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What Do I Do With This Head
Scripture: 1 Samuel 17:48-51; 1 Samuel 17:55-58; 1 ...
Track 5 of 19 in the David: A Man After God's Heart series
Running time: 57 minutes, 05 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.

View all sermons by this speaker.

So, what do you do with the head of a giant that you just killed? Here is the scene; everyone is terrified of the giant Goliath. David volunteers to go out and fight Goliath. The Philistines had to be laughing to see this kid come out to fight without any muscles, no fierce talk, no amour, just a few rocks and a sling. The Israelites had to be terrified to see their only champion, their future of freedom in the hands of a mere kid. Yet they were so cowardly, they let David go do it. I bet most of them were packing for slavery as David walked out to fight Goliath.

Imagine what went through everyone's mind when they saw the following take place:

1 Samuel 17:48-51 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine's sword and drew it from the scabbard. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.

When was the last time you thanked God for not showing you the future? The future is big business today. Not just today, it has always been big business. We see all over the scriptures and in the history books of man that foretelling the future has always been something man was interested in. Man is curious about knowing what is coming tomorrow, next week, next year and so on. Why does man want to know what is going to happen tomorrow? What is the advantage? What is the disadvantage?

I believe that one of the best things God does for us is to keep us from knowing what will happen beyond today. Just think of all he stuff you didn't have to worry about just because you never knew it was coming your way? What would you have done if you knew the events in your life? Think about this a minute, if you actually knew that 9/11 was coming and you knew when and where, what would you have done about it? What would be different if you were able to predict 9/11 and the event did not take place?

It is true, God never changes… but we certainly do. If there is one thing you can predict, things are going to change and in most cases, the changes happen right in front of our eyes, almost instantly. The places we live change. People change. Friends change. Jobs change. Families change. If you have kids, everyday is a day of unexpected changes. Our health changes. One day you feel great and the next minute you could be dead due to a heart attack or a truck runs you over.

How about tests in life? Just think about what happened in the past five years or the difficulties going on in your life right now. Aren't you glad He didn't give you your life ahead of time, on credit? Imagine if you knew all the bad tests that are to come your way ahead of time. What would spend your time doing today? Instead, we just take one day at a time.

That is the way God dispenses out life to us; just one day at a time. Why does he do this? So then, why do so many Christians get caught up in wanting to know the future? How many Christians today look at their horoscopes or try to know what tomorrow will bring? Do you really want to know what will happen tomorrow or next week?

Here is something to think about and always remember when we find ourselves in the many difficult tests in our lives: God never changes and He knows what will work for our good. You and I don't. God is good not to show us tomorrow.

Imagine what life was like for David moments after he stood there holding the head of Goliath in his hands. The Bible doesn't give us all the details but it had to be awesome to see David walk back to Jerusalem with the head of Goliath. Just moments before the mouth on that head was mocking God and mocking David. That mouth had just predicted that Goliath would feed David to the birds. I guess the excuse the Philistines could give for Goliath's foolish outbursts against God was he just lost his head for a moment.

After the Israelite army slaughtered the Philistine army as they fled all the way back to Gath and Ecron, I wonder if anyone wanted to see the head of Goliath? I guess the head wasn't so tough now without the body attached. David carried the head back to Jerusalem but it was Goliath's weapons that he kept for himself. In fact, David continued to use Goliaths weapons as his own.

Now, I imagine some would think that in a matter of a few days David took the throne as king of Israel and became the youngest King in Israel's history. But that is not how things played out. David was wildly popular after the defeat of Goliath. He was an instant hero. But the aftermath of David killing Goliath led David into the deepest, longest, and darkest valleys of his life. There are some Psalms that David wrote where he begged God to sustain him, to help him in his hours of loneliness, his great times of distress. These were written during the period in his life between the mountain top experience with Goliath and the time before he actually becomes king.

There is a passage of scripture that just astounds me. Everything is riding on the victory or defeat of David over Goliath. If I were king, I think I would be really concerned who would be the guy to go out and battle on my behalf. But notice what the writer of 1 Samuel records:

1 Samuel 17:55-58 As Saul watched David going out to meet the Philistine, he said to Abner, commander of the army, "Abner, whose son is that young man?" Abner replied, "As surely as you live, O king, I don't know." The king said, "Find out whose son this young man is." As soon as David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with David still holding the Philistine's head. "Whose son are you, young man?" Saul asked him. David said, "I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem."

What does this say about Saul?

There is no question that this event changed David's life forever. There was no going back to tend the sheep. David was a hero now, his fame and popularity would grow to huge proportions. People began to sing songs about David, he was a celebrity. Not many would be able to handle such instant fame, but David took all of it in stride. He knew how to live with success without it affecting him. All of this changes David's life.

This period in David's life can best be summed up in 4 relationships that he will experience:

1. a relationship of submission to Saul
2. a relationship of affection with Saul's son, Jonathan
3. a relationship of exaltation with the people of Israel
4. a relationship of opposition with Saul that lasted for many years

These relationships will make David into the great man he was destined to be. God brought several people into David's life to prepare him to become king. God many times prepares us for great things or great events by the people he brings into our lives. In many cases, some of the relationships are not good and even dangerous. But if it is God controlling the situation, the final outcome is always for good. David found this out to be very true.

What do you think the first relationship brought to David's life? How did God use it to help David?

1 Samuel 18:2, 5 From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father's house. Whatever Saul sent him to do, David did it so successfully that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the people, and Saul's officers as well.

Four times in chapter 18, the writer records that David prospered and behaved himself wisely. What a man. He simply did what God led him to do. He submitted to authority and God lifted him up above his peers.

Here is a good chapter to sit and read with your kids, especially those who are older and stressed about peer pressure. How does a person rise up over peer pressure, chapter 18 gives the answer, submit to God and his authority; do things God's way and He will lift you higher than your peers. You will become the standard everyone wants to follow.

Those of you who had or have kids going off to college for the first time, what are some of the concerns you had for them? What are the key things you prayed for? Do you think Jesse had the same concerns? What did he pray for? What was one of the key needs of David? A close and personal friend.

1 Samuel 18:1, 3 After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.

God knew David needed an intimate friend to walk with him through the valley that was ahead of him. Intimate friends are rare in life especially for men. We usually only have one or two in a lifetime. Intimate friendships have 4 basic characteristics:

1. An intimate friend is willing to sacrifice. You don't have to beg a close friend for a favor.
2. An intimate friend is a loyal defense before others.

1 Samuel 19:4 Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, "Let not the king do wrong to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly.

3. Intimate friends give each other the freedom to be themselves. You don't have to fake it with this kind of friend. You don't have to explain why you do what you do.
4. An intimate friend is a constant source of encouragement.

1 Samuel 23:15-16 While David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, he learned that Saul had come out to take his life. And Saul's son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.

When you read the entire account of David and Jonathan's relationship, it was a very deep and affectionate relationship. It involved emotions, touch, hugging, weeping, kissing and true desires for one another. There are some modern scholars who want us to believe they were in a gay relationship but that is so wrong. Their relationship was one of true love and affection, the kind of relationships men need today. But it is our society, our evil culture that has distorted what true men are. David and Jonathan were real men, real heroes, real champions for the people and God.

1 Samuel 18:5 Whatever Saul sent him to do, David did it so successfully that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the people, and Saul's officers as well.

There was something about David that was exciting, charismatic, electrifying. David had never served one day in the military before his battle with Goliath, let alone been in an official role of leadership. But here we see him leading in Saul's army, pleasing the people and becoming very popular with the military leaders as well, even Saul liked him when the evil spirit wasn't bothering him. Where did he get this ability?

Knowing David, describe for me what you think his leadership skills were like? (Psalms 23)

I mentioned earlier that four times in this chapter it states that David prospered. Well, what does that mean? It means something different to many people. But in scripture the word "prosper" comes from the Hebrew word "sakal" that gives us some insight into David's character.

Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise (sakal)

A person who is wise (sakal) knows how to keep his mouth shut. He can be trusted with confidential things. He also knows how to open his mouth and use discretion when he talks.

Proverbs 21:11 When a mocker is punished, the simple gain wisdom; when a wise (sakal) man is instructed, he gets knowledge.

A sakal man is teachable. He was wise because he guarded his lips and he had a teachable spirit. No matter how fast he was promoted or how high the exaltations may be, David never lost his teachability. He was always willing to learn. Others who were in positions to teach him liked that attitude and were willing to impart to him their valuable experience.

We will talk a lot more about the last relationship David had, the relationship with the evil Saul in future lessons. There are some real important points I hope you got from this lesson:

1. Not knowing the future forces us to take one day at a time
2. Having an intimate friend helps us face whatever comes our way
3. Being positive and wise is the best reaction to an enemy

If there is someone out there or a situation out there trying to bury you, do what David did, he just kept behaving himself wisely and he just kept on prospering. And when the heat rose, he fled the scene. He refused to fight back or get even. Living for Christ is the most exciting adventure in the world; but it is hard. To those who tried to live by it, God did great things through them. It is the only way that works.