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Who Wants to be a "Nobody"
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 1:2; 1 Peter 2:9-10; 1 Samu...
Track 2 of 19 in the David: A Man After God's Heart series
Running time: 55 minutes, 41 seconds.

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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

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How important is it to you that you are recognized? Be honest, does recognition matter to you?

English proverb:

When a proud man hears another praised, he feels himself injured.

Why do some people need to be recognized? Where does that need come from? For some, there is a misunderstanding what life is all about and what reality is. Some people do like to hear their names spoken or read in the newspapers. Being recognized as a somebody, a person worth knowing, a person who has worth is for many a life long journey. But reality is a hard thing to accept especially to those who live in a world where they are great in their own minds. A man who once had so much recognition and wisdom said the following about the reality of life:

Ecclesiastes 1:2 "Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless."

What is Solomon trying to tell us about the realities of being famous, becoming a somebody? Why is this pursuit a waste of time? If it is waste of time and we recognize it, then why do we get caught up in the mess and hassle of it in our daily lives? Why do we then get upset when we aren't recognized?

Solomon wanted the people to see that success and prosperity can disappear like a vapor of breath on a cold day. All human accomplishments will one day disappear, and we must keep this in mind in order to live wisely. If we don't, we can become either proud and self-sufficient when we succeed or sorely disappointed when we fail. Solomon shows us that pursuing earthly possessions and accomplishments is ultimately futile. Only the pursuit of God brings real satisfaction. We should honor him in all we say, think, and do.

How valuable are you? How do you know what your value really is? Where does your value come from?

1 Peter 2:9-10 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Ultimate value comes from God's acceptance, not accomplishments. People often base their self-concept on their accomplishments, but our relationship with Christ is far more important than our job, our success, our wealth, or our knowledge. Remember that your value comes from being one of God's children, not from what you can achieve. You have worth because of what God does, not because of what you do.

This was the big difference between Saul and David. Saul was a man who found it more important that he be famous and recognized more than God. This attitude proved Saul unqualified to be the king of Israel.

Not long after Saul became king, Samuel caught him in three serious acts of disobedience:

1) He made a terrible decision
2) Then he made a rash vow
3) Finally, he openly disobeyed God

When Samuel pointed his finger at the king, Saul first tried to rationalize what he had done, then he finally admitted that he was guilty. But even then, he qualified his confession.

1 Samuel 15:24-25 Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned. I violated the LORD'S command and your instructions. I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them. Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD."

What was Saul mostly concerned about? Was it his relationship with God or something else? He was more worried about his reputation and wanted Samuel to act as though nothing happened. He didn't want the people to know he sinned. Have you ever found yourself in the same situation? Have you ever been convicted of a sin (caught in the act) but had a reason, an excuse for your actions? What are some of the excuses we use to rationalize our sinful actions?

The attention shouldn't be on Saul and his sorry life, the attention I want to focus on is Samuel and what happens when man panics. Samuel was in panic mode. The king of Israel, Saul, is not qualified to be king. What are they to do? They are totally surrounded by enemies and the people need a leader to help them. Saul is not the man.

In scripture we can learn a very important point, when man panics, God provides. There is not a day that goes by that God himself already planned the day. Nothing is out of his control or his attention. God is never at a loss to know what to do in our situations. He knows perfectly well what is best for us. Our problem is, we don't know. We ask to know and we think life would be better if we did know but that wouldn't be faith. Faith is counting on Him when we don't know what tomorrow holds.

If God really is in control, then why does God allow people to suffer so much, especially when the innocent are the victims? How fair or loving is that?

Here are some points we must keep in mind:

When a man or woman of God fails, nothing of God fails
When a man or woman of God changes, nothing of God changes
When our lives are altered by the unexpected, nothing of God is altered or unexpected.
When someone dies, nothing of God dies

There is nothing that happens that catches God off guard. In fact, before man can even react or begin to ask God for help, God is already involved.

Isaiah 65:24 Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.

Samuel is deeply sorrowful for Saul. Not necessarily for Saul himself but for the disappointment Saul was and the consequences of having such a weak leader in times of distress. But God had the situation under control. In fact, the solution was already in play.

1 Samuel 16:1 The LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king."

Have you ever heard God say, "Go" and you then say, "Right". But before you're even off your knees you are back on them again asking how you can pull this off? Have you ever had panic come in when God told you to go and do something? Why would Samuel panic about going to Jesse?

1 Samuel 16:2 But Samuel said, "How can I go? Saul will hear about it and kill me."

How smart do you have to be to be obedient? Does obedience require that you be cleaver? All we have to do is obey. God's response to Samuel didn't include anything about Saul. It all had to do with obeying what God wanted done. God took care of the rest. Too often we get distracted by the things God is to take care of and don't do the things we are to take care of. Leave the things of God to God; just have faith to do the things God asks of us. His part is always the harder things to do.

Behind the scenes, David knows nothing about what is going on. God has chosen him to be king and David doesn't have the slightest clue. David is a nobody and yet, to God, he is someone special. David was totally unaware.

Have you ever laid in bed and thought about what awesome things God has planned for you in the future? How many of you think that you are a nobody? Would you be surprised to learn that in 6 weeks, you could be preaching in a church or on the mission field or moving to another city to help the poor?

For me, my life is too complicated. I just can't get up and leave my business and my family and go off doing things for God. I need structure, I need to plan things out. But what would happen if God called me or you to do something totally different? How would you take care of the present things in life to do the future things?

1 Samuel 16:4 Samuel did what the LORD said.

The easy answer is doing what God asks, just obey. All the hard stuff God will take care of. Our concern is to do his will.

When man chooses…God corrects

If you come home this afternoon and find the President of the United States sitting in his car on your drive way waiting to talk with you, what would be the thoughts going through your mind? As you get out of the car and the secret service quickly ushers you from your car to the President's car, what might you be thinking?

Samuel shows up in Bethlehem and the first thing the elders want to know is what is wrong, why are you here, what is the matter. Samuel prepares and performs a special sacrifice before the anointing. The seven sons of Jesse parade before Samuel but none of them seem to be suitable. Samuel has to be wondering what he was doing there and why this exercise wasn't working. In the middle of the parade, God gives Samuel the principle He will follow in choosing his leaders:

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

What we are to learn from this is a very important point concerning God's choosing, He chooses the person based on the heart, not the physical or his outwardly qualifications. In this case, God already had his man in mind. God already made his choice. The man wasn't there yet.

What does it say about David and Jesse when Jesse didn't even have David present when Samuel came to the sons of Jesse? While they were waiting for David to be fetched from the fields tending the sheep, what do you think the conversation was like? If you were there, what might you have thought or said? What do you think Samuel was thinking?

Again, all of this is going on without David knowing anything. He was faithfully tending his father's sheep. He probably smelled bad. His hair would have been wind blown; he was young and inexperienced in dealing with a prophet. David shows up and the old man went over and began to pour oil on his head. What do you do in a situation like that? This is what makes God so marvelous. At the most surprising moment, the most magnificent things happen. At one moment you are a shepherd, the next moment you are the king of Israel.

I now you probably thought about this but if you won the 100 million dollar lottery, would you take it all at one time or would you receive it in even portions over several years? What would you do with the money and would it change your life?

David is now the king. It is interesting to note what he did with his new found fame. We read in scripture that when Saul looks for a man who can play music to clam his nerves, David is someone suggested for the job. They looked for David and found him with the sheep. He goes back to what he originally did. Scholars debate weather David truly understood what it was Samuel did to him or what had happened. The same is true with his father and brothers. No one seemed to understand what God was doing except for God and Samuel and possibly David to some degree.

There are some facts about God we can learn when he decides to choose those he calls:

God's solutions are often strange and simple, so be open. Too often we try to make God complicated and complex. He isn't. In all that was going on with Saul, God simply said to Samuel, go where I tell you to go. I have a simple answer. Stay open to his strange and yet simple solutions.

God's promotions are usually sudden and surprising, so be ready. At the time you least expect it, it will happen. There are many examples of when God moved people in times that were very sudden. Our best promotion, going to heaven will come suddenly and at a time we don't expect.

God's selections are always sovereign and sure, so be sensitive. There are so many examples where this is true:
Choosing a mate as well as losing a mate
Being moved from one place to another
Those who are chosen to fill the shoes of another

Have you ever been tempted to second guess God's selections? How necessary is it to remind ourselves that His selections are sovereign and sure? What could happen if we aren't sensitive?