Feb 22, 2012, 2:39 PM
Young David, a shepherd boy, was taking care of his father’s sheep when he was summoned to report home immediately. Was there an emergency? Would he have known? All he knew was that his presence was needed by his father. At home, the man of God, Prophet Samuel, was waiting with expectancy; he had a mission to accomplish. In fact, he was nearly done. “Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” (1 Samuel 16:1)
Seven sons of Jesse paraded before Samuel before he told Jesse “The Lord has not chosen these. Are these all the sons you have?” (1 Samuel 16:10-11)If none of the seven was eligible then there must be another son who was absent; particularly when Samuel had not come to the wrong house.
Why were not all the sons assembled in the first place so the Prophet could make his choice at the onset and not in two phases? Here is Jesse’s response to Samuel’s question. “There is still the youngest, but he is tending sheep.” (verse 11b) What in fact Jesse meant was I did not think David was material for a king, so I did not consider him. Being young and country in Jesse’s eyes disqualified David. Do you notice how Samuel and Jesse were operating on the same plane, using the same standard for judging suitability?
When Samuel entered Jesse’s house he had thought to himself on meeting Eliab, one of Jesse’s sons; “Surely, the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” (verse 6) God’s reaction came quickly; “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.” (verse 7)
What seemingly would have qualified the seven brothers by world standards, disqualified them in God’s eyes. God is not impressed by looks; He has a better and more efficient way of assessing us. As soon as David, the shepherd boy stepped into the house, Samuel received word from the Lord. “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.” (verse 12b)You and I would have committed the same error, favouring the towns’-boy to the shepherd boy, country boy but now “… we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
From the backside of the mountains and valleys, young David is anointed king to the surprise of his family members. From then, things begin to happen for him. The current king Saul loses his anointing and is tormented by an evil spirit. David the country boy is brought to the palace to play music on his harp. “He will play when the evil spirit from God comes upon you, and you will feel better.”(1 Samuel 16:16) Playing the harp is no ordinary skill, mark you.
The nation of Israel is at war with the Philistines, a pagan nation. David appears on the scene, having been sent by his father, to take some food to three of his brothers who had ‘followed Saul to the war.’ There he witnesses a scene that upsets him. “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:25) was his reaction. Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified by Goliath and his men “ran from him (Goliath) in great fear” (verse 24) each time he made an appearance.
His brothers drove him away because they had branded him a pushy, presumptuous, a Nosey Parker. They got it all wrong. David was sent there for a purpose; for what a whole army, the army of God’s people could not do – affront Goliath – David did.
The stage is set for David to take on Goliath. With Saul’s backing, he obtained permission. His experience defending his father’s sheep against a lion and a bear and killing them, armed him with ample courage to encounter the giant. “Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.” (verse 36)
This young, inexperienced lad was not put off by the strength of the giant Goliath; the scolding by his brothers did not discourage him either. He did not rely on the king’s armoury “I cannot go in these.” (verse 39 ) Goliath looked down on David “because he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome and he despised him.”
The odds were heavy on David’s side. The king feared for his life. Most likely, his brothers were saying well he asked for it. It would have seemed he was taking an uncalculated risk. On the contrary, David was motivated from within – for God’s glory. He was about to do the unexpected; with a stone and a sling he was about to terrace what in the eyes of all the bystanders was impressive and glorious. “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” (verse 45)
God worked His purpose out through the life of David because he had showed he was a ‘called-one’ to perform exploits for God’s glory and not his own.
“This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head … and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give all of you into my hands.” (1 Samuel 17:46-47)
By an act of extraordinary faith, David accomplished such a feat in accordance with God’s purpose. Is God using you for His purpose?