I am so excited to be teaching on the life of David and I hope that it is as fun for you as it is for me. I pray that the scripture becomes new to you. I pray you learn about the character of God and the character of men. I pray that as we dig into the scripture we are changed and we are challenged. Okay, here we go!
Before we jump right into David’s story, we have to know what is going on in the world around him for this to make sense.
Israel CRIES for a king and Samuel is the Priest in place who is the person who is supposed to appoint a king to these people. Now, God thinks it is foolish that they want a king at all but they are begging. God gives them a ton of stipulations in 1 Sam 8:10-17 and one more chance to back out. They say. “NO! But there shall be a king over us, so we can be like every other nation and so that we can have someone to judge us and go out before us and fight our battles. So, Israel wants to be rescued, and Saul is leading them astray and David is called to realign the Israelites with the heart of God. Jesus is the ultimate redeemer and there are a lot of things that are very similar to how God uses David and what happens with Jesus…So pay attention to these and we will do our best to point them out as we go.
Takeaway 1: If we don’t fully trust God as our Leader…we make personal sacrifices in order to make sure that we are following something. We all long for a leader…who is yours?
Here is the tightest summary of Saul’s life I can give you. Here we find that there is no line of kings…and along comes Saul. Saul is the son of a rich man named Kish and he was just a young man, a very handsome one, out on an errand to find his dad’s lost donkey. He doesn’t find it, but instead meets Samuel and is made the first king of Israel. He does okay for a hot second and then begins to disobey the commands that God has put on him and his Kingship is revoked…but he is still having to live out his term…I don’t know how kingships work. The last straw (spoiler alert) was when he was told that he needed to go invade a people and kill them all…and he not only left the king of the Amalelekites, Agag, alive but he brought him, and the best of his sheep, oxen, and fatted calves and lambs (scripture says, “all that was good”) back to Israel where Saul then set up a monument for himself! When confronted by Samuel he says, “We brought them up to sacrifice to the Lord YOUR god.”
Takeaway 2: We need to live our lives understanding that it is God’s glory for which we live. Saul follows God only as long as it brings Saul glory. If he is made to look even a little humble, or less than a God himself, he CANNOT handle it.
We are not called to be the best us, we are called to be like Jesus. This is Sauls problem – This is already his undoing, and will continue to be his undoing as David enters the picture. This is important to know so that you have a little bit of understanding when it comes to most of David’s early life…okay. So you can read all about that saga in 1 Sam 8-15 you want to do more extensive background work here.
Israel has a king already. This is SO IMPORTANT for you to know as you try and get into the head of David. The interesting thing here is that God does something totally different with David than he does with Saul. He calls David to be the king as a young man while there is another king in place, and as you will soon see God grooms him to be a great leader.
At the beginning of the story, Samuel is upset. He has grown fond of Saul and he also is sooo frustrated with Saul. It is exhausting being the mouth of the people to the Lord and also to have to speak the word of the Lord to the people.
So this is where we meet David.
I will encourage you to read these sections and then read my commentary below.
1 Sam 16:1-3
What do we know? 1. God has found someone else to Groom to be king. 2. Samuel is afraid of Saul. 3. God is a little tricky as he creates a way for Samuel to anoint the son of Jesse.
1 Sam 16:4-12
In my entire life…until this morning when I was finalizing all of this, I never realized that Samuel did not go to Jesse’s house here. Jesse and his family came to Samuel at the sacrifice that was a set up for this anointing.
-Fun Fact. David is out leading sheep. How does David refer to Jesus in Psalm 23? The lord is my “Shepherd”. There is a total understanding by David what it means to be a leader of sheep.
Look at vs. 6. As soon as Samuel saw the oldest son, Eliab, he is like, YEP…Found him.
What does the Lord say to him?
“Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Have you heard this? I think we love to use this verse for self confidence building…and we should. But the context is awesome. This is God whispering to his mouth piece – Just because he looks amazing, he looks kingly, don’t be fooled.
Takeaway 3: God is not after someone who looks the part, He is after someone who is chasing after the heart of God from the inside out.
If Samuel falls for this trap of attraction by sight, how easy is it for us to be deceived by beauty and desire for something to be what we think it should be instead of what it actually is.
This is not to say Eliab is a bad dude, we find out in the next chapter he actually is in the army of the Israelites. He is probably a fine dude…he just doesn’t have the heart of a king.
We learn here that it is not about what we look like. It is by our Heart that God sees us! In this section we see the older brother rejected (at least what he thinks is rejection) and we see a kid be chosen to become king. Scholars believe that he is between the ages of 8 and 15! I think he was probaby closer to 15…based on other studies of his age…Now David lives with this calling before his time. Can you even imagine the weight of this!
Have you ever felt like there is something that god has for you, but you aren’t quite there yet? What do you do in the waiting?
For David, the answer to that question is, “Whatever I can.”
Okay and the hardest part here…he has 7 older brothers who just got passed over and he is the kid brother who has just been anointed king IN FRONT OF THEM. Can you imagine being the older brothers. If your younger sibling didn’t already annoy you, imagine if he knew he was going to be the king too!
What kind of pressure do you think this was for a kid? Do you ever feel any sort of pressure that you need to live up to something greater than you? Do you have people watching to see what you do?
Lets pick up in vs. 14-23 – I pulled this following note from biblehub.com
Vs 14. (The Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul — Which came upon him when he was first made king, and continued with him till this time, but which God now took away, depriving him of that prudence, courage, and alacrity, and other gifts wherewith he had qualified him for his public employment. An evil spirit from the Lord — That is, by God’s permission, who delivered him up to be buffeted by Satan. Troubled him — Stirred up in him unruly passions, such as envy, rage, fear, or despair. Hence he grew fretful, peevish, and discontented, timorous and suspicious, frequently starting and trembling, as the Hebrew word here used seems to import. He therefore became very unfit for business, being sometimes melancholy, or furious and distracted, and always full of anxiety and solicitude of mind.)
Vs 16 the servants are like, “Hey, how about MUSIC THERAPY?” So saul says, go find me someone to play for me. And they do. Many scholars believe that maybe a contemporary of David who suggested him. But I love how he is defined!
- Skillful in playing
- A man of valor
- A man of war (maybe some smaller battles over land with the Philistines)
- Prudent in speech
- A man of good presence
- The Lord is with him (did they know about his call? Did anyone outside of his family?)
How are you known?
So what now? David is called into the Kings service and Saul LOVED him Greatly and he was given a job. Not only was he armor bearer, but he was also his music therapist…because wherever David went, he took the spirit of the Lord with him.
This is an act favor from God. Do you see this. This kid is now in prime position to learn about what it looks like to be the king.
And how weird is it to think about this God’s anointed king ministering to the current king who has already been verbally dethroned by god? What a strange place to find these two!
Takeaway 4: Change takes time and God is faithful to use all of our story. He will use every step of it. God uses our past experiences to fit us for His service and this is very evident in David’s story. God allows us to walk through long seasons of learning in order to be able to lead better. And, it is important to know that our experiences are never wasted as we seek the heart of God.
Can’t wait for next week as we deal with David and Golaith. You can meet with us Tuesday nights this summer at 7:30pm CST by clicking here.