April 7, 2015.
Daily Reading: I Samuel 16-20.
Background: I Samuel 11-15.
Concepts and Connections.
1. The Lord judges the heart: There is a very valuable lesson that we can learn of the character go God in reading the story of the anointing of David as king over Israel. Saul had previously been told that his kingdom had been taken away from him by God and given to a mother, a man after Hi sown heart (see I Samuel 13:14). Now it was time for Samuel to stop mourning over Saul, for the Lord had already made His devision, and go find the next king of Israel. God lead Samuel to the ouse of Jessie, and when Samuel saw the oldest son of Jessie, he thought surly he was the next king, for he had the disposer of a king. But the Lord quickly taught Samuel a lesson, a lesson that we should learn as well, and that is the fact that the Lord odes not judge on the outward appearance of men, but rather by the heart. We can put on the best show in the wold, so that no one around us would ever question our spirituality, but the Lord sees straight to our heart. If our heart is not right, then we have gained nothing (see I Corinthians 13). David was a man after God’s own heart, and though he was the youngest of height, the Lord has chosen him because of his integrity as opposed to his out ward appearance. Let us learn to be more like God.
2. David’s service to Saul: Though David had been anointed as king over Israel, he did not assume the position at once. In fact, there would be quite some time before David would actually take his seat on the throne, as he would in a way start to climb the ranks in Israel first, gaining favor and reputation with all of the people. One of his first jobs in service to the kingdom is as a skilled player of the harp for Saul whenever an evil spirit would come over him. As far as we know, David preformed this duty without complaint, and didn’t let pride over take him during the early years of his life. David was proving to to truly be a man after God’s own heart.
David and Goliath: As we continue on through the early life of David, we come to the very well known story of David and Goliath. Goliath was a champion of the Philistines, the enemies of Israel, who was giant in stature- a man of war from his youth. Goliath had defied the armies of Israel, challenging any man to come out and face him one on one, the winner securing victory for his nation. There was a lot of pride and arrogance in this statement, but Goliath could surly back it up. Thus, all of Israel was afraid and hid from Goliath, as day after day he would come out and make the same challenge. David, who had not gone to war with Israel, but rather would go back and fourth from to his brothers who were fighting and back home where he kept his father’s sheep. Upon one occasion, David came to see how his brother’s fared, and he heard the statement that was made against the armies of Israel, a statement that he took great offense to, as Goliath had defied the armies of the Lord. When David, said something about it, however, his older brother got mad at him, probably out of jealously and due to his cowardice in answering the call of Goliath. Regardless, David eventually ends up before Saul and tells him that he will go fight this giant, for it was not in the power of man that would win the war, but rather the battle belonged to the Lord. David fully trusted in the Lord that he would give the battle into the hands of Israel. Rejecting the armor that he was given that he had not tested, David went to a brook and picked up five smooth stones that he would use as a weapon against Goliath, implying some value in being well prepared. Then he meets the giant, who feels insulted that Israel has sent a youth out to meet him for battle. However, David shows great boldness here, and he lets Goliath know in who’s name he has come, and that the God of Israel would give him into his hands that very day. And that is precisely what happens. David sinks one stone into the head of Goliath, and the giant falls. He then takes the sword of Goliath and cuts off his head. The Philistines are greatly afraid and flee before Israel, as the men of war pursue them. David proceeds to bring the head of Goliath to Saul, who would later set him as a commander in his army. The story of David and Goliath is one of courage and trust, and shows us that the battle, whatever it is, belongs to the Lord. Let us learn to put our trust in Him.
1. Jealousy: After David overcomes Goliath and is set as a commander in the army of Saul, the hand of the Lord was with him and he had great success over the enemies of Israel. His success was so great that his fame throughout the land quickly spread. They eventually started to see David as a better man of war than even their king, and this did not set well with Saul. When he heard the women’s song about him and David, a great jealousy overtook Saul. He was aware that the Spirit of the Lord was with David and had departed from him. This jealousy and fear of David led Saul to try to kill David. We can see from this story the dangers and inner corruption of jealousy. There is a reason that God had taught His people not to have jealousy of one another. Jealously is so often a snare to the one who harbors this emotion, and we should learn to recognize it in ourselves and work diligently to rid ourselves of this poison.
2. Deception: Saul’s jealously of David made him seek to destroy him. When he had no luck killing him with a spear, he changed to a different mode of action, trying his hand at deception. Saul set out to distract David with one of his daughters, that she might be a snare to him and he would fall by his enemies. When Michal, a daughter of Saul, loved David, but David was too humble (and poor) to become the king’s son-in-law, Saul set a bride price at the expense of the Philistines, a way for David to feel as though he earned his position as the king’s son-in-law, in hopes that he would fall by the hand of the Philistines in the process (there is a bit of irony here, as David would later use the tactic of war to kill Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba, whom he would have an adulterous relationship with, see I Samuel 11-12). Saul went to great lengths to try and eliminate David, but nothing worked because the Lord was with David, and this made Saul even more afraid.
Saul’s attempts to kill David: After his deception didn’t work to make David fall by the hands of the Philistines, Saul returned to a more direct method of attempting to kill David himself and through the hands of his mighty men. At the beginning, Saul’s son Jonathan is able to reason with his father and convince him not to attempt to kill David, but the rage of jealousy overtook logic as soon as David once again was successful in battle. David escaped the spear of Saul and was delivered by night though a window when his wife told him he had to flee from the men that Saul had sent to his house to kill him. Thus begins David’s fleeing from Saul, which would mark a time in his life of unrest and hardship. Many of David’s psalms would be written during this time of distress. It is interesting to note what happens at the end of this story, however, as we see a unique way that God delivered David out of the hands of Saul at Ramah. Samuel was there with a company of prophets, and they were prophesying. Every person that Saul sent to take David would be hindered by the Spirit of the Lord coming upon them and causing them to prophesy. Eventually, Saul himself would come down to attempt to kill David, and he too was hindered by being made to prophesy! This goes to show that the Spirit of the Lord may come upon whoever He wishes, regardless of their standing with God.
The strength of a friendship: This chapter ultimately reveals the level of the bond that David and Jonathan shared. Jonathan fails to see why his father is so eager to kill David, as he has done nothing wrong. He is even in denial, for his father hasn’t told him that he wanted to kill David. However, David makes a way for it to be clearly known to Jonathan that Saul was out to kill him, and when the dinner plays out just as David said, there is no doubt in Jonathan’s mind where his father stands. However, we see here the true strength of a friendship rooted in love, as Jonathan show more loyalty to David than his father, for he knows that David is in the right. This is not to be taken lightly, as Jonathan was technically next in line to be king, and taking this stand with David would surly end all chances of him assuming the reign over Israel. But Jonathan knew that the hand of the Lord was with David, and that the kingdom would fall to him as the Lord would give all the enemies of David into his hand. Thus Jonathan helped David escape his father. There is truly a friend who sticks closer than a brother (see Proverbs 18:24), and this is the relationship that his shown between David and Jonathan. May we all learn to put on this sacrificial type of love for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Psalm 39-41.
Love one another.