• on May 15, 2018

Stewardship & The Bleating of Sheep

by Pastor Toks Oshokoya – 6 May 2018

Preamble:
The word Stewardship is mentioned 18 times in the OT & NT (steward, stewards, stewardship)

What is Stewardship or who is a steward?

Hebrew: mesheq
Greek: oikonomia
from 3623; administration (of a household or estate); specially, a (religious) “economy”:–dispensation, stewardship.

1 a person who manages another’s property or financial affairs; one who administers anything as the agent of another or others.
2 a person who has charge of the household of another, buying or obtaining food, directing the servants, etc.
3 an employee who has charge of the table, wine, servants, etc., in a club, restaurant, or the like.
4 a person who attends to the domestic concerns of persons on board a vessel, as in overseeing maids and waiters.
5 an employee on a ship, train, or bus who waits on and is responsible for the comfort of passengers, takes orders for or distributes food, etc.
6 a flight attendant.
7 a person appointed by an organization or group to supervise the affairs of that group at certain functions.
Synonyms:
administrator
agent
chamberlain
purser
representative

Applications:
Genesis 15: 2 “…the steward of my house..”
(“my God a help”.)
1. Gen 15:2, “the steward of Abram’s house, Eliezer of Damascus,” literally, “the son of the business,” or possession (i.e. heir) of my house. Entering Canaan by Damascus, Abram took thence his chief retainer, and adopted him in the absence of a son and heir. He was not “born in Abram’s house” as Gen 15:3 of KJV represents in contradiction to Gen 15:2 (unless it was while Abram was in Damascus); but, as Hebrew expresses, was “son of his house,” i.e. adopted as such, according to the paternal relations then subsisting between patriarchs and their servants.
Thus, he discharged with fidelity, prayerful trust in Providence, and tact, the delicate commission of choosing a wife from his master’s connections for his master’s son Isaac.

Stewardship or ‘Dispensation’ or ‘Administration on the behalf of’
Luke 16: 4 “…put out of…”
Luke 16: 2 “…give account of…”
1 Corinthians 9:17 “…a dispensation of the gospel …”
Ephesians 1: 10
Ephesians 3: 2
Colossians 1: 25

# Section One:
A Type Of Stewardship Unto God: Through Serving Under Others
DAVID’S MEN & Joab
It is remarkable to note that when David was going to make up his team, he chose those who were in distress, in debt and discontented. (1 Sam 22: 1 – 2).This was the previous characterization of David’s band of rovers.

Later, these ones became the renowned mighty men of David listed in 2 Samuel 23: 8 – end

For you to become a member of David’s men, you must realize that everyone cannot be in the very first front.

As the influential circle and status of the one leading you increases, his greatness increases, and the more you have to accept the fact that you are really just one of those building it. When the leader is just at his base level, you might feel you are the only one helping as a support, but when the number of efficient helpers (dynamic and productive destiny facilitators) increases, you would need to upgrade your perspective and realize that each of them is adding to the greatness of the leader, and you are just one important part of the number. Yet there is still just one leader.
The way you serve the leader, when it’s just the two of you may differ from how you serve when the number of helpers increases but the zeal and loyalty ought not to change.

Many of David’s men, as we can infer, had to adjust gradually as David’s greatness increased. To your godly assigned leader, you will have to find out the part that God has apportioned to you in his life and your divine assignment as his influential base increases. Those were the things that David’s men had to learn.

Joab – Who was he?
Oldest of the three sons of Zeruiah, David’s sister. The father is not named; his sepulchre was in Bethlehem 2Sa 2:32). Revengeful and bold as his brother Abishai, at the same time more able as a statesman 2Sa 2:18; 2Sa 2:22; 2Sa 3:27).

Early joined David, whose family and relatives were not safe from Saul 1Sa 22:3-4; 1Sa 26:6). Became “captain of the host.” Abishai is mentioned in David’s flight before Saul; but Joab not until after Saul’s death. Then, commanding David’s servants, Joab encountered Abner at the pool of Gibeon by the challenge of the latter, and defeated him with the loss of only 19 men. Up to Abner’s involuntary slaughter of the fleet-footed Asahel, Abner’s relations with Joab had been not unkindly. Joab, at Abner’s appeal to his generosity, the Benjamites having rallied round the fleeing chief, forbore to press the vanquished to extremities. He added further 2Sa 2:27), “unless thou hadst spoken (challenged to combat, 2Sa 2:14) surely then in the morning the people would have gone away every one from following his brother,” i.e. there would have been no such fratricidal strife at all.
But Joab cherished revenge for his brother’s death; and on his return from pursuing a troop, finding that Abner had been favorably received by David, he broke out into a reproof of the king as though Abner had come as a spy; then by messengers recalled the unsuspecting general, and, taking him aside at the gateway of Hebron as if for a peaceable conversation, treacherously stabbed him.

Jealousy of a possible rival in David’s favor probably was an additional incentive. David, deeply grieved, prayed that the guilt and its penalty might ever rest on Joab and his house, and constrained Joab to appear at the funeral with rent clothes and in sackcloth. Yet David felt himself powerless to punish Joab and his brother; “these men, the sons of Zeruiah, be too hard for me,” at once necessary to him and too formidable to provoke. He left the punishment with the Lord (2Sa 3:39, compare 2Sa 19:7). Joab speedily attained the command in chief by his being first gallantly to scale the Jebusite stronghold and drive out the enemy.

What did Joab do?
He killed Abner the commander of Saul’s army.

After the death of King Saul, Abner (the commander of Saul’s army) took Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth and made him king over the areas of Israel called Gilead, Ashuri and Jezreel, Ephraim, and Manasseh (2 Samuel 2:9). Later Ish-Bosheth fell out with Abner.

2 Sam 3: 22 – 30 Joab kills Abner
Abner met with David and made an agreement to bring the entire nation of Israel under David’s control. Afterwards, Joab, the commander of David’s army, came before David and accused Abner of falsehood. According to Joab, Abner was only seeking ways to defeat David. Without David’s permission, Joab tracked down Abner and murdered him (2 Samuel 3:26–27). This deed was more than an act of supposed loyalty to David, however. Joab had been seeking to avenge his brother Asahel’s death at the hands of Abner (2 Samuel 2:19–23).

Another reason why Joab killed Abner

When Joab realized he might not be the number one lieutenant to David anymore if he became the King over all of Israel, after the visit of Abner to David, he tricked Abner and subsequently killed him, to reduce the chances of playing second fiddle.
This made David to put a curse over Abner and his descendants that the blood of the innocent Abner was over his head.
David made all of his people mourn and declared that he had nothing to do with Abner’s death. Joab had been acting on his own.

This gruesome series of events paved the way for David to transition from leading the tribe of Judah to becoming king over all of Israel. Despite the violence around him, David remained innocent of the blood of his rivals.
After Ish-Bosheth’s and Abner’s murders, David remained in Hebron for five more years until the elders of Israel came to him and made a covenant to establish him as king of all Israel (2 Samuel 5:1–5). At that time, David and his men conquered Jerusalem, making it the capital of Israel and the “City of David.” David ruled from Jerusalem for the remainder of his 40 years as king.

# Section 2 – David’s Increase

As the greatness of David increased, there became leaders over thirty, leaders over hundred under him.

Loyalty Taken Too Far!
** Make reference to what Joshua did when the Lord took from the Spirit upon Moses and put on the 70 elders.
There are certain things that are not about man, but about God and Israel.

** The sons of Zebedee wanting to sit at the right and left of Jesus Christ.
Be careful to find out from God your position, not what your human thought wants to contort for yourself.

Be careful, don’t be too trusting.
Abner and Uriah died similar deaths, too trusting (they died like nobodies, generals who died because of trickery)

If not for God, the battle between Saul’s army and that of David might have escalated after the death of Abner by Joab. Joab was a soulish man, his position mattered more to him that is why he was part of the rebellion against David.
** Make reference to when he wanted to name a city after himself if David didn’t come in time, and also when he killed Absalom.
As you play your role in the life of a leader, as he increases, you also increase. Yet not having a complex, or wanting to be the almighty 2nd-in-command

# Section 3 – Our Calling, Stewardship & God’s Foreknowledge
Jeremiah 1 vs 1 – 10

Explanation:
Vs 5: Before I formed you, I knew you: No one can destroy your life except you want to destroy it yourself.

Before ones progenitors ever came together to procreate to bring a child forth, God had already determined what would happen to the offspring of that union.
If God is God, there are only two people who can determine if it would happen, it is God and You.

Formation is different from shaping, shaping (from discouragements, frustration) helps to achieve the plans of what God had in mind for you.

…and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee:
Sanctified means to set apart, consecrated unto God.

How can God say we were sanctified?
With all the times we lost our bearing in sin before coming to the knowledge of God, we were yet Sanctified (set apart for God)?

…and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
There is a progression in this knowing (Jeremiah didn’t know he was a prophet till the word of the Lord came unto him, he didn’t even start as a prophet to the nations, but a prophet to Israel and later to the uttermost parts).

The ordination happened first inside the belly by God.

Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child
The way you see yourself has nothing to do with the way God sees you.

See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
Yet Jeremiah was rooted out, pulled down et al, for him to have remarked to God that “Thou hath deceived me, curse be the day I was born” [Jer 20:7, 14]
Rather Jeremiah ought to have prayed this prayer after the word of the Lord came unto him.

# Section 4 – The Correct, Appropriate Prayers & Motivation
Ephesians 1: 15 – 23
Eph 1:17
“…That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him;
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power,…”

There should come a time when you ask, the person (God) who says He knew us before we were formed, we should seek to know Him also.

We see in the life of Jacob, when he wrestled till he said , “I would not let you go except you bless me” (let me know who you are) [Genesis 32: 22 – 32]

Paul remarked, “I want to know why You apprehended me for” [Philippians 3:12]

Php 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Why did God call me, why did I become a Christian?

There is a hope in God for calling you and me, this is what we should seek to know first.

In our own minute thoughts, we think we are trying to gain something from God, whereas He actually seeks to gain from us. Which is why God said, “My reward is with Me” (Rev 22:12).

# Section 5 – The Reward
Rev 22:12
And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Before we were born, God had sanctified us, but many times we go out of the sanctification ourselves. The reason why Jesus Christ died for us, is to create a way for us to come back into that sanctification. If He didn’t die for our sins, we wouldn’t have been able to find our way back into sanctification when we turn away from Him.
That is why the word REPENTANCE is not for sinners, it is for believers.
For an unbeliever, it is needed just once. But for a believer it is needed many times, to return back to sanctification. If not that Jesus died, we would not have been able to come back.

Why do we go out from sanctification? It is because every time we are inside of sanctification, Satan cannot touch us. So he entices, cajoles and deceives us until we come out of sanctification, hence he can beat such a believer black and blue, hoping to destroy such a believer so that such a person can have the same destiny as Satan himself.

While the devil is buffeting such believer who has fallen away from sanctification, the Father is enlarging the door of repentance for the believer to come back in. Once the believer comes back in, Satan is in trouble.

Woe unto those who never repent, which is why “the once saved, forever saved doctrine” is a lie

…that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance [God’s inheritance in us who have believed] in the saints.

Colossians 1 vs 9 – 13
Col 1:9
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
Col 1:10
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Col 1:11
Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
Col 1:12
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Col 1:13
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

…and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.

We must desire earnestly to be filled with the Knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.

If Jeremiah had this wisdom, he would not have been confused when he was being slapped, because it was part of the wisdom of God for it to have occurred first that way.

When we get to heaven, we would not see Joab there, he was cursed because he did not know nor follow the wisdom of God and spiritual understanding from God before he was formed. God knew him as one of those who would help David, and his destiny was tied with the destiny of David also. Joab did not realise that it was all about God, and not about David, it was not about his position.
Joab started plotting to perpetuate his position within David’s army, not realizing it was all about God and not about his position. It is about God who knew us before we were formed and born.

Part of what God knew was that:
1. Joab was going to work with David as a helper
2. That David was going to be a son of Saul. (David used to call Saul “My father! My father!!”)

Never allow temporary situation take you from the ordination that God has for you. Thank God there is a room in God to come back.
All of us are stewards not servants (we are working under a master and are accountable to him) a servant can be sold away.
Everyone wants to be called a minister.
Ministry is actually stewardship and not lordship.
Every time you can substitute accurately ministry with stewardship, we would function rightly, knowing that we are accountable for all our actions and inactions.

The Master who has committed us into stewardship, has a blueprint laid down that we ought to follow after. It is not only a matter of your zeal. It is a matter of following the laid down pattern for ministry as shown in the blueprint. It is not about being in a haste, not getting it right or adding from the portion of others to yours to make it bigger that guarantees a successful ministry/stewardship. It is all about following God’s blueprint.

You can be busy, having lots of helpers helping you, yet having no reward from God in it. Yet physically it is a “big ministry”.
God knows everything from the beginning, He does not work from afterthought. E.g. God does not begin to ponder in His mind “I didn’t know Brother A would be this sharp, let Me add more to his portfolio.” No! God knew all that from the beginning and had already apportioned our positions.

People add more to that which God has called them to, how then can one explain that everyone is trying to preach on TV, when clearly there is no substance in what they say on TV. Clearly there is no call of God for them to be on the airwaves, and therefore no reward from God for this.
When you do not know what has been apportioned for you according all wisdom and spiritual understanding, you would fight, envy etc. It is simply because you do not know and never bothered to ask from God. Once you know, nothing moves you.

# Section 6 – SAUL’s Stewardship & The Bleating of Sheep
Israel said they wanted a king, because they had looked at other nations and seen how they were ruled. Hence they began to ask for a king. God gave them a king that would satisfy their desires.
God had a desire, for the Amalekites to be wiped out utterly. This was as a result of how the Amalekites followed after the children of Israel after they left Egypt and started to kill those behind who were the frail and vulnerable.
God gave Saul the messy job to take out the Amalekites, though he was a king in interim.
David was actually God’s first choice in second position as king over all of Israel.
Wipe out the Amalekites, this was all of Saul’s ordination/ministry/stewardship. This was one major thing that God had knew and determined about him, before he was born.
He got it on the platter of gold, to fulfil a prophecy that had been in the heart of God. Yet he bungled that prime opportunity.
Saul saw Agag, and saved him and also the best of the sheep, oxen, the fatlings and the lambs that looked good to the eyes, for the expansion of his ministry. The moment you extend the blueprint there is a problem.

God told Samuel, I knew Saul would not fulfil all I asked him to do, but he (Samuel) didn’t know how Saul had failed. [1 Sam 15:10 – 1 1]
As soon as he approached Saul, he began to recount how that he had utterly wiped out Amalek, Samuel started to hear the bleating of the sheep. This caused Samuel to ask “what meaneth the sound of the bleating of the sheep in my ear” (He didn’t hear this physically, but heard it in his spirit). [1 Sam 15:13 – 14]. Saul couldn’t have been stupid to leave the sheep roaming up and down.

It is dangerous to alter what God had commanded, God didn’t say Saul did most of my command, save for the best sheep, oxen, fatling and lambs and Agag. God said Saul had not performed His Commandments. He said Saul turned back from following Him. [Because Saul didn’t fulfil the Scripture written about him].
The scripture showed how Samuel interceded for Saul all through the night, before setting off to meet Saul the next morning. The scripture doesn’t tell if God accepted Samuel’s intercession or not.
God said to Samuel “Saul did not perform my commandment”
Saul said to Saul “I have performed the commandment of the Lord”
Did Saul go to war?
Did he fight Amalek?
Did he kill the Amalekites, save a few choice animals and Agag?
Why then did God say Saul had not performed His command?
Who was lying?

Do you have enough focus to resist the pressure of the people following you? Saul said it was the people who were the ones who spared the best of Amalek to sacrifice to the Lord thy God [1Sam 15:15], despite God’s command to Saul. It was a good idea, but it was not godly.

Good does not mean Godly (refer to the message on Recalibration). Just because it works, doesn’t make it right.

The mandate was to utterly destroy the Amalekites, not to do that which you heart concocts.
Obedience is what God requires not sacrifice (mere ministry). As you add or subtract from the command of God, it is witchcraft, iniquity and idolatry.

Saul accepted that he had sinned, at the door of entering back to the door of sanctification, but he didn’t understand who called him. The prayer he asked Samuel to pray, had been done before Samuel came to meet Saul, but God didn’t tell him what He had decided. God was waiting on Saul’s prayer directly to God seeking repentance. But he had no relationship with God.

When the prophet told David and Hezekiah that they had sinned, they turned to God for repentance.

There is only one time when the prophet rents his garment, it is a case of lamentation and judgement. When Saul rent Samuel’s garment, Samuel remarked that the kingdom had been torn away from him, yet at that point he could still have repented. – I have sinned, yet honour me now, before the people (verse 30). It wasn’t about God who he had dishonoured, he was seeking for honour in the front of the people. This increased God’s indignation against Saul.

He kept referring to God as the Lord thy God (the God of Samuel), unlike David who had a relationship with God calling him ‘the Lord my God’. If he had prayed the prayers in Ephesians 1 (the knowledge of God) and Colossians 1 (the knowledge of His will), he would have had a relationship with God.

1 Sam 15: 1 – 35
Read

PRAYER:
1. Lord, let me hear when the sheep bleat and respond (instead of someone else)
2. Lord anything that is wrong around me let the sheep bleat, so I can know what to repent of.
If the sheep does not bleat, one can die and go to hell.
The bleating of the sheep that Samuel heard, Saul had been hearing it physically since, but did not respond
3. Lord give me the knowledge of Your will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.

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