FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary president Paige Patterson opened an election year and the spring semester with a new sermon series during convocation, Jan. 19. Based on the life of David and called “The Shepherd King,” this sermon series will feature the exposition of passages from 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel and the Psalms.
“This is an election year,” Patterson said during the first sermon in this series, an exposition of 1 Samuel 16 titled “Faithfulness in the Badlands.” According to 1 Samuel, the godless leadership of King Saul provoked chaos, grief and fear in the land of Israel.
“When there is a country with godless leadership, it will eventually always descend into chaos. What we have in America today is nothing less than chaos,” Patterson said, insisting that he was not just criticizing the U.S. President, but “the whole Washington establishment.” Unless the nation’s leaders seek God’s face and ignore the politically-correct demands of “certain kinds of loud people,” the nation will sink into chaos, grief and fear, he said.
Nevertheless, Patterson told students and faculty not to become discouraged, for “God is still on his throne.” Amid the darkness and chaos in 1 Samuel, God commanded the prophet Samuel to anoint a new king, one of the son’s of Jesse. Though Samuel thought God might choose one of Jesse’s older sons, God instead chose Jesse’s youngest son, David, who was caring for his father’s sheep in the badlands of Israel. David’s “faithfulness in the badlands” carries an important lesson for students, Patterson said.
“He was faithful in the wilderness,” Patterson said. “Did you know that the Bible says, ‘He who is faithful in a few things will be made ruler over many’?
“We live in a day, today, when most people who feel called of God into His service think they are the answer to the world’s problems. And they also seem to want to come of age now: ‘Choose me now. I am a ‘young leader.’ I’m here to resolve your problems. I’m here to tell you what to do.’
“Listen, may I offer you a sage piece of advice this morning: Would you stay with the sheep in the wilderness until God calls you out? You just stay with the sheep, what God has given you to do, and faithfully discharge that duty … and He will raise you up, and He will make you ruler over many.”
The remaining sermons in Patterson’s series include:
  • Jan. 25: “Never Take a Sword to a Rock Fight” (1 Samuel 17)
  • Feb. 15: “Thoughts About the Universe” (Psalm 19)
  • Feb. 22: “Caution with God’s Anointed” (1 Samuel 24)
  • Feb. 29: “Her Price is Above Rubies” (1 Samuel 25)
  • March 8: “I am a Worm” (Psalm 22)
  • March 21: “Doing Things God’s Way” (2 Samuel 6)
  • March 29: “Why Sin is Sinful” (2 Samuel 11)
  • April 4: “The Way Home” (Psalm 51)
  • April 10: “The Curse of a Dead Dog” (2 Samuel 16)
  • April 18: “The Sins of Success” (2 Samuel 24)
  • April 25: “The Testimony of a Life”
During the convocation chapel service, Executive Vice President and Provost Craig Blaising also introduced three newly appointed faculty members: Alicia Wong will serve as assistant professor of women’s ministries in the Jack D. Terry School of Church and Family Ministries; Candi Finch, assistant to First Lady Dorothy Patterson, will serve as assistant professor of theology and women’s studies in the School of Theology; and John Massey will serve as associate professor of missions in the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions.
To listen to Patterson’s convocation sermon, visit