The last of our character sketches from 1 Samuel is David.
David was shepherd. He played the harp. He was youngest in a family of eight. Yet, God chose him to be the next King of Israel.
“And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.” (16:11-13)
“And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took a harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.” (16:23)
Saul loves David and makes him his armor-bearer.
“And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armor-bearer.” (16:21)
David kills Goliath in the name of God. The Philistines have come up against Israel. The Philistines challenged Israel to a one-man fight. Their champion Goliath against Israel’s best. Israel was afraid and had no one to fight Goliath. David trusted God. He went in God’s power and defeated Goliath.
“Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.” (17:45)
Saul’s jealousy causes him to want David dead.
“And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.6 And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of music.7 And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.8 And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?9 And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.” (18:5-9)
“10 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand. 11 And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice.” (18:10-11)
Saul pursues David trying to kill him. He is unsuccessful.
David spares Saul’s life twice because Saul is the Lord’s anointed!
“And he said unto his men, The Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.7 So David stayed his servants with these words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul. But Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way.” (24:6-7)
“And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless?10 David said furthermore, As the Lord liveth, the Lord shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish.11 The Lord forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the Lord’s anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go.” (26:9-11)
David was a Godly man who understood he would be King. He also understood he would not be King till the death of Saul. He was willing to wait on God’s timing.
This is a very appropriate topic for this day. Many people today, including believers in Christ, orchestrate events so they can get what they want. They are not concerned about God’s will, word, or way. They want what they want and they want it NOW! David waited patiently, many years, over horrible circumstances, with death knocking at his door daily. His patience was rewarded by God. God allowed him to be King over His people Israel.
God has a plan and purpose for our lives. The process takes a lifetime to execute. The reward is to spend eternity with God in heaven.
Think about your priorities. Do they line up with God’s word? Are you waiting patiently on the Lord? Is Jesus the highest priority in your life?
David put God first. So should we.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001