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The People God Puts in Your Life

The Associates of David

Salvation brings us into a personal relationship with God. Our continuing walk with him puts us squarely into a world of people. Some of them help us, some of them hinder us, but all of them must be dealt with. The study of David as seen through the people God wove into his life provides a rich background for our own associations.

1. The Unknown Servant

1 Sam 16:18 Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him.

The grace of God sees to it that unnamed persons contribute to who we are and what happens to us. We should take care not to take undeserved credit and glory for the blessings and benefits of life. 1 Corinthians 4:6-7.

2. The Benevolent Dictator

1 Samuel 16:21-23 And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer. 22 And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favour in my sight. 23 And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

King Saul knew David long before the Goliath incident. Although Saul’s favor was short-lived, he gave David a chance to minister to him and use his talents.

Somewhere in your life, God has put a person who will deal kindly with you and open doors that otherwise would stay closed. Be grateful for this person and show them appreciation. David never forgot the moments when he received something valuable from Saul.

3. The Jealous Brother

1 Samuel 17:28 And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.

In 1 Samuel 16:6-7, Eliab was the first person we read about who despised David. In truth, Eliab was covering up for his own cowardice. Older and stronger than David, Eliab should have confronted Goliath instead of David. (1 Samuel 17:13-27). David did not allow his older brother to throw him off course. In fact, his courage benefited all of Israel , including his jealous brother.

You will meet people who have a world of problems of their own, yet would rather criticize you than deal with their own shortcomings. Many times they attempt to heal themselves by hurting others. They will lie on you, criticize you, refuse to treat you with respect and undermine everything you do.

You can try to make such people stop their destructive behavior, but it usually does no good. You must react in the way that neutralizes their hatred and reverses it. (Romans 12:16-21.)

4. The Mortal Enemy

1 Sam 17:42-44. And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. 43 And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.

Goliath hated the God of Israel and the Israelites. David only became a personal enemy after he answered the challenges of the giant.

There will be people in our lives who put us in their crosshairs and vow to destroy us. They live in our neighborhoods, work at our offices and factories or even share in the same family with us. Remember two things about these people:

1. Don’t take their threats and curses personally. That will only hinder your ability to do the right thing. If you end up hating someone and trying to get personal revenge, you will lose the battle.

2. Sanctify every response by the name of the Lord. Our weapons don’t consist of slings and swords, but praying in the Holy Ghost. 2 Cor. 10:3-4.

5. The True Friend

1 Sam 18:1 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

God provided a friend for David in Jonathan who truly loved him and understood his struggles and triumphs. David could bare his soul to Jonathan and not fear being misunderstood or used.

All of us need a true friend, but too many people today don’t know how to be one.

Faithfulness . Prov 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Loyal . Prov 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Right motive . Prov 22:11 He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.

Honest . Prov 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Encouraging . Prov 27:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.

Remembering . Prov 27:10 Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not.

Forthright . Prov 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

6. The Threatened Leader

1 Sam 18:6-8 And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. 7 And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. 8 And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? 9 And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.

Saul, at one time, favored David, and David did many things for Saul, the king. When Saul felt that David was destined for his throne, however, he changed his attitude to one of hatred and murder.

What do we do when someone we’ve honored and loved turns on us and tries to hurt us or cut us off? David gives us the right response.

1. Stay out of their way as much as possible. (Avoid conflict.)

2. Do not strike back. (Retaliation against an authority figure never appears right to others. 2 Chronicles 16:22.)

3. Leave it to God to make it right. Deuteronomy 32:35.

7. The Tale-Bearer

1 Sam 21:7 Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD; and his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chiefest of the herdmen that belonged to Saul.

1 Sam 22:22 And David said unto Abiathar, I knew it that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul: I have occasioned the death of all the persons of thy father’s house.

Doeg was an opportunist who sought to ingratiate himself with Saul by turning a good deed by the priest, Ahimelech, into a deadly bit of gossip. When David found out that the priest’s good deed led to his death, he was grieved. What was his response? He did not seek out Doeg personally and kill him. He modeled his response in Psalm 52.

Sooner or later, someone who tells tales will disrupt the flow of your life. Too many times people focus on who told, why they told, and then go to great lengths to deny or distort the truth. What should you do about gossip?

1. Deny it if it is untrue.

2. If it is true, admit it and accept responsibility for the outcome.

3. Forget about it.

The more you make an issue out of the wrong doing of someone else, the more you cast the shadow of suspicion back on yourself. There are just enough gossips in this world to keep all of us on the straight and narrow.

8. The Fearless Prophet

2 Sam 12:7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel , I anointed thee king over Israel , and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul.

Nathan, the prophet, appeared at the lowest ebb of David’s life. David had committed adultery with Bathsheba, and tried to cover it up with murder. Nathan did not hold back his charges because David was the king.

Everyone needs a fearless prophet. It will most often be the pastor, but it may be an anointed servant of God in the church. Never react with anger or resentment against someone who is inspired by the Holy Ghost to tell you the truth.

If you do not permit someone to level with you, how will you receive correction for your errors or how will your sins be exposed? (2 Timothy 4:1-4.)

9. The Dependent

2 Sam 9:6 Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant!

David owed nothing to the house of Saul, especially considering the way Saul treated him. But God put a desire in David’s heart to do something good for Mephibosheth, one of Saul’s sons, out of a sense of gratitude.

The worse thing you can do is harden your heart against people in need. God places them in your life to test your spirit. Not everyone should get a handout, but some people give us the opportunity to let God’s grace and generosity flow through us. (Hebrews 13:16.) (communicate: give a share to.)

10. The Temptress

2 Sam 11:2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.

Bathsheba was forbidden fruit for David. He had no right to her. She did not necessarily do anything wrong, but David indulged himself in lustful thinking which led to sin.

There will always be a seductress strategically placed somewhere in your life. You may complain against the unfairness of the situation, you may blame the person by whom the temptation comes, but you are responsible for your own reaction.

We know what David did, but we can only piece together the plan of action that he should have taken.

1. You are responsible for your eyes. Psalm 101:2-4

2. You must take responsibility for your thoughts. Proverbs 23:7

3. You must initiate your own cleansing. 2 Corinthians 7:1

11. The Victim of your Sin

2 Samuel 11:6 And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David.

David sent Uriah to the frontlines of battle where he would surely be killed. Thus, he covered up his sin with the added sin of murder. As time passed, David suffered from the knowledge that his own actions destroyed an innocent man. (I Kings 15:5). He wrote Psalm 51 as a response to his sin.

You have probably hurt someone in your lifetime by word or deed. Whether or not the person is still living, you know in your own heart what you did. If you can, seek out forgiveness and make it right. If not, ask God to forgive you. While the sin and guilt will be washed away, never forget the propensity in your own life to do wrong. This does two things:

1. It keeps you humble and contrite.

2. It helps you to deal with other sinners more mercifully. (Gal. 6:1)

12. Your Great Embarrassment

2 Samuel 13:1 And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her.

This is an instance where we find the Bible to be a forthright and objective book. It did not conceal the mortifying fact that David’s own son, Amnon, committed incest with his sister.

Someone will always exist in your life to develop grace and restraint. Be very careful how you hold others responsible for their misfortunes because you may have a far greater embarrassment emerge from your life, family or background. (Parable of the debtor: Matthew 18:23-35)

Many critical and judgmental people engage in destructive diatribes against others because they 1) despise themselves, 2) feel exonerated for their own shortcomings, or 3) want to divert attention from themselves.

13. The Pretender to your Throne

2 Samuel 15:1 And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.

Absolom stole the hearts of the people away from David and tried to establish himself as the new king. Instead of offering loyalty and support to his father, he undermined him and split the kingdom.

Someone wants what you have. They want your position, possessions and power. There may be a confrontation. If they draw you into a conflict, make sure your motives are not personal vengeance, but righteousness and honor. It is not wrong to oppose evil and ungodliness, and to fight for right, but it is always wrong to fight for selfish purposes.

14. Your Right-Hand Man

2 Sam 10:7 And when David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the host of the mighty men.

Joab served David faithfully, politically and privately, and he made the king’s interests his priority. He cleaned up after David’s messes with Uriah the Hittite and Absalom, David’s rebellious son. Joab was a man of great military prowess, valiant, and capable. He used revenge and treachery in order to protect the king. His principles did not prevent his serving his master’s vices as well as his virtues. Some scholars label him as one of the most accomplished and unscrupulous warriors that Israel ever produced. (Adapted from The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Moody Press of Chicago  Illinois . Copyright (c) 1988.)

God will always put someone in your life who attends to your welfare. All of us need support and understanding, but beyond that, we need a certain person to lean on in hard times and to trust in when you are especially vulnerable. David was that kind of person to his father and brothers. In his leadership position, God supplied him with the same kind of individual. That person may be your husband or wife. He could be your close friend or understudy.

15. Your Network

In 2 Samuel 23, we read a fascinating story about thirty-seven valiant men who gave themselves to the welfare and advancement of King David. David did have a few close friends like Joab, but much of the king’s success rode on the backs of these men.

Sometimes, one or two friends cannot adequately meet the needs of your life. You need a network of people that will rally around you and lift you to victory. How do you build a network? By the way, check out the thirty-seventh person in David’s network of valiant men. (II Samuel 23:39).

1. Be a part of someone else’s network.

2. Don’t overload your network.

3. Be a faithful and loyal part of the church, God’s greatest network!  (I Corinthians 12:25-27)

16. Your Legacy

1 Kings 2:1-2 Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, 2 I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man;

In God’s timing, someone will take up the torch of your family, your job and your ministry. Ask for God’s help, because it is the totality of your life.

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