David Ė Godís Man
by John C. Westervelt
†††† David was just a shepherd boy when he was thrust into the limelight of Jewish history.† In Davidís time, God had been at work in the lives of the Hebrews through His spokesman Samuel, a priest, a prophet, and a judge.† The Jewish people had been hounding God for a king, so God told Samuel to anoint Saul as king.
†††† Saul reigned for forty-two years.† In his last years, Saul failed to obey the Lord, so the Holy Spirit left him, and he was filled with an evil spirit that terrorized him.† Saulís only relief from his mental illness was the melodious sound of the harp.† One of Saulís servants brought David from his home in Bethlehem to play his harp to soothe the king.† Before being called to the palace, the boy David had been anointed by Samuel as the king to follow Saul.† Still, David became a loyal subject of King Saul and a good friend of Saulís son Jonathan.
†††† Saulís army had continual battles with the Philistines. The Philistines or ďSea PeopleĒ migrated from Crete and the Aegean Islands to the southern coastal plain of Palestine.† The Philistines had unique skills for forming iron and other metals, which gave them an advantage over other armies.
†††† One well-known event in history is Davidís part in one of the battles with the Philistines.† Goliath, a giant of a man and fully armored, challenged any Hebrew to fight him to the death.† Whoever was left standing would be declared the victor and his army would also win the battle.† All of the Hebrew soldiers fell back in fear.
†††† David, the shepherd boy, was unafraid because of his belief in Godís might.† He rejected Saulís ill-fitting armor and used his own God-developed skills.† David selected five smooth stones from the brook, put them in his shepherdís bag, and confronted Goliath.† Placing a stone in his sling, David slew the giant in the same way he had killed lions and bears that preyed on his sheep.† Fear and courage exchanged places within both armies, and the Hebrews routed the Philistines.
†††† As the people began to sing, ďSaul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands,Ē Saul grew jealous.† Earlier, Saul had treated David like a son, but he now became intent on killing David.† Saul pursued David for a number of years, during which time David and his men became nomads, moving about the country and hiding from Saulís wrath.
†††† Once when Saul was stalking him, David could have killed Saul, but because David feared God, he chose not to kill the Lordís anointed king.† Saul continued fighting with neighboring nations until his final battle, when he found himself trapped by the enemy.† Saul elected to fall on his own sword rather than risk torture at the hands of his adversaries.
†††† After Saulís death, a period of civil war throughout Israel was followed by all of the tribes coming together to ask David to be their king.† David was a mighty warrior fighting for the Lord, and the Lord richly blessed him.
†††† A second familiar event in history is that of David committing adultery with the wife of Uriah, one of Davidís soldiers.† When Bathsheba found she was pregnant, David sent Uriah into the thick of battle where the enemy killed him, an act that was tantamount to murder on Davidís part.
†††† I wondered how a man with Davidís record for breaking the commandments could still be Godís man.† Then I read in the revelation that Jesus gave to the apostle John, ďI know you well Ė you are neither hot nor cold; I wish you were one or the other!† But since you are merely lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth.Ē† David was not lukewarm.† As king, he danced vigorously in the street after bringing the ark to Jerusalem, much to the embarrassment of his wife, Michal.
†††† David made some serious mistakes, but God didnít give up on him.† After committing adultery, a repentant David wrote in the fifty-first Psalm, ďHave mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing loveÖ Blot out my transgressions.† Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from sinÖ Create in me a pure heart, O God.Ē† God continued to use David to write a total of seventy-three psalms.
†††† In the Psalms, David shared his emotions and feelings about a God with whom he was intimately acquainted.† As you read the Psalms, you too will feel closer to God.† A thousand years after David, God chose Davidís descendants, Joseph and Mary, to be the father and mother of Jesus.
†††† Davidís psalms have nurtured Godís people for three thousand years.† As a boy, I memorized the twenty-third Psalm from the King James Bible.† I repeat this Psalm at the end of my morning prayers because it is such a comfort to me.
Copyright 2001 by John C. Westervelt
Return to Table of Contents