By Sam Greer
Senior Pastor, Red Bank Baptist Church, Chattanooga
Franklin Graham visited Chattanooga on his first stop during the Decision America Tour in May of 2017. Graham mentioned a conversation he had with a man of a different theological persuasion in regards to his dad, the late Billy Graham. At the time of the aforementioned conversation, Billy Graham was still alive. Franklin commented that the charismatic man he was talking with said this about his dad, “I believe that when your dad (Billy Graham) dies, God is going to take His hand off of America.” What a statement! How ironic that since the death of Billy Graham, several pastors and leaders have heartbreakingly fallen.
While working on my dissertation at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, I researched and wrote on the evangelistic ministry of Billy Graham. For me, one of the strongest take-aways, and the one attribute that encompasses Graham’s legacy, was his humility. If there ever lived a man who had every earthly excuse to be prideful and arrogant, it was Billy Graham. However, his humility never wavered and it remains to be his legacy.
In II Samuel 5:9-12 and 6:12-19, David had every earthly excuse to be arrogant and demanding as God established him as king over Israel. David rejected arrogance as he chose to celebrate God’s provisions and rejoice in God’s presence. The present state of the Southern Baptist Convention demands that pastors, leaders, churches, messengers, and members enter into a state of repentance. What a reminder in this week’s text of how we can remain in a state of repentance!
First, stay humble! (II Samuel 5:9-12). David conquered the city of Jerusalem and called it the city of David (v. 9). One might be inclined to think that David was becoming full of himself by how he referred to the city of Jerusalem as the city of David. What’s more, God increased David’s territory as king of Israel and the nation prospered (v. 10). Furthermore, another king, Hiram king of Tyre, sent supplies and Chip and Joanna to build David a house (v. 11).
David had every earthly reason to become prideful and arrogant. Yet, he stayed humble. How? David knew that God exalted David for the sake of Israel (v. 12). David understood that a kingdom without a “king” is just “dom” (dumb), but he also knew that his kingship and kingdom were not about David. SBC, our ministry is not ours nor is it about us, it’s about Jesus!
Second, stay hungry! (II Samuel 6: 12-15). David’s heart was after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). As a result, David longed to be present in God’s presence. The ark of the covenant represented God’s presence with His people. David brought the ark of God to Jerusalem (II Samuel 6:12). The Bible uses terminology like rejoicing, dancing, shouting and the sound of the horn to describe the manner in which David brought the ark of God to Jerusalem (vv. 12-15). David never got over being in the presence of God. He remained hungry for God. We would do well not to be hungry for our preferences, traditions, style of worship, God’s provisions or God’s blessings, but rather to be hungry for God Himself.
Third, stay holy! (2 Samuel 6:16-19). Although David was excited about being in the presence of God, he never took it lightly. David pitched a tent for the ark and offered sacrifices to God (vv. 17-18). Before spending time with God’s people, David spent time with God (vv. 18-19). We must spend time with God before spending time with others.