Who Wrote This Script

6/20/2021

Message Title: Who Wrote This Script?
Theme: Reruns & Glory Days
Season: ordinary time
Main Text: 1 Samuel 17:57-18:5, 18:10-16
Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 6:1-13
RCL Scripture: 1 Samuel 17:57-18:5, 18:10-16 or 1 Samuel 17:(1a, 4-11, 19-23), 32-49; Job 38:1-11; Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32; Psalm 9:9-20; Psalm 133; 2 Corinthians 6:1-13; Mark 4:35-41
Focus: David and Saul’s relationship is a chaotic downward spiral.
Function: To see the redemption in our stories.
Other Notes:- father’s day

SCRIPTURE READING: 2 Corinthians 6:1-13 Since we work together with him, we are also begging you not to receive the grace of God in vain. He says, I listened to you at the right time, and I helped you on the day of salvation.[a] Look, now is the right time! Look, now is the day of salvation!  We don’t give anyone any reason to be offended about anything so that our ministry won’t be criticized. Instead, we commend ourselves as ministers of God in every way. We did this with our great endurance through problems, disasters, and stressful situations. We went through beatings, imprisonments, and riots. We experienced hard work, sleepless nights, and hunger. We displayed purity, knowledge, patience, and generosity. We served with the Holy Spirit, genuine love, telling the truth, and God’s power. We carried the weapons of righteousness in our right hand and our left hand. We were treated with honor and dishonor and with verbal abuse and good evaluation. We were seen as both fake and real, as unknown and well known, as dying—and look, we are alive! We were seen as punished but not killed, 10 as going through pain but always happy, as poor but making many rich, and as having nothing but owning everything. 11 Corinthians, we have spoken openly to you, and our hearts are wide open. 12 There are no limits to the affection that we feel for you. You are the ones who placed boundaries on your affection for us. 13 But as a fair trade—I’m talking to you like you are children—open your hearts wide too.

RERUN: “The Recap Sequence”

If you have watched more than one episode of cable television, you may have heard the phrase “previously on….” At the beginning of a show to catch the viewers up on the story.

This “recap sequence” technique has morphed along with the changes in entertainment over the decades. In 1955 a show premiered titled The Life & Legend of Wyatt Earp. This show used recaps weekly to keep the story alive for viewers.

Recaps faded from use in the mid 50’s & 60’s as stand alone ‘rerun’ compatible episodes ramped up. Think of shows like I love lucy or The Dick Van Dyke Show. Some shows used a theme song to get people into the story with minimal back story. I.e. Green Acres or Gilligan’s Island.

However, the recap sequence made a come back in the 70’s and had a steady incline through the 90’s and 00’s as shows with multiple seasons developed ongoing stories. Some even stylized their recap to fit the theme of their show. i.e. Glee’s recap typically sounds like a gossip circle.

Today we’re back to losing our need for recap with the rise of internet tv and death of the structured cable format. Netflix even gives you the option to skip recaps & theme songs all together. Binging a show means you don’t need a reminder what happened in the previous episode.

TRANSITION:  From radio shows to Netflix originals, stories have a need to carry on themes as the viewer stays engaged over time.

Our scripture reading from last week included the passage we missed in our Reruns series. Since we weren’t together last week, let’s to a little recap sequence.

Recap: “Previously on Israelites in the Holy Land” – The Israelites demanded a king, even with a staunch warning. King Saul seemed to be everything they wanted…. Until he wasn’t. God chose a new king for Israel- David the youngest son of Jesse was anointed by Samuel. A shepherd would be Israel’s king. Though Saul’s successor was already picked out… Saul was still in charge. And now the future king will cross paths with the current ruler.

Our text for today will hop around. Join me on this soap opera of a bible story as we wonder what God will do next…

MAIN TEXT: 1 Samuel 17:57-18:5, 18:10-16

57 So when David came back from killing the Philistine, Abner sent for him and presented him to Saul. The Philistine’s head was still in David’s hand. 58 Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, my boy?” “I’m the son of your servant Jesse from Bethlehem,” David answered.

18 As soon as David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan’s life[a] became bound up with David’s life, and Jonathan loved David as much as himself.[b] From that point forward, Saul kept David in his service[c] and wouldn’t allow him to return to his father’s household. And Jonathan and David made a covenant together because Jonathan loved David as much as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his armor, as well as his sword, his bow, and his belt. David went out and was successful in every mission Saul sent him to do. So Saul placed him in charge of the soldiers, and this pleased all the troops as well as Saul’s servants.…

10 The next day an evil spirit from God came over Saul,[e] and he acted like he was in a prophetic frenzy in his house. So David played the lyre as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand, 11 and he threw it, thinking, I’ll pin David to the wall. But David escaped from him two different times. 12 Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with David but no longer with Saul. 13 So Saul removed David from his service, placing him in command of a unit of one thousand men. David led the men out to war and back. 14 David was successful in everything he did because the Lord was with him. 15 Saul saw that he was very successful, and he was afraid of him. 16 Everyone in Israel and Judah loved David because he led them out in war and back again.

EXPLAINATION:

  1. David has come to gather news for his father and brin ghis brother supplies.
    1. While there he sees the front lines of the ongoing conflict with the Philistines.
    2. He is stirred by the taunts of Goliath and offers himself as champion.
    3. The shepherd beats the seasoned soldier.
  2. Saul wants to celebrate his champion-
    1. It seems  like in introduction happens here but earlier in ch 17, Saul enlists David to play music for him when he is troubled of spirit. … so did they just meet now and they told the story out of order or does Saul have a short attention span?
  3. David meets Jonathan, Saul’s son and presumptive heir. They connect in a way that has left Christians debating for centuries… could be a good Bible study topic if you wanna dive into all the angles with me.
    1. A covenant is formed between David and Jonathan.
  4. Then David is enlisted in to Saul’s service – sometimes as a musician and sometimes as a warrior.
    1. David comes back from a battle and the crowds brag of David’s successes being bigger than Saul’s.
    2. What does Saul do? Try to kill David… who is playing music for his troubled spirits.

INTERPRETATION: Honestly the whole saga of Saul and David fills me with a million questions for God. Alas, not all can be answered by academic research. If you have questions—we can meet together and chat or I invite you to our Wednesday night bible study where we regularly wrestle with tough topics.

  1. The aspect I want to focus on is how God’s plans start to unfold.
    1. Saul was anointed king in 1 Samuel 9. By the middle of 1 Samuel 10, Saul has demonstrated that he will not be faithful to God as a king and God rejects Saul as the king of Israel. However, Saul isn’t removed from office.
      1. In 1 Samuel 16:14 we hear that the Lord’s spirit leaves Saul and an “evil spirit from the Lord” torments him. So frequently we take scripture like this and use it to explain the terrible things in our lives or the terrible choices other’s make. “God tempted me.”
      2. I want to suggest another way to look at this- Saul was already disobedient before God’s spirit left him. Saul was already making decisions against God’s guidance. Yet God’s will continues to unfold, just no longer through Saul. God uses Saul’s rebelliousness as a pathway to restore the story. Saul’s actions pave the way for David to become Israel’s king.
        1. Could the torment be his guilty conscience? Perhaps we wont fully know why he was being tormented.
    2. In 1 Samuel 16 David is anointed to be the next king of Israel, but once again, this transition of power doesn’t happen instantly. Instead, the end of Saul’s reign unfolds over the remainder of 1 Samuel.
      1. Saul was unfaithful. David was faithful.
      2. David, the anointed king, begins to gain the trust and favor of not only Israel but also Saul’s family.
      3. Jonathan ties his soul to David and commits to protecting him, which we see continue in the following chapters.
      4. Michal, Saul’s daughter and David’s wife, protects David from her father’s assassination attempts.
      5. The Israelites celebrated David’s successes.
  2. Misconception about God forcing us into bad things or tempting us to do bad things
    1. God is redeeming the choices we have made for God’s purpose

APPLICATION: To see the redemption in our stories.

  1. Saul’s kingly line unfolds as David’s reign develops. This story is like a biblical soap opera- who loves who, assassination plots, and the game of thrones.
  2. Today is father’s day– and there are so many complicated feelings about father’s day, much like Mother’s day.
    1. There aren’t enough words to explain every angle of feelings connected with this day.
  3. Redeemer of stories: Regardless of the story you carry connected to Father’s Day, I want you to hear that God is the redeemer of stories.
    1. No, I’m not telling you in this moment you have to forgive *that* person what they did. Nor am I telling you that God put you through terrible things to make you better. Our God is a god of order not chaos. Our God wants our flourishing not our destruction.
    2. Instead, I’m telling you that any story can be used to glorify God. No story is outside of pointing back to God.
      1. And sometimes, humans have made such a mess that only God can restore a story.
      2. I mean, only God could help David continue to honor Saul, even when Saul repeatedly tries to kill him. Continue reading in 1 Samuel and find the story about Saul peeing in a cave—see how David honored him even then.
  4. A word of caution: Redemption is a story in God’s hands. You are not the savior. It is not your job to save those who have hurt you by continually subjecting yourself to pain in hopes of swaying them someday.
    1. Please hear thisJesus died on the cross; you don’t have to.
    2. Instead, we continue to grow with God and God will show us the avenues towards healing.
      1. Sometimes that leads to reunions and earthly healing. Sometimes, that healing can only happen in eternity.
    3. Your role in redemption is to continue to listen to God’s spirit and follow faithfully. God will work out the rest.
    4. I want to invite you to pray the Lord’s prayer with me again. – Heather, could you pull that slide up again? –God’s the one doing work here.

CONCLUSION: I won’t be able to resolve all of your questions and problems with the passage we read today. But I can tell you that God isn’t done yet. God isn’t done with this story (we’ll continue it next week as we start in 2 Sam) and God isn’t done with your story.

May God redeem and restore your story in ways you didn’t know were possible.

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