away from the city, people who were for King David wept as we read, but others who were still mourning the loss of Saul were happy to see King David get what he had coming. One relative of Saul’s named Shimei, came out near them cursing them loudly and throwing stones at them.

He said things like, “Get out, get out, you murderer, you scoundrel! The Lord has repaid you for all the blood you shed in the household of Saul, in whose place you have reigned. The Lord has given the kingdom into the hands of your son Absalom. You have come to ruin because you are a murderer!”

Normally, behavior like this to the king would be worthy of death. In fact, one of David’s men was enraged at this man’s disrespect and said to David “let me kill him”. 

But David had a contrite heart that was in tune with His God. He knew he was walking in judgment and he would take whatever God had in store for him. Listen to how he responds to the man who insulted him. 

                                                  

2 Samuel 16: 11-12

11 David then said to Abishai and all his officials, “My son, my own flesh and blood, is trying to kill me. How much more, then, this Benjamite! Leave him alone; let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. 12 It may be that the Lord will look upon my misery and restore to me his covenant blessing instead of his curse today.”

Have you had the insight to think when someone is speaking against you that possibly God has allowed and enabled that person to do so for a purpose? Can you respond with the integrity of the Lord in those moments and keep walking without bitterness or revenge settling into your heart? Can you tune to God and see what His purposes are for you? Can you trust if you don’t respond in a manner, that God will see your acts of integrity and respond favorably? This is what David was counting on, because he knew and trusted the heart of his God. 

Proverbs 28:6 NASB  Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity, Than a person who is crooked, though he is rich.

  • Yield Your Crown to God (v. 26)

David could have stayed and fought for his position as king for it was his right to do that. But David ultimately wanted what God wanted and if that meant God was ready for another king, then David would surrender his crown to God.

Can we say that in our lives-that we want what God wants, more then what we want personally? That we’re willing to accept what He wants and be at peace to help bring that about? 

David wanted to remain king, but he would not force it. He knew it was God who appointed him, a young boy, to be Israel’s king in the first place. He didn’t earn that position in any way on his own. It was God who blessed him with all the successes he had and gave him increasing power as a nation.

It is God who determines our fate; He gives and He takes away to accomplish His purposes.

David knew this and was willing to give up everything God had blessed him with if that was the will of God. He did not want to try to remain king if God wasn’t blessing him as king any longer, for he would not want to rule outside of the favor and anointing of God. In his humble state, David would not assume God intended for him to remain as king. He left and yielded his crown for the moment, to let God reaffirm him or to pass it along to Absalom. 

Daniel 2:21 He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.

 

Can we do this in our hearts? Can we pause and check with God when we sense a possible change in our lives and let God reaffirm our role or let us know if it’s time to move on? Can we remember God appoints and God anoints for His purposes and trust His path, His timing and His anointing-for whoever that is? Even when change is coming, it doesn’t mean God’s love for us changes or He is necessarily displeased with us. It might mean we have accomplished the purpose He had for us and now He has someone else to accomplish more of His purpose. Can we support those who God puts in positions and encourage them to achieve all God has for them? 

 

Think how this might apply in the workplace, in ministry, in volunteering, in government- are you willing to yield your crown to God whatever that is in your life, to have Him reaffirm or pass it on? 

David also knew and trusted God loved him always whether or not he remained king. So he could surrender because his greatest treasure as we have discussed, was God and his relationship with Him. Do you know that in your heart-that your performance and position does not affect God’s love for you? You are always loved fully by God no matter your job or not, your relationship status with others, your financial status, your shortcomings… you are fully loved by Him.

                                                                                                 

Psalm 73: 25-26 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

 

Is knowing God and your relationship with Him, your greatest treasure above all?

If not, what is? You can know if you truly examine what is in your heart and where you spend your time. When we make God Himself and knowing Him, our greatest treasure, our most cherished gift, our prized possession, we can humbly surrender “the crowns” in our life to God and trust Him to guide us into a future of hope.   

 

David trusted God and prayed that all wise counsel to Absalom would be frustrated in how to attack David and his men. God saw David’s heart, his humility, his surrender of everything, his trust and God responded. He did confuse the counsel given to Absalom and David and his men were safe. In the end, Absalom was killed by David’s commanding officer, which affirmed David as king, but also brought heartache in the loss of another son. God affirmed David would still rule Israel and His anointing was still upon him for that season.         

Conclusion:  David was willing to let God rule and released all expectations to God. He understood wearing the crown was by God’s appointing and God’s deposing. David was willing to surrender his crown and trust God would do what was right and just for Israel.  His humble and trusting heart is what qualified David to remain as king. Let us follow David’s example and release our own expectations, letting God rule in our lives in every way, trusting He is always good.   Let us walk with integrity even in our darkest times knowing God sees even if no one else does and believes He will respond for our good. 

Let’s pray: Father God we thank You for Your love that is unfailing and ever present in our lives. We thank You for the recorded examples of Your faithful servants like David, who are not perfect and have fallen short, just like all of us have and will do so yet. Yet servants like David teach us how to build a relationship with You, how to love You with all our heart and how to trust in the goodness and righteousness of who You are. They teach us our performance does not change Your love for us, but our repentant heart when we sin, is what You respond to. We can trust in Your forgiveness and restoration as we bring our sin to you without excuse or justifying. We can lay everything down at Your mercy seat and know You will handle all things with righteousness and love. Help us trust You Father and may we like David, be willing to lay “the crowns” we acquire in life at Your feet and let You determine our fate. Continue to shape us more and more into Your image and transform us from glory to glory. Help us through Your Holy Spirit to make knowing You our greatest treasure above anything we can attain here in this world. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

 

Offering: Mission focus for March and April will be our Rio Area Food Pantry. Normally this time of year we would be holding our spring luncheon fundraiser that has been raising for the past many years $4-4500 that goes to offset their operational expenses. We can’t do this due to covid. So as you feel led to give know we will be giving to help support the operations of our food pantry that feeds 55-60 families weekly. 

 

March newsletter is out. 

New series and messages preparing our hearts for Easter. 

Final Blessing: 1 Corinthians 15:58 58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *