Close

How to Build a Godly Future

08.23.20 Nathaniel Wall

  1. Finding Self Control
    11.22.20 39m 17s
  2. Rising From Our Greatest Failures (part 3)
    11.15.20 37m 05s
  3. Rising From Our Failures (part 2)
    11.08.20 41m 48s
  4. Rising From Our Greatest Failures
    11.01.20 36m 44s
  5. Fighting Loneliness
    10.25.20 31m 39s
  6. Great Grace
    10.18.20 30m 49s
  7. How to Become a Better Dancer
    10.11.20 34m 56s
  8. Life-changing Mercy and Forgiveness
    10.04.20 38m 46s
  9. The Wilderness
    09.27.20 35m 13s
  10. Why Friendships Matters
    09.20.20 39m 17s
  11. Escaping Envy’s Destruction
    09.13.20 33m 30s
  12. Courageous Faith in Adversity
    08.30.20 38m 54s
  13. How to Build a Godly Future
    08.23.20 39m 10s
  14. Learning From Failure
    08.16.20 43m 20s
  15. Transformed in Struggle
    08.09.20 41m 01s

How to Build a Godly Future

08.23.20 Nathaniel Wall Pursuing God's Heart Series

This morning, I get to introduce the text. So if you have your Bible with you, you can open up to First Samuel 16, and we will be reading one through 13, and I will be reading out of the NASB.

Now reading. “Now, the Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being King over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go, and I will send you to Jesse, the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a King for myself among his sons.’ But Samuel said, ‘How can I go?’ When Samuel hears of it, he will kill me.'”

“And the Lord said, ‘Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I’ve come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ You shall invite Jesse to the sacrifice. I will show you what you shall do. And you shall anoint for me the one whom I designate to you.’ So Samuel did what the Lord said and came to Bethlehem, and the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and said, ‘Do you come in peace?’ He said, ‘In peace, I’ve come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.'”

“He also consecrated Jesse and his sons, invited them to the sacrifice. When they entered, he looked at Elaib.” I don’t know if I said that right. “And thought, surely the Lord’s anointed is before him. But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature because I’ve rejected him.’ For God sees not as man sees. For the man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. Then Jessie called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, ‘The Lord has not chosen this one, either.’ Next, Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said to the Lord, he said, ‘The Lord has not chosen this one either.'”

“Thus, Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, ‘The Lord has not chosen these. And Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Are these all the children?’ And he said, ‘There remains yet the youngest and behold, he is tending the sheep.’ Then Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Send and bring him for we will not sit down until he comes here.’ So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the Lord said arise, anoint him for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward and Samuel rose and went to Ramah.”

Dear heavenly Father, thank you so much for this time that we have to come together and listen to your word. I pray that you would open our heart and our eyes to what the truth of your scriptures are, and please give Nathaniel the words to say so that we can understand you more and that we can grow in our relationship with you and with each other. God, you are so good to us. And we are so grateful for your goodness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Good morning, church, family. You just heard the passage of scripture read to us, the story, and the reason we do that in the beginning is one, so we’re familiar with this story, but two, I’m going to just highlight some of the significant things that happened in the story. And when you begin at the beginning of this passage, chapter 16, verse one, you start to see a familiar attitude. With what’s happened in previous chapters leading up to this for the life of Samuel and Israel, and it’s sort of the precedent, really not sort of, it is the precedent that’s been set from the book of Judges into first Samuel. If you’ve been following along in this series that we’ve been in together, what you’ve seen is that the time in Israel’s period here is a very divided time period where their identity is no longer shaped in the Lord.

In fact, we could maybe even argue that they hadn’t really fully shaped their identity in the Lord to begin with. That when Israel left Egypt as slaves under Moses, they wandered through the wilderness for 40 years, they finally get into the promised land, and when they get into the promised land, they’re a very divided group of people. And as you read the book of Judges, you see that. They start to war with other groups around them, but eventually Israel starts to war within themselves, and Judges ends in a very depressing way where they’re no longer looking outwardly thinking about what God could do in them and through them, but now they’re looking inwardly and they’re attacking each other. And the book of Samuel starts off with a prayer of Hannah, who’s dedicating her child to the Lord. And what you find in the book of Samuel is that God unites a people in him.

And during this time period, this chapter of 15, 16, 17, there’s a very pinnacle point in this part of scripture, because this is where we go from this transition of Israel, just walking in disobedience and division. They’re not a United people. They’re a group of clans, to King David being anointed. And now King David brings all the tribes together under one kingdom as he’s used for the Lord. And so this is that transition. So going into this passage of scripture, if we’re not really aware of what this passage of scripture is, and start to relate to this, I would say the people during this time period are sick of the way things have gone. They want something different. They want something encouraging to their lives, healing to their souls. And what we find out in this story, that apart from the Lord, intervening in this circumstance, that even with that desire, even if they’re tired of the way things are, that unless they turn it over to the Lord, it’s going to perpetuate in this same circumstance.

And when you look in chapter 16, verse one, this is what we begin to see. This passage for us is answering the question how do we build a godly future? And really we can title this all sorts of things, because this is really helping, not just an individual find health in their own lives, but this is a passage about a community finding health in pursuing the Lord together. So we could ask, how do you build a godly future? How do you have a hope filled future? How do you have a healing future? And we find the emphasis is all found in the Lord if we would seek him.

And so this encouraging part of this scripture starts off. You see the tone beginning to change, right in verse one. And you see this encouragement in the life of Samuel where God’s encourages him, keep seeking after me, right? Because our tendency as people, once we lose hope, we get to this place of despair. And that’s where Samuel is in these moments. Look in verse one. He says, “Now the Lord said to Samuel, how long will you grieve over Saul since I have rejected him from being King over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go. I will send you to Jesse, the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a King for myself among his sons.”

And so God is encouraging Samuel not to lose hope, but to keep seeking after the Lord. I think our tendency, as people, anytime we don’t have an idea of how grace can be delivered to us or justice can happen, we tend to lose hope. We don’t know what to look… We get stuck in the past, right? We become victims rather than victors. And this is exactly what this verse is saying is look, when your trust is in the Lord, you don’t have to wear the label of victim, but rather you get to wear the identity of a victor because God always wins. And when you’re on his side, you win too. Now it doesn’t mean we undermine things that happened to us, but we’re people that always have promise. We’re people that always have hope, because in the Lord, he works all things together for good.

And God is helping Samuel not to be trapped in his past by the circumstances and things that happened to him, but how to learn to still move forward, despite those things. And sometimes I think we as people, we can get caught up in this kind of attitude when we think things are up to us. Like we’ve got to manipulate the circumstance in order to achieve the goal. And what typically happens when we make things totally dependent up on us and we try to force things to happen, if they don’t work out, we end up either depressed or angry, right?

And Samuel finds himself in this circumstance where he doesn’t see… Here he is, he’s one of the leaders. He’s the last judge in Israel that we have recorded in scripture and Israel’s rejected him. And they want to go with the King and God permitted a King, and the King didn’t work out, and he doesn’t know where else to go.

This was what we were hoping in. Right? And now all of a sudden it’s gone and the Lord is saying, look, it’s not dependent on you. It’s dependent upon me. And so, as long as it’s dependent upon me, there is always hope because he is Lord of Lords, King of Kings. And he moves things forward in his ways. And so he says to Samuel keep trusting in him. And so in this passage of scripture then God tells Samuel where to go. He sends him to the house of Jesse because God’s plan is to anoint a new king in this place. Right?

And here’s what Samuel does. He immediately reverts to his old methods and means that Israel has been dependent upon for years that hasn’t worked out in their favors. And God’s about to teach him in this circumstance. Look, we don’t want to keep producing the same things. We want to learn from our past mistakes, right? And so you see how God is going to teach Samuel in this circumstance, that if you want something different, you’ve got to trust in something differently, right? Stop depending on people, stop depending on circumstance, stop depending on you.

And in verse six, what we find is Samuel follows that same pattern, right? It says this, contrasting really the world’s standard from God’s standard verse six, “When they entered, he looked at Eliab and thought.” So, Samuel comes into Jesse’s family and God says, “I’m going to anoint one.” And so Samuel comes in and sees Eliab and he thought, surely the Lord’s anointed is before me.

Why did Samuel think that? Well, it tells us in the very next verse, under this reprimand from the Lord, he says in verse seven, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his height or his stature.'” So he’s telling us by addressing what Samuel should not be looking at exactly why when he walked in the room, he assumed that Eliab must be the individual that God’s sought him, as sending Samuel to anoint. He walks in the room and he sees Eliab, And he says, the bod of a Greek God, this guy, he can destroy. He’s like Mike Tyson, 1990. That’s the kind of guy this is, right? And you think about in this time period, when you go battle, battle is hand to hand combat. And so when you’re going to follow anybody in a battle, it’s got to be someone that gets the troops to think, look, we’re not going to lose this because I can kill everybody on my own. Right?

And so when Samuel walks in thinking, okay, who’s Israel’s next King? He just picks out the biggest dude in the group. And it’s like, this guy has obviously got to be it. Right? And so the Lord tells Samuel, “Look, this has been the problem. Is that when it comes to doing things in this world, what are we dependent upon? It’s the facade. It’s the image of something that isn’t really there.” And so Eliab walks in this moment and he just assumes by looking at him, it’s this simple to him. We have to fight hand to hand combat. People are coming into us. Who’s going to be the warrior that delivers us? That inspires the people and can be our King? It’s Eliab.

And then God gives this response. You want to build a godly future? You want to see a difference made? God reminds Eliab here and Samuel, align your ways with God’s voice. And this is how it happens. Verse seven. “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature because I have rejected him. For God sees not as man sees. For man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'”

What was Samuel doing? Samuel was wrongly objectifying Saul, or excuse me, Eliab. He’s wrongly objectifying Eliab based upon his appearance. And where does that lead? Well it’s led to what Israel has experienced for now hundreds of years. The destruction of the society, because they’re not really united in a value that makes a difference in the Lord. So it’s not about depending upon your own strength or depending upon yourself. If you depend upon yourself, I mean the purpose for your existence wasn’t even created by yourself and if you make it all about what you do when things don’t happen the way that you want them to, then you get angry and you force people down the wrong path, like we’ve seen in Saul, or you get depressed and you don’t move forward at all.

But in this circumstance, God is showing that really it’s as we depend on him. And so he says, “God looks at the inside or God looks at the heart.” And you think in this moment, Samuel’s objectifying Eliab and he’s making it about the appearance, but in our culture today, so the we. So do we. And what does that produce? This is a beautiful passage of scripture, I think, no matter where you’re at, but I think especially for young people to figure out who they want to become in life. Because I think even the tendency as parents in raising young people, we want to see kids to get as strong as they can get, as healthy as they can be as, as intellectual as we can to help them in life and to make as much money as they can. All of the physical things of this world.

But the problem with that, give all to someone the possibilities of the power that can come by the systems of this world, but if they lack character, that power doesn’t become a blessing. It becomes a cursing, because what inevitably ends up happening when our lives aren’t aligned with the Lord, is we use that strength for our own glory and to the detriment of other people. Yeah, sometimes we might help some people out in some way to make ourselves feel good about ourselves, but ultimately it’s driven for personal glory. And the result of that we’ve seen repeated over and over throughout the book of Judges into this passage in Samuel now. And so what God is saying is look, the primary focus of people, if you want to build a godly path, doesn’t rest in the outward things of this world and the measuring of the world systems. But it starts in the internal nature of the heart and where it’s aligned, because when it’s aligned the right way, then it becomes a blessing to everyone else around you.

And so he’s making this argument that rather than focus on what the culture highlights as important, and those things certainly have a place, like God’s people should never feel guilty if the Lord’s blessed you in a certain way. But to understand that when we have anything, it’s not by our strength, but by the grace of God and it doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to the Lord and his community as we make a light or live as light for him in this world around us.

And so he’s identifying for Samuel, this is how it looks. Or you can even think in our society today, as something as simple as or maybe just one area I could focus on is the idea of marriage. Sometimes when it comes to marriage, people think it’s about attraction and maybe provision. So if I find someone that I have this draw towards, an attraction, and they have all the money in the world, or they have the wealth to provide, then everything will be okay. And that works for a day. Right?

What do you find over time? That stuff fades. Health, looks, it fades. And what are you left with? The consistency of the character. And what directs that? Is it for their glory or is it surrendered to something greater? Is it surrendered to the Lord? Because when it’s surrendered to the Lord, the impact is a blessing, but when power lacks character, the impact is a curse.

Yeah, I think if I got even more particular to our day, I think I’ve thought about the effects that even television has had on our society. That we’ve become very much a marketing, image based society, that it doesn’t really necessarily have to have a lot of depth to the content, as long as it gives the appearance of what we desire. Right? Now you think about this in our culture. We’re in a political year and you get to live with that for a few more months, and all that means for your advertisements and promotions, you get to see on TV. But you think about just a couple of hundred years ago, when you didn’t have television, you didn’t have these images, how in the world did, did leaders get appointed? And what led to that in a democratic society? When you didn’t have that sort of marketing idea, the way that you learned about someone wasn’t about the image, it was about the content for which they stood.

You think about over these recent generations, how marketing has become such a tool just to not even be about what really a person stands for, but just give the facade. I don’t know. I read a lot of books and I read a lot of theology books, and I can even tell you, there is a distinct Mark. When I read books, say pre 1950 and 1950, 60s into today. Like today, books are a little more concise, get to the point, just kind of top surface. Tend to be, anyway. I don’t don’t really have a whole lot of depth. If I read anything 1950s and before I’ve got to mentally prepare myself, because authors tended to take more time to explain things, articulate things. We just don’t have the mind for it anymore.

And this is what he’s saying in this passage of scripture. When it comes to a society, I don’t think television is going anywhere, so I’m not just trying to say, throw out your TVs or anything like that. But what I’m trying to say is when we think about building anything of any sustenance in the life, that the place that it’s got to start is with us and the people around us and the content of the character that becomes the emphasis, and the only place that that can drive us is really defined where character is even built, it’s the one who created us for his purpose, which is the Lord. And this is what God has said to Samuel in this passage. And he started revealing this all the way back in first Samuel, chapter 13, when God told Samuel that he has rejected Saul, that he’s pursuing a man after his own heart.

And so this is what it says in verse 11. We find how David has been grown for really this position as King, when he’s described as off taking care of the sheep. Look in verse 11. It reminds us to nurture your heart. You want to see how to build a godly future? Nurture your heart. Verse 11, this passage of scripture says, “And Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Are these all the children?’ And he said, ‘There remains yet the youngest and behold he’s tending the sheep.’ Then Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Send and bring him, for we will not sit down until he comes here.’ So he sent and brought him in, and now he was ruddy and with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance.” Like if your text says Rudy, I’m pretty sure it literally just means like that. Right? He’s little. And it’s like Rudy, Rudy… no, I’m just teasing.

“But he has this red appearance with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance, and the Lord said, ‘Arise, anoint him, for this is he.’ And then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the spirit of the Lord came upon him mightily, upon David from that day forward, and Samuel arose and went to Ramah.”

So here’s what’s interesting in this text. When Samuel goes through and he anoints, or he’s looking to anoint one of Jesse’s sons, and he gets to the end, he’s like the person’s not here. Then Samuel asked, Jesse, “Are these all your kids?” And this is Jessie’s response. You don’t really get this fully in the Hebrew, but this is Jessie’s response, “I mean, there’s one more kid, but he’s the runt of the litter. And he’s got the unimportant job, so he’s not that significant.” That’s his answer.

And in King David’s day, during this time period, taking care of the sheep was considered the least important role in this society. That’s what you gave to everyone else after all the important jobs were handed out. And so naturally the runt, the boy that lived in the shadow of his greater brothers who were more warrior type, more leadership type, this is what Jesse’s saying about David. And so you look at this passage of scripture and it’s also teaching us though something significant about the character of David in these moments. Because we know that leadership oftentimes, especially in scripture, and I think because of David, gets connected to shepherding. I mean, David, when he writes the famous Psalms, right? The Lord is my shepherd. And what it’s saying about David, that even in what people would consider the most insignificant job, what do you find David doing while everyone else is at this party with Samuel, trying to see whether or not they’re going to get the position to be the next King in line?

What does David remain faithful to? Taking care of the least, right? David’s still faithful to the small things. Demonstrating that his heart can take more. Right? And so in this passage, what you see out in these fields is David is nurturing the heart of a good king. David has content serving in the lowly positions and it communicates something about his character.

A typical King, as you think about David filling this position, a typical King gets money and power and wants to get more, but a godly king gives money and power, and he wants to give more. A typical King lifts himself above others, but a godly King uses his position to bless others. A typical ting says your life is supposed to serve me, but the godly kings says, my life is here to serve you. A typical king will use someone else’s life for his own glory, to the detriment of others, but a godly king will use his own life for God’s glory, to the benefit of others. David, at this age, he’s showing this kind of character. While everyone else is at this important dinner, David chooses to take care of the needs of his family. David is demonstrating humility.

So what makes a good leader? I think that’s an important question because that’s what leads to change in a society. All of us are affected by leadership in some way, right? What makes a difference? How do you build a healthy future? Is it looks? Is it power? Is it talent? What the Lord is teaching his people is not to trust in the facade of any of those things. Because just having those things, doesn’t determine that it’s going to be used for good.

What makes a good leader, what makes a future that makes a difference, is where the heart is surrendered. Not to self, but to the Lord. Direction determines destination. And David in this young age, he’s starting to pour into himself those kind of characteristics that shapes someone that can influence for the future. And that’s important. This is why I say this passage is really relevant for everybody, but especially for young people, because here’s what happens in life.

The older you get, the more you get, typically. The more you become responsible for, and the greater those things can influence the world around you, for good, or for bad. To glorify God, bless others, or to glorify self to the harm of others. And when you learn to possess the kind of character that lives in the light of the Lord, then as you accumulate in life, it honors others. And this is the praise of God. So I say as God’s people, I think more than anything, when we think about pouring into our young people and making sure that they’re just set right for life, that they might have the talents, they might get the education, they might possess the power that what’s predominantly important is that we don’t overlook the character, because the character is what leads the heart to be a blessing with those things.

So two ways to apply this passage. One, I want us to consider ourselves when we look at the significance of what’s going on here, let me just remind you of who King David is in these moments. We know what King David becomes, right? I mean, King David is the king that unites Israel. He writes half of the Psalms. Like when Israel thinks back to their glory days, they think to King David, but who is King David right now? He’s just the young boy that lives in the shadow of his brothers, the forgotten child, the runt of the litter. He has no power, no fame, no money.

And so what allows him to get to that position in life? And it’s not to say follow this, and all of us will be kings or queens. It’s not saying this at all, but it’s saying, look, when we allow our hearts to lean this way, the way that God calls us to and surrender to him, that certainly whatever position you hold in this world, it will be a blessing to the people around you. That when they think of you, their hearts will smile because the goodness that you present in this world.

David has none of those things that we often think about as it relates to him, but it starts in this story. And then the second thing, when I think about King, David is you look at a store like this and you think, that’s great for him, but I’m no King David, right? But when you read this story, here’s, what’s really interesting. I didn’t even catch this until last night. I didn’t really think. I’ve never thought about this in the story till last night. But when you read Samuel going into this town and he says, go to Jesse and tell him that, that I want to anoint one of his sons and bring him to this special meal, right? Where we’re going to make a sacrifice.

Well, when Samuel does that, Jesse’s children are supposed to then go through this ceremonial cleansing purification period. We’re going to this place of honor, we’ve got to dress ourselves up nice to follow the law, purify ourselves, then we can become a part of this meal. But, but when God calls the leader here, look what happens in this story is like, here’s all your sons. They’ve all been prepared. They look exactly the way they’re supposed to look according to the religion here. And then he says, “But we’re missing one, and where is he?”

Well, he’s got the filth of the sheep on him. David doesn’t perfect himself. Not like the brothers, he doesn’t have that kind of time. That they’re all just waiting for David to join in. And so David joins the party, having just left the fields with the sheep. And what I mean by that is look, in order to give our lives to the Lord it’s not about purifying ourselves enough to then find God accepting us. It’s about when God gives the call, we come right then. That heart and those moments surrendering to what the Lord says. You can’t change the past, and honestly, before the Lord, it’s impossible anyway.

In the midst of wherever you sit and whatever your life has been, that’s where the call enters into us. And when you think about David and the story, and I’ve shared this with you in Samuel, a very key word used in this book is this idea of anointing. And the very first time it’s used as in chapter two in Hannah’s prayer, and then it happens with the anointing of Saul, and now we’re talking about the anointing of King David, and this is why it’s so important. When you look in the old Testament, you see these pictures of anointing on prophets and priests and kings. But when you get to the new Testament, you find out that the God just doesn’t anoint just particular people, but God anoints all of his people for the work that he calls us to.

And in First John, chapter two, verse 20 and in verse 27, it talks about the anointing that all of God’s people have in his spirit to live the life that God has called us to in him. And so this isn’t a unique passage that isn’t intended to relate to us, but to understand that we stand in a similar position before God. Maybe we don’t where the earthly title of a King, but we belong to the King of Kings and that God wants us to make a difference in this world.

But let me say this as well, because one of the things I don’t want us to take away from this passage is this idea of trusting in people. Okay? So I think it’s important to have a community. And I think it’s important to work in a community together to understand that the enemy can always bring adversity to us and cause disunity among his people and disrupt what God wants to do. That God works in unity among his people, right? But at some point, someone around you will disappoint you. That’s going to happen, right? And I know when we’re looking at this passage, what we’re seeing is we’re seeing Samuel looking for a deliverer. Samuel is looking for someone to put his trust in, in these moments, right? And God delivers through himself, God delivers a King. But I don’t want to walk away from this passage and say, now look to someone to be your deliverer.

Because I don’t think that what the Lord is doing with a passage like this, because what we see in the Old Testament is a lot of the stories becoming a shadow, or we could say the overarching theme of the old Testament is that these stories become a shadow of an ultimate deliverer for us. And when you read the book of Acts, chapter 13, verse 22 to 23 in this passage, Paul preaches his very first message on his first missionary journey. And he actually takes this story of King David in verse 22 and he relates it to a bigger story of Jesus. That Jesus is the ultimate deliverer that we can trust in. And so when you think about this passage of scripture, I think while we consider ourselves where we ultimately want to end up in, is considering the Lord in all of these things. Because this heart that we’re talking about in first Samuel, that the Lord looks at the heart, that heart, what makes that heart strong is what it’s, depending in. Depending on self will disappoint. Depending on others will disappoint. But depending on the Lord, you always have victory.

I want us just to consider Jesus in these moments, right? You think King David’s heart, King David’s given over to the Lord in this passage, but King David didn’t live a perfect life. Someone else did. His name is Christ.

Do you know in the new Testament, there is one passage of scripture where Jesus talks about his heart. It’s a passage of scripture that maybe many of us are even familiar with, but we’ve never looked at it probably from that angle that Jesus is talking about his heart, but there’s one passage in the gospels where Jesus opens up and says to us, and Jesus was always open, but he just says to us, what is on his heart. And it’s in Matthew chapter 11, in verse 28. You’re probably familiar with this, but listen to this. We’re going to look at it from Jesus speaking to us about what’s on his heart in this passage. He says, “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden.” And I will give you what? Rest. “I will give you rest.” Jesus in this story he’s contrasting himself from other religious leaders of the day.

He’s recognizing other leaders during the time of Christ how they have just weighed on people and worn people out and they continue to give over to it. And they just keep finding the same thing, and they just want to be delivered from this. They want things to be different. They want a greater hope. They’re tired of disappointment. And Jesus is positioning himself in this story compared to all other leaders around, and he gives that kind of statement, right? Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, especially the religious leaders, he’s saying this against, and I will give you rest. And listen to this, verse 29. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.” Look, here’s what Jesus says, “For I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” What’s Jesus saying here? Jesus is saying he’s a wimp?

I am gentle and humble of heart. Jesus, obviously he’s not communicating he’s a wimp. Jesus certainly stood for something to the point that he even stared down death to accomplish it. And Jesus walked away in victory in the grave. So Jesus isn’t identifying himself as a wimp, as we could look at this. I mean, this isn’t the kind of pep talk that you would expect before the locker room of a game. Like the Jazz playing today when they destroyed the Nuggets one more time. That’s for Scott.

When they do that, when that game happens today, they’re not going to be in the locker room and said, guys, let’s attack this with gentle and humble of heart. It’s not the kind to pump you up, but in order to hold this position, that Jesus is saying, what Jesus is recognizing is there’s an incredible amount of confidence in his position of where he is at because he understands who he is and what he’s capable of. Right?

The only reason he can talk about this is because of the identity that he has, that he is secure and for our wellbeing being King of Kings and Lord of Lords, that he is able to accomplish what he’s promising. And so what he’s saying in this story is look, when it comes to leadership, I’m not here to domineer over you, but to help you, to deliver you, so much so that my posture is to be humble at heart. What Jesus is saying is I’m taking the position of a servant for your wellbeing.

In this kind of story in Christ, what he’s distinguishing for us is the difference between his rule in the world’s rule. The world’s rule wants to put on the facade of power, but the true power is possessed by him and he’s identifying it for us. Like it’s not about the outward appearance, but what lies within.

And when you think about Jesus’ life in scripture, the Bible tells us in First Corinthians, chapter one, verses 22, “That the Jews seek a sign of power and the Greeks search for wisdom of intellect, but we preach Christ crucified. To the Jews, a stumbling block, and to the Gentiles, foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God, because the foolishness of God is wiser than men and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” You ever think about the way that scripture describes the facade of who Jesus was?

What was Jesus like? What did he look like? What kind of attraction did he bring when he walked into the room was it Eliab there or was it the overlooked? Well, in Isaiah 52, it tells us, or 53, verse two, it tells us, it says “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him. Nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering and familiar with pain, like one from whom people hid their faces. He was despised and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took upon our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him and afflicted, but he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds, we are healed.” Jesus, the one that changes humanity.

And what did he impress us with? Nothing by the world’s standards. Nothing. But what did he do? He changed the world. And we’d like to say of Christ sometimes that he never held a political position, he never held a military position, he never even wrote a book, but he changed the world. And the point for all of us in this passage of scripture is to understand that the downfall of Israel was found in what they continued to trust in, what they gave their heart to. And the answer for us isn’t to look to simply a person to be our deliver, because people were never intended to be or ultimate deliverer. But to look to the one who does the delivering. It’s Jesus. And when our hope rests in him as people, we always have the victory. No longer do we have to live trapped in the mentality of a victim because there in Christ is always hope. And then when there’s always hope, there’s always a future. And we have that future because our hearts can be turned to him.