Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Man After God's Own Heart (Part 4)

I wanted to conclude my thoughts on David this month, and although there would be much more to say, I am going to end this theme for now…

So in our last episode, David has beheaded Goliath and the Israelites have routed the Philistines…

After that day, Saul refused to let David return to his father’s house.  Saul’s son, Jonathan, and David start a friendship that lasts for their lives.  Even after Jonathan is killed in battle, David remembers him, and takes care of his son.

David becomes a mighty warrior and King Saul sets him over all of his men of war. At some point, David is returning from battle and the women are singing and dancing with tambourines; when Saul hears their song, he begins to resent him.  From that moment on, Saul watched David because he was afraid of him.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Man After God's Own Heart (Part 3)

So David has become Saul's armor bearer and plays anointed music to minister to the troubled king.  Yet occasionally he goes back to tend his father’s flocks.  Those are the times that David is refreshed in the Lord and spends intimate time with Him again.
Then comes the moment that changes David’s life again!  God has prepared him for this day that he slays a giant called Goliath. He has already faced a lion and a bear, while watching his father’s flocks, and has come out victorious.  His trust is in God, not in his own ability.
He is told by his father to take toasted grains, cheese (the original nacho chips), and bread to his brothers who were serving in King Saul’s army.  They have been camped on a mountain facing the Philistine army who was camped on a mountain facing them with a valley between them.
For forty days, each morning and each evening, Goliath had been taunting the Israelites (and especially King Saul- who stood a head taller that all the other men of Israel) crying out to them to send out a warrior to fight. Goliath was a giant of a man, an  intimidating dude standing about 9 feet 9 inches tall (six cubits and a span), his spearhead alone weighed the same as a bowling ball. and he walked around wearing about 150-200 lbs of armor.  He even had a servant whose job was to carry his shield for him!
David arrives on the scene at the moment the armies are going out to the fight and to shout for the battle. The fearful men of Israel ask David (remember, he is Saul’s armor bearer) if he had seen this man, and if he knew about the reward Saul offered anyone who would take Goliath on in battle.
David turns and asks about the reward just as his oldest brother Eliab comes up and overhears the conversation. He gets angry, starts to rail on David and tries to belittle him, accusing him of pride and insolence.  David does not argue or lose his focus (or temper), but he deflects the accusation with a question. He turns to someone else (ignoring his brothers words) and again asks about the rewards.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Man After God's Own Heart (Part 2)

So David is anointed to be king of Israel by the Lord at the hands of Samuel the prophet...
This happens in front of all of his older brothers, so I could conceive there might have been some interesting dynamics between them... of course I'd have to go extra-biblical to say that there were, but at some point some anger shows through with at least one of his brothers (more on that later).

What is interesting to me is that David does not get "puffed up" at all.  In fact, he simply goes back to what he was doing before all of the excitement. He seems to be content to take care of his father's flocks. He does not try to make something happen.  He could have become boastful and proud – after all, he was anointed king by none other than Samuel himself!  But pride does not show itself strong in David.

But something has changed. Deep in David's heart, a seed of greatness was planted that would never be diminished; a seed sown by God Himself.

David continues on as if nothing had changed, but I can imagine that his relationship with the Lord deepened and grew. He became even more skillful on the harp, and God began to breathe songs in him... songs that he later wrote down and taught others to play. Some of those same songs we still sing today.

At some point, the Spirit of the Lord departs from King Saul, and he becomes troubled by an evil spirit. His people suggest that he allow them to seek out a skillful harp player, and let him play when the king is troubled, and he would "be well."

Then one of his servants tells him about the son of Jesse who is, “…skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the Lord is with him. 1 Samuel 16:18. How did this man know all this about a shepherd boy? 

Perhaps David’s reputation had grown.  Perhaps the rumor mill from Bethlehem had gotten around that people should watch this young man that Samuel visited; there was just something about him.

David had grown in the Lord, he had become skillful in playing, and brave.  He is called a “man of war” although he had never been in a battle (that is, with the exception of a lion and a bear!)  David was disciplined and healthy.  He was wise in his speech – he would have had to be wise with his words, especially with, I repeat myself, seven older brothers!  He was good looking and most of all – the Lord was with him.

So the king sends for David, who comes with gifts from his father, Jesse, for the king.  The bible says that Saul loved David greatly and David became his armor bearer.  An armor bearer was a trusted position and that position was for someone who would be right with the king in battle or whatever he was doing. David also  

Saul then sends a message to Jesse to ask for him to allow David to stand before him, for he “has found favor in my sight.” 1 Samuel 16: 22

And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him.” 1 Samuel 16:23

I’m curious to know if David ever wondered how God was going to make him king.  Did that question cross his mind when he was called up minister to King Saul? Perhaps something would happen, and the king would step down and let David sit on the throne?  Not likely...

Who knows what he was thinking, but the next chapter in his life changed everything again!

Stay tuned...