David, Israel's New King
A Young Man's Faith and Success

By Jon W. Quinn

Most are familiar with the stumbling of David, particularly his “mid-life crises” and the very poor way he dealt with it. Many have trouble understanding how he could be put forth as such a positive example. Of course, never is David lauded for these things. In fact, God dealt with David out of His displeasure and David suffered many awful consequences for his sins. It was God that David forsook and betrayed. An important lesson in this is that even the most faithful of us can fall, and therefore need to let our commitment, faith and love for God be at the forefront of our actions and words and thoughts everyday through all the stages of our lives.

But let us notice what David had as a young man that is laudable, and what probably ultimately saved him later when he got into deep, deep trouble. He remembered what he had been and what he once had, and wanted it back.

The Door Opens For The Young Shepherd Boy
Because of the sins of Saul, God instructed Samuel to anoint a new king. David was the man "after God's own heart", the one who would replace Saul as king of Israel. David proved himself to be a courageous and faithful man. He respected and trusted God.

David Anointed King (1 Samuel 16)
Because or Saul's sins, he was rejected by the Lord from reigning over Israel (1 Samuel 16:1). Samuel was sent by God to the house of Jesse, who lived in Judah, in a little town called Bethlehem.

Samuel did not think Saul would allow this, for obvious reasons. He feared the wrath of Saul. The Lord told Samuel to take a heifer and go to sacrifice it in Bethlehem, inviting Jesse and his sons. (1 Samuel 16:2). This way, Saul would only know the prophet went to offer a sacrifice, and would not be informed of the other purpose; that of anointing Saul's replacement.
Samuel thought Jesse's son, Eliab was the obvious choice, but God was looking for something else; not mere outward appearance. The Lord was searching the hearts of Jesse's sons (1 Samuel 16:6,7). Seven sons passed before Samuel, but none of them was God's choice (1 Samuel 16:10,11). Jesse called his youngest son, who was keeping the sheep. That would be David. He was God's choice and Samuel anointed David in the presence of his brothers, and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him (1 Samuel 16:12, 13).

Saul lost his position as king because of His disobedience. Obedience has always been a part of faith and something the Lord requires of His people, then and now (Matthew 7:21-23). Additionally, God sees and judges the heart (Acts 1:24; Revelation 2:23; Luke 16:14-15). It would still be some time before the young boy would, as an adult, become the second king of Israel.

David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17)
The armies of the Israelites and the Philistines were arrayed against each other (1 Samuel 17:1-3). Goliath was the champion of the Philistines. His height was 6 cubits and a span - about 9 ½ feet tall (1 Samuel 17:4). Goliath challenged the Israelites to send a man against him, and they would fight, and the side of the loser would become the servants of the winning side (1 Samuel 17:8-10). Saul and his soldiers were dismayed and greatly afraid. No one would dare confront Goliath. His taunts ringing in their ears was demoralizing (1 Samuel 17:11).

About this time, David was sent by his father to deliver supplies to his brothers who served in the army and had followed Saul to battle (1 Samuel 17:13-18).

David, upon hearing the challenges issued, displayed courage and faith. David's God would give him victory (1 Samuel 17:25-35). David sought for permission from King Saul to face the Philistine champion. Saul was somewhat reluctant to send a young shepherd to face a seasoned warrior. To convince Saul, David said "The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." And Saul said to David, "Go, and may the LORD be with you." (1 Samuel 17:37). One wonders if Saul would have been as willing to give permission if not for the fact he was very desperate. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Ironically, unknown to Saul, David has already been declared to be the next king of Israel.

David rejected Saul's armor, which was probably a wise tactical decision. If Goliath got that close, David's armor probably would not have been much help. David took his staff and five smooth stones for his sling. Saul continued his taunts, what people in sports today call “trashtalking” their opponents. David replied, "You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted.” (1 Samuel 17:45; cf. vss. 41-49).

Of course, with his sling David won that battle, and the Philistine army was routed. Defying God brings sure defeat, ultimately there will be no other conclusion (Revelation 6:12-17). The battle is the Lord's.

David Spares Saul (1 Samuel 24)
Enmity between Saul and David developed (1 Samuel 18-23). Saul became extremely jealous of David's status as a hero and popularity with the people. In fact, even Saul's own son, Jonathan, became best friends with David.

David married Michal, Saul's oldest daughter. But the rift became greater between Saul and David. Saul persecuted David, and David fled for his life. Saul pursued David. The king was becoming more and more deranged with paranoia and madness. He became obsessed with jealousy (1 Samuel 24:1,2). During one pursuit in the wilderness, Saul entered a cave without knowing that David was inside. David restrained his servants from killing Saul because Saul was God's anointed. The Lord would take Saul when He was ready. (1 Samuel 24:4-7). David proved to Saul that he meant him no harm, and Saul admitted David's righteousness and asked David to forgive him (1 Samuel 24:8-22).

In this, we see that jealousy is a destructive emotion (Galatians 5:13-15; 20,21; 1 Corinthians 3:3). It creates problems, but never solves any.

We also see that David had a deep respect for things that God has appointed. God had made Saul king, so David would not kill Saul. We need to have similar respect for the things God has appointed (1 Peter 2:4-10) .

Closing question: Why did Saul think David was unqualified to meet Goliath? Because he was just a youth. But Saul was wrong about the good that a youth could accomplish for his God; with his God. Young people; do not under-estimate the power of God in yourselves, if it be so that Christ dwells in you (1 Timothy 4:12).
    From The Bradley Banner 5/14/2006
    Published by the Bradley Church of Christ
    1505 E. Broadway
    Bradley, IL 60915


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